Until What Time Are You Allowed To Play Loud Music What Should You Play For Piano Introductions to Hymns?

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What Should You Play For Piano Introductions to Hymns?

A church pianist often wonders if he is playing an appropriate psalm introduction. The intro is the “front door” to the song, so it should be useful and beautiful.

Learn to follow your worship leader

The congregation follows the worship leader (the minister of music), but the introduction to the hymn should be easy to follow so that everyone knows exactly when to start singing.

In the past, most worship leaders wanted the pianist to play the intro and wait for the worship leader to begin singing. Now, more and more worship leaders count down the time playing the intro and start singing right after the intro.

If the first measure is a partial measure, the last measure of the song will also be a partial measure. The partial measure at the beginning of the song and the partial measure at the end of the song add up to one full measure.

Example of a hymn beginning with a partial measure: The time is 4/4 and the first measure is a partial measure containing one beat. Then the last measure contains three beats. When the intro plays, the worship leader will count three beats as you play the last measure and start singing on the fourth beat.

If the first measure is full, the last measure is also a full measure.

Example of a hymn that begins with a full measure: The time is 4/4 and the first measure is full and the last measure is full. When the intro plays, the worship leader counts four beats to the last measure and begins singing on the first beat of the song.

Purpose of Psalm Introduction

The prelude to the hymn plays an important role in congregational singing in the church. Since we serve the living God, the pianist should play an introduction that reflects this message.

Since we express our emotions through music, the piano introduction should set the mood for the singing during worship.

Introductory closing of modern psalms

There is a bracket (in the form of a corner) at the top of the score to suggest a suitable piano or organ entrance for modern hymn music.

Some marked introductions are complete at the beginning of a psalm or at the end of a psalm. These piano intros are the easiest to play.

Some notated introductions will have a phrase at the beginning of a song and a sentence at the end. Before you start playing, take a close look at the brackets. This way, you’ll be able to make more sense of what you’re going to play and make the jump from the first phrase to the last phrase.

Scanning annotated psalm introductions makes it easy to see the entire introduction. You may want to highlight the introduction you have recorded in your personal hymnbook. This can be very helpful if the marked introduction is in more than one place, or if the last phrase of the introduction is not at the end of the hymn.

If the jumps between intros are made in the middle of a sentence, it becomes a bit more difficult to play. You should practice this presentation until you feel comfortable playing it.

If this hymn is not familiar to your congregation, you may want to play the entire hymn so that the congregation will feel more comfortable singing along. If the hymn is well known, the last line or phrase may be sufficient introduction.

It is okay to shorten or lengthen the suggested introductions noted in the Psalms.

Additional tips for playing hymn introductions

1. Get excited about every song you introduce!

2. Keep the intro moving until the end of the song

3. Do not observe any delay while the intro is playing

4. Don’t slow down as it will spoil the rhythm of the song

5. Keep the intro moving

6. Do not play an arpeggio of graduated notes to end the introduction

7. End the intro on the same chord the song started with

8. Play a sweet, loud introduction to encourage the congregation to join in the singing.

9. Although you play an upbeat intro for upbeat songs, you may want to play a more mellow tune for devotional-type hymns.

Apply these tips when playing hymn intros and it will make a difference in the congregational singing in your church.

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