Please turn to number 28 and join with the clarinets in, “The Happy Christmas”.

Meter: L.M.
Tempo: Joyfully
Music: Carl C.N. Balle, 1806-55
Text: Nikolai F.S. Grudtvig, 1783-1872
Tr. Charles Porterfield Krauth, 1823-83

Not much to say about this one, it’s not one I remember. It’s kind of pretty and a bit folky, but no Sea Chanty. Transposed for clarinet, it did end up having 6 sharps, which is kind of annoying. Tough to remember e sharp is actually just f natural.

Here’s the clarinet arrangement: 028.ServiceBookAndHymnal

4 Soprano Clarinets on the “soprano” part, 1 Soprano Clarinet playing “alto”, 1 Soprano Clarinet playing “tenor”, and 1 bass playing, duh, “bass”. Slightly tweaked audacity “Church Hall” Reverb Effect.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal


Please turn your hymnals to number 17 (Second Tune) and join with the clarinets in “Of the Father’s Love Begotten”.

Name: DIVINUM MYSTERIUM. (Corde Natus Ex Parentis)
Meter: 8 7, 8 7, 8 7 7.
Unison, in moderate time
Music: XIII cent. Plainsong, Mode V,
Arranged by Ernest White 1899-
Text: Aurelius Prudentius, 348-413
Tr. St. 1-4, John Mason Neale, 1818-66
Tr. St. 5, Henry Williams Baker, 1821-77

A second tune for this song. Not quite as annoying to transcribe as the “first tune”.

The alto, tenor, and bass parts are composed entirely of dotted half notes, while the soprano part is alternating half and quarter notes, giving it a sort of woozy, sea shanty, kind of feel. Pleasant and sort of hypnotic to play.

Though, since it has 4 sharps for C instruments, it ends up having 6 sharps for b flat instruments, which is a little challenging. As a special bonus, if you listen closely at the beginning and the end of the song you can hear the clothes washer in the background.

Here’s the pdf of my arrangement: 017b.ServiceBookAndHymnal

Of the Father’s love begotten
Ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega,
He the source, the ending he,
Of the things that are, that have been,
And that future years shall see,
Evermore and evermore.

O that birth forever blessed,
When the Virgin full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving,
Bare the Saviour of our race,
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
First revealed his sacred face,
Evermore and evermore.

This is he whom seers in old time
Chanted of with one accord,
Whom the voices of the prophets
Promised in their faithful word;
Now he shines, the long-expected;
Let creation praise its Lord,
Evermore and evermore.

O ye heights of heaven, adore him;
Angel hosts, his praises sing;
Powers, dominions, bow before him,
And extol our God and King;
Let no tongue on earth be silent,
Every voice in concert ring,
Evermore and evermore.

Christ, to thee, with God the Father,
And, O Holy Ghost, to thee,
Hymn and chant and high thanksgiving
Honor, glory, and dominion,
And eternal victory,
Evermore and evermore. Amen.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal


The band I’m in practices in the East Bay. After a couple horrible driving experiences, I’ve decided to take BART. One of my East Bay living fellow band mates usually picks me up at Ashby BART station on their way to practice.

Sometimes I get there early, or my bandmate is late, leaving me with some time to kill.

Exploring the station, I’ve discovered that there is a spiffy reverb filled underpass on the East side of the station.

Working up my courage, I’ve started playing my clarinet in the underpass.

I had a pleasant interaction with a blind woman towards the end of this video.

Next I need to figure out some way to record my hymns in the underpass. The natural reverb of the underpass is far superior to the electronic processing.


When I get frustrated with my ability to play the “right” notes, I take some time off to play the “left” notes, instead.

When I was putting my bass clarinet together, I noticed that the sound of the keys closing was pretty cool and kind of similar to the sound of the African instrument called the Mbira.

So I recorded the keys closing as the percussion track for this tune. Now I just need to figure out how to use Audacity to make a loop out of it.

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When I get frustrated with my ability to play the “right” notes, I take some time out and play the “left” notes instead.

Recorded some solo clarinet noodling, then added another track.

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When I get frustrated with my ability to play the “right” notes, I take some time out and play the “left” notes instead.

Some solo clarinet noodling.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/265239032″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]


Lutheran Service Book and Hymnal Hymn number 9, aka “Prepare the Way, O Zion!” arranged for Soprano and Bass Clarinets.

7 6, 7 6, 7 7, 6 6.
In stately manner
Swedish Melody, XVII cent.
Frans Mikael Franzen, 1772-1847
Tr. Augustus Nelson, 1863-1949

This is a very “stately” hymn, with lots of very typically hymn-ish flourishes.

Definitely brings back memories of being in a drafty Wisconsin Lutheran Church.

Here’s the pdf of the arrangement: 009.ServiceBookAndHymnal

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal


Lutheran Service Book and Hymnal Hymn number 8, Second Version, aka “Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates!” arranged for Soprano and Bass Clarinets.

8 8, 8 8, 8 8, 6 6.
Freylinghausen’s Gesangbuch, 1704
Georg Weissel, 1590-1635
Tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1829-78 a.

This is kind of a more interesting arrangement, more 4ths used as intervals. Very fragile harmonies. I really tried to play delicately, yet concentratedly as I could, and be as close in intonation as possible. Tricky on the bass clarinet while playing so quietly! I recorded the Soprano vocal part twice on soprano clarinet, and the rest of the parts once. As usual processed it with the “Large Room” Reverb effect in Audacity.

Here’s the pdf of the arrangement: 008b.ServiceBookAndHymnal

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal


Hymn No 8 (First Version) from the Lutheran Service Book and Hymnal, aka “Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates!”, arranged for Soprano and Bass Clarinets.

With Spirit
Thomas Williams
Psalmodia Evangelica, 1789
Georg Weissel, 1590-1635
Tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1829-78

My clarinet teacher frequently tells me that I need to concentrate my sound and use dynamics in my playing. So, for this one, I tried to concentrate on my playing and sound as much as possible and keep it under control. I also played further from the microphone.

Here’s the pdf of the arrangement: 008a.ServiceBookAndHymnal

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal


Hymn No 7 (Second Tune) from the Lutheran Service Book and Hymnal, aka “Wake, Awake!”, arranged for Soprano and Bass Clarinets.

Philipp Nicolai, 1556-1608
Adapted and harm. by J.S. Bach, 1685-1750

Yes, THAT J.S. Bach! He actually liked this hymn’s skeleton enough that he hung a whole Cantata on it (Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140)!

“Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Awake, calls the voice to us), BWV 140, also known as Sleepers Wake, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach, regarded as one of his most mature and popular sacred cantatas. He composed the chorale cantata in Leipzig for the 27th Sunday after Trinity and first performed it on 25 November 1731.”

Here’s the pdf of my arrangement: 007b.ServiceBookAndHymnal

My wife was reading the lyrics I had posted with the previous version of the hymn, (007.ServiceBookAndHymnal) and said, “This sounds scary! What is it about?”

I have to say, I hadn’t given it much thought, as I am pretty shallow. To me it was more about the idea that during different parts of our lives we are often “asleep” and it takes some thought, or an event, to “wake” us out of the slumber of everyday events.

Philipp Nicolai lived in Germany during the Plague years. He had seen friends and colleagues fall victim to it. It was a pretty terrible time to be alive. It probably seemed to him like the end of the world wasn’t too far off.

The Hymn references several things, first what is called, “The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins“, which comes from the New Testament of the Christian Bible, (Matthew 25:1–13,) which is usually interpreted to be about being prepared for Christ’s return to earth. It also references some scary bits from the book of Revelation. My favorite line, (“eye hath not seen, nor ear heard”,) comes from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 2:9), which, ostensibly is about the amazing stuff that the true believer will see in Heaven, but to me is more about how art, including music, can transcend our ordinary lives.

For this one, with all of J.S. Bach’s eighth notes and syncopation, I kept the overdubbing down to 2 soprano and 2 bass clarinets. It’s actually a pretty challenging piece, by hymn standards.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal