Update 3/22/22: Sheet music for these descants is now available at gregscheer.com.
I can’t let a Holy Week go by without writing a little something, right? Here is a double descant that we’ll use as the intro and over the third verse of “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded” on Palm Sunday: MP3.
“Didn’t Bach already write that?” You ask. Why, yes, he did. But he wrote it over a different harmonization, and I just didn’t feel I could ask my pianist to learn one more thing for that service. (She already has 21 songs to learn. Ouch!) But my flutist is always eager for a challenge, so I figured I’d give her one.
It should be noted that this is pretty flexible. A flute and tenor recorder can play it as written, or two violins could play it, or the flute could play the top part without the recorder, or one instrument could start on the second part on the second to last verse and finish with the top part on the last verse, or…
Feel free to send me recordings so I can hear what you came up with.
Thank you for sharing your descants for O Sacred Head Now Wounded. I played them on violin at our Good Friday Service at Shoreline (WA) Christian Reformed Church, and they added beautifully to the congregational singing with piano accompaniment. It also brought back some good memories of the two years I attended Church of the Servant (1992-1993) when I was a Calvin Student.
I’m so glad to hear it, Jana!