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Mander Organs

Ian Coleman

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  1. My mother had a stroke in her 30's and taught herself to write using her left hand, though it was always a rather scrawly sort of script. She was a linguist, and always claimed that her command of languages was greatly diminished after her stroke, and, interestingly, that she never really regained a 'mother-tongue' (her first language was Welsh, and she learned French and English at roughly the same point in childhood, and to the same level). This sounds a similar sort of situation to what David is describing. I always felt that what impeded my mother from developing new 'neural pathways' was her lack of patience - she was always a quick and rather impetuous sort of person! So, my very amateurish advice would be, take it slowly and determinedly, but also look for more weird and quirky ways of learning and memorising - this might open up different possibilties. There is a website called 'Memrise' which offers online tuition in various disciplines by means of a sort of multiple-choice / guessing-game process. Might be worth a look: http://www.memrise.com Anyway, all the best to you, David - and remember, music reaches inaccessible and surprising parts of the brain (and soul!).
  2. You can get round the 'Second Agnus' problem by simply repeating the first one, and substituting 'Dona nobis pacem' for 'Miserere nobis'. It's perfectly authentic, as can be seen from some masses (Victoria 'O quam gloriosum' for instance) where it's actually written-in. Ideally you should include the alternative words in your copies, but I sometimes have fun keeping my lot on their toes by getting them to fit the different text in themselves...!
  3. I have a feeling - though my recollection is a bit hazy on this - that they are actually selector buttons for the CCTV cameras, bizarre as this may sound!
  4. I had a sobering experience accompanning Mass at St Etheldreda's, Ely Place, on its swish new Spaeth organ. Filling in after Communion I thought: 'tierce en taille' - a favourite strategy. But a German-scaled Tierce simply doesn't play ball - it sounded, to borrow a phrase, like 'a bag of spanners'. Hastily, I switched to a standard amorphous flute-y wallpaper...!
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