New Music – Pop/Rock Hallelujah Chorus

Originally published 14-Apr-17

Hi Friends,

New Music – Pop/Rock Hallelujah Chorus:  I first released this recording of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus before Easter in 2017, but it has become pretty popular and I think it is also good to play during the Christmas season.  Enjoy!

I am releasing today as a single my own pop/rock instrumental arrangement of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, in the style of someone like Mannheim Steamroller. You can get your copy either directly from my music store or it is available from Apple Music, Amazon, Google Play or other on-line digital music sites.  It also streams on Spotify! A copy of the score is available for anyone who would like a copy on the Sheet Music page of my website.  I created the instrumentation, played the instruments (see list below!) and recorded this in my studio.  Engineering/mixing assistance was provided by Michael Powers, “Powerhouse Studios” in Seattle!

The link to my Hallelujah Chorus video is right here. You can also find it on Youtube…see below! 🙂

I hope you like it. Have a blessed Easter.

Background Info:

The Hallelujah Chorus is very popular at Christmas time, but I think it is just as appropriate during Easter, and maybe even more fitting from a theological point of view. The back story is that I have been working on a number of Christmas-themed songs that I plan to release as an album this fall, in time for Christmas, but the work has to be done now and I don’t want to hold onto things once I am finished, so plan on seeing a fairly steady release of new music from me this year as singles. Besides, a lot of people love celebrating Christmas any time of the year. I know my daughter does, and she probably has the largest collection of Christmas music in the world.

I began working on my arrangement of the Hallelujah Chorus in late December after we attended the Seattle Symphony’s performance of Handel’s Messiah. There are probably countless performances of the Hallelujah Chorus in the traditional genre, so I wanted to do something more pop oriented and that is what you have here.

The Hallelujah Chorus is such an awesome piece and it is addictive. I want to listen to it and sing it over and over. Old GF (George Frideric) really knew how to write a “hook”. I think the power of it lies in its rhythm, which comes naturally from the words and the melody spiraling higher and higher.

Handel composed the entire Messiah oratorio in the year 1741 and he completed the entire thing in an incredible 24 days! Maybe he was a manic-depressive and got stuck in a manic mode. Who knows. At any rate, it is a brilliant masterpiece of composition and the world owes him a debt for his art.

In my arrangement I added a drum solo and moog synthesizer motif to the introduction. Below is the orchestral instrumentation on the left mapped to what I have used in my performance on the right. I played all instruments.

  • Violin 1                   Electric Guitar 1 and 2
  • Violin 2                   Electric Piano
  • Viola                       Synthesizer
  • Cello                       Electric Bass
  • Oboe                      Classical Guitar
  • Bassoon                  Electric Bass
  • Trumpet                  Trumpet
  • Timpani                   Timpani
  • None                       Drums
  • None                       Other percussion

Image of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus score dated 1741


Wipe Out!

This is my instrumental rock cover of this classic “Wipe Out!” from The Surfaris and The Ventures.  Most photos are shot on the islands of O’ahu and Maui (Hawaii).

You can get a copy by naming your own price in my Music Store page.  You can also go to CD Baby (available after May 3, 2017), and eventually it should show up on iTunes and Amazon music.


There’s a video on my YouTube channel too:


Music is Good For Your Brain

I am not a scientist or academic.  But I have always had the gut feeling that somehow listening to music is somehow therapeutic, that it might bring healing and even if it didn’t, it surely could bring pleasure.  I have felt this no matter the genre or artist within a genre (well, OK, there is indeed some “bad” music out there, but I try to avoid those anyway…) whether it be John Adam’s Harmonium, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Dvorak’s Slavic Dances, Mozart’s Requiem , Robert Johnson’s Crossroads, BB King’s Every Day I Have the Blues, The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, AC-DC Back in Black or Coldplay’s Viva La Vida….it doesn’t matter too much….music like this moves me.

Now there is a paper out in Nature Neuroscience documenting what happens in our minds and bodies when we listen to music we love.  Wired Magazine ran a story on this here that included this great bit of information:

Because the scientists were combining methodologies (PET and fMRI) they were able to obtain an impressively precise portrait of music in the brain. The first thing they discovered (using ligand-based PET) is that music triggers the release of dopamine in both the dorsal and ventral striatum. This isn’t particularly surprising: these regions have long been associated with the response to pleasurable stimuli. It doesn’t matter if we’re having sex or snorting cocaine or listening to Kanye: These things fill us with bliss because they tickle these cells. Happiness begins here.

So, go put on your favorite tunes first before you pop a pill and relax and soak it up.

This research adds additional credence to the benefit of bringing music to places such as nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, hospitals and facilities and homes for the developmentally disabled.  Music is cheap and risk-free therapy!  Rock on!!  (The fine print:  Make sure to protect your hearing.)