If you’re like me, you’re always trying to find a nice balance between contemporary and traditional music. Obviously, a lot of wonderful melodies and texts were written long ago that are true treasures today, even in contemporary services. Sometimes, reintroducing them with a new presentation can work well for everyone, no matter their taste in music or preference of musical style.
One Sunday I had the idea to sing the traditional chant ‘Alleluia’ with a somewhat contemporary accompaniment. I knew I wanted to keep it in 4/4 time, but stay as true to the rhythms and melody as possible. After working with it for a bit, here’s what I came up with, and it seems to work pretty well:
(live from Mass, obviously)
What I like about it is that almost everyone knows this melody, or has heard it…or SHOULD know it!
Drummers, pay attention to the subtle snare pattern happening during the first half…not a full drum groove. That doesn’t come in until the second half. Combine that with the key change and you have a really nice ‘lift’ for the repeat of the ‘Alleluia.’
Singers, the whole first half is unison…like a chant. Save the parts for the key change. Again, combined with what the band is doing, it’s a really nice build!
(I know, it needs a verse…working on that.)
If this works for you, feel free to use it!