Welcome to the Hymn Descants Blog

A descant is a counter melody written above the original melody. Its main purpose is to enhance the original melody without overpowering it. It heightens the effectiveness of the worship experience by adding a sense of climax and joy to a hymn.

Why hymn descants? I felt a need to expand my flute playing in church to more that just playing the various lines in the hymnal. Descants allow me to do this and bring more glory to God through my music. I found a few descant resources scattered here and there about the internet, but no one comprehensive site, so www.hymndescants.com was born.

This blog provides a forum for all to discuss descants as used in hymns. Posts can cover finding descants, writing, playing and/or singing descants.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Advent & Christmas quotations

Advent & Christmas quotations: "Christmas is angelic music in the form of a carol and oratorio with a celestial descant."

Happy New Year all!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Always Be Prepared - with a Descant!

1 Peter 3:15 says that we are always to be prepared to give an answer for the hope that is within us. I would like to modify that a bit for the church musician - always be ready with a descant! You just never know when a music need may suddenly arise in a worship service. With your handy book of hymn descants it is easy to suddenly step up when asked; the only other requirement is an accompanist to play the melody for an already familiar hymn tune. So keep practicing and finding those descants!

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Language of God

I've been reading the following book: The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, this is what I read, starting at the bottom of page 35, "I recall a Christmas Eve where the descant on a particularly beautiful Christmas carol, rising sweet and true above the more familiar tune, left me with a sense of unexpected awe and a longing for something ..." A very apt description. It is getting to be that time of year again to get out the Christmas descants and start practising.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Tuba-Euphonium Blog

Tuba-Euphonium Blog

Even the low-note playing instruments can produce beautiful sounding descants. Check out the link above for an interesting blog post. Go to the "Hymns and Descants" link for more resources for these instruments and to listen to an mp3 of a descant. (I'm adding that resource to my main page at www.hymndescants.com).

Monday, October 1, 2007

Descant Music at the eBay Stores

Click the link that follows to access all the "Buy it Now" descant music at eBay stores (no waiting for an auction to finish)
Descant Music in all the Ebay Stores

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Hymn Descant's Store - Revised Link

Discovered today that the link to the store has changed, it is now Hymn Descant's Store at Lulu.com. Also, all prices in the store have been lowered!

Remember, sing/play with joy!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Monday, May 28, 2007


Added a music note book to the Hymn Descants Store. It allows you to jot down your creative ideas, plans and to-dos before they vanish from your mind. List hymn tunes to find; descants to find, write or modify. Contains music staffs for quick manual music entry for later entering into your music notation program. Keep this note book handy in your music bag.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Why Hymn Descants?

See middle paragraph of my updated welcome message on the first page of this blog.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Hymn Arrangements and Descants

Hymn Arrangements and Descants by Diane Tuiofu Excellent page, full of music to print(PDFs) and listen to (MP3s). I am adding this to my main page HYMN DESCANTS now.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Jibstay: In Need of a Descant

Jibstay: In Need of a Descant
I just loved this posting, such a great description of a descant!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Handbook for Creative Church Musicians

A highly recommended book. It is a practical guide to composition and arranging by Harold Owen. The very first chapter covers descants - lots of examples for both instrumental and choral descants, including a section on problems and solutions. Available at SheetMusicPlus.

Rejoice Music - Descants!

Descants at Rejoice Music A good selection of lightly used church choir music from this eBay store.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

The Cyber Hymnal

The Cyber Hymnal
This is the best site to find just about all your basic hymn tunes when composing your own descants. I like how it lets you search by Song Title or Hymn Tune name. Also, you can download the song as a midi file or in NoteWorthy Composer format.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Hymn Descants Store Now Open!

I just opened a store at lulu.com. I have posted four flute descants as downloadable sheet music for only $1.25 each. A short audio sample is available. Let me know if there are other tunes you are interested in. Also, check out my homepage also for free descants available.

Friday, March 30, 2007


The web page www.hymndescants.com is still a work in progress. If you have any suggestions or interesting links I can add please let me know, thanks.