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  • Reharmonization Search

    Hey all, I am looking for a reharmonization of the tune Thaxted which is sung as O God Beyond All Praising, I Vow to Thee My Country or O Spirit All-Embracing. My Noel Rawsthorne books do not have it and I can't seem to find anything online. This is my all-time favorite. Anything and everything is appreciated.
    “I play the notes as they are written, but it is God who makes the music.” - Johann Sebastian Bach
    Organs I Play:
    - Allen 2100(T); 1951 M.P. Moller, 3 manual, 55 stop, 28 ranks, (Opus 8152); and 1965 Balcom and Vaughan 3 manual, 34 stops, 25 ranks (Opus 690)

  • #2
    Is this what you're looking for? https://hymndescants.org/thaxted
    Sam
    Home: Allen ADC-4500 Church: Allen MDS-5
    Files: Allen Tone Card (TC) Database, TC Info, TC Converter, TC Mixer, ADC TC SF2, and MOS TC SF2, ADC TC Cad/Rvt, MOS TC Cad/Rvt, Organ Database, Music Library, etc. PM for unlinked files.

    Comment


    • Philip Powell
      Philip Powell commented
      Editing a comment
      I was looking for an organ part but that descant is very pretty. I may like it better than Richard Proulx's. Thanks.

  • #3
    Another possibility. https://www.smallchurchmusic.com/Son...Search=thaxted

    Comment


    • Philip Powell
      Philip Powell commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you! This is the basic hymn harmonization in the "normal" key. I have looked for years for this.

  • #4
    The reason it is hard finding a reharmonization of THAXTED is mainly because a lot of what a conventional reharmonization does is already present in the hymntune. It would be 'gilding the Lilly' in a sense to try and do anything more. In the 'original' score from "The Planets", where this tune is from, Holst develops the melody a little bit more than the hymn does. I haven't ever played this as a hymn, but if I was going to, I would incorporate some of the additional rythmic and harmonic extensions that are added. Get a copy of "I Vow to Thee ..." as a stand alone piano or organ instrumental solo, and not a hymntune, and you will see what I mean. And lastly, you obviously 'hear' where there might be opportunity to enhance the basic hymntune as presented in most hymnals. You've played enough reharmonizations now to start making up your own. Go for it. This is probably a good one to start with because you can't really go crazy. At least I don't think so, but then I also thought the same thing about "All My Hope in God is Founded" (MICHAEL) or "Come Down O Love Divine" (DOWN AMPNEY). These are tunes I thought no one would ever attempt reharmonizing. Wrong I was.

    Comment


    • Philip Powell
      Philip Powell commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you. I am not sure that I have the required musical theory knowledge to reharmonize, but I'll give it a shot since I believe this is the 3rd time you've encouraged me

    • myorgan
      myorgan commented
      Editing a comment
      Philip,

      Perhaps the easiest way to reharmonize a piece is to play the relative minor of the major chord. An example of this would be [I]Amazing Grace[I/}. The chords for the first beat in every measure (in the traditional key) are:
      G>G>C>G>G>G>D7>D7>G>G>C>G>G>D7>G (original chords)
      G>G6>C>G>Em>A7>D>D7>G>G6>C>G>Em>A7>D7>G (reharmonized)
      G>G+>C>..... (alternate harmonization)

      The melody note stays the same in all cases. In what I've written out above, Em is the relative minor of G (it shares 2 notes, so it's closely related). The A7 is called the "5 of 5." It's a bit difficult to explain if you don't know music theory very well, so I'll skip it for now. The + next to a chord means it is the augmented chord (raise the 5th 1/2 step, so the D becomes D#, and that leads to the C chord in the example).

      Other techniques to use might be "walking" bass and voice leading. But again, those are other music theory tools.

      Hope this helps you rather than confuses you on the topic. A really good ear will help you immensely.

      Michael

    • Philip Powell
      Philip Powell commented
      Editing a comment
      Michael,
      Give me three months to decipher that
      Unfortunately, I know basically nothing about music theory beyond what a half step is (exaggerated).

  • #5
    I think Thaxted is much better left as it is, with perhaps some pedals put down the octave and some chords thickened. (No need to worry about consecutives). Holst's harmonies are strong and any changes can really weaken it.

    However I've had a quick go at it and attach my version. If I were actually going to play it I'd probably revise it. I've done as little as possible to it and avoided any chromatic progressions. I've left the first 7 bars alone.
    Attached Files

    Comment


    • andijah
      andijah commented
      Editing a comment
      You're right, Michael, about the "mistakes" while playing. And the good thing is that most people won't even notice something wasn't perfect. For example, if you accidentially play parallels where you shouldn't have, and other niceties of music theory. But on the other hand, writing it down can also be helpful.

      I'm just wondering if "basic harmonisation" could be worth a discussion of its own? Or maybe we already have something like that on the forum?

    • myorgan
      myorgan commented
      Editing a comment
      Andrea,

      I don't recall ever having a thread on the topic. Perhaps it could be in the Classical Music section. It's almost like having a basic Music Theory Primer on the Forum.

      Rather than re-inventing the wheel, I wonder if there's a basic Music Theory primer somewhere online we could link? I know I've used https://www.musictheory.net to provide the basics for my students. It's quite verbose, but has some of the basics.

      Michael

    • Philip Powell
      Philip Powell commented
      Editing a comment
      Stephen,
      Thank you. It sounds very good in my head, as Michael said. I will try it out although I sort of agree with your "subtitle"
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