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Kings Nine Lessons

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As luck would have it I missed the beginning of all the King's broadcasts this year and have only just caught up with them on iPlayer. Surely this was a new descant to Once in royal this year?

You are correct, Vox. I have not heard this version before.

 

Incidentally, notwithstanding the ability of the BBC outside broadcast sound desk artificially to balance the organ and choir, I thought that the organ was too loud on a number of occasions during the service this year.

 

Is there some unwritten rule that the 32ft. reed is only used for the last chord of a hymn - but must be used then?

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... It does seem true of the awful descant that Howells later added to his hymn-tune "Michael". What a miscalculation that was! There is a much better one floating around somewhere; I have a feeling it's by Rutter.

 

I agree, Vox. Particularly towards the end where, just when one is expecting a sublime climax, it simply fizzles out and joins the melody.

 

A colleague has written a superb organ re-harmonisation of the last verse of Michael, which does everything that this descant fails to do.

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Incidentally, notwithstanding the ability of the BBC outside broadcast sound desk to artificially balance the organ and choir, I thought that the organ was too loud on a number of occasions during the service this year.

I didn't find it offensive, but I know what you mean. What concerned me more was the amount of reverberation the recording was picking up, which I found more distracting than usual. I think the problem in general may arise from the amount of "head" that SC allows his back rows (compare his men with those of Willcocks, who kept them relatively subdued), but it did seem to be more intrusive this year. Could it have been something to do with the placing of the microphone(s) this year? (Or does King's have a permanent installation for outside broadcasts?)

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For me it's the latter, hence my belief in a partnership between descant and tune.

And of course the harmonies. I like the organ part to be subtly altered and to complement the original, not annihilate it!

 

I hear so many descants and last verse harmonizations that are so out of keeping with the hymn as to be offensively tasteless.

 

Is good taste a thing of the past? (Grumpy old organist.)

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And of course the harmonies. I like the organ part to be subtly altered and to complement the original, not annihilate it!

Well, therein, I think, lies the art of last-verse harmonisation. It's all about swooning the congregation, exciting them and then maintaining and growing that excitement (even if in waves) right through to the final climax. Gently, but inexorably; adducing, not forcing. It's exactly like making love really. And, similarly, it follows that you mustn't do anything gross that acts as a turn-off. It all requires a very fine judgement and is very difficult to do, given that the melody will constrain your options. I am sure I have overstepped the mark many times.

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Well, therein, I think, lies the art of last-verse harmonisation. It's all about swooning the congregation, exciting them and then maintaining and growing that excitement (even if in waves) right through to the final climax. Gently, but inexorably; adducing, not forcing. It's exactly like making love really. And, similarly, it follows that you mustn't do anything gross that acts as a turn-off. It all requires a very fine judgement and is very difficult to do, given that the melody will constrain your options. I am sure I have overstepped the mark many times.

 

 

...And getting their toes to clench in their shoes as full Swell comes shining through the diapasons....

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Is there somewhere forum contributors could offer last verse harmonisations/descants ? I have one I would willingly submit.

 

H

 

(Am I alone in thinking A Spotless Rose was rather loud ?)

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No, you are not alone in thinking A Spotless Rose was rather loud. How I longed for the John Birch Chichester sound, taste and control of the 1970s.

 

Malcolm

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Is there somewhere forum contributors could offer last verse harmonisations/descants ? I have one I would willingly submit.

 

H

Now that's a good idea. But how to implement it?

 

R

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Assuming you can get an image of the score (whether scanned, or Sibeliused, or what-have-you), you could just upload it to an image-hosting service such as flickr.com or fotopic.net.

 

Once it's uploaded, you could then use the little "Insert Image" button (looks like this: rte-image-button.png) to insert it directly into a posting. fotopic.net is probably better than flickr.com for this as they encourage such "direct linking".

 

Perhaps, with our generous host's permission, we could have an ongoing "Descants and harmonisations" thread for it?

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I fear that would be pushing our host's generosity a little too far.

 

Potentially, forum members could contribute a fair amount of organ/choral music, not just descants and last verses. Anyone know how to set up a web location to which we could share/contribute ?

 

H

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Guest drd

Alternatively, if in Sibelius format, why not put the item on Sibelius Music (as a free item, if that's what is wished), and link to it from here? That way our hosts do not have the extra disc storage used up.

 

I would offer some space for such a facility only for us, but these things use a lot of space, and a lot of bandwidth, and I don't think I can afford a potential runaway in those areas for no recovery of costs.

 

Another alternative would be to host it in the cloud (perhaps via Google, for example) - but the privacy implications need fully to be understood by all users, and by whoever sets it up and administers it.

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No disc space or bandwidth would be used up by including them on a thread here - well, none more than the usual amount for a textual posting. The disc space used to store the images is on the server hosting the images - fotopic or flickr.

 

It's just the same as the image used in, for example, pcnd5584's signature: if you right-click that and choose "Open in new window" (or your browser's equivalent) you'll see that it's hosted on an external website.

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Guest drd

I surmised that we are talking of .sib, .cap, or .pdf files and their like. Would fotopic/flickr host them? .sib files could be hosted on the Sibelius Music site, but where for the others. I believe that is what we are discussing.

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Richard was talking about converting the files to images.

 

Are there any easy ways of doing this? The only way I know (but I am not very computer-literate) is by using a neat little free pdf-making facility called pdf995 and its associated programme pdfedit995. Using the first of these you make a pdf file of a page (which is done by printing it after selecting pdf995 as your printer). You can then use the second programme to turn that file into a jpg (it converts whatever was the last document printed). It can be rather tedious in that pdfedit995 can only convert one page at a time, so you have to deal with each page one by one. I guess the pages would also have to be hosted as individual images too, although on Flickr at least you could make a folder for them.

 

An A4 page converts to an jpg of 2480 x 3508 pixels. Can Flickr handle images this big?

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Guest drd

Seems rather cumbersome. If you've got them into .pdf (similar to many of those on CPDL) why not just host them in the cloud, then, if they are copyright free? No need, then, to convert to images.

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