Piano Hymn Preludes (Easy)

  • Volume 1 (A): Ach Gott vom Himmelreiche (The Bridegroom Soon Will Call Us)
  • Volume 2 (BC): Beach Spring (Lord, Whose Love through Humble Service)
  • Volume 3 (DE): Easter Hymn (Jesus Christ Is Risen Today)
  • Volume 4 (FG): Gelobet seist du (We Praise You, Jesus, at Your Birth)
  • Volume 5 (HI): Herzlich lieb (Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart)
  • Volume 6 (JKL): Lord of Life (O Christ, Who Shared Our Mortal Life)
  • Volume 7 (M): Mitten wir im Leben sind (In the Very Midst of Life)
  • Volume 8 (NO): O Welt, ich muss dich lassen {Innsbruck}
  • Volume 9 (PQR): Precious Lord (Precious Lord, Take My Hand)

Following the successful Hymn Prelude Library series for organ comes a comprehensive set of piano preludes for all the hymn tunes in Lutheran Service Book. Not an adaptation of the organ series, this collection features newly composed pieces by dozens of composers who write in a variety of styles and harmonizations. The pieces are useful as preludes, postludes, music at the offering, for introductions, and during distribution, as well as for those who play hymns at home. The durable wire binding ensures that each page lies flat against the music stand.


From the CPH Blog: “Music of the Month – Piano Prelude Series: Volume 4 (FG),” July 21, 2020:


Shaw says he considered the passages in the hymn’s text that highlight the humility of Christ’s incarnation when approaching the tune, such as “The gift from God’s eternal throne Here clothed in our poor flesh and bone,” and “In poverty He came to earth.”

“I opted for a quiet setting overall to reflect these images,” Shaw says. “Following a clear, straightforward presentation of the tune to help acclimate the listeners, the right hand leaps up by octaves into the piano’s high register and then descends, somewhat mystically, through a whole-tone scale. Then, each phrase of the tune is presented in three overlapping statements, each an octave lower than the previous one. This may represent musically a couple of things … the descent of Christ to earth, and the ongoing work of the Trinity as the Son took on human form.”

Although Shaw has composed hundreds of hymn-based piano preludes and arrangements for his choirs, he says he sees the Piano Prelude Series as useful for church musicians of all experience levels and tastes.

“Writing piano hymn preludes that are both accessible and musically satisfying—for the performer and listener alike—is an enormous challenge, but it’s one that forces the composer to refine one’s craft,” Shaw says. “The more I compose, the more I find myself trying to do more with less. I often ask myself, ‘How can I write something that is compelling, both musically and emotionally, using as few notes as possible?’”