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  3. Jonathan Dods

    Recitals for children

    Thanks for your replies. Lots of food for thought! The recital's in June, so I've got some time to process it all.
  4. pwhodges

    Henry Ley

    Around that time the Oxford Psalter came out with pointing which tended towards a shorter reciting note and more syllables on the later notes in each part. Use of such pointing might make some discords uncomfortable if they needed to be repeated a couple of times. Well, it's a theory, anyway. Paul
  5. Vox Humana

    Henry Ley

    Thank you very much! I thought that your book would have to be the earlier one. That presumably makes the weaker, OUP version a later revision - which I find very curious. There are actually at least four different versions of that last quarter in circulation, although whether they were all made by Ley I don't know. To my mind the strongest is Ley's first thought with the II7b for the antepunultimate chord.
  6. pwhodges

    Henry Ley

    Well, my copy is in his manuscript, presumably from sometime well before the end of his tenure at Ch Ch (1909-1926)*; it doesn't have the other changes you mention either. Paul * Edit: Inside the front cover he dates the book as "compiled in 1910 & revised in August 1923". The revision was the addition of a few alternative chants on spare lines, and in a couple of places a whole sheet of newly written out chants for a service glued over the old. On reflection, the change in writing style (specifically of the capital letter B ) means that my comment above about "another hand" was wrong, and the change I first remarked on was his (but either later or undecided, as it's in pencil). P
  7. Vox Humana

    Henry Ley

    As I expect you will remember, that revised reading was retained in Sidney Watson's chant book of 1960. Is the book you have dated, Paul? Interestingly, Oxford Chant Book No.2 (1934), which was edited by Ley and Stanley Roper, has a different and much weaker final quarter and also alters the alto and tenor of the third chord to make it a first inversion dominant chord. I am wondering which version is older.
  8. pwhodges

    Henry Ley

    That chant (I presume it's the same, as he gives it to Ps 138 - it starts with an upward arpeggio) is in Db in Ley's book that I have. For some reason, it has been slightly altered in Ley's copy, in pencil by another hand, changing the Alto's Db in the antepenultimate chord to Bb. Paul
  9. wolsey

    King's, Cambridge - Back Row

    For many years, both King's and John's choirs have been known to occasionally include graduate singers who are not necessarily members of the two respective colleges. They are termed Lay Clerks.
  10. Rowland Wateridge

    Henry Ley

    Thank you! As an afterthought it occurred to me that we must have heard it pronounced by precentors and Radio 3 presenters - the BBC used to be meticulous about these things. I gleaned very little about pronunciation when searching on Google, but discovered that HL’s pupils included Ralph Downes and Sir Thomas Armstrong, and that Psalm 138 was sung to HL’s chant in D at Westminster Abbey in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI in September 2010.
  11. pwhodges

    Henry Ley

    I have only ever heard "Lee". Paul
  12. Rowland Wateridge

    King's, Cambridge - Back Row

    Intriguing. Lay Clerks, if the term is used correctly, usually means singers in ‘New Foundation’ cathedrals, Canterbury, Durham, Ely, Peterborough, Rochester, Winchester etc. That would not be inconsistent for past members of Cambridge college choirs. One assumes that the current members calling themselves Lay Clerks are not Choral Scholars.
  13. Rowland Wateridge

    Henry Ley

    Well, he was a Devonian. I have never heard any other pronunciation than ‘Lee’, and I’m certain that was how Lionel Dakers pronounced it when recounting the tale about the baskets of wrong notes. sbarber49 (above) also seemed very certain. Paul Hodges will doubtless remember how it was pronounced by Sydney Watson and others at Christ Church.
  14. David Cynan Jones

    King's, Cambridge - Back Row

    Some current and past members of this choir list themselves as Lay Clerks on their social media accounts. The plot thickens .......
  15. Vox Humana

    Henry Ley

    The only person I know with that surname pronounces it "Lay", matching the pronunciation of the wetlands of Slapton Ley and Beesands Ley in Devon. Whether Henry of that ilk also pronounced it that way I have no idea. Can Rowland tell us more?
  16. michaelwilson

    King's, Cambridge - Back Row

    On a similar note St John's up the road now seem to have 18 on the back row for regular services. Their website still says 15 choral scholars (up from 14 under George Guest I believe with an extra bass). I suppose adding on gap-year volunteers etc is relatively easy, the limit being how many can squeeze in the choir stalls.
  17. S_L

    Appointments 2

    It was in last weeks as well - as was a Senior Music Minister to succeed Noel Tredinnick at All Soul's Langham Place and a Director of Music at St. Margaret's Westminster..
  18. David Cynan Jones

    Appointments 2

    This in the Church Times Jobs this morning https://jobs.churchtimes.co.uk/jobs/Director-of-Music--in-London-and-Home-Counties-jn6955
  19. pwhodges

    Recitals for children

    I have the recording of this event. It was clearly a lot of fun! Paul
  20. pwhodges

    Henry Ley

    That's a good thought. Yes, I still have it (it's hardbound with a crest on the front). It's time I got in contact with the organist anyway (for other personal reasons). Paul
  21. John Furse

    Recitals for children

    I once played a Year 8 class his Les langues de feu (Messe de la Pentecôte) and asked them to grade it - for how successful it was as a composition. They did this for their own work (composition & performance) all the time. They gave it a B (good) - on a scale from A (excellent) to D (poor). One of the criticisms was that they’d like the fire to be more ‘flickery’ !
  22. Philip J Wells

    Recitals for children

    I am reminded of the 1966 'organ In Sanity and Madness' in the RAH and the Miniconcerto by John McCabe for 485 penny whistles, percussion and organ. Plastic recorders were sold beforehand to members of the audience but under David Willcock's training we were told there was not much melodic interest! Maybe your young audience could all participate in a rhythmic way on percussion instruments. [NB We ended with Humpty Dumpty and his False Relations (12 variations) but that required a lot more resources than would be readily available to you. ]
  23. innate

    Henry Ley

    That’s amazing, Paul. Do you still have it? In the end it should perhaps go back to Christ Church for an honoured place in the Library.
  24. S_L

    Recitals for children

    Brilliant response John!
  25. John Furse

    Recitals for children

    I hope I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, Jonathan, and don’t mean in any way to appear patronising, but get the impression you’re not a teecha. What follows is more a series of thoughts than anything else: a draft for how I might approach the same now. In these days of Bluetooth, your smartfone might play a part - with you morphing from a recording of the ‘real thing’ on that (or another device) to the same piece, but played on your fabulous instrument. Or, the other way around. You could record bits beforehand and show them on screen, to facilitate ‘viewability’. Have some (quiet) recorded organ music (probably something they won’t know from your programme and recorded at St Michael’s) playing as they are brought in. This’ll settle them down. Later, you can ask them if they’ve heard that before: as you play a bit in real time. Depending on the age of your audience, a variety of techniques is useful. If they’re younger primary, then your examples will need to be shorter - as AJJ says. Keep testing them: kids like to succeed. ‘What’s that ?’ ‘Flute/reed/string/mixture.’ Plenty of contrasts: loud/soft, fast/slow, old/new. And a mixture of ‘pure’ (re innate) and arrangements. Can you borrow a pipe (more than one) to blow ? You’ll need a written plan (one copy on the console music stand, one in your hands/shirt pocket/on the music stand from where you’ll deliver your brief talking bits) and to decide whether you’ll start quietly (Harry Potter. I’ve been at a very successful demo where the presenter kept coming back to this in various guises), or dramatically (Bach’s Toccata. This one of the BBC’s Ten Pieces. There are now 30: you might ask their teacher/s which they have ‘done’.). They watch a lorra TV and the movies: more possibilities. There’s no harm in showing off (e.g. elaborate pedal ‘solo’); they’ll love it and applaud vigorously. It is by such events as this that the next generation of organists (and listeners to the instrument) is ‘hooked’. Also, and unless they’re older teenagers, they have few preconceptions and will ‘take’ the most esoteric repertoire: Ligeti, Cage (a bit of 4’33’’ ? ? Most probably won’t have ‘heard’ it before.), Messiaen is good, as so illustrative. Drones and ostinati lead quite naturally to a Passacaglia/Chaconne (Louis Couperin ?). Could they concoct an organ rap and perform it with you ? As you can see: yes, yes, yes to participation and beforehand preparation ! (What Colin has just said.) Good luck.
  26. pwhodges

    Henry Ley

    When a choir boy at Christ Church I rescued from a pile of rubbish Ley's chant book. All the psalm chants and responses for every day and every special occasion that can be imagined, written in beautiful script with not a correction required from one end of the book to the other. Each chant written by an organist of Ch Ch was meticulously marked as such in red ink. Paul
  27. Colin Pykett

    Recitals for children

    Instead of just sitting them down to listen passively to a 'recital', would there be a possibility of inviting participation from some of them? This might range from a scenario where you had done some preparatory work with the schools to identify those who could play simple keyboard pieces as part of the recital, to merely asking for volunteers regardless of skill level to come to the console on the day and explore the range of sounds for themselves, and thus for the remainder of the audience. The organ has the advantage of having many quiet stops which can soften the otherwise excruciating effect of a child with no previous experience exploring the keyboard. I've done this (and still do) with my youngest grandchildren almost from the day they were born. I try to structure their explorations by suggesting they press the lowest and then the highest keys, using different stops both soft and loud. I do not encourage or allow them to just bash away however - it has to be an exercise with a modicum of structure. One of the things I do is to ask them if they can hear the topmost note of a 15th or 17th - I cannot because of age-related hearing loss. So I ask them to tell me what these very high notes sound like to them, and sometimes they try to imitate them by singing. The lowest notes also seem to interest them. Then I move to the sounds of the various stops, which they select themselves but under my guidance. Older children of junior school age or beyond might also be interested in things like synthetic tone formation using mutations. One such demo is first to successively add mutations, particularly the 12th and 17th, to a unison tone while they continue to hold a key down, and ask them to remember the sound in their head. Then ask them to release the note and then re-key it. The resulting composite tone usually sounds completely different subjectively because the brain has not had the opportunity to hear in advance the constituents making up the total sound. In my experience even some adults are surprised and fascinated by this demonstration. You could also demonstrate the similarities and differences between such a synthetic tone (8 + 12th + 17th) and a real clarinet stop, asking them to articulate what they hear. Still older students, probably into their teens, might also be interested in a simple explanation of how the synthetic stop is picking out the same harmonics already 'built in' to the real clarinet sound. You could also add a 4 foot tone to the mix, and compare that to a real Cor Anglais or Oboe stop if there is one on your organ. Even if there isn't, the difference in sound can still be instructive. At this point the discussion is clearly leading onto how electronic synthesisers work, which might help these older children to maintain their concentration. You could tell them that today's synthesisers use ideas first discovered by pipe organ builders hundreds of years ago. There are lots of other possibilities. CEP
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