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Hymn Tempo


Guest delvin146
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Ah, a man after my own heart! Not only do I take it in crotchets, I also play it with four-square Victorian homophony. It's a sort of protest, you understand.  ;)

 

I'm not antipathetic to "Praise Songs" or anything in The Source, Junior Praise etc. per se although some of the material is very weak, musically and lyrically. What really annoys me are the vacuous expression and tempo markings. There's one marked "hymn-like"; do they mean dirge-like? And there seems to be little awareness of the difference between 4/4 and ¢. For me coming to much of this material for the first time it can be disarming to be told after a service: "It doesn't go like that."

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Guest delvin146
I'm not antipathetic to "Praise Songs" or anything in The Source, Junior Praise etc. per se although some of the material is very weak, musically and lyrically. What really annoys me are the vacuous expression and tempo markings. There's one marked "hymn-like"; do they mean dirge-like? And there seems to be little awareness of the difference between 4/4 and ¢. For me coming to much of this material for the first time it can be disarming to be told after a service: "It doesn't go like that."

 

I think your quote, "it doesn't go like that", is really quite significant. Quite often I find the player has to make "improvements" either in terms of reharmonisation, or rhythm and tempo in order to make many sound even half decent. I have always said that a typical chorus would struggle to gain a decent grade of part of a composition at GCSE. I find the best policy is to play them as slowly and quietly as possible. "Shine Jesus Shine", on dulcianas and swell strings gives it a whole new dimension.

 

Personally, I've given up on reharmonisations. Of course I wanted NEH to replace MP, but they opted for Old and >>> instead. In all honesty the harmonies for the nasties in MP were preferable to the ones in the latter book, but I won't use the MP book anymore. They made their bed..... etc etc

 

"Make me a chaannel of your peas

Where there is Kendrickkk, let me bbring your larve

Where there's worshipp groupp, your pardon Lordd

Where there's Miiission Prrraise, true feth in Yoo!"

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To save everyone the trouble, I had a quick listen. I like to be open minded, etc. But I really find that 3 note motif in "What can I do" over tonic, then sub mediant, subdominant repeated ad nausem as a chorus soporific, colourless and depressing.

 

The problem I find with these worship songs is that while they're ok for a single singer to sing as though it were top of the pops or eurovision song contest, a congregation is really lost unless they know the tunes very well. There are too many long drawn out notes, rests over several bars, entries anticipating the beat, syncopations, etc. Most people don't know what's coming next - is it time for another chorus, another verse or a few notes to finish off a chorus before singing another verser? While it's fine with competent musicians inbued in that style of music, most congregations in traditional anglican churches have real difficulty singing this stuff and get confused.

 

Even in modern evangelical churches, I've found that most people just stand there, trance like, with their hands in the air, with the band in the front, occasionally joining in with a chorus. It's just like a pop concert, really.

 

Possibly the thing to do in more traditional churches which have had a music group foistered upon them is to invite the congregation to sit and listen and let the music group get on with it - that's really what I think this sort of music is designed for.

 

But I don't think that this style of music really works with the style of liturgy and worship I'm used to in a church.

 

But if it works for modern evangelical churches, then I wish them very well and will let them get on with it, even if it's not my cup of tea.

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Most people don't know what's coming next - is it time for another chorus, another verse or a few notes to finish off a chorus before singing another verser? 

 

Even in modern evangelical churches, I've found that most people just stand there, trance like, with their hands in the air, with the band in the front, occasionally joining in with a chorus. It's just like a pop concert, really.

 

 

But isn’t the whole point of these songs (can you call them hymns?) that they’re more accessible to the masses and everyone can join in?

 

It seems like we’ve turned full circle. If I wanted to stand there swaying and clapping I’d have gone to a rock/pop concert.

 

:D

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Guest delvin146
But isn’t the whole point of these songs (can you call them hymns?) that they’re more accessible to the masses and everyone can join in?

 

It seems like we’ve turned full circle.  If I wanted to stand there swaying and clapping I’d have gone to a rock/pop concert.

 

:D

 

For my part, I think part of the problem is that this type of "music", was ALLOWED to happen. I can completely understand a need for fresh material. The quality of much of the music and lyrics really is exceptionally poor.

 

"Hymns for Today", back in the early 1980's incorporated a few nasties, like "God of timebomb, God of steel God of generals and divisionals....", but overall there was at least some fresh material and a few less familiar good tunes. From what I can see, some material from this collection of "Hundred hymns for today", and "More hymns for Today" combined with "The Supplement to the English Hymnal" became the basis for some material in our books today. I used the Herbert Howells - "O holy city seen of John" fairly recently, but I found this works better as a choir item than than a congregational hymn.

 

My point is, that there seems to have been a lack of quality congregational writing from the later half of 20thC onwards, and this might well be why this dreadful mission praise book got a grip, and in my view at least, hastened the rot within our English choral tradition, which was beginning to weaken by the early 1980s anyway.

 

I still feel today there is a need for more new quality congregational material so that we can show that traditional music does not have to be dull. John Barnard "Christ Triumphant" tune (Guiting Power), would never be a personal favourite, but to its credit, its effective, bold, and far more suitable than the other tune written to it and I don't mind using it.

 

It would be so nice to find a mainstream book or supplement today with some half-decent poetry and half-decent music in it which could be appealing fresh and exciting. It would have to be completely original material, and perhaps not a Mayhew publication! Unfortunatlely, I'm not able to supply one, but surely some of our cathedral organists and scholars could knock something together? Some new tunes in a traditional style (even perhaps incorporating some pop tunes subtly (dare I say)), if tastefully done could be just the ticket. RVW didn't mind using folk song melodies, perhaps we could try using some Diana Ross or Donna Summer, or Gloria Gaynor, but perhap's that's a little dated by modern standards. Something fresh but dignified perhaps? Something to knock that Ken.... twurp off his perch once and for all.

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It would be so nice to find a mainstream book or supplement today with some half-decent poetry and half-decent music in it which could be appealing fresh and exciting. It would have to be completely original material, and perhaps not a Mayhew publication!

It may not be to everyone's taste, but I'm a big fan of Common Ground, "a hymnbook for all the churches" - all the Scottish ones, that is. It's a bit world-churchy; edited by John Bell. It's not especially in the CofE congregational tradition as exemplified by A&M/EH etc.... but there's a whole bunch more inspiration in this one modest book than in the three massive volumes of Songs of Fellowship. And if you like folk tunes, it should be right up your street.

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Guest delvin146
It may not be to everyone's taste, but I'm a big fan of Common Ground, "a hymnbook for all the churches" - all the Scottish ones, that is. It's a bit world-churchy; edited by John Bell. It's not especially in the CofE congregational tradition as exemplified by A&M/EH etc.... but there's a whole bunch more inspiration in this one modest book than in the three massive volumes of Songs of Fellowship. And if you like folk tunes, it should be right up your street.

 

Many thanks for that. I'll look out for it. Always good to hear of something fresh.

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