Old Gospel Hymns: Sacred Harp Melody "Beach Spring" to "Come Ye Sinners"
Old gospel hymns: "Come Ye Sinners"has two melodies (see and hear the other one at THIS PAGE). This free sheet music features the Sacred Harp melody "Beach Spring."
This page includes lead sheets, an old-fashioned-sounding piano arrangement in two keys, and two beginner piano arrangements of Come Ye Sinners.
Old gospel hymns tell the story of the "Good News" (the literal meaning of the word "gospel"). This "good news" makes no sense unless you hear and understand the BAD NEWS - that mankind is cut off from the Creator by The Fall.
In this lovely American hymn is a description of mankind's weakness, contrasted with the Saviour's willing substitution for us.
The lead sheets, below, contain just verse one of this very long gospel hymn's lyrics.
Note that for string players, this Sacred Harp tune (called "Beach Spring") is one of those fun melodies that can be played with a simple fingering, using just 2 finger patterns with the rest all open strings. And even if you change keys, the same thing holds true!
In this piano version, you may determine that some of the voice-leading breaks rules. Parallel 4ths! Open harmonies with no 3rds! Well, I am keenly aware of those rules too, but I am loving the way this simple arrangement sounds, and how it lays in the hands for a pianist.
Here is the Shape notes hymn for piano-playing beginners:
I have had young students learn a melody quickly using a Middle C version, with or without "Alphanotes", then progress to playing the melody entirely with the right hand (with their own contrived fingering! - I look the other way), while adding simple chords with the left. I don't ask them to do this, but when they really love a melody, they pursue this challenge on their own.
That is one reason why I have the chord symbols above these simple sheet music arrangements. Primarily, though, it is so these Middle C arrangements can be turned into duets (by a duet partner who understands chords...).
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