Study of "Brethren We Have Met to Worship"

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Here is the first line of “Brethren We have Met To Worship” with the simplest chords possible.


The F/C chord is a modern way of notating what many of you call a I 6/4 (figured bass) or a I chord in second inversion.  Just play an F chord with a C in the bass.

OK, so let’s have some fun with this.  Spend some time trying to figure out new harmonies for this one line and send them to me.  Whoever comes up with the one I like the best can have something from the site for free (up to $100).

I really don’t care how you submit them. They don’t have to be fancy. If you want, print off this page and write in your chords over the melody notes and get it to me somehow.

Or, just comment below with your chords like this:  F  ||   C7  ||  F  ||  F/C C7  F  –

By the way, why spend so much time on this one line? Because if you do, you are really working on 75% of the song.  This same 4 bar phrase is used 3 times over 16 bars.

25 thoughts on “Study of "Brethren We Have Met to Worship"

  1. Greg says:

    Oops guys. Sorry, this is not in C, it is F. I will fix it above, but Jon, you will find that helpful especially. The others seem to have caught my mistake.

  2. Daniel Blomdahl says:

    Here’s what I’m thinking:
    F Dm/F | Gm C7/G Bb/C | Am Dm/F | F/C C7b9 F ||
    The first and third measure are each two beats for each chord. The second measure is two beats for Gm and one beat each for C7/G and Bb/C. Finally the last measure is one beat for the first two and two beats for F. Hope this makes sense. This is a great exercise, I like the idea of getting people to think by offering something.

  3. Greg says:

    Daniel (and others), here is a way to divide your beats within bar.

    If you have multiple chords in one bar and they are the same duration (for example, 2 beats each in 4/4), you can just write like this:

    I IV || iii vi ||

    If you have a situation where you have a bar with multiple chords and the chords have uneven durations, use dashes to feel in empty beats.

    For example,

    I – IV V || ii V – –

    This means in bar 1, play the I chord for 2 beats, the IV chord for 1 beat and the V for 1 beat. In the second bar, ply ii on beat 1 and V on the other three beats.

    Using this system will help prevent you from having to write everything out like Daniel did.

  4. Danny Gardner says:

    Here are my initial ideas. I will probably add more later.

    F F#dim7 Gm7 F/A || Bb C7 || F F#dim7 Gm7 – || C7 F#7 F –

    Bb Am7 Gm7 F || C/E – Dm7 F/C || Bb F/A || Gm7 F#7 F –

    Am7 Dm7 || Gm7 C7 || F Dm7 || Gm7 C7 F –

    F Cm7 || F7 Bb || Am7 Abdim7 || Gm7 F#7 F –

    F Gm7 || Am7 Bb || Bb F/C || Dm7 Eb F –

    When will you stop accepting ideas?

  5. Lydia Highfill says:

    Thanks, Greg, for your advice. I changed my “arrangement”.

    Bb – F- || gm – am Bb || F- Bb – || C7 – F

  6. Greg says:

    You can submit them through this Thursday. I will record a video clip playing through many of them and talking about them and will post it on Friday.

  7. Rebecca Highfill says:

    Thanks, Greg! This was fun! My dad is having my sister play her “arrangement” of it at church tomorrow for the offertory. She “arranged” the whole song!

  8. seth says:

    here goes mine
    C unison(no chord) Bb/C F
    Breth – ren we have
    met to worship
    Gm Eb11(the 7 is major)
    and a – dore the Lord our God
    F Am7 Dm Gm Eb F

    i was kinda going for an almost celtic sound here. forgive if its kinda weird. and how do you do that double line thing for measures?

  9. seth says:

    same arrangement just put all the chord on top
    C unison(no chord) Bb/C F
    Breth – ren we have
    Gm Eb11(the 7 is major)
    met to worship
    F Am7 Dm Gm Eb F
    and a – dore the Lord our God

    i was kinda going for an almost celtic sound here. forgive if its kinda weird. the Eb – F sounds smoother in my head than when i play it. and how do you do that double line thing for measures?

  10. Danny Gardner says:

    F F#dim7 Gm7 – || C – Bm7(b5) Bbm6 || Am7 Abdim7 || Gm7 C7 F –

    You have to move around the melody a little bit in the second measure to make the Bbm6 chord work.

    F A7 || Dm7 C7 || F Ab7 || Gm7 F#7 F –

  11. seth says:

    one last amendment to mine
    change the last three chords (Gm – Eb – F) to BbM7 – C – Fsus – F. or you can even leave F suspended because, as you know, this is not the end of the song. also Gm – F/A – Bb works nicely.

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