Descants are for Life - FAQ

Which hymns are included in this book?

You can find a full index of tunes here and a full index of first lines here.


Are they just for sopranos?

22 arrangements have full choir parts - either a harmonisation of the hymn, a fauxbourdon for a middle verse or a last verse arrangement for full choir.

These are all contained in the Lower Voice edition.

(Of course you could get enough Choir editions for the tenors to join in all the descants but we may print a health warning.)


What editions are available?

There are three separate volumes:

The Full Music edition contains descants, choir parts and organ parts for all 140 arrangements.

The Choir edition contains the descants and choir parts for all 140 arrangements but without the organ part.

The Lower Voice edition is an extract from the Choir edition of the 22 arrangements with parts for full choir.


Can I see or hear any examples of the descants?

A selection of samples are available on this website - click on the dropdown menu under the Kickstarter. The recordings come from a range of sources, including live during services, recorded specially for this project, taken from older CDs (with permission). Some have been taken from old mini-discs, so while the audio quality is poorer, they still serve to provide an idea of what the descants sound like.


How difficult are the descants?

Most of the descants are readily performable by most choirs. Some of the full harmony arrangements are more involved, but most will work just a descant and organ part. Hopefully the sample scores and recordings will give an idea of how straightforward (or otherwise) the descants are.


Is there an independent organ part?

Yes, each descant comes with its own organ part which will serve (in almost all cases) as a last verse harmonisation, even if the descant is not being sung.


What are the pledge options?

There are several pledge options, depending on whether you want one book or several: options for individual books, a perusal bundle of all three volumes, and groupings for various size choirs. 

If you have a specific number you want, you can add individual copies to each pledge level so you can pledge the exact number of copies you need. 

There is also an option to add on a Magnifi Cat enamel pin at an exclusive price of £5! (Limited to 100.)


What is the benefit in pledging?

The cost of copies for pledge supporters is discounted from the price once the books go on sale. 


Where have the descants been sung before?

The descants have been sung in a number of churches and cathedrals, though mostly around the South West of England, as that is where Paul lives and works. 


How will supporter names be printed in the book?

The list of all those who have supported this Kickstarter by pledging an amount before the project end date of 13 February 2024 will, if the campaign is successful, have their name printed in the first edition of the Full Music Edition. If a full name is not provided when making a pledge, we will be in touch directly to check what name is preferred to be used for this purpose. If you do not wish your name to be included, you can be in touch let us know: it's not a barrier to pledging an amount.


Which countries will the books be shipped to?

For the Kickstarter, we are shipping to the UK only, at no additional cost. If you purchase the books after the Kickstarter has ended, normal shipping rates will apply, worldwide.


I'm not in the UK but I love descants! What about me?

Fear not! (Said he, for mighty dread, etc.) One of the pledges (and subsequent purchase options) will be a digital download edition. This one-off purchase will allow you to print copies for the use of your own choir.