Hymn Descants & Ensemble Settings Database
Open database as Google Spreadsheet (recommended).
This database is provided as a service to church musicians.
The Descant Database is searchable by hymn tune, composer, instrumentation, etc. This database includes descants available in published books - see the sheet titled "Books Used" for a complete list. In addition, there are hundreds of descants available for free online (please check the performance permission notices carefully, but I have tried to include only descants that include free performance rights as well.
If you find mistakes in the database, please fill out the Errata Form.
The Large Instrumental Ensembles list contains hymn arrangements for large instrumental ensembles. There may be several brass or string quartet arrangements listed, but this database focuses on orchestra arrangements. When "wind orchestra" is indicated, the instrumentation is for what is also known as a concert band - a full group of woodwinds, brass, and percussion. "Flexible Orchestra" is designed for a wide variety of instrumentations. "Orchestra" or "Symphony Orchestra" will refer to an orchestra that includes a full string section and also woodwinds, brass, and percussion.
The arrangements that are highlighted in GREEN are signature arrangements composed for the Concordia Wind Orchestra and many were funded with donations to the New Dimension Fund. These are all through-composed hymn accompaniments or concertatos.
Availability of music: Please refer to the "Contact List" page to obtain orchestra arrangements.
A word about copyright: The arrangements highlighted in GREEN were composed for the Concordia Wind Orchestra. If the hymntune or original setting of the music was still under copyright, we had to obtain permission from the publisher to arrange/transcribe the music for orchestra. In addition, we obtain permission to perform our arrangements. If another church uses one of our orchestral arrangements, they will need to secure permission to perform it from the publisher. To do this, contact the copyright division of the publishing company and ask for permission to perform. Often, you will be required to pay a nominal fee to obtain a performance license. This is a very simple process and it rarely is expensive. Please do not let it deter you from using fantastic music in your worship services.
Finally, if you request a Concordia Wind Orchestra Series arrangement, please understand that we do not always have parts and scores available at all times. Sometimes, we will have to decline because we don't have timely staffing. In most cases, getting parts to you will require the availability of a student worker who has access to the music. We will try hard to help, though. We want your worship to be enhanced with this excellent music.