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Peter Clark

Mismatched Tunes

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No idea mate. Is Colin Sell a member of this board? Maybe he might know.

[tangent]

I worked with Colin Sell once and we discovered that we were both hugely influenced whilst RSCM choristers by Martin How.

[/tangent]

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Oh, and While Shepherds Watched to On Ilkley Moor...

 

This reminded me, did anyonesee Have I got News for You in the week before Christmas. They claimed it was 'new' news unearthed by the excellent 19th century music scholar at Durham University, Professor Jeremy Dibble (he of Stanford and Parry fame). There was an amusing series of jokes at his, and the carol's expense, which ended with Paul Merton claiming that he could be a distant cousin of Officer Dibble from Top Cat. How many other living Professors of Music have made it on to primetime TV.

 

Incidentally, the episode was hosted by Bill Bailey, and if you ever get chance to see Bill Bailey's Guild to the Orchestra, its very funny and cleverly put together.

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Our instrumental group, with which I am not associated, sang Come Thou Long Expected Jesus to the tune of Now the Carnival is Over in Advent. And really, I'm sorry I haven't a clue why. Any improvement on that?

 

P

 

The tune used for The Carnival is over is taken from a Russian folk song Stenka Razin; according to Wikipedia it is also used in a Dutch hymn Vol Vervachting Blijf Ik Uitzien.

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I've just been listening to Ban van Oosten's recording from Église Sainte-Madeleine* of Lefébure-Wély's music and found myself singing the words of "All Things Bright and Beautiful" to the theme of his Communion in F Major...

 

I know that a lot of people are sniffy about L-J-A L-W's music but I love it ;)

 

*Am I showing my almost childish love of 32' reeds or does this organ and its wonderful acoustic just cry out for another 12 pipes to be tacked onto the pedal Bombarde 16' woodwork?

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The tune used for The Carnival is over is taken from a Russian folk song Stenka Razin; according to Wikipedia it is also used in a Dutch hymn Vol Vervachting Blijf Ik Uitzien.

 

 

The tune was also used by the Moody and Sankey era. Much loved in Scotland? '

 

Brightly beams our Father’s mercy from His lighthouse evermore,

But to us He gives the keeping of the lights along the shore.

Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave!

For to us He gives the keeping of the lights along the shore.

[or Some poor struggling, sinking sailor you may rescue, you may save.]

 

Author P.Bliss (?)

 

Every Blessing

 

David Wallace

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The tune was also used by the Moody and Sankey era. Much loved in Scotland? '

 

Brightly beams our Father’s mercy from His lighthouse evermore,

But to us He gives the keeping of the lights along the shore.

Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave!

For to us He gives the keeping of the lights along the shore.

[or Some poor struggling, sinking sailor you may rescue, you may save.]

 

Author P.Bliss (?)

 

Every Blessing

 

David Wallace

 

Hi

 

Although there are some similarities, the two tunes aren't actually the same - even the first 3 notes vary between Sankey and "The Carnival is over"; about the only thing in common is the underlying rhythm.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Or 'O Jesus I have promised' to a modified version of 'Match of the Day'. After playing it at a wedding in which I was assured that the groom's family had specifically asked for it, and never being able to forget the combination of horrified and contemptuous expressions that met my introduction of the hymn, this remains the only time that I have issued an ultimatum to a member of the clergy. To his credit, he agreed with me.

... except that he was being disingenuous: you are not the only organist he has required to play this tune. The worst thing is, the church where I currently play is about to inherit this man. Of well, the job was fun while it lasted...

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*Am I showing my almost childish love of 32' reeds or does this organ and its wonderful acoustic just cry out for another 12 pipes to be tacked onto the pedal Bombarde 16' woodwork?

I am dead against the addition of a bottom octave (or upper octave) (anywhere). It is tantamount to adding an octave coupler I would suggest. Ranks need to have proper scaling and be properly designed into the interior and to be seen and heard as a complete entity of the initial scheme. 'Plopping on' on an electric action might be considered the downfall of many an organ in the past and bowing to the whim of an organist against the original intentions of the builder.

 

Can schoolboy dreams of such things actually manifest themselves as nightmares? Discuss.

 

 

Best wishes,

from Planet Dull.

 

Nigel

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At the closing service of a Brighton church we had a version of the Doxology sung to "Knees up, Mother Brown":

Glory to the Father, Glory to the Son,

Glory to the Holy Ghost, Glory to the Three in One;

As in the beginning, now and evermore,

Glory to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost Amen! Hey!

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Good grief.

 

Why do people do things like this? Is there any evidence of such gimmicks attracting anyone to church, or does it just bring religion into more disrepute than it naturally attracts anyway?

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Good grief.

 

Why do people do things like this? Is there any evidence of such gimmicks attracting anyone to church, or does it just bring religion into more disrepute than it naturally attracts anyway?

The Passion chorale used to be a secular love song sung quite fast in triple time.

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Yes, I'm aware of that and of other similar cases too, but in the Renaissance there wasn't the gulf between secular and sacred that there is today. Some Edwardian anthems are contrafacta of secular texts (presumably that way around). I wouldn't call your example particularly gimmicky. I can think of one that is, though: an anonymous Edwardian anthem that is a recomposition of William Cornysh's "Blow thy horn, hunter". But I would still maintain that just because something can be done, it doesn't mean it should be.

 

Along these lines, has anyone ever programmed a recital with Gastoldi's A lieta vita alongside the chorale In dir ist Freude and Bach's prelude on it? I have always fancied doing this as I think they would make an interesting trio of pieces, but I doubt I shall ever get around to it now.

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Yes, I'm aware of that and of other similar cases too, but in the Renaissance there wasn't the gulf between secular and sacred that there is today.

I can't tell if you think that's a good or a bad thing :rolleyes:

 

Maybe one of the motives behind the C16 Lutheran adoptions was the same as C20 C of E adoptions of popular themes; to bridge that gulf. And whist it may jar and turn some people away it may have some intellectual and/or theological honesty behind it.

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I can't tell if you think that's a good or a bad thing :rolleyes:

That's because I don't have a view. For any cross-over music, if the results edify worship it's a good thing; if they don't it's not. I, naturally, reserve the right to decide what I find edifying! :)

 

One cannot now know exactly how the 16th-century Lutheran perceived and received the difference between sacred and secular music, so there is no reason to suppose that the excuse that "they did it in the 16th century, so it must be OK in the 21st" is at all valid because we cannot be sure that we are comparing apples with apples. The gulf between serious and popular music today is much, much greater than in the 16th century. I assume that being gimmicky in the ways described above is intended to demonstrate that God and religion are fun, but to me - and, I suspect, to outsiders - it just comes over as poking fun at God and/or entertaining the congregation. As far as I am concerned all music in church services should ideally illuminate some aspect of the spirituality of God - his holiness, his glory, or whatever. The modern trend for bringing him down among us might be more acceptable if it didn't result in him being completely anonymous and indistinguishable from anyone else in the crowd. For God's sake, if he exists, he's surely someone special, isn't he? I do not see how the trivial and banal can ever illuminate God.

 

Talking of which, I had the unedifying experience last Sunday of listening to our Sunday School singing, "Our guard is a great big guard." Life? Horse? Railway? No one seemed to know. But we all clapped dutifully of course. I couldn't help feeling, though, that it is in places such as this that the real undermining in taste is taking place. If I were still young, energetic and motivated (which I am not) I would be wading in there and seeing that at least a modicum of balance was being instilled.

 

Oh dear, time to put the hobby horse back in the stables.

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Talking of which, I had the unedifying experience last Sunday of listening to our Sunday School singing, "Our guard is a great big guard." Life? Horse? Railway?

Mud, fire or blag?

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At the closing service of a Brighton church we had a version of the Doxology sung to "Knees up, Mother Brown":

Glory to the Father, Glory to the Son,

Glory to the Holy Ghost, Glory to the Three in One;

As in the beginning, now and evermore,

Glory to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost Amen! Hey!

 

 

I've been prepared to play some pretty dreadful stuff on occasion. :rolleyes: I don't think I have ever actually refused to play anything but there have been times when I have come close to it and times when I felt that I have to make my feelings known and made mild, or even not so mild, protestations.

 

Some of the above are awful but I think that one just takes the biscuit!!

 

I don't want to say "I don't believe you" - because I do - but "I don't believe it!!!!!!!"

 

One wonders why the church was closing!

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Oh, and While Shepherds Watched to On Ilkley Moor...

 

Ah, now that one really doesn't count, as that actually exists, I have the Hyperion disc to prove it! We can't include items that have valid historical worth.

 

 

Indeed it does exist, and it confused the @#$% out of the poor congregation at this evening's Nine Lessons in Birmingham Cathedral. Took me a while to realise that the order of the lines went first, second, third, repeat third, fourth, repeat fourth. Moral of the story - if you're going to take something very familiar and add a twist, either warn people in advance or do it as choir only!

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Indeed it does exist, and it confused the @#$% out of the poor congregation at this evening's Nine Lessons in Birmingham Cathedral. Took me a while to realise that the order of the lines went first, second, third, repeat third, fourth, repeat fourth. Moral of the story - if you're going to take something very familiar and add a twist, either warn people in advance or do it as choir only!

 

Hi

 

There's some comment about While Shepherds to Cranbrook (the correct name of the Ilkley moor tune) in "The New Oxford Book of Carols". Cranbrook was written, unsurprisingly, in Kent, not Yorkshire - and for a different hymn! (Later appropriated for "Ilkley Moor"). There's no problem singing it in Yorkshire, the vast majority of the congregation know how it goes and just sing t!

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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There was a time when choristers, in their innocence, would change the odd word of Christmas Carols, but now it's become a matter of political correctness.

 

No longer will we be able to sing "Deck the halls" in the original version, because it is necessary to avoid offence by changing "Don we now our gay apparel" to "Don we now our bright apparel."

 

Ah! How I hanker for the days when we would sing, "Most highly flavoured gravy," during "The angel

 

Gabriel."

 

"While shepherds watched their turnip tops, a boiln' in the pot. The angel of the Lord came down, and scoffed the bloomin' lot!"

Changing words can become a dubious art for of course:-

 

 

The toilet door said Gentlemen

So I just walked inside

I took two steps and realized

I'd been taken for a ride

I heard high voices turned and found

The place was occupied

By two nuns, three old ladies, and a nurse

What could be worse?

Than two nuns, three old ladies and a nurse.

 

The toilet door said Gentlemen

It must have been a gag

As soon as I walked in there I ran into some old hag

She sprayed me with a can of mace

And snapped me with her bag.

I could tell this just wouldn't be my day

What can I say?

It just wasn't turning out to be my day.

 

 

The toilet door said Gentlemen

And I would like to find

The crummy little creep who had the nerve to switch the sign

Cause I've got two black eyes

And one high heel up my behind

Now I can't sit with comfort and joy

Boy, oh, boy.

 

It can also produce a Christmas Classic, which first saw the light of day on BBC radio:-

 

The Twelve Days of Christmas

December 25

My dearest darling Peter,

What a wonderful surprise has just greeted me! That sweet partridge, in that lovely little pear-tree; what an enchanting, romantic, poetic present! Bless you, and thank you.

Your deeply loving,

Tracey

December 26

Beloved Peter,

The two turtle-doves arrived this morning, and are cooing away in the pear-tree as I write. I'm so touched and grateful!

With undying love, as always,

Tracey

December 27

My darling Peter,

You do think of the most original presents! Who ever thought of sending anybody three French hens? Do they really come all the way from France? It's a pity we have no chicken coops, but I expect we'll find some. Anyway, thank-you so much; they're lovely.

Your devoted,

Tracey

December 28

Dearest Peter,

What a surprise! Four calling birds arrived this morning. They are very sweet, even if they do call rather loudly - they make telephoning almost impossible - but I expect they'll calm down when they get used to their new home. Anyway, I'm very grateful, of course I am.

Love from Tracey

December 29

Dearest,

The mailman has just delivered five most beautiful gold rings, one for each finger, and all fitting perfectly! A really lovely present! Lovelier, in a way, than birds, which do take rather a lot of looking after. The four that arrived yesterday are still making a terrible row, and I'm afraid none of us got much sleep last night. Mother says she wants to use the rings to "wring" their necks. Mother has such a sense of humour. This time she's only joking, I think, but I do know what she means. Still, I love the rings.

Bless you,

Tracey

December 30

Dear Peter ,

Whatever I expected to find when I opened the front door this morning, it certainly wasn't six socking great geese laying eggs all over the porch. Frankly, I rather hoped that you had stopped sending me birds. We have no room for them, and they've already ruined the croquet lawn. I know you meant well, but let's call a halt, shall we?

Love,

Tracey

December 31

Peter,

I thought I said NO MORE BIRDS. This morning I woke up to find no more than seven swans, all trying to get into our tiny goldfish pond. I'd rather not think what's happened to the goldfish. The whole house seems to be full of birds, to say nothing of what they leave behind them, so please, please, stop!

Your Tracey

January 1

Frankly, I prefer the birds. What am I to do with eight milkmaids? And their cows! Is this some kind of a joke? If so, I'm afraid I don't find it very amusing.

Tracey

January 2

Look here, Peter,

This has gone far enough. You say you're sending me nine ladies dancing. All I can say is, judging from the way they dance, they're certainly not ladies. The village just isn't accustomed to seeing a regiment of shameless viragos, with nothing on but their lipstick, cavorting round the green, and it's mother and I who get the blame. If you value our friendship, which I do (less and less), kindly stop this ridiculous behaviour at once!

Tracey

January 3

As I write this letter, 10 disgusting old men are prancing up and down all over what used to be the garden, before the geese and the swans and the cows got at it. And several of them, I have just noticed, are being a nuisance with the milkmaids. Meanwhile the neighbours are trying to have us evicted. I shall never speak to you again.

Tracey

January 4

This is the last straw! You know I detest bagpipes! The place has now become something between a menagerie and a madhouse, and a man from the council has just declared it unfit for habitation. At least Mother has been spared this last outrage; they took her away yesterday afternoon in an ambulance to a home for the bewildered. I hope you're satisfied.

January 5

Sir,

Our client, Miss Tracey Hoyle , instructs me to inform you that with the arrival on her premises at 7:30 this morning of the entire percussion section of the London Symphony Orchestra, and several of their friends, she has no course left open to her but to seek an injunction to prevent you importuning her further. I am making arrangements for the return of much assorted livestock.

Yours fiathfully,

Sue, Grabbit & Run- Solicitor

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

Still, who needs words, when they're sung like this?

 

Happy Christmas

MM

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