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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Lutheran Service Book and Hymnal Hymn number 10, aka “The King Shall Come” arranged for Soprano and Bass Clarinets.

In moderate time
Richard Farrant, cir. 1530-80
John Brownlie, 1859-1925
Based on the Greek
From Hymns of the Russian Church by permission of the Oxford University Press

Regarding the information above, I believe the first line is the identifier of the hymn. The second line indicates the meter of the text, in the case CM or Common Meter. The third line is the tempo and feeling. The fourth line is the composer of the music. The fifth line is the author of the text.

This is certainly another stately hymn and based on the lifetime of the composer, 1530-80, probably the oldest tune to date.

Here is the pdf of the clarinet arrangement: 010.ServiceBookAndHymnal

Since it is such an old tune, I figured a few more voices would be appropriate, so I recorded each part 3 times. After recording, I panned the voices to sequential areas in the stereo mix and applied the Reverb Effect with the “Church Hall” settings.

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 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


A.K.A. “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”.

First Tune
VENI, EMMANUEL. 88, 88, 88.
In unison
Plainsong Melody, Mode 1
Arr. by Ernest White, 1899-
Medeival Antiphons
Latin Hymn, 1710
Tr. John Mason Neale, 1818-66

I do REALLY like this hymn, but was a giant pain to transcribe.

First, apparently little details like notes per measure and time signatures weren’t a big deal when this hymn was written, so it is written with no measures, something the software I am using to create the scores (MuseScore is awesome! And FREE!)

To get around this, I decided to create “measures” based around the phrasing of the text. That ends up meaning dividing the piece into 12 and 14 syllables per “measure”.

However, once I divided up the melody phrasing, I discovered, when I tried to line up the chords in the harmony parts as they were in the book, that whomever transcribed it also didn’t place an emphasis on having the same number of beats in the other parts as had written in the melody part. To get things to line up, I ended up filling in notes in the harmony parts.

Even so, this arrangement ends up odd, and I have been tweaking it for a few days now, trying to get it to sound like I think it should, especially after I started playing the parts on the clarinets.

Here’s what I ended up with: 002a.ServiceBookAndHymnal


Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal