Lord, Most High

Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

“Lord Most High” is based on the creation-praise imagery of several psalms. The text gradually widens the scope of adoration to include all places (earth, seas, heavens), peoples (weak, strong), and times.


Sing! A New Creation

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Sometimes the soul of the Christian needs to cry out exuberantly with joy, thanks, and adoration, even without identifying the reasons for such praise and adoration. Moreover, Christians who gather corporately find it fitting to do so as the grateful body of Christ. The Confessions of the church recognize this natural expression. Belgic Confession, Article 1 sees God as the “overflowing source of all good,” and such a realization deserves an “Alleluia!” Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 2 is a reminder that living in the joy of our comfort involves a spirit of thanks for his deliverance. In the same spirit, Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 2 exclaims, “God is King: Let the earth be glad! Christ is victor: his rule has begun! The Spirit is at work: creation is renewed!” and then as a natural response cries: “Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!”


Lord, Most High

Introductory/Framing Text

It builds from a simple melody in the first section to a more complicated and uplifting melody line and rhythm in the second section. The first section provides a good teaching opportunity with the “call and response” section. I would introduce the song by having a worship leader sing the call line, which would then be echoed by the congregation. As the congregation gets more familiar with the song, the call could be sung by the men, and the response could be sung by the women. The more complicated second section introduces a 2 against 3 rhythm that interrupts the lilting flow and adds punch to the vocal line. The instrumentalists will have to be aware of the rhythmic difference in the vocals while keeping a steady two beats per measure. The majority of praise and worship music is written using a 3/4 or 4/4 time signature; 6/8 timing is less common and therefore deserves some time and attention, especially from the drums and bass, to get the proper feel.
The song should end on a powerful and triumphant note.
(from Reformed Worship, Issue 74)
— Marie Elzinga

Lord, Most High

Tune Information

E Major


Musical Suggestion

The first part of this song gains interest through call-and-response repetition rather than through memorable melodic content. The second part is more interesting, soaring upwards with the text, “Lord Most High,” in a tone of unbounded adoration. Notable is the hemiola (2 against 3) in the chorus; give full reign to this rhythmic incongruity, but don’t try to be rigidly metronomic – treat this with freedom. The tempo is best felt in two strong beats per bar. Let the instrumentalists (guitars, bass, drum set) create a rhythmic juxtaposition by maintaining the same kind of feel even during the hemiolas in the vocal line. The musical texture should reflect the widening circles of praise painted by the text – a single grand crescendo from start to finish.

Lord, Most High

Author and Composer Information

Donnie Harper is revered as a gospel pioneer namely for one of his principal ground breaking efforts when he performed with the Rock Group Foreigner on their top 10 hit "I Want To Know What Love Is" in 1984. This was the first time that a Gospel Choir teamed up with a Rock Group in the secular market. This collaboration sparked a trend which continues to this very day where gospel and secular groups partner for the purpose of relaying a united message. Donnie Harper is also credited as the first Gospel group to ever appear on “Saturday Night Live” (NBC Telecast) when his group “Voices of Tomorrow” performed in the late 1970’s.
He founded the New Jersey Mass Choir in 1983. Since its inception Donnie Harper and the New Jersey Mass Choir have traveled extensively throughout the US and abroad. From the Marathon Theater in London to sold out concerts in Nassau, this stellar award winning and Grammy nominated group has performed with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Patti Labelle, Stevie Wonder, and George Michaels. They also teamed up with Garth Brooks for one of his many Grammy performances and Quincy Jones for his "Salute to Grammy Legends. In January 2006 he performed to sold out audiences at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy. 
— Tony Brown (http://browntony.com/files/Donnie_Harper_Biography.doc)

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