Music and Musings - Part 3: Gospel music

The main page and this sub-page present self-made music, texts and sheet music. ("Some rights reserved.")

If you want to search for a certain tune, I recommend using your browser's Find function, usually invoked by pressing command-F or control-F.

In the recordings presented here, I play my d'Aigle Cascade Custom autoharp except where noted. Its chords layout and string schedule are shown here.
These recordings are in NO WAY AND NOT AT ALL meant to represent modern autoharp playing styles - they present only my own kind of melody playing, always displaying "work in progress"!
Virtually all my new recordings are made using procedure (B) - see below - and thus don't render a true autoharp sound. This can be easily seen (and heard!) by comparing recordings of the d'Aigle 'harp with those of the ZephyrHill or the old OS 85C: the magnetic pickups on all three 'harps produce practically the same sound whereas the 'harps differ acoustically very much. (Recordings of the ZephyrHill and the OS 85C are marked by an asterisk at the 'B'.)


A short note on the PRINCIPLES according to which I assign CHORDS for autoharp melody playing


The table, below, is organized as follows.

The ID column contains an identifying label allowing cross-reference.

In the Recordings column you find links to MP3 files, made on my iMac with Audacity and exported with (mostly) bit rate 64 MP3 encoding, in order to save space (and because they are not CD quality anyway).
I recorded to Audicity -
(A) "acoustically", by playing directly into my iMac's little built-in microphone,
(B) "electrically", by using a USB audio interface (Edirol UA-1EX) with input directly (or recently via a Fishman G II pre-amp) from my autoharp's magnetic pickup
(C) otherwise, as explained in singular cases.
(The numbers in parentheses following the links give the playing time in minutes and the file size in megabytes.)

In the Notes column you find remarks concerning the Recording and/or the Notation entry of the same row; sometimes also links to longer texts.

In the Notation column you find links to sheet music that I made primarily for me in order not to forget the arrangement I figured out for playing a certain tune, ideally the tune presented in the Recording column of the same row.
However, sometimes there is no recording yet available of the printed music, and for some recordings I haven't made the sheets.
For proper understanding of my sheet music, you are advised to read about the principles I adhere to, see link above!

ID Recordings Notes Notation
Empty handed Must I Go And Empty Handed (Ziggy's approximation)
(B, 2011-07-30) (3:30 min / 1.7 MB)
My feeble attempt to emulate Bobby Hicks' wonderful fiddling on the "Rocky Run" LP combines indeed well with my poor timing! I just wonder why it sounds OK while I play it and so bad when I have the computer then play it back!?

2011-08-17: I'll sure need quite some time to learn to play a half decent version along Cindy's transcript, so you better don't hold your breath while waiting for it!
I tried to approximately transcribe (= "learn by ear"!) the tune from a 1978 vinyl LP, the Bluegrass album "Rocky Run" by Jerry Stuart (COUNTY 767), and missed my target clearly with respect to the rhythmic structure of the recording on that LP! -- I did not find Jerry's version on the Web; the closest I found, but much much slower, can be heard in this video.
So I made from the respective track on that LP a digital lo-fi mono copy, the reduced quality of which is probably just good enough to allow listeners their own judgement: Must I Go And Empty Handed by Jerry Stuart & Friends
My rather imperfect transcription:
Must I Go And Empty Handed (Ziggy's approximation) - poor as a transcription but, I hope, acceptable as an independent version!

2011-08-17: Cindy Harris competently analysed Jerry Stuart's recording and arrived at a transcription quite different from mine:
Must I Go And Empty Handed (transcribed by Cindy Harris)

The tune presented here twice is quite different from the "official" tune by George Stebbins, which you find here where you also find the complete lyrics.
Thine Way Have Thine Own Way, Lord
(B, 2011-07-25) (1:30 min / 0.75 MB)
Recording and notation are in the key of G.
An arrangement in D, differing also in the chords, can be found in Eileen Roys' Sacred 'Harp column in Autoharp Quarterly Vol. 23 Issue 1 (Winter 2010).
Have Thine Own Way, Lord
Soul Where The Soul of Man Never Dies
(B, 2011-03-03) (1:47 min / 0.88 MB)
The chorus of this song is actually a duet of "lead" and "tenor". Since I didn't see a way to render this on the autoharp, I use the "lead" as intro and "outro" and use for the chorus only the "tenor" part. Where The Soul of Man Never Dies
Sunday 2  C a r t e r  F a m i l y  gospels
(B, 2010-09-26) (4:28 min / 2.1 MB)
D i a m o n d s   i n   t h e   R o u g h
A n c h o r e d   i n   L o v e   D i v i n e
Tune #1 is played in the key of G and tune #2 in the key of C. The playing of the tunes is based on traditional versions.
suite #1 A Gospel Trilogy
(A, 2007-12-09) (6 min / 2.8 MB)
The suite consists of
While my arrangements of Just a Closer Walk With Thee and Brighten the Corner Where You Are do not differ significantly from the ones in the collection "The Doofus Occasional #2" (by Heidi Cerrigione and Neal Walters), my arrangement of The Old Rugged Cross does in fact, so I present it here:
The Old Rugged Cross
suite #2 Rock of Ages + Give Me the Roses
(B, 2009-04-25) (1:35 min / 0.8 MB)
The arrangement of "Rock of Ages" shows how one can play a tune in the key of Bb on an autoharp that lacks the key's IV chord, Eb. Rock of Ages

Give Me the Roses
His Eye His Eye is on the Sparrow
(A, 2008-05-20) (2:18 min / 1.1 MB)
The recording is in the keys of C and D. The key of C part is following the arrangement presented here.
(This arrangement differs not much from the one printed in Autoharp Quarterly (without number, probably: Vol. 21/22, No. 2). So I hesitated to make the sheet, since I've published the arrangement in text form already on Autoharps Enthusiasts, but this wasn't obviously widely appreciated. And apparently not every one has access to Autoharp Quarterly, so I complied with a request.)
His Eye Is On The Sparrow
Mix SweetByeNByeUpYonder (2:24 min / 1.7 MB)
A rather straightforward (A) recording (an experiment done in 2005) using my ZephyrHill 'harp
- -
Garden In the Garden
(B*, 2010-02-21) (1:26 min / 0.72 MB)

* played on my ZephyrHill 'harp
For some old musings, discussing among other songs also In the Garden, read an e-mail I once sent the Cyberpluckers: Chords and modulation.
Reading this old musing, you may recognise some of those thoughts when you have a look into my CHORDING PRINCIPLES on top of this page.
In the Garden
Easter suite 25 April 2011: Didn't find time for doing a better recording, particularly since Sore Fingers Week 2011 was during Holy Week, the week before Easter.

March 2010: A first try, with poor timing and impure sound, hope to replace it soon:
Easter hymns suite (beta version)
(B*, 2010-03-18) (3:50 min / 1.8 MB)

* played on my ZephyrHill 'harp

A side note (!): Two of the Easter hymns appearing here have their origin in Konstanz am Bodensee (English: Constance on Lake Constance) where I once attended school and later the university. During my school days I was sometimes allowed to sing, when the better singers were not available, in the Cathedral as part of the "schola", the choir answering the soloists in Gregorian chant. (Latin was obligatory in my school; so I was supposed to (at least vaguely) know what we were singing.) These occasions mark the start of my singing career -- and also its end!
March 2010: For many years now I start my journey to the Sore Fingers Week very early on Easter Sunday, thus being deprived of taking part in the singing of the familiar Easter songs. So, as a kind of compensation, I'm assembling here a few of those songs as printed music (and as recorded - poorly as yet, alas - from my 'harp).

While the other Easter songs collected here can be found in the German hymnal "Gotteslob" (Freiburg edition, 1975), the only info I found re "Wir singen jubelnd ..." says that its words are probably derived from a poem by Novalis; re its tune I have no info at all. (I wrote down the words and tune from memory; I hope I got it all right - I know the song from my childhood days.)

Since I don't know English language versions of these songs I tried to make ones myself, cf the sheets in the column to the right. But that ain't really a simple task if one aims at keeping true to the original message as well as the original rhyming scheme. So I ask your lenience when you stumble over awkward wordings.
Key of A: Wir singen jubelnd dass er lebt / We Sing, Rejoicing, That He Lives   [Note that this tune can be played using the I and V7 chords only. Straightforward, according to the CHORDING PRINCIPLES referred to above!]

Key of D: Christus ist erstanden / Christ Is Risen

Key of G: Halleluja lasst uns singen / Hallelujah Let's Be Singing [Nearly no chord symbols appear in the sheet because more ain't needed according to my CHORDING PRINCIPLES.]

Key of C: Freu dich erlöste Christenheit / Rejoice All Christians Now Redeemed [Since the music notation program doesn't allow change of the key in the middle of a measure, I abstained - with regrets - from marking both of the places where tonicization (both times a temporary shifting of the tonic to the dominant) is happening in this tune.]
label music annotation sheet
label music annotation sheet

Here you can see me using my new Line 6 Micro Spider amplifier (photo by Andreas Stief, 2010-12-17):

^ Here, right in my back, the little amp can be seen. Note the line coming (^here) from my 'harp's magnetic pickup jack and ending in the amp's panel (where you can verify the "acoustic model" setting).

By the way, from the position of my "tonic finger" (= the ring finger) you can see that I'm obviously playing a tune in the key of C. Cf. my chord bar layout here.