The Allen Organ Meets Demands of All Hymn Traditions

All Christian denominations, whether they embrace traditional, contemporary or "blended" worship styles, incorporate various types and genre of hymnody and congregational song in worship from time to time. The diverse possibilities available on the Allen organ provide the necessary variety for exciting presentations of these various styles. Churches now considering the acquisition of one of the new ALLEN QUANTUM™ instruments will enjoy even more capability of adding inspiring authenticity to the hymnody of the international or denominational "traditions". All an organist need do is ascertain the stylistic, national, or historic origin of each hymn melody and use some of the following suggested registration "tips".

Hymns of the German, Dutch or Scandinavian tradition: (Lutheran, Reformation, etc)
Use the Baroque or Classic QUANTUM SUITE™ voicing. Use primarily the Principal choruses 8', 4', 2', and add reeds and mixtures for accentuation of a particular stanza. For the most introspective of stanzas use Flute at 8', 4' and 2'. Never use Tremolo or celestes or 16' manual stops. Pedal should balance without heaviness with 32' used sparingly, to maintain contrapuntal clarity of all four voice parts. A light 16' reed in the pedal, however, is very appropriate for this music. Set the Alternate Tuning to Kirnberger or Werkmeister and use the Classic Voicing "stop" if you have one.
Tunes: Ein feste burg, Wachet auf, Vater unser, Kirken, Erhalt uns Herr, Herzliebster Jesu, Lobe den Herrn, Nun dankett alle Gott

Hymns of the French and Gregorian tradition: (Roman Rite or Noels)
Use the French voicing on the QUANTUM SUITE and registration mostly centered around heavy 8' thick Principals and Flutes with Reeds added for volume. The Pedal is heavier than usual and should often have some 16' reed sound. Manual stops at 16' and 32' pedal are used more frequently. Another "trick" would be to keep the left hand legato and the right hand detached. Sometimes keep the pedal sustained constantly in a stanza, even through congregational "breathing places". This is especially effective if your worship space has short reverberation time. Hymns of this tradition also welcome the use of 2 2/3' sound in the ensemble registration, and the occasional mixing in of some celestes to further replicate the tuning of these organs. Use the Romantic alternate tuning in the Console Controller. Increase the amount of reverberation time in the Virtual Acoustic™ or Acoustic Portrait™ controls. Again, no Tremolo.
Tunes: Picardy, Gloria (Angels We Have Heard On High), Noel Nouvelet, Il Est Ne.
Tunes of the Gregorian Tradition (Roman): Divinum Mysterium, Veni Emmanuel, O Lux Beata, O Filii et Filiae These hymns, derived from chant, should be played with the melody (cantus firmus) predominant or "solo-ed out" on a separate manual. If this is difficult for some beginning organists, use the MELODY COUPLER, but also include 16' sound with the melody line. The congregation should be encouraged to sing in a strong "unison" also.

Anglican, Episcopalian or Welsh Hymns
Set the QUANTUM SUITE voicing to English Cathedral. Your approach to registration will be very similar to the French Cathedral style, but the QUANTUM English voicing will "take care" of the big differences. Heavier, full registrations with much more use of reeds and 16' stops are very much part of this tradition. Use plenty of stops (volume of sound) even on "softer" stanzas, BUT control the overall "loudness" to balance the congregational singing and text mood with the expression pedals. Strong melodies are often "solo-ed" out on 8', 16' and 4' solo reeds or Festival Trumpets. 32' pedal and heavy 16' pedal is used frequently. Use the English voicing controls on your Allen Renaissance™ instrument if you have them. Alternate tuning is set to Romantic. No tremolo.
Tunes: Sine Nomine, Down Ampney, Cym Rhondda, King's Lynn, Michael, Kingsfold, Abbot's Leigh

Evangelical Hymns: (Baptist, Praise Songs, etc)
Set the QUANTUM SUITE Voicing to American Classic. Use predominant Flute and String 8', 4' and 2' stops but reeds and mutations only on a solo melody line. Avoid mixtures altogether. Tremolo is used almost constantly, and with the Full Tremolo control also. Alternate Tuning can range from dry Classic to Romantic. Reverberation time in the Acoustic Portrait or Virtual Acoustics should be minimal. A real opportunity to use the MIDI Division or new Allen Ensemble™ should not be overlooked. A heavy and detached pedal part should be rhythmically enhanced with the String Bass or 16' Piano MIDI voice. Percussion sounds are most welcome but should not be used constantly. The 8' Piano should be used frequently in the left hand or accompaniment "part", or played with the right hand or melody "part" an octave higher. If the accompaniment pattern is an Alberti or arpreggiated style, use the Piano 8' or either the Harp or Lute MIDI voice with 8' and 4' flutes and strings played legato.
Tunes: Amazing Grace, Eagle's Wing, Showalter, Spanish hymns, Thompson, Etc.

Two other effective principles to keep in mind for all congregational song:
(1) Try to "prelude" your congregational songs whenever possible to set the style, mood, tempo and key with either an improvised introduction or use of some of the numerous sources you can find at your local music store. If the "hymn prelude" or special introductory music is published in a different key than the song in your hymnal, practice being quick "on the draw" with your Allen transposer!
(2) Endeavor to play EACH STANZA of a hymn with a different registration according to the meaning or mood of the text. Set piastons in advance and write them in your music as you PRACTICE and PREPARE your hymns for each service.