Gospel/Jazz

Showing 1–12 of 16 results

  • A New Heart, O God

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    [audio mp3="https://gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/a_new_heart.mp3"][/audio]

    This song was written to accompany a sermon on the Ten Commandments—not a passage that inspires a lot of songs! But as I researched the service, I kept thinking about the times that God promised to write the law on our hearts. Soon I was at the piano writing this little bonbon of a Gospel chorus, “A New Heart, O God.” It comes in both a “spicy” version full of jazz/gospel harmonies and a “mild” version for churches who aren’t ready for the heat.

    PowerPoint slides for congregational singing are available from Digital Songs & Hymns.

  • Abide with Us (Emmaus Road)

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    [audio mp3="https://gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/abide_with_us.mp3"][/audio]

    This 12-measure Gospel chorus attempts to distill some key elements of the story of Jesus appearing to his disciples on the road to Emmaus. Abide with us. Something about the stranger makes them want to spend more time with him. This is true for us, as well. Something about Jesus compels us to know him more–to abide, to dwell, to stay by his side. Our eyes are opened. The Spirit opens our eyes to Jesus, the Word of God. Our hearts awoken. The disciples, recalling their conversation with Jesus say, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us?” Indeed, Christ wakes something in our hearts that creates a desire for more.

    This leadsheet is a free download. If you sing this song in your church please report its use to CCLI or OneLicense.

  • Be Still, God Will Fight Your Battle

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    This is a relatively little known spiritual that fits beautifully with the crossing of the Red Sea where Moses says, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today… The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:13-14) 

    This arrangement isn’t “authentic” or true to a particular stream of African American performance practice, just something that makes it accessible to a group that can read a leadsheet. Below is a video from the service for which I arranged it. Notice that this song segues like butter into “Go Down, Moses.”


    Sunday Worship on May 3, 2020 – Wilderness – Discovering God in the Desert from Fuller Avenue Church on Vimeo.

  • Build a Longer Table

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    [audio mp3="https://gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/bjorlin-build_a_longer_table.mp3"][/audio]

    GIA recently published a collection of Dave Bjorlin’s texts, Protest of Praise. It’s full of fresh hymns that address modern injustices. In “Build a Longer Table,” Dave shows that God’s incredible welcome to us through Christ requires us to show hospitality to others. This song’s exuberant Gospel groove declares the text with strength and joy.

    This leadsheet is a free download. If you sing this song in your church please report its use to CCLI or OneLicense.

  • Guide My Feet

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    [audio mp3="https://gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/guide_my_feet-piano-FtoG.mp3"][/audio]

     

    This quintessential song of commitment needs a strong rhythmic backbone that few hymnals provide. This Just Add People! piano accompaniment gives “note only” musicians enough options to sound like they’re playing “off the page.”

    Piano accompaniment for congregational singing.

  • O the Blood of Jesus

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    [audio mp3="https://gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/o_the_blood_of_jesus-piano.mp3"][/audio]

     

    A staple in African American churches, this chorus is especially fitting during communion, confession, or ministry time. This Just Add People! arrangement leaves lots of options, from a simple groove to more complex rhythms and modulations.

    Piano accompaniment for congregational singing.

  • Psalm 1: Blessed Are They

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    [embed]http://musicblog.gregscheer.com/psalm1-blessed_are_they.mp3[/embed]

    Psalm 1 is the perfect way to begin the Psalms: It is exquisitely structured poetry that makes plain the path of the faithful versus the way of the foolish–a major theme of the Psalmists. This is all well and good for those who are already immersed in the Psalms, but for beginners, ending a poem with “the way of the wicked leads to destruction” is a hard sell. When I write Psalm songs, I try to transplant the original Psalm in a way that makes sense to modern ears. “Blessed Are They” is a Gospel-inflected tune that provides the proverbial “spoonful of sugar” that lets the Psalm’s message come through.

  • Psalm 103: Bless the Lord, O My Soul!

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    [audio mp3="https://gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/WTS-bless_the_lord-choir.mp3"][/audio]

    Commissioned to be sung at the graduation ceremony of Western Theological Seminary, this song captures the exuberance and gratitude of Psalm 103 in an upbeat gospel style. This Psalm is traditionally sung as a thanksgiving song at the conclusion of communion–indeed, Western still uses it regularly in their chapel’s communion–but it also works well as a general song of praise of choral offertory.
    Above is an MP3 of Finale playing back the choral score. Starting at 17:23 in the video below is the anthem being sung as part of Calvin University’s chapel.

  • Psalm 13: How Long?

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    https://musicblog.gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/how_long.mp3

    Psalm 13 is the loneliest of Psalms. It begins with the famous words, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?” In this song, I cast the “enemy” named in the Psalm as depression. The clues are all there: endless sorrow, feeling forgotten, emotional turmoil–even the lethargy and over-sleep that often accompanies depression. The Psalmist poignantly prays to be seen: “Look on me and answer, O Lord my God.” Certainly, we’ve all felt some of this at some point.

    This leadsheet is a free download. If you sing this song in your church please report its use to CCLI or OneLicense.

  • Psalm 135: I Know the Lord Is Great!

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    https://musicblog.gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/psalm_135-i_know_the_lord_is_great.mp3

    Hunter Lynch’s lyric based on Psalm 135 is an exuberant ode to God’s might. It is accompanied by a funky gospel tune. It is likely more complicated than most congregations could tackle, but it would be perfect for Jazz or Gospel choirs.

    This leadsheet is a free download. If you sing this song in your church please report its use to CCLI or OneLicense.

     

  • Psalm 141: O Lord, I Call to You, Please Hear Me

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    https://musicblog.gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/Psalm-141_-O-Lord-I-Call-to-You.mp3

    A jazz Psalm is out of the sweet spot of many congregations, but this might be a good place to start. A one-note refrain is paired with straightforward metrical verses. If I were leading this in a congregation, I’d likely have them sing that simple eight-measure phrase only, leaving the verses to a soloist until it became familiar.

    This leadsheet is a free download. If you sing this song in your church please report its use to CCLI or OneLicense.

  • Psalm 143: O Lord, Hear My Prayer

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    https://musicblog.gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/psalm_143.mp3

    One doesn’t usually associate jazz with responsorial Psalms. But as you can hear, this song has everything a good responsorial Psalm needs: a quickly learnable refrain, verses that can expand or contract to match the length of the text, and clear harmonic movement to support the chant. Give it a try!

Showing 1–12 of 16 results