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Pierre Lauwers

Which British Organ For Europe?

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Guest Lee Blick
It was "ordinary people" who created the Brass Band movement as a response to those who considered them rough and incapable of the finer things if life. It would do these idiots good to listen to "Black Dyke Band," and especially the solo playing of someone like the organ-builder John Clough, who in his spare-time, happened to be one of the world's finest euphonium players.

 

B)B);)

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Utterly off-topic, but I make no apology.

 

Just go to the following and scroll down to "Journey to the centre of the Earth", download the music, sit back and gasp at the virtuosity.

 

http://www.gramercymusic.com/conc.htm

 

Then go back to your consoles and practise for a year or two!!

 

B)

 

MM

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Responding first to the assertion made here that with regards to repertoire, the future is Czech and no music of note by British composers is worth bothering with. I think this is a little narrow minded and probably a case of thinking the grass is always greener elsewhere. Just as with British music, there is probably some very good Czech organ music but also some very bad stuff as well. Rather then define music by country, i.e. British bad, Czech good, let's sort it by good and bad music.

 

Going back to Pierre's question about the lack of British built organs on mainland Europe, look at it from their point of view. Surely, to them it must seem as if the British don't have any confidence in their own native organ-builders. Look at where the contracts for many of our most prestigious organs have been awarded to:

 

Tonbridge School (Marcussen)

Symphony Hall, Birmingham (Klais)

Bridgewater Hall, Manchester (Marcussen)

Haileybury College (Klais)

Oundle School (Frobenius)

St Marylebone Parish Church (Rieger)

Kingston Parish Church (Frobenius)

St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh (Rieger)

St Lawrence Jewry, London (Klais)

Royal College of Organists (Goll)

 

Mainland Europe must think we know something about our organ-builders that they don't, such is the paucity of any contracts for major new builds going to Manders, Harrison, Walkers, Nicholson, Tickell. Fortunately, they have managed to keep their heads above water with signifcant refurbishment projects and new builds for North America.

 

There is of course another aspect to consider. The most popular repertoire for organists today is the music of J S Bach and the French Romantic School, neither of which, if we are honest, are really suited to the traditional British organ whose primary purpose is the accompaniment of the Anglican choral tradition. The two are generally incompatible. You only have to look at the Royal Academy of Music in London to understand this. First came the 4M Rieger across the Marylebone Road in St Marylebone Parish Church in 1997 and then six years later in 1993 the installation of the 2M Van den Heuvel in the RAM's Duke's Hall. These instruments cover both bases listed above admirably, as of course do the other instruments listed above. A co-incidence? I think not.

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Well said!

 

Our feeling on the continent is the british want to throw their traditions

in the binn as "insular".

 

The ancient english organ music? Underrated as "minor"

The british baroque organ? "Not suited for Bach with no pedals", "Music box"...

The romantic ? Not worth Mendelssohn

The organs? Bad, "muddy" etc...

 

Understatment is a virtue, but sometimes it may be overdone!

 

I personally agree the british romantic organ is not ideal for the french

romantic repertoire, tough Vierne and Dupré liked it very much.

But Liszt, Reger, Karg-Elert go very well, not to forget the belgian

Joseph Jongen, while Mendelssohn I never heard as well suited to any organ

as Armley's. Rheinberger too goes very well there (a CD exists).

Of course Armley's is a german organ, but it was seminal to a whole romantic

tradition in Britain with as significant a name as Lewis.

 

And this is the key: the british romantic organ isn't a simple style like in France where Cavaillé-Coll reigned supreme (not in Alsace, tough!), there obtained several distinct styles.

A Hill isn't a Willis isn't a Lewis....Later, Thynne, Hope-Jones and Arthur Harrison, tough linked togheter by many aspects, did very differing things.

And with so much treasures, no good music could be done? Sorry, in that we do not believe!

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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Why shouldn't clergy be allowed to write hymns?  Surely if the Spirit shold lead them to do so, what is the problem if their musical style is perhaps simplistic?

 

Thankfully we do not live in restricted times.  If people want to make music, they are free to do so.  Whether it is good music  is all down to musical opinion.

Sorry: another rant coming.

It's only down to "musical opinion" if you take the view that it's a valid opinion that self-expression is all and any assessment of standards is a mere value judgement. The accepted values that traditionally schooled western composers are brought up on have evolved over many centuries and IMO it's a brave man who dismisses them as irrelevant. (I'm not saying Lee does, but some do.)

 

To paint the broad-brush picture, the main problem today is that Britain is a nation of philistines who have little or no interest in high art and who consequently expect nothing more from music than an instant "quick fix". I could draw a sexual parallel, but I won't defile this forum with it.

 

So the concept of what constitutes good music has been dumbed down. Look at the way it's taught in state schools now. It's been brought down to the level that art had been when I was a kid (where it was all about self-expression; we were taught nothing about its history, the artists or the various styles and so on; we just painted). The need to provide a common curriculum for all abilities has brought music to the same state - the lowest common denominator. I don't see why it needed to do so, but it has.

 

So your average worship song is musically cr@p because basic enjoyment is sufficient and the heightened appreciation that comes from traditional musical training is not deemed relevant.

 

The other factor in the equation is that the anglican church today is on a mission to make God relevant to today's society - to bring him down to our level instead of to raise us to his. I make no judgement about whether this is right or wrong; I merely note the trend. But I do consider that music is the loser. The best church music was written by people who were reaching for the highest ideals.

 

This isn't a rant against popular music per se, it's about quality. John Rutter writes in a popular style and does so very deftly. I don't necessarily like his music (I sometimes find it too sentimental), but I admire it immensely.

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Responding first to the assertion made here that with regards to repertoire, the future is Czech and no music of note by British composers is worth bothering with. I think this is a little narrow minded ...........(snip)

 

There is of course another aspect to consider. The most popular repertoire for organists today is the music of J S Bach and the French Romantic School

 

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

 

 

Please don't misquote me!

 

I "think" I stated that 20,000 musical compositions had been composed in the Czech lands; amongst which was SOME good music. I went on to state that, among the good music were to be found some fine organ compositions. At least they can claim Petr Eben as their own!

 

I suspect that in the Czech Republic, they still have an education system which values the arts, and funding which allows it. The standard of singing from the children's choirs, boy's choirs such as Boni Pueri and Boni Fantast, the Brno Uni Choir (etc etc) is outstanding, and even under the commi regime, music was a very respected career and pastime.

 

Concerning repertoire, who says that Bach and French Romantic music are the mainstay?

 

I've probably heard more English music in Holland than in England, and more French music in England than anywhere else. In Germany, Holland and elsewhere, French music does not enjoy such prominence, and if the truth be known, Reger is the romantic choice in the Germanic countries. Only in Hungary is French music played with some authority, because they have a tradition of building French-style instruments, thanks to the Josef Angster legacy and his work with Cavaille-Coll.

 

Jeremy needs to get out and travel to Europe, where he is more likely to hear Schroeder or Hindemith than Vierne or Bairstow.

 

I just came up with an interesting thought.....Holland, during the summer, has more organ concerts per hectacre than anywhere else in the world....possibly between 5 and 10 per day....you can recital hop, as I have done. Their main musical diet is Bach and Reger, but I've heard some very obscure music there. I think Holland is the only place I've heard all of Hindemith's organ output.

 

The grass isn't greener....they just look after it better.

 

MM

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I personally agree the british romantic organ is not ideal for the french

romantic repertoire, tough Vierne and Dupré liked it very much.

But Liszt, Reger, Karg-Elert go very well, not to forget the belgian

Joseph Jongen, while Mendelssohn I never heard as well suited to any organ

as Armley's. Rheinberger too goes very well there (a CD exists).

 

I believe, however, that "the traditional British organ" (although an instrument like St. Ignatius certainly isn't one of those) does a better job of French organ music than a German romantic organ does, and a better job of German romantic organ music than a French organ does.....

 

It comes down to the question of whether "specialised" or "versatile" is more important to the commissioner of a project. But in practice, no-one commissioning a large new instrument can really afford an organ that only does one thing well or at all. This raises several other issues which I now have neither the time nor the energy to raise. No doubt others will do it for me.

 

Incidentally, David Titterington told me that the Duke's Hall organ was not actually very useful for French symphonic music, since it only has two manuals. He also told me that it malfunctions regularly...... I personally believe that you English underrate your best builders tragically. The German shop is more or less closed; the Bund deutscher Orgelbauer is very powerful. Other mainland European builders have a slight chance, but only a slight one; as far as I know, there is one vd Heuvel organ in Germany and a couple by Verschueren; there are a few instruments by firms like Haerpfer and notably Kern (Frauenkirche Dresden, to take the most obvious example) from France, and quite a lot by Swiss firms. Patrice Collon has done a few organs. There is as far as I know only one English organ actually built for a church in Germany (Collins in Bayreuth). Relocated instruments don't count.....

 

I wish the St. Ignatius organ were in this country. Actually, I wish it were mine.

 

The only really important "import" from outside mainland Europe is the Fisk in Lausanne. Not EU, of course. And definitely not a specialised instrument!

 

Cheers

B

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First came the 4M Rieger across the Marylebone Road in St Marylebone Parish Church in 1997 and then six years later in 1993 the installation of the 2M Van den Heuvel in the RAM's Duke's Hall. These instruments cover both bases listed above admirably, as of course do the other instruments listed above. A co-incidence? I think not.

 

And I live in Rieger-land, where they have half a monopoly on big organs (Klais has the other half)....and I have never encountered a Rieger that was REALLY good for Bach! Especially one of 4 manuals, which is trying to be an eclectic instrument, otherwise what would you really need the fourth one for?

 

No, Bach organs are by other builders, sorry!

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Holland, during the summer, has more organ concerts per hectacre than anywhere else in the world....possibly between 5 and 10 per day....you can recital hop, as I have done.

 

The grass isn't greener....they just look after it better.

Up until recently, state funding of the arts in Europe has been generous, but times are changing. If they want the same high standards of arts provision to continue, alternative sources of funding are going to have to be found. In this, of course, the UK is 20-30 years ahead of the game.

 

I do agree that we should have more organ festivals here in the UK. There is Oundle and St Albans, of course, but these are small beer compared to what they do on the continent. What we really need is week-long annual organ festivals in major centres that attract the finest players in the world. In the UK, probably only Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and London have enough quality instruments in a confined area to mount such events.

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Sorry: another rant coming.

It's only down to "musical opinion" if you take the view that it's a valid opinion that self-expression is all and any assessment of standards is a mere value judgement. The accepted values that traditionally schooled western composers are brought up on have evolved over many centuries and IMO it's a brave man who dismisses them as irrelevant. (I'm not saying Lee does, but some do.)

 

To paint the broad-brush picture, the main problem today is that Britain is a nation of philistines who have little or no interest in high art and who consequently expect nothing more from music than an instant "quick fix". I could draw a sexual parallel, but I won't defile this forum with it.

 

So the concept of what constitutes good music has been dumbed down. Look at the way it's taught in state schools now. It's been brought down to the level that art had been when I was a kid (where it was all about self-expression; we were taught nothing about its history, the artists or the various styles and so on; we just painted). The need to provide a common curriculum for all abilities has brought music to the same state - the lowest common denominator. I don't see why it needed to do so, but it has.

 

So your average worship song is musically cr@p because basic enjoyment is sufficient and the heightened appreciation that comes from traditional musical training is not deemed relevant.

 

The other factor in the equation is that the anglican church today is on a mission to make God relevant to today's society - to bring him down to our level instead of to raise us to his. I make no judgement about whether this is right or wrong; I merely note the trend. But I do consider that music is the loser. The best church music was written by people who were reaching for the highest ideals.

 

This isn't a rant against popular music per se, it's about quality. John Rutter writes in a popular style and does so very deftly. I don't necessarily like his music (I sometimes find it too sentimental), but I admire it immensely.

 

 

I wholehearted agree with most of this,(although I do not claim to understand what is meant in the second sentence in paragraph 2 and I probably would assess John Rutter slightly differently, though no less favourably).

 

There is no doubt that a chasm divides the age groups in their approach to, and understanding of the function of, objective standards. Most people of my generation (DOB 1948) take the existence of these as axiomatic. Many younger people do not and adopt the relativist position that personal preference/belief is the only significant guideline. This is not because they are inherently more stupid than previous generations but because they have been the victims of a monstrous travesty of an educational system which has produce the most schooled generation with the most bits of paper who simultaneously manage to be the most ill-educated for 100 years. I know whereof I speak having spent the last 30 years of my life trying to educate university students ; indeed not just university students but law students almost exclusively drawn from the cream of the A level crop, many with straight A's. Despite this a considerable number were incapable of writing a letter as accurately and fluently, and in as neat a hand, as my father , or for that matter my father-in-law, both of whom left school at 14 ! Yet these students were people who aspired to a career whose stock in trade is the precise and accurate use of language to convey a meaning which is not capable of being understood in more than one way ! It is not simply a question of their not knowing that "disinterested" and "uninterested" do not mean the same thing, but of not grasping that there was any use to them in appreciating this distinction , or of manifesting any desire to acquire a further item of knowledge !

 

The same malaise seems to apply across the board so it is hardly surprising if it has affected standards in music as well.

 

One particular manifestation of this general trend which is slightly relevant to this thread is the apparent conviction that "progress" (= forward movement) and "improvement" are synonymous. Therefore, all new fashions in liturgy, music and worship must represent a qualitative advance on what went before, and that those who dispute this are either too blind to see or too stupid to understand. That this equation is not simply nonsense but as Bentham would have said nonsense on stilts can be demonstrated, I feel , by drawing attention to two matters of fact which certainly existed before the 1939-45 war and do not, I believe, exist now -

 

1/ Ernest Lough was one of three boys in The Temple Choir in 1927 who might have been called on to perform but was selected by GTB as being in the best voice that day. How many of the choirmasters on this site can honestly lay claim to have three solo voices of that calibre available. (And since I do know about the earlier onset of puberty, dietary changes and other explanations which apply to boys, I will allow three soloists of either gender and any pitch range !)

 

2/ According to the late Gordon Reynolds (who was at one time a member) the choir in the Holy Trinity Hull where Paul is now had 60 boys (including probationers, of course) on its roll. Again, how many can say that ?

 

Two final points, very briefly.

(1) Anyone, clergy or laity, is entitled to turn their hand to writing hyms and/or hymn tunes either for pleasure or as a devotional duty. What they are not entitled to do is to foist the products of their labours on those of us who have different tastes to the exclusion of the things that we prefer. If they have a right to do their thing, we must have an equal right to do ours !

 

(2) The principal objective of liturgical music is not to be entertaining ! It may well be of course, and if it is so much the better perhaps, provided that this does not detract from what is its principal purpose.

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Guest Lee Blick
So your average worship song is musically cr@p because basic enjoyment is sufficient and the heightened appreciation that comes from traditional musical training is not deemed relevant.

 

I would not necessarily say 'crap'. There are some good ones around. And what is wrong with music to be enjoyed on a basic level? Why does music have to aspire to the highest ideals? Does the fruits of personal expression not count for anything? Do we always have to adhere to musical convention?

 

If traditional choral music is so amazing (which I think it is) then why is there not a greater effort to maintain it. All I see are fewer and fewer organists and church musicians, fewer singers willing to sing in churches. It is all very well complaining about dumbing down, but there is not enough being done to stem this flow away from traditional forms. You can't really blame people for developing alternative forms of music in our worship if the traditional forms are not being retained.

 

Saying that we should aspire to the highest ideals, it is admirable for those who do, but there are many people who are unable to. They should not be looked down upon or be made to feel inadequate as often happens by those 'loftier' than them. There is space within the Christian churches to express their faith through music, no matter how basic or 'untrained' and we should appreciate their efforts too as much as the cathedral organist or the choral composer.

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Saying that we should aspire to the highest ideals, it is admirable for those who do, but there are many people who are unable to.  They should not be looked down upon or be made to feel inadequate as often happens by those 'loftier' than them.  There is space within the Christian churches to express their faith through music, no matter how basic or 'untrained' and we should appreciate their efforts too as much as the cathedral organist or the choral composer.

 

I recently read a sentence (in German) which seemed adequately to sum up this issue; a near enough translation would read

 

""Well-meant" is not satisfactory as a qualitative assessment".

 

B

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Guest Lee Blick
""Well-meant" is not satisfactory as a qualitative assessment".

 

Yes, but if you only see music in worship as a qualitive assessment. For me there are other important factors for good music making.

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Here is a proposal for an english-style organ by one of the organistes suppléants at St-Sernin, Toulouse:

 

Pedal

Double Open Bass 32

Open Bass 16

Open Diapason 16

Bourdon 16

Dulciana 16 (Choir)

Violon 16 (Solo)

Principal 8

Stopped Flute 8

Fifteenth 4

Open Flute 4

Mixture IV

Bombarde 32

Trombone 16

Ophicleide 16

Clarion 8

Schalmei 4

 

Choir

Contra Dulciana 16

Open Diapason 8

Stopped Flute 8

Gedackt Celestes 8

Dulciana 8

Lieblich Flute 4

Gemshorn 4

Nazard 2 2/3

Spitz Flute 2

Tierce 1 3/5

Seventh 1 1/7

Mixture III

Trumpet 8

Clarinet 8

 

Great

Double Open Diap. 16

Open Diapason I 8

Open Diapason II 8

Open Diapason III 8

Clarabella 8

Octave 4

Principal 4

Wald Flute 4

Octave Quint 22/3

Super Octave 2

First Mixture IV

Second Mixture III

Double Trumpet 16

Trumpet 8

Clarion 4

 

Swell

Bourdon 16

Open Diapason 8

Stopped Diapason 8

Salicional 8

Vox angelica 8

Octave Geigen 4

Suabe Flute 4

Twelfth 2 2/3

Fifteenth 2

Sifflote 1

Mixture IV

Sesquialtera II

Contra Fagott 16

Cornopean 8

Oboe 8

Vox Humana 8

Clarion 4

 

Solo

ViolonBass 16

Harmonic Flute 8

Violoncello 8

Cello Celestes 8

Concert Flute 4

Octave Gamba 4

Hohl Flute 2

String Mixture III

Cor Anglais 16

Orchestral Oboe 8

Corno di Bassetto 8

Orchestral Trumpet 8

French Horn 8

hors boîte : (outside the swellbox)

Tuba Magna 8

 

 

Pierre

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The sad thing is, some popular music is REALLY well written, often by absolute professionals who shadow-write and compose classical music or arrange music professionally for bands and orchestras.

 

My pet rant is about what clergymen think is best for "ordinary people."

 

It was "ordinary people" who created the Brass Band movement as a response to those who considered them rough and incapable of the finer things if life. It would do these idiots good to listen to "Black Dyke Band," and especially the solo playing of someone like the organ-builder John Clough, who in his spare-time, happened to be one of the world's finest euphonium  players.

 

I think it was Andrew Previn who said, "I wish I had brass players like this in the LSO!"

 

My uncle was a hill-farmer with a milk-round. He sang Messiah as a bass soloist, was entirely self-taught and shared the concert platform with Isobelle Bailey and Kethleen Ferrier.....he was always a milk-man though!!

 

I have an idea for a new chorus-song, which starts, "Let's praise God where the son don't shine!"

 

I expect to make millions!!

 

MM

 

Totally agree with Musing Muso here. I think exactly the same is true with children and music for children in church.

 

I really cannot stand those people that try to use what they think is the taste and sensitivities of children (and "young people") to try and lever the music and liturgy of a church.

 

They frequently don't accept that children are quite capable of understanding and enjoying "adult" music far earlier than they expect - and very quickly filter out those banal "children's songs". They can have very sophisticated tastes at remarkably early ages and they never cease to amaze me what they are capable of.

 

And all at the expense of those people who have choosen to go to that church because they like the music, liturgy and ethos of the place as it is.

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Here is a proposal for an english-style organ by one of the organistes suppléants at St-Sernin, Toulouse:

 

Pedal

Double Open Bass 32

Open Bass 16

Open Diapason 16

Bourdon 16

Dulciana 16 (Choir)

Violon 16 (Solo)

Principal 8

Stopped Flute 8

Fifteenth 4

Open Flute 4

Mixture IV

Bombarde 32

Trombone 16

Ophicleide 16

Clarion 8

Schalmei 4

 

Choir

Contra Dulciana 16

Open Diapason 8

Stopped Flute 8

Gedackt Celestes 8

Dulciana 8

Lieblich Flute 4

Gemshorn 4

Nazard 2 2/3

Spitz Flute 2

Tierce 1 3/5

Seventh 1 1/7

Mixture III

Trumpet 8

Clarinet 8

 

Great

Double Open Diap. 16

Open Diapason I 8

Open Diapason II 8

Open Diapason III 8

Clarabella 8

Octave 4

Principal 4

Wald Flute 4

Octave Quint 22/3

Super Octave 2

First Mixture IV

Second Mixture III

Double Trumpet 16

Trumpet 8

Clarion 4

 

Swell

Bourdon 16

Open Diapason 8

Stopped Diapason 8

Salicional 8

Vox angelica 8

Octave Geigen 4

Suabe Flute 4

Twelfth 2 2/3

Fifteenth 2

Sifflote 1

Mixture IV

Sesquialtera II

Contra Fagott 16

Cornopean 8

Oboe 8

Vox Humana 8

Clarion 4

 

Solo

ViolonBass 16

Harmonic Flute 8

Violoncello 8

Cello Celestes 8

Concert Flute 4

Octave Gamba 4

Hohl Flute 2

String Mixture III

Cor Anglais 16

Orchestral Oboe 8

Corno di Bassetto 8

Orchestral Trumpet 8

French Horn 8

hors boîte : (outside the swellbox)

Tuba Magna 8

Pierre

 

 

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

 

I could probably live with this, but there are certain excesses which serve little musical purpose.

 

Why an Ophicleide AND a Trombone on the Pedal?

 

Give me one of those big, storming Hill Trombones anyday. Even Fr.Willis Ophicleides were woolly-monsters of no great musical merit.

 

Swell....well, Cornopeans have a place in certain theatre organs, but they don't blend very well with anything. Better with a straightforward English Trumpet.

 

Choir...I have yet to find a musical use for Dulcianas of any type, save for accompanying the Swell Oboe or giving the note for the responses. Far better to have a different 8ft flute such as a Spitzflute, with a dedicated Spitzflute Celeste.

 

Great....If you're going to have 3 open metal stops, than a far better selection would be Open Diapason, Gemshorn and Gamba as at Liverpool Metropolitan. That way, the 16ft could be a Contra Gamba, so favoured by Willis and Harrison.

 

The Solo is a wasteful travesty, with far too many string stops and flutes. As for a 16ft Cor Anglais, what use are they? Arthur Harrison organs abound with them, and they didn't serve a useful purpose then. As for a French Horn, weren't these a Skinner idea? Again, more a theatre organ register than a serious one for classical music.

 

What is it about Tuba Magnas?

 

Most are just overblown, unblending party-horns. Fr.Willis had the right idea....big trumpets in effect, which everyone ruined at later re-builds as at St.George's Hall, Liverpool. Why not big Trumpets like H,N & B installed; courtesy of the Rundle voicing dynasty?

 

The only thing missing is a 16 rk Eclat....I'd love to know what one sounds like!!

 

MM

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Yes, but if you only see music in worship as a qualitive assessment.  For me there are other important factors for good music making.

 

I think I understand what you mean, however, "good" is undoubtedly a word which implies a qualitative assessment along with its comparative form, "better" and its superlative form "best" !! Good is bottom of this heap.

 

I think this discussion is in danger of confusing two things which are better kept apart

 

(1) The sincerity of a personal expression of religious devotion, whether that expression is devised by onesself or someone else

(2) The quality of a work as a piece of music, or poetry or hymnody.

 

The first is undoubtedly subjective and depends entirely on the intentions, attitudes and motives of the person involved but the second is not: it is objective. There are established objective criteria (to be sure neither immutable nor infallible but certainly independent of the attitudes or opinions of any particular individual ). These criteria are concerned with the "outcome", not with the effort expended. It is perfectly possible to work extremely diligently and to the best of one's personal ability and achieve nothing of objective worth. This is a hard lesson and amply demonstrates that life is not always fair , but the widespread belief that it should be is coincident with the decline in religious observance. That life will be fair is not one of the promises that Christianity, at any rate, offers to its adherents to the best of my knowledge of it.

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Goodness me! Wouldn't life be boring if composers and song writers had to confrom to traditional harmonic and compositional techniques!

 

Remember, not everyone has access to such a form of education.  It seem a bit sad you are looking down on people who choose different forms of music making to you, Paul, those who look as music making as a form of entertainment rather than as an academic subject.

Why shouldn't clergy be allowed to write hymns?  Surely if the Spirit shold lead them to do so, what is the problem if their musical style is perhaps simplistic?

 

Thankfully we do not live in restricted times.  If people want to make music, they are free to do so.  Whether it is good music  is all down to musical opinion.  The Christian Church all over the world embraces a wealth of musical styles to glorify our Lord.  May that continue!  B)

 

Hi

 

I thoroughly agree! I've met Graham Kendrick, and several other composers of contemporay worship music, and I have a respect for them. The genre that they work in is foreign to many "traditional" organists - but it's music and words that speak to many Christians - and aid their worship in a way that, for them traditional church music fails to do.

 

CCM has been around long enough now that much of the dross is falling by the wayside - in the same way that traditional hymns of the past did when they either ceased to be relevant, or were naff to start with - and there's plenty of room for both - and for other musics in the worship of Almighty God.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Up until recently, state funding of the arts in Europe has been generous, but times are changing. If they want the same high standards of arts provision to continue, alternative sources of funding are going to have to be found. In this, of course, the UK is 20-30 years ahead of the game.

 

I do agree that we should have more organ festivals here in the UK. There is Oundle and St Albans, of course, but these are small beer compared to what they do on the continent. What we really need is week-long annual organ festivals in major centres that attract the finest players in the world. In the UK, probably only Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and London have enough quality instruments in a confined area to mount such events.

 

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Things are certainly changing in Europe, but I don't think we can generalise too much about the whole of it, due to the fact that the systems have been very different from East to West. I don't know how the set-up works frankly, but if anyone does, it would make interesting reading.

 

I once helped organise an organ-festival and it took 9 months of hard work; that could be a problem for many people.

 

Come, come Jeremy....you need to get on a train!

 

Have you never heard of Hull/Beverley, Manchester,Liverpool, Leeds and Birmingham?

 

All the ones you mention are poor-relations by way of comparison to those listed above. The best organs/venues are North of Watford Gap!

 

MM

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The other factor in the equation is that the anglican church today is on a mission to make God relevant to today's society - to bring him down to our level instead of to raise us to his. I make no judgement about whether this is right or wrong; I merely note the trend. But I do consider that music is the loser. The best church music was written by people who were reaching for the highest ideals.

 

 

Hi

 

The mission of the church (not just the Anglican church) since the day of Pentecost has been to make God relevant to the society of the day. That does NOT mean trying the bring Him down to our level and that is NOT what the church is doing, whatever you may perceive. The church's primary mission is to preach the good news of salvation, and since society is constantly changing, then tha way that we do that must also change.

 

Sorry if you don't like it - but that's how it is. Why do you think that less that 10% of the UK population are in church on an average Sunday? From my studies of church history, I find that a major factor was that the church tried to continue in the same old way, ignoring the issues - and the social changes - brought about by the 2 world wars.

 

The church has always changed. Do you seriously think it would still exist if we conducted services in Aramaic and used Ancient near-Eastern music? And forget about organs - the Hydraulus was used to accompany the glaitorial games when Christians were thrown to the lions - so it's certanily not a "holy" instrument in any sense.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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CCM has been around long enough now that much of the dross is falling by the wayside - in the same way that traditional hymns of the past did when they either ceased to be relevant, or were naff to start with - and there's plenty of room for both - and for other musics in the worship of Almighty God.

 

 

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

 

I'd rather listen to "The Scissors Sisters" or Dolly Parton frankly.

 

I fail to see what relevance repetitive worship songs have, when every other word is "Jesus" or the theology stoops to the anthropomorphism of "wiggly worms."

 

If people want to wave their arms about, let them play cricket or catch buses, I say.

 

B)

 

MM

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And forget about organs - the Hydraulus was used to accompany the glaitorial games when Christians were thrown to the lions - so it's certanily not a "holy" instrument in any sense.

 

 

 

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

 

 

Don't forget the orgies!

 

Why else did they invent velvet curtains around consoles?

 

B)

 

MM

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

 

I'd rather listen to "The Scissors Sisters" or Dolly Parton frankly.

 

I fail to see what relevance repetitive worship songs have, when every other word is "Jesus" or the theology stoops to the anthropomorphism of "wiggly worms."

 

If people want to wave their arms about, let them play cricket or catch buses, I say.

 

;)

 

MM

 

Hi

 

There's far more to contemprary Christian music than your rater simplistic and outdated comments - and the song about wiggly worms has been around for over 30 years to my knoweldge, so it's hardly "contemporary" any more, and certainly not modern!

 

Eevry Blessing

 

Tony

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Hi

 

The mission of the church (not just the Anglican church) since the day of Pentecost has been to make God relevant to the society of the day.

 

 

  That does NOT mean trying the bring Him down to our level and that is NOT what the church is doing, whatever you may perceive.

 

But if it walks like a duck,looks like a duck and  quacks like a duck surely we may be forgiven the mistake ?

 

The church's primary mission is to preach the good news of salvation, and since society is constantly changing, then tha way that we do that must also change.

 

Really . In the Anglican Church we use the words "As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be..."rather frequently. I cannot read into those the authorisation for constant modish change for no better reason perhaps, than people are too idle to learn what "thee" and "thou" mean . As I have said before today my father left school at 14 and he had no trouble, so why cannot the marvellous system we have today achieve at least that ?

 

Sorry if you don't like it - but that's how it is.  Why do you think that less that 10% of the UK population are in church on an average Sunday?

 

Basically people go to Church for one of three reasons: (1) religious conviction ;(2) habit ; (3) compulsion (legal, social or moral). No one on this site is old enough to remember when the law REQUIRED you to attend the ESTABLISHED Anglican church, but some are old enough to remember the social compulsion, which existed well into the 50's and caused those whose religious convictions were not of the strongest to turn out on Sunday. That has gone. Those who kept going out of habit are of the generation which is passing which leaves only the believers, presumably. Furthermore one reason for the absence of some from the [Anglican] pew is that they find it ever more difficult to find a church which offers at least ONE service using BCP 1662 and the Authorized Version, and do not see why they are required to address the Almighty in the language of the nursery as if He could not understand anything more complex. Deuteronomy 27, vs 17 may be in point here.

  From my studies of church history, I find that a major factor was that the church tried to continue in the same old way, ignoring the issues - and the social changes - brought about by the 2 world wars. 

Surely it is rather more complex than that, if only because in GB, and even more so here in Ulster, you cannot talk about THE church, only about a particular denomination since co-ordinated effort was hardly the priority then (or even now).

 

 

The church has always changed.  Do you seriously think it would still exist if we conducted services in Aramaic and used Ancient near-Eastern music?  And forget about organs - the Hydraulus was used to accompany the glaitorial games when Christians were thrown to the lions - so it's certanily not a "holy" instrument in any sense.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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I would not necessarily say 'crap'.  There are some good ones around.  And what is wrong with music to be enjoyed on a basic level?  Why does music have to aspire to the highest ideals?  Does the fruits of personal expression not count for anything?  Do we always have to adhere to musical convention?

 

If traditional choral music is so amazing (which I think it is) then why is there not a greater effort to maintain it.  All I see are fewer and fewer organists and church musicians, fewer singers willing to sing in churches.  It is all very well complaining about dumbing down, but there is not enough being done to stem this flow away from traditional forms.  You can't really blame people for developing alternative forms of music in our worship if the traditional forms are not being retained.

 

Saying that we should aspire to the highest ideals, it is admirable for those who do, but there are many people who are unable to.  They should not be looked down upon or be made to feel inadequate as often happens by those 'loftier' than them.  There is space within the Christian churches to express their faith through music, no matter how basic or 'untrained' and we should appreciate their efforts too as much as the cathedral organist or the choral composer.

Odd as it may seem, I don't seriously disagree with you. To my mind the problem lies with society's attitude to the high arts. Until there's a change in mind-set at this fundamental level, there is no hope of congregations appreciating how much more enriching art music can be (because it simply won't enrich them).

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