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A Hymnal with hymns mainly in A, B, C, D, E, F & G

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  • #16
    It is possible that the keys were chosen to remove notes between the staves and the upper and lower ledger lines. This made room for the text. Also flat keys were the key of choice for woodwinds and brass bands.Remember transposition was common.Pitch was semi-tone flat a while ago when many hymnals were assembled. Younger congregations also sang higher. How many English rock groups have high tenor singers?
    Regards ,
    Pat

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    • #17
      Originally posted by aeolian pat View Post
      ..... It is possible that the keys were chosen to remove notes between the staves and the upper and lower ledger lines. This made room for the text. ...
      Yes, that makes sense in some cases. In this case, however, it wouldn't explain a preference for E over Eb, for example, since both keys would use the same notes; only the key signature and accidentals would differ.
      In terms of leaving room for text between staves, once a hymn tune is harmonized in 4 parts, the two most common uses of leger lines would be between the staves as well - Altos going below the treble staff and Tenors going above the bass staff are common. Sopranos going above the treble staff and Basses going below the bass staff are much less common.
      **
      I play for one older soloist in my congregation. He often sings older hymns that are less familiar to us. Because he is aging and the hymns are fairly easy to transpose, we sometimes change the key to suit his range. If the melodic range is small, we have more leeway. If the song has a large range, we sometimes have to balance - when do the low notes get so low they disappear? vs. when do the high notes get so high as to be uncomfortable? Sometimes we can achieve both goals, sometimes we have to compromise. ---- Just another example of why some keys are preferred over others.
      Last edited by regeron; 08-31-2019, 01:26 PM.

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