Blended or Contemporary?
The variety HymnCharts arrangements means the music can probably fit the worship style of your ministry. What are some characteristics of blended and contemporary worship styles?
Modulations: Some older HymnCharts arrangements change key on the last verse and fit a more blended style. More recent arrangements stay in one key – contemporary worship rarely has a key change within the arrangement.
Electric Guitars: Contemporary worship typically features more electric guitar in the mix, and even older HymnCharts arrangements sound more contemporary with electric added.
Orchestral Instruments: Blended worship tends to use orchestral instruments like flute, trumpet, trombone and clarinet. Contemporary worship is usually praise band driven.
Chord Inversions: Older HymnCharts arrangements have a richer chord structure and sometimes use chord inversions (in an inverted chord, the root is not in the bass – i.e., is not the lowest note). Contemporary worship generally stays within the basic chord structure of I, IV, V, ii and vi chords.
A note from composer/arranger Don Chapman:
The HymnCharts timeline reflects how worship styles have changed over the past ten years as well as how my own personal arranging style has changed. Older arrangements are more blended and newer arrangements are more contemporary.
For instance, back in 2002 when I arranged My Savior’s Love I used a key change on the last verse. The recorded arrangement has orchestral instruments, no electric guitar and uses the wonderful blend of Epcot’s Voices of Liberty in SATB harmony.
Contrast that with my very contemporary, recent arrangement of Crown Him With Many Crowns using heavy electric guitar and today’s most popular worship format: worship leader with 3 part vocals. Hear examples below:
However, all my arrangements have at their core a piano part. Crown Him With Many Crowns can take on a more blended tone by dropping the electric and driving it with piano and acoustic guitar.
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