A choir descant in the final verse of a hymn can be truly inspiring for a congregation. But many commercially published descants can exhibit two major difficulties: (a) an assumption that its singers are comfortable on and above top G and still have headroom; (b) the entry notes of phrases may bear little, if any, relation to the hymn tune itself.
But in many smaller churches, the demands imposed by such assumptions are unrealistic. So these descants are specifically intended to be quickly and comfortably achievable by inexperienced singers. They are being written for, and have been used and tested by, our own small choir of amateur singers, for leading our congregation.
The lines flow melodically; the entry notes are easy to pitch and relate to the tune. Further, they are not only well within range but also have comfortable tessitura. For example their highest note is almost always only F (occasionally F#) and their sojourn there is brief.
See also the arrangements, some of which include descants.
|Tune name||First line||Score||Audio||Other comments|
|Angel voices||Angel-voices ever singing|
|Aurelia||The Church's one foundation|
|Blaenwern||Love divine, all loves excelling|
|Broken for me||Broken for me||Tune included by kind permission of Sovereign Music UK.|
|Coe Fen||How shall I sing that majesty?||Written for the installation of Barnaby Huish at St. John's, Nevilles Cross and St. Margaret's, Durham. Original tune (not included) copyright © Oxford University Press|
|Cross of Jesus||Come, thou long-expected Jesus|
|Diademata||Crown him with many crowns|
|Dix||For the beauty of the earth||Another common text for this tune is As with gladness men of old.|
|Fulda||We have a gospel to proclaim|
|Gerontius||Praise to the Holiest in the height|
|Hyfrydol||Alleluia, sing to Jesus|
|Lord of the years||Lord for the years|
|Lord the light of your love||Lord the light… (Shine, Jesus, shine)||Tune included by kind permission of Make Way Music.|
|Maryton||Jesu, thou joy of loving hearts|
|Merton||Hark! a herald voice is calling||PDF (E)
|Michael||All my hope on God is founded||Original tune (not included) copyright © Novello & Co.|
|Monks Gate||He who would valiant be|
|Moscow||Thou whose almighty word|
|Noel||It came upon the midnight clear|
|Offertorium||We hail thy presence glorious|
|Praise my soul||Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven|
|St Leonards||May the mind of Christ my Saviour|
|Woodlands||Sing choirs of heaven!|
|Woodlands||Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord|
|Kyrie eleison||From: Dinah Reindorf (Ghana) Kyrie in World Praise (HarperCollins).|