The Anthem of Praise originated with a basic piano melody which is heard during the intro and chorus lines. It is written in C# Dorian which provides a sobering melody line with beautiful transitions. The intro fades in with slow trilling strings which were added in later during the finalization process to give the song depth and sets the tone of the Dorian mode. I didn’t realize it at the time but the strings were probably subconsciously following a very similar strings pattern in Christopher Nolan’s 2005 Batman Begins music by Hanz Zimmer and James Newton Howard. Which makes sense, I am a huge Hanz Zimmer fan and you will probably hear his influences in almost all of my songs.
The primary melody line follows the pizzicato string section with a softer legato brass section filling in the empty space. The woodwinds run a fine counterpoint which was actually stumbled onto by accident. A few overtones from the horns provided a minor seventh which sounded heavenly so I capitalized on that and created an entire section devoted to that seventh. The result reminds me of a 70’s ballad which is curious considering those ballads usually were written in major keys and featured major sevenths. Marimbas round out the melody by trilling a rhythmic syncopation of the melody.
The chorus blends back into the melody of the intro with the main piano driving the melody with slow trilling strings and brass filling in the gaps. A small harp walks up and down the Dorian scale giving a balanced rhythmic pattern to tie everything together.
The drums and percussion sections work hand in hand, pardon the pun, to bring a driving beat and keep the song up tempo. Although the key is mellow the beat brings the sobering melody to a triumphal reflection of the cross and the sacrifice our Lord and Savior made along with his triumphal resurrection from the dead, his ascension into heaven, and finally his second coming which is greatly anticipated by the final chorus tag. The tympani's crescendo with the cymbals like waves crashing over the bow of a ship and the drums pound like a giant through the forest. The clouds open and rays of sunshine glisten between the trees as we look to the East and see our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ riding on Faithful and True to claim his Bride.
The final tag is simply the same chorus played up one octave giving the illusion of a key change without actually having to change keys. Even a half step key change would put the melody line at a difficult range for the amateur singer. This is not designed for a famous Broadway performance. It is meant to be enjoyed by the masses and therefore should be written in a comfortable singing key for all to participate.