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Excessive Pauses At The End Of Line Of A Hymn


martin_greenwood
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Ah, so we do agree then. I thought we might. :)

 

Of course, if you were writing the hymn out in extenso, you would notate it in regular 3-beat bars throughout and the only two-beat bar would be the very last one - to compensate arithmetically for the third beat being at the beginning of the first verse.

I have some sympathy with this. The convention of making everything arithmetically neat has always struck me a curious. Is there any really compelling reason for it?

 

 

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My God, this is getting like angels on pin-heads, but to your first part....no,no,no!

 

This is how we are duped into the wrong rhythm....it's probably more visual than anything else, but good practice is different from the written notes, surely? (Doubt begins to creep in here :) )

 

If the last bar is TWO beats (which it is by the way), then on the final "Lord," if it were to be written out "in extenso" as I (and others belonging to the second age of enlightenment) would play it, surely it should be 2 beats played, one beat silence, and then a FURTHER two beats before the 3rd beat on which the next stanza starts. This is what I meant by 1/2/Off/1/2 (sing).

 

In many later editions, this is what is written sometimes; hence my comment about the re-worked (but historically inaccurate) "Nun Danket" in "Hymns Old & New."

 

It's the difference between old practice and new practice, and since the classical age, the usual convention has been to fill the last bar with a full complement of notes and/or rests, which is what we need in this instance. Of course, if you do THAT, then the maths require that one inserts two silent crotchet rests at the start, but I don't know whether this is common practice or not to be honest.

 

The old way of writing did not allow for any measured breathing, and I guess it assumes that people did it a certain way, and that was taken for granted: hence the difference between the two versions of "Nun Danket" I quoted.

 

There is no doubt about it, but hymn notation is very varied and definitely inconsitent in terms of actual practice v. what is scribbled down.

 

The other way is to feel the beat and go by instinct!

 

MM

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If the last bar is TWO beats (which it is by the way), then on the final "Lord," if it were to be written out "in extenso" as I (and others belonging to the second age of enlightenment) would play it, surely it should be 2 beats played, one beat silence, and then a FURTHER two beats before the 3rd beat on which the next stanza starts. This is what I meant by 1/2/Off/1/2 (sing).

Exactly what I said. Regular 3/4 bars throughout (or 3/2 in old money). Where's the argument?

 

Personally I don't think it matters whether you make the last note of each verse a minim (plus crotchet rest) or a dotted minim (though the speed at which you are going may have a bearing); the crucial thing is that the next verse starts on the last beat of the next bar.

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Exactly what I said. Regular 3/4 bars throughout (or 3/2 in old money). Where's the argument?

 

Personally I don't think it matters whether you make the last note of each verse a minim (plus crotchet rest) or a dotted minim (though the speed at which you are going may have a bearing); the crucial thing is that the next verse starts on the last beat of the next bar.

 

============================

 

 

My apologies, I had misintepreted exactly what you meant by "regular 3/4 bars throughout."

 

Now I understand and absolutely concur. As you say, the end is much less important than the start of the next verse, but I think we both agree that we are therefore not playing what is written, and that is the point.

 

I shall name no names, but I know a cathedral organist who for years got it wrong and found everyone on the back-foot at the start of each verse. Whole congregations at important services were known to fall apart. Since then, he's seen the light.

 

Another "important" organist (I presume there IS such a thing) always ended in strict time, whatever was written, and then gave two beats. Oh, that was fun in waltz time, I can tell you!

 

It was like accompanying the terminally confused, or as Carlo Curley would say, "the perpetually bewildered," all the time.

 

Anyway, it's the season of Lent, so everything should be in slow 4/4 and accompanied by a single 8ft diapason. I baulked at steamed locust and wild honey on Tuesday, and had pancakes with lemon juice as usual. I did the same thing again this evening, because I realised I liked them.

 

On that understanding, I think I shall make the hymns jolly and quite loud throughout Lent.

 

MM

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Guest Patrick Coleman
============================

 

 

 

Anyway, it's the season of Lent, so everything should be in slow 4/4 and accompanied by a single 8ft diapason. I baulked at steamed locust and wild honey on Tuesday, and had pancakes with lemon juice as usual. I did the same thing again this evening, because I realised I liked them.

 

On that understanding, I think I shall make the hymns jolly and quite loud throughout Lent.

 

MM

 

:)

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:)

 

 

========================

 

 

Jolly, but with a sense of sanctimony. A bit like that smile that Derek Nimo wore on "O brother!"

 

It's when you get to the last verse, sneak on a 2ft Fifteenth for the last line, then say quietly, "Golly gosh!"

 

(Who remembers that?)

 

MM

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Guest Patrick Coleman
========================

 

 

Jolly, but with a sense of sanctimony. A bit like that smile that Derek Nimo wore on "O brother!"

 

It's when you get to the last verse, sneak on a 2ft Fifteenth for the last line, then say quietly, "Golly gosh!"

 

(Who remembers that?)

 

MM

 

I have all the surviving ones on DVD. They make me smile in a way that most comedy now fails to do. Age, I suspect!

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I have all the surviving ones on DVD. They make me smile in a way that most comedy now fails to do. Age, I suspect!

 

 

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Oh come on!

 

We have the peerless "Vicar of Dibley" to enjoy, complete with the dancing choir-master and the eccentric parish council.

 

It doesn't come much better or more English, just as "Father Ted" was uniquely Catholic Irish and quite dotty.

 

Then, of course, there's the English version of "Shaun the sheep," originating I believe, from the Czech Republic, where they have some of the finest cartoonists in the world; many of whom have sub-contracted to Disney (and others) over the years.

 

Comedy is sometimes better in real life, and it comes down to timing. I recall well the late Lord Wilberforce addressing a degree congregation, when he was getting very old and had ill-fitting false-teeth. (This is the stuff of comedy already).

 

As a consequence, every 's' became a pronounced 'sh' which, in combination with increasing forgetfulness, made part of his address exquisitely funny. It went something like this.....the dots critically representing the pauses in his speech.

 

"We would have liked to have welcomed Lord Shhhnow here....to-day.....to reshhheive an honoro..ro..ary degree....but unforshhhunately...he...he...he is unable to be with ushhh..... becauasssh.....he.....he.....he DIED."

 

1,000 people started laughing!

 

MM

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Guest Patrick Coleman
==========================

 

 

Oh come on!

 

We have the peerless "Vicar of Dibley" to enjoy, complete with the dancing choir-master and the eccentric parish council.

 

It doesn't come much better or more English, just as "Father Ted" was uniquely Catholic Irish and quite dotty.

 

Then, of course, there's the English version of "Shaun the sheep," originating I believe, from the Czech Republic, where they have some of the finest cartoonists in the world; many of whom have sub-contracted to Disney (and others) over the years.

 

Comedy is sometimes better in real life, and it comes down to timing. I recall well the late Lord Wilberforce addressing a degree congregation, when he was getting very old and had ill-fitting false-teeth. (This is the stuff of comedy already).

 

As a consequence, every 's' became a pronounced 'sh' which, in combination with increasing forgetfulness, made part of his address exquisitely funny. It went something like this.....the dots critically representing the pauses in his speech.

 

"We would have liked to have welcomed Lord Shhhnow here....to-day.....to reshhheive an honoro..ro..ary degree....but unforshhhunately...he...he...he is unable to be with ushhh..... becauasssh.....he.....he.....he DIED."

 

1,000 people started laughing!

 

MM

 

Sorry - the comedies mentioned leave me cold. But I do agree about the 'real life' points - especially here where life is colourful to say the least! I hope I add to the colour from time to time. :blink:

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Guest Patrick Coleman

I should add for the sake of those who are offended by the sidetracking of forum threads that it can be highly amusing when organist, congregation, clergy and choir all have divergent views on end of line pauses in hymns. :blink:

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I should add for the sake of those who are offended by the sidetracking of forum threads that it can be highly amusing when organist, congregation, clergy and choir all have divergent views on end of line pauses in hymns. :blink:

And, rather inappropriately amusing, last Good Friday when it transpired during the first hymn that one of the visiting choirs was singing from a different hymn book, containing an additional verse. Both choirmasters blamed the clergyman, who then went totally to pieces and muddled up the order of service. With a major failure of the pedal division half an hour before the start, it was what you might call "one of those days". Nevertheless, the combined will of everyone concerned made sure the service was a memorable occasion for all the right reasons.

JC

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There are many other examples where AMR printed more singable versions of tunes than the equivalent in EH, even though EH was almost certainly more historically correct. In CP, which I think is a superb hymn book, the EH versions have generally been brought back, but I suspect that there are many organists who, like myself, will stick to the AMR rhythms.

Well, now that the thread has gone thoroughly offtopic... yes, CP is generally excellent, but I do wish they hadn't followed EH/Songs of Praise practice by using the ABABCD harmonies for 'Dix'. The ABCDEF in AMR/AMNS is IMHO far more interesting.

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Well, now that the thread has gone thoroughly offtopic... yes, CP is generally excellent, but I do wish they hadn't followed EH/Songs of Praise practice by using the ABABCD harmonies for 'Dix'. The ABCDEF in AMR/AMNS is IMHO far more interesting.

Oh absolutely. So some of us have gone from using AMR but having to dig out an EH (or photocopy pages) for "Come down, O love divine" and "Who would true valour see", to using CP but insisting on digging out the AMRs for Dix. Whilst I don't dislike English Lane I'm not convinced that its jerky rhythms suit the gentle mood of "For the beauty of the earth" as well as the beautiful harmonisation of Dix in AMR. (I recommend this hymn to wedding couples, and they often choose it. I always play both tunes to them without trying to lead one way or the other but they more-or-less all want Dix. Its not even set as an option in CP.) As with any updated compilation, CP also has a few surprising omissions. We use our AMRs for "O God unseen yet ever near" as an occasional communion hymn, and I'm surprised that "Sent forth by God's Blessing", to The Ash Grove, has not survived from HHFT. We also use our AMRs for "Let all mortal flesh" as I like both the unison accompaniment and the harmonized version of the tune which seem to be unique to this book.

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As with any updated compilation, CP also has a few surprising omissions.

At the risk of sending this already tottering thread spinning away into the uncharted depths of the universe, why does NEH omit the last verse of "Through the night of doubt and sorrow"? I can understand that the notion of a bodily resurrection might be a little contentious for today's Anglicans, but surely the "great awakening" and the "rending of the tomb" can just as easily be interpreted metaphorically?

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I can understand that the notion of a bodily resurrection might be a little contentious for today's Anglicans, but surely the "great awakening" and the "rending of the tomb" can just as easily be interpreted metaphorically?

 

 

=========================

 

 

Have you not seen the "Harry Potter" films?

 

<_<

 

MM

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At the risk of sending this already tottering thread spinning away into the uncharted depths of the universe, why does NEH omit the last verse of "Through the night of doubt and sorrow"?

http://cathythinks.blogspot.com/ is worth reading as an explosion of righteous indignation about NEH's supposed bowdlerisation of various hymn words. I would be fascinated to see what happened if the author were introduced to Hymns Old & New.

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