I was asked at church this week to write my own segue for 3 hymns for an activity our church youth group is having on November 13th.
The hymns are all in the same key, so I assume this makes this task easier. I have never had to come up with a segue before, so I would appreciate any words of wisdom you may be willing to share to make this task easier.
You do not say how long the interludes need to be. If they must be longer than 8 measures, then I would (for simplicity's sake) probably begin playing the chorus of piece number 2 when you are finished with piece number 1, and make that chorus your introduction/segue. But if you want something more creative, try this:
Make use of melody fragments to either echo where you have been, or prepare you for what is coming in the next piece. Borrow from the next tune, also, the chord accompaniment patterns or rhythms.
If the time signature is changing, you need to prepare the singers for that, with a few measures (2 to 4, and sometimes 8) of the new rhythm. It might need to be like a trumpet signal, a TAH, ta-ta tah tah TAH! You may need to POUND that new rhythm into the head of the song leader or choir... and let me assure you that, even so, the song leader may jump the gun and get in there ahead of you. You have to be adaptable!
If your segues must be short, I personally would make the dominant (5th step) a prominent part of a cadence that pre-figures the coming song. If you were in the key of C, that would mean using lots of note G in the melody, and chords C, F, and G7... if I were playing that lead-in, I would make the G7 chord the final chord of the seque, and then start the next song with the tonic chord, C.
I want you to go over to my "Matchmaker" Interlude page and study my 2-page arrangement.
(Download & print it off for free.) Do you see how I took the melody and began to change it so that it gradually turned into a minor melody?
I started in the key of F, and I knew I wanted to come back to the key of F. But I wanted a "nervous", even creepy sound for my interlude where the girls, pretending to be the
matchmaker, sing about how horrors of potential future bridegrooms. Therefore, I wanted to change to a minor key. From the key of F, all I had to do was make the F chord an F7 chord to make the piece want to change into Bbm, because F is the V chord of Bb and also Bb minor.
Getting back into the key of F was trickier, because I needed to get to a C7 chord, the V of the key of F. That meant (in the key of Bb minor) finding a way to change the Eb in the scale into an E natural, since C chords use E natural, not E flat. So I played around with my funny little melody until it felt right to me.
Since your songs/hymns are all in the same key, you won't have that "fresh" or "new" sound that comes when you modulate into a different key with tricky uses of the V chord of the next song. But you can make use of the "dominant" or 5th step of the scale to add a kind of "suspended" or "waiting" sound.
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