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.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Simon Cowell and "selfishness" in music performance

On American Idol, Simon has made suggestions to the contestants that they need to be more selfish or conceited (his way of saying that they need more self confidence). To have "self-confidence" you need a good sense of self worth, but not to the point of selfishness or conceit! I believe that in order to perform music well, especially music of a sacred nature, you must become totally self-unconscious – you’ve got to loose yourself in the music. A great music performance, whether sacred or secular, involves that spiritual portion of the brain (there was a scientific study on this - google it). This is what enables you to put "soul" into your music. Our brain appears designed so that in this state of unselfishness, produced during such activities as prayer or praise, we become more sensitive and connected to that inner voice - God speaking through our conscience. Conversely when you become too self conscious you experience stage fright thus sabotaging the full musical experience and the connection. Remember that it is our selfishness (aka sin) that separates us from God, and each other.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Why Music Gives Us the Chills | LiveScience

Why Music Gives Us the Chills | LiveScience: "As chills grow in intensity, bloodflow increases between areas of the brain associated with euphoria". I believe this to be God-designed. It is why you appreciate a good descant.