There is a Balm in Gilead

(10 customer reviews)

This late intermediate to advancing arrangement is carefully paced to bring hope and light to the weary soul.


This arrangement of There is a Balm in Gilead is a sweet aroma to the soul that is longing for hope. It was composed from the depths of the soul to comfort those who are hurting, needing healing, and just want to experience a sweet and pure beauty.

There is a Balm in Gilead is the second in the series of “New-fashioned 21st Century Hymn Arrangements. This is My Father’s World is the first piece in this series.

What is the story behind “There is a Balm in Gilead?”

I’ve known this piece since I was a child, but never really understood the significance of a “balm in Gilead.” The phrase comes from Jeremiah 8:22: “Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there?” The phrase has been used in several hymns and spirituals to refer to the concept of salvation. There is even a poem with this phrase by Edgar Allen Poe from the last stanza of “The Raven.”

But for me, the piece is most significant because it was a healing balm to me when my grandmother died years ago. I had already composed the arrangement, but as with many pieces, the significance did not appear until later.

My heart was broken, sad, and wounded, yet it didn’t know how to find healing. However, I found that playing this piece was the only thing that helped me to do what I wanted and needed to do. I needed to cry, to mourn, to be sad, and yet to hope for the future.

I hope it does the same for you…gives you “hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

What is the significance of the artwork?

The covers in this “New-fashioned 21st Century Hymn Arrangements Series” are visual perceptual events. This means that they are designed so that your experience of the event differs from the physical stimulus in a meaningful way. Each piece has a cover that is specifically designed to imitate the meaning of the piece and to provide the listener with a new experience with the message.

The sensory perception of seeing a well-defined box in the middle of the artwork is only suggested because of the changes in color and the missing parts of the other shapes that your mind wants to see. While there is no real “border” surrounding the box, you still feel the box has been carefully framed and constructed and you feel that you can clearly see it. This mirrors what many of us can feel even when we do not always see the supernatural, the clear purpose, or the beauty. We still find that it exists, that we experience it, and that it brings comfort nonetheless.

This is the second piece in series of new-fashioned 21st Century hymn arrangements. You can read more about their creation and artwork. Enjoy!

What level is There is a Balm in Gilead?

This late intermediate to advancing arrangement contains beautiful juxtapositions of old and new harmonies. The entire piece is carefully paced to bring the listener to a beautiful hope at the conclusion. The sad, reflective opening leads into a middle section that is full of longing, followed by a more intense section, almost crying out for hope and healing which then comes at the end.

What is the difference between the single and studio license?

If you purchase the studio license, you can print and use the piece for yourself and as many students to whom you directly teach the piece. The single license can only be used by one person at any time and is not transferrable even when that person is done with the piece.

Studio License Bonus: In addition, when you purchase the studio license, you get 2 editions of the piece: one without fingering and one with suggested fingering to use with students.

Additional information



10 reviews for There is a Balm in Gilead

  1. Jerra

    I love this piece! “There is a Balm in Gilead” is a hymn I can relate to. As with many of Wendy’s more advanced pieces, there is plenty of the original hymn that comes out with wonderfully creative bridges in between. I enjoy the varied tempos along the way. This one is calming. That’s what I love about her hymn pieces. They are different from the average hymn arrangements.

  2. Lori

    I played this absolutely beautiful and worshipful arrangement for my church recently. I believe that it enhanced the service and pointed others to God who heals. Thank you and I look forward to using more of your inspiring arrangements.

  3. Colleen

    What a lovely, flowing, calming arrangement. I purchased it to use in my Prelude books for church services. Hopefully some students will enjoy it later along the way.

  4. Theresa

    Played this on Good Friday when I found out last minute that an extra instrumental piece was needed. It worked very well to provide a calm and meditative time in the service. The interesting harmonies and varied rhythms make this time-tested song new. This will be one that I will keep in mind for our Sacred Music Festival, since it will be great for a more advanced student to play.

  5. Martha

    This is my prelude next week and will be loved by the congregation. While it isn’t easy to get the voicing and some of the runs just right, it is worth the extra effort. Even practicing it creates the sense of calm and peace my often hectic day needs.

  6. Janet Harmon, NCTM

    This is a beautiful & reflective rendition. I was in the process of deciding which student would enjoy it the most and, for now, it is me! I played it for a prelude at a church service. It was appreciated very much.

  7. Joel Castleton

    5 star review, and two thumbs up.

  8. DeAnne Prosek

    I enjoyed playing this piece for prelude at my church today. When I play prelude as solo I usually become a little nervous, but this piece lets me be in control of many aspects. I don’t have to feel rushed in this piece. I received a couple compliments on it also even though I know it’s all for God’s glory. I look forward to teaching my musicians this piece.

  9. Andrew

    Wendy has done it again! A fresh and beautiful take on an old favorite. Can’t wait to share this piece with my congregation and with my advancing piano students. This arrangement of “There Is a Balm in Gilead” belongs in every pianist’s library.

  10. MM

    Used this prelude last Sunday and it was a lovely, reflective opening to the service.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By using this Site you agree to the Privacy, Terms & Conditions, which explain how we use information you submit.

You may also like…