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Incidentally, at our All Age Eucharist yesterday we did "Holy, Holy, Holy...." to the tune "Tersanctus". Anyone remember that one?

 

G

 

Is that the one from the 20th Century Light Church Music Group or whatever thay were called - responsible for, among other calamities, Living Lord, O Lord all the World belongs to You and an atrocious Te Deum which sounds like a 40s dance?*

 

We had Nicea but I had to play it on a Roland electric job downstairs as I had a fall in the week, damaged pretty severely my hip, am on crutches and cannot (a) negotiate the spiral stairs to the organ gallery (be) even if I could, play the pedals ;)

 

This partly explains my absence from this forum over the last few days but all good things must come to an end! :P

 

Peter

 

 

* edit: or was it Psalm 150? Possibly by G Beaumant?

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Regarding playover* speed and rallentando:

 

A little rallentando does NOT disturb singing in the RIGHT speed (i. e. that of the playover before braking...)

Why?

Like at conducting, the speed of a piece is controlled by the upbeat, the "Avviso" like some say, the beat before the first sounding beat (am lacking better vocabulary...).

Regarding the organ, this upbeat is represented by the GAP between the end of the last note of the playover and the entrance of the hymn.

 

I used to teach that a rallentando is sometimes bad taste and at most times a functional risk, as some of you have explained.

But having attended many exams and many more services (and played...), I was very curios, why it DID work, even with rallentando or with DIFFERENT SPEED at the playover.

 

The "power" of the gap was the explanation.

 

Many of you will agree, that the gap between end of a verse and start of the next should not last a something, but one correct pulse of the music, be it a 1/4 or a 1/2 note. This may optionally result in an extended measure at the end, having a 5/4 or 6/4 final measure in a 4/4 piece.

 

Although it is right that a concregation is widely free of musical education, there is much musical instinct. I found many congregations who would establish a better rhythm and speed stability than the organist who led them...

 

*) I hope I got it right as the introduction to a hymn? Never discussed this issues in English... ;)

 

Guten Morgen, Herr Kropf,

 

This thread may also be interesting for you...

http://forum.sakral-orgel.de/viewtopic.php?t=1021

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Gathering notes are surely the epitome of bad practice in hymn playing. I thought the habit was long dead and buried, but no! A pupil of mine who plays at our local methodist church met a lady organist from elsewhere on the circuit who was surprised to learn that he didn't use gathering notes - but I believe the lady in question had never had any formal training in how to play an organ. That's the only instance of it that I have encountered round here - though I daresay it goes on in a few places behind closed doors. ;)

 

Hi

 

Sadly, gathering notes are only too alive and well in some churches - including one where I preach frequently - I often automatically start singing at the "right" tgime and have to wait for the pianist & congregation to catch up. Yet when I've played there, I don't use gathering notes and have no problems with the congregation not starting in time.

 

 

 

Is that the one from the 20th Century Light Church Music Group or whatever thay were called - responsible for, among other calamities, Living Lord, O Lord all the World belongs to You and an atrocious Te Deum which sounds like a 40s dance?*

 

 

Peter

 

That's what they were supposed to sound like (it was the church's idea of "contemporary" at the time - 20 years out of date!

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Yes that is the very same group. I have an Beaumont album on my iPod, complete with Hammond organ (purely for educational purposes!) which the pupils at my school think is hilarious.

 

We all only detest it so much beacuse it is so recent, give it a hundred years or so and we'll hold it in the same reverence as Stainer (product of its time etc.) and Eliot Gardiner's successors in the early music camp will be giving period instrument performances of it in cathedrals up and down the land to sell out audiences!

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Guest Lee Blick
Is that the one from the 20th Century Light Church Music Group or whatever thay were called - responsible for, among other calamities, Living Lord, O Lord all the World belongs to You and an atrocious Te Deum which sounds like a 40s dance?*

 

I used to know one of the members of the 20th Century Light Church Music Group and he told me that they organised a big service in the 60's full of teenagers at St. Paul's Cathedral, complete with full Big Band! Not surprisingly it went down like a big piece cow turd.

 

The church musically has always been decades behind society with the exception of some youth projects by inner-city evangelical/free churches.

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Guest Patrick Coleman
Yes that is the very same group. I have an Beaumont album on my iPod, complete with Hammond organ (purely for educational purposes!) which the pupils at my school think is hilarious.

 

We all only detest it so much beacuse it is so recent, give it a hundred years or so and we'll hold it in the same reverence as Stainer (product of its time etc.) and Eliot Gardiner's successors in the early music camp will be giving period instrument performances of it in cathedrals up and down the land to sell out audiences!

 

Much as I like a few of these tunes - notably Camberwell ;) - why does this vision depress me?

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Guest Cynic
Much as I like a few of these tunes - notably Camberwell ;) - why does this vision depress me?

 

 

May I suggest this is because however well-intentioned, these attempts do not reach their intended target. In my years of training choirs with assorted trebles from hither and yon*, they don't want even up-to-date pop music in church, they want something 'special' - something they don't get anywhere else. I believe that most of a congregation does too. Why should we chat with our maker in common tones? Why choose the meretricious and vacuous as our offering? Why insult with prayers that drone on and on along the lines of

'we just want to thank you for....'

That word 'just' is a splendid give-away, so are off-the-cuff casual/informal sermons that blather on without accomplishing anything but passing the time (lots of it). Some modern CofE worship is an affront to anyone with the slightest serious intent.

 

For me, the concept of doing our best to offer up in the worship of God seems to be a less common aim and I miss it horribly. Incidentally, when I wrote my depressive stuff here in January, I received a number of private (kind) e-mails, amongst which were some from cathedral musicians. A common thread seemed to be, not only is the church nothing like what it was when we grew up, but it isn't what it was only ten years ago.

 

*And those kids....what sort of things did they really like? I know because over the years I regularly allowed the kids to request favourite repertoire to sing through purely for fun when we finished our work early. Once they'd learned them, time and again it was the Latin pieces - the striking and difficult things, the high emotional pieces (Greater Love etc.).

 

The whole point of church is that it's not your front room or mine. Any sort of Dumbing Down will not ever raise people from their mundane gloom.....excellence and the truly 'special' will.

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May I suggest this is because however well-intentioned, these attempts do not reach their intended target. In my years of training choirs with assorted trebles from hither and yon*, they don't want even up-to-date pop music in church, they want something 'special' - something they don't get anywhere else. I believe that most of a congregation does too. Why should we chat with our maker in common tones? Why choose the meretricious and vacuous as our offering? Why insult with prayers that drone on and on along the lines of

'we just want to thank you for....'

That word 'just' is a splendid give-away, so are off-the-cuff casual/informal sermons that blather on without accomplishing anything but passing the time (lots of it). Some modern CofE worship is an affront to anyone with the slightest serious intent.

 

For me, the concept of doing our best to offer up in the worship of God seems to be a less common aim and I miss it horribly. Incidentally, when I wrote my depressive stuff here in January, I received a number of private (kind) e-mails, amongst which were some from cathedral musicians. A common thread seemed to be, not only is the church nothing like what it was when we grew up, but it isn't what it was only ten years ago.

 

*And those kids....what sort of things did they really like? I know because over the years I regularly allowed the kids to request favourite repertoire to sing through purely for fun when we finished our work early. Once they'd learned them, time and again it was the Latin pieces - the striking and difficult things, the high emotional pieces (Greater Love etc.).

 

The whole point of church is that it's not your front room or mine. Any sort of Dumbing Down will not ever raise people from their mundane gloom.....excellence and the truly 'special' will.

 

 

Hear, hear and hear again!

 

I was going to try and write something deep and meaningful, but I think what Vox wrote sums it up nicely.

 

:rolleyes:

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Guest Patrick Coleman
I was going to try and write something deep and meaningful, but I think what Vox wrote sums it up nicely.

 

:rolleyes:

 

Absolutely agreed! :D

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May I suggest this is because however well-intentioned, these attempts do not reach their intended target. In my years of training choirs with assorted trebles from hither and yon*, they don't want even up-to-date pop music in church, they want something 'special' - something they don't get anywhere else. I believe that most of a congregation does too.

*And those kids....what sort of things did they really like? I know because over the years I regularly allowed the kids to request favourite repertoire to sing through purely for fun when we finished our work early. Once they'd learned them, time and again it was the Latin pieces - the striking and difficult things, the high emotional pieces (Greater Love etc.).

 

Couldn't agree more. I had 35 kids from 7-17 and although there were allowed sugary Rutter and Archer on special occasions, it was the Victoriana they loved the most. We did stuff outside church, secular repertoire which they liked as a change, but that was very much an add on. Kids like good music when they've been educated and taught it properly.

 

I'm not wholly in favour of the 'the church isn't what it used to be' argument. I'd be worried if it was. We have to move forward and on because if it hadn't moved forward in the past, we'd still be siinging monophonic plainsong all the time. Much as I enjoy that, I'd be secretly missing, Boyce, Wesley and Stainer and all the other composers who move in and out of fashion.

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Guest Patrick Coleman
I'm not wholly in favour of the 'the church isn't what it used to be' argument.

 

I think the invective is against 'dumbing down' rather than against the contemporary. Sadly much of the contemporary in worship is a poor reflection of already outdated musical and linguistic styles. Perhaps it was ever so? At any rate, there is a clear agenda to 'dumb down' in many of the 'fresh expressions of Church' rather than finding genuinely new ways to incarnate the 'mysterium tremendum et fascinans' - and there seems to be a discounting of the tried and tested.

 

Rant alert I get especially cross when I come across 'themed worship' or stuff that is set up specifically to entertain or teach. Sorry - it isn't worship: it might well be godly or prayerful but it isn't worship. Take note, BBC R4 and the 'Sunday Worship' that celebrates Edward Elgar (as last Sunday) or reflects on this or that - worship celebrates God, reflects on God, places us in God's presence! End of rant

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Unnecessary interpolations (including announcing hymns) in liturgical services irritate me beyond! :rolleyes:

 

Quite agree - new priest introduced a new system, which puts me in control of hymns...

 

He makes his welcome speech and then suggests quiet prayerful preparation, which is only terminated by my playover when I see the procession is ready. Gradual hymn follows the readings...I start when I see the readers walking back (I can make them scurry for their burrows!). Offertory hymn follows The Peace - for maximum destructive effect wait until everyone's hopelessly out of position and then begin playover (rabbit caught in headlights moment). Only the final hymn is announced to allow flexibility for notices/short digest of junior church activities, etc., and even this only with the words "we stand to sing our final hymn."

 

I agree with

 

slight rall in playovers

last verse harmonisations (if tasteful)

last verse modulations

longer twiddly intro's on special occasions

last line intro's for certain hymns (Repton, Woodlands, Michael, etc)

occasional verses unaccompanied (but I do warn the choir!)

no rall at ends of verses except last

not being frightened of silence (if your communion voluntary/motet finishes early)

 

 

H

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Guest Lee Blick
The whole point of church is that it's not your front room or mine. Any sort of Dumbing Down will not ever raise people from their mundane gloom.....excellence and the truly 'special' will.

 

Yet, there are churches existing in front rooms and in people's homes and in some cases their local pub! There are also those who's form of worship is through listening to Songs of Praise or Choral Evensong, presumably in their front rooms on the television or online. To some this may be considered as 'dumbing down', but could it also be seen as some Christians who do want a form of worship more closely related to their daily lives?

 

Christianity is being ever stretched further beyond the bounds of the established church institutions. This diversity for some could be seen as diluting the faith but personally I think it is inevitable and not altogether such a bad thing.

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Regarding playover* speed and rallentando:

 

A little rallentando does NOT disturb singing in the RIGHT speed (i. e. that of the playover before braking...)

Why?

Like at conducting, the speed of a piece is controlled by the upbeat, the "Avviso" like some say, the beat before the first sounding beat (am lacking better vocabulary...).

Regarding the organ, this upbeat is represented by the GAP between the end of the last note of the playover and the entrance of the hymn.

 

This is all very well if one is playing hymns (or chorales) in the way that they are played in Germany - with an improvised organ introduction (rather longer than the short play-over to which English congregations are accustomed) which leads into the first verse of a chorale. Here, it could arguably be desirable to make a slight rallentando, in order to make clear when the first verse is imminent. I had to do this in Nürnberg, when playing for a visiting choir.

 

However, in England, in the type of service in which standard (or, if it is preferred, 'traditional') hymns are sung, I would never make a rallentando at the end of a play-over, for the following reasons: the introduction is quite short (normally a line or two). It is given in order that the congregation can be made aware of:

 

The tune which is to be sung

The pitch in which it is to be sung

The speed at which it is to be sung

 

If one were to slow down (in a short introduction) then there will be some confusion as to the speed of the hymn - and precisely when the first verse will commence.

 

Your comparison of a conductor does not work, for the simple reason that there is a major difference - the conductor is visible. There is therefore (unless the conductor is totally inept) a clear visual direction as to when to sing - and at what speed.

 

Furthermore, surely common sense dictates that, to deduce the correct start of the first verse from your phrase "this upbeat is represented by the GAP between the end of the last note of the playover and the entrance of the hymn" is only possible if the gap before the first verse and the play-over are both in strict time.

 

I used to teach that a rallentando is sometimes bad taste and at most times a functional risk, as some of you have explained.

But having attended many exams and many more services (and played...), I was very curios, why it DID work, even with rallentando or with DIFFERENT SPEED at the playover.

 

The "power" of the gap was the explanation.

I have also taken - and passed - many examinations; I have also attended - and played the organ - for many hundreds of services. I am confident to state that, if I were to introduce a rallentando in the type of play-over which is common in England, I would cause consternation and confusion (and ultimately a lack of confidence) in the congregation for whom I was playing.

 

I know a number of professional colleagues (a number of them being cathedral organists) and I have no hesitation in stating that they would do exactly the same as I have advocated above.

 

 

Although it is right that a concregation is widely free of musical education, there is much musical instinct. I found many congregations who would establish a better rhythm and speed stability than the organist who led them...

 

In which case, you must have encountered many incompetent organists and rather more musical comgregations that I have. I do not doubt that there are many bad organists who are not skilled in providing a clear lead in hymn-singing; however, I have yet to find a congregation which is better able to lead themselves. Perhaps I have been exceptionally fortunate in the churches which I have attended.

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In which case, you must have encountered many incompetent organists and rather more musical comgregations that I have. I do not doubt that there are many bad organists who are not skilled in providing a clear lead in hymn-singing; however, I have yet to find a congregation which is better able to lead themselves. Perhaps I have been exceptionally fortunate in the churches which I have attended.

 

You surely must have been, M'sieur. I can assure you that there are many people who, out of a sense of duty and service because competent organists cannot be found, confront a pair of keyboards on a Sunday barely able to cope with reading four-part chords or key signatures with more than two accidentals. Their accompaniments are likely to be very unpredictable as they fumble for the notes. In such cases the congregations have little choice but to take the lead - and where needs must, they do. How common this is I really don't know, but I've heard of enough instances to persuade me that it's not that unusual.

As for German congregations being more musical than English ones, this is entirely possible. :)

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You surely must have been, M'sieur. I can assure you that there are many people who, out of a sense of duty and service because competent organists cannot be found, confront a pair of keyboards on a Sunday barely able to cope with reading four-part chords or key signatures with more than two accidentals. Their accompaniments are likely to be very unpredictable as they fumble for the notes. In such cases the congregations have little choice but to take the lead - and where needs must, they do. How common this is I really don't know, but I've heard of enough instances to persuade me that it's not that unusual.

 

As for German congregations being more musical than English ones, this is entirely possible. :D

 

Well, thank God for that then, Vox....

 

:rolleyes:

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Yet, there are churches existing in front rooms and in people's homes and in some cases their local pub! There are also those who's form of worship is through listening to Songs of Praise or Choral Evensong, presumably in their front rooms on the television or online. To some this may be considered as 'dumbing down', but could it also be seen as some Christians who do want a form of worship more closely related to their daily lives?

 

Christianity is being ever stretched further beyond the bounds of the established church institutions. This diversity for some could be seen as diluting the faith but personally I think it is inevitable and not altogether such a bad thing.

 

Hi

 

I've been looking at some of these initiatives - it's very interesting, and it may well be the way that Christianity is made relevant to the majority in our society who have rejected what they perceive as the boring, outdated spirituality of the established church. I'm basically in agreement with Cynic on the mattger of quality - whatever style of worship we adopt, it should be done to the very best of the ability of the participants - and I would also add that all who participate in worship also need to work to improve their abilities. Contemporary worship music undoubtedly aids many people to relate to God and worship Him - and I certainly wouldn't want to decry that in any way. We live in a diverse society, so it follows that expressions of worship will be diverse - that's been the case in the UK since at least the 1700's and the establishment of non-conformist churches (even if there were legal problems until the 1820's!) and I suspect "non-conformist" patterns of worship existed since soon after the first day of Pentecost.

 

Just because "I" don't like a particular style of worship doesn't make it wrong - or inferior.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Guest Psalm 78 v.67

When I were but a lad, one often heard (especially in the free churches where I was brought up) a preliminary treble note to start every verse. Indeed, I was "taught" to do this when preparing for my first service!! I heard it done when eavesdropping on a nonogenarian "family friend organist" doing me out of a funeral fee at the crem a year or so back. Anyone else come across it recently, or remember it?

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When I were but a lad, one often heard (especially in the free churches where I was brought up) a preliminary treble note to start every verse. Indeed, I was "taught" to do this when preparing for my first service!! I heard it done when eavesdropping on a nonogenarian "family friend organist" doing me out of a funeral fee at the crem a year or so back. Anyone else come across it recently, or remember it?

 

The "For all the Saints" tune (Sine Nomine) begins with a composed bump on the pedals! :rolleyes:

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When I were but a lad, one often heard (especially in the free churches where I was brought up) a preliminary treble note to start every verse. Indeed, I was "taught" to do this when preparing for my first service!! I heard it done when eavesdropping on a nonogenarian "family friend organist" doing me out of a funeral fee at the crem a year or so back. Anyone else come across it recently, or remember it?

 

I think this is the 'gathering note' we were all refering to earlier in the thread.

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I think this is the 'gathering note' we were all refering to earlier in the thread.

 

I have always understood gathering notes to be bass notes. (But my understanding may well be minimal.)

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Guest Psalm 78 v.67
I have always understood gathering notes to be bass notes. (But my understanding may well be minimal.)

 

My understanding of "gathering notes" is to prolong the first chord rather than a treble note. I may be wrong.

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My understanding of "gathering notes" is to prolong the first chord rather than a treble note. I may be wrong.

 

These prolongued chords were what I was originally referring to in

 

For starting hymns gathering notes :D were once widely used and effective with large congregations in large buildings.

 

 

I think the pedal or treble bumps were called door knockers ! :) We always had these at primary school for the morning hymns with the piano - at grammar school we always had gathering notes on the organ. Gathering notes were widespread, even in smart churches and cathedrals 1950s & 60s. :rolleyes:

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