The new Song Book was released at the International Congress this summer. An American edition of the song book was subsequently released, and all are now available at the Trade Department! Many corps are already using them - are you?
UPDATE: Our friends at Brasscrest.com have compiled helpful comparisons between the new and previous editions of the song book and tune book. Click here to see a detailed comparison.
The most obvious change to the new books are the songs that have been added and taken away. It is always difficult to decide which songs are included in a new book, and IHQ has worked hard to include input from around the Army world. Inevitably, someone's favorite song will be left out, but hopefully many new songs that are included will help make up for it. As it has been nearly 30 years since the previous song book was released, there is an obvious change in many of the songs that have been added. During that time, praise and worship music has become popular around the world, and you will notice many songs by writers like Graham Kendrick, Chris Tomlin, and Andraé Crouch. Many new songs by Salvationists such as William Himes, Len Ballantine, and Phil Laeger are also included. With all these additions, you will still find many of the classic hymns and old Army songs, making this a wonderful collection of words and music for a new generation of The Salvation Army.
There are many welcome innovations to the new tune books that musicians especially will want to know. All tune books now come with introductions marked with brackets - no more trying to decode the numbers flashed by the bandmaster before you begin! Many of the keys have also been lowered to more singable (and playable) keys. Band instrumentation remains the same as the previous tune book, which can be played by any group from the minimum of four payers all the way up to a full band. Another welcome addition to many will be the availability of C, F, and Bass Clef parts, which will make the tune book available to more musicians. A full listing of available parts can be seen here (click "Parts").
The piano tune book also has some welcome innovations. Perhaps the first change you will notice is the inclusion of chord symbols (including capos for guitars) for every tune. Another change is the order of songs. The piano tune book is now split into two books, like the band tune books. Book 1 (Nos. 1 - 530) is in alphabetical order by meter like the previous edition. Book 2 (Nos. 531 - 958) contains all of the songs that have only one set of associated words in the song book. Instead of putting them in order by meter (most of which are irregular anyway), they are simply in alphabetical order. Because they only include one set of words, the piano book includes words with the music for Book 2.
For more information about the song book and those who created the new books, check out this article by Major Christina Tyson. I encourage you to take your time with the new books; study the words, and see what has changed. And don't forget to start learning the new numbers!
To purchase Song Books or any other materials (including Music) from the Trade Department, place your orders with Trade South by visiting mytradesouth.com at this link. Or by emailing Trade South at: firstname.lastname@example.org. The corresponding Tune Books are also available on the website at this link.
To make purchases on your location’s Trade Account number go to www.mytradesouth.com and click “sign in” in the upper right corner. Your customer code and password are your trade account number. For personal purchases, please select “New Guest” and complete the registration to pay by credit card.
Did I mention that Trade now has an awesome new website where you can buy the new books? Check it out!