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Davidb

Things That Really Annoy You

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Just curious as to what other members of this board get annoyed about in the world of organ playing / choral music etc :

 

I'll kick off with

 

The lords my shepard i'll not want

he makes me down to lie *huge breath*

in pastures green he leadeth me etc

 

and

 

Vicars that have a need to interupt preludes with pointless announcments

 

Over to you guys.

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Just curious as to what other members of this board get annoyed about in the world of organ playing / choral music etc :

 

I'll kick off with

 

The lords my shepard i'll not want

he makes me down to lie *huge breath*

in pastures green he leadeth me etc

 

and

 

Vicars that have a need to interupt preludes with pointless announcments

 

Over to you guys.

 

Much the same as you really, but also clergy / service leaders who announce hymns when there is a pew leaflet and hymn boards - just not needed and it interrupts the flow of the service. Even more annoying is the vicar who doesnt know when to stop announcing the hymn; adding a bit more intro after you have started playing it over!

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Just curious as to what other members of this board get annoyed about in the world of organ playing / choral music etc :

.........Over to you guys.

 

Hymns where the entire theological message is contained within one (two if we’re lucky) lines, yet each verse is four (or more) lines long and there are at least four verses.

 

People who hold on for at least a minim when the last note is a crochet, but only for a minim when the last note is a dotted minim or longer.

 

:o

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Oh dear, we've got it in for the clergy haven't we. I particularly dislike the completely unnecessary announcement "Please stand for the entry of the bride" that so many of our clerical colleagues insist upon making. It shows a complete lack of feeling for the moment. My playing may not be wonderful, but I resent the implied suggestion that my Bridal March or Trumpet Voluntary are completely unrecognisable!

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There is this awful child, who sits near the organ console, and his name is 'Bwyan' because he recently lost a tooth playing football.

 

"Bwyan" sits between his mother and his grandmother, who are so wrapped up in their own devotions, they are unaware of the fact that they are in the company a devil-child.

 

"Bwyan" is a devil-child because he is so alert, and so capable of sinister, silent communication.

 

A single bum note, and there is "Bwyan".....mouth agape and shaking his head from side to side.

 

The priest chooses the same hymn two weeks in a row, and "Bwayn" rolls his eyes and then yawns when I play it over.

 

I make a mess of the timing of the mass, and there is a slight delay at the "Great Amen".....there is "Bwyan," slapping his own wrist.

 

We have a "pop" hymn, and not only do I get into "theatre groove," but our "Bwayn" is swinging his hips, holding an imaginery microphone and playing to the gallery we do not have.

 

We have the "Peace" and everyone politely shakes hands and mutters with dubious sincerity, "Peace be with you".....not our "Bwayn", who leaps out of the pew, runs to the organ-console, gives me a gap-toothed grin, winks, offers me a clenched fist and says, "All right mate?"

 

There are moments when I dare not look in "Bwayn's" direction, such as when the priest stumbled and couldn't get back up, or the time when the collection was hurled among the poor and needy of the parish by mistake.....it was bad enough just listening to his stifled sobs of laughter.

 

I play some spectacular voluntary or other, and feel very proud of the end result, only to turn sideways and find "Bwayn" sitting alone, cross-legged on a pew, wearing an impish grin with his fingers stuck in his ears!

 

He is my worst nightmare and my best critic and I hate him for it.

 

When I leave, I now make a point of saying, "Bye bye Bwayn," at which point, he gives me a sad look and points a finger at the gap in his teeth.....then sticks his tongue out and waves me off.

 

He annoys and torments me constantly, but Mass would be much, much poorer without him.

 

:o

 

MM

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Oh, my goodness. Where do I start?

 

Clergy who, after announcing the hymn number, have to read the first couple of lines - presumably in case the congregation are completely incapable of reading it for themselves.

 

Squalling babies. Especially in resonant acoustics, but in fact anywhere at all. I'm sorry: I know this is terribly unchristian of me, but I can't help it; they drive me to distraction. I hoped that having kids of my own would eventually cure me of my unreasonableness, but they didn't make it any more bearable.

 

"Come and behold him, [bREATH] Born the king of angels" instead of "Come and behold him Born, [breath] the king of angels". This is also totally unreasonable considering that the punctuation in the hymn books is exactly what people sing. However the original Latin, "Natum videte regem angelorum", translates as "Behold the King of Angels who is born", so it grates.

 

Oh yes: and that unwritten passing note in the same carol.

 

And while we're on the subject of Christmas, the customary rhythmical error in "Hark the herald angels".

 

The misattribution of the Tudor setting of Rejoice in the Lord alway to Redford. This is still lamentably commmon. The situation is hardly likely to improve either when you can still buy McKie's dreadful edition on the internet.

 

Similarly, the misattribution of Let thy merciful ears, O Lord to Weelkes and and O Lord, increase our faith to Gibbons.

 

I'd better stop there or I'll be here all night.

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Oh, my goodness. Where do I start?

 

Clergy who, after announcing the hymn number, have to read the first couple of lines - presumably in case the congregation are completely incapable of reading it for themselves.

 

This really annoys me. Not only are the hymn numbers printed on the order of service, they are also displayed on multiple hymn boards.

 

Then there is the is the question of consistency, sometimes it’s the hymn number followed by the first line, and sometimes any number of lines (whole verse), comments about the author (never composer – wonder why?) and then the number again.

 

These days if they pause for too long I just start playing.

 

Unwritten passing notes are another irritation.

 

I could go on and on and on.

 

Perhaps there is a TV series lurking here, “ Grumpy (Old) Organists”.

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Unwritten passing notes are another irritation.

 

I could go on and on and on.

 

Ah! Lucky for me, for whom ALL hymns are unannounced. This means I can be annoyed at a whole new level of pedantry.

 

Responses settings which go: "The Lord be with you" : "and with thy SPI rit". It's "and with THY spirit", surely?

 

Bad pointing - "world without / eeeeh-eeend / A- / mem" being one I absolutely DETEST. Why on earth not "world without / end. A / - / men"?

 

(And why, for that matter, not "Glory / be . to the / Father: AND to the Son, / AND to the / Holy / Spirit" - much finer than "Glorybetothefatherand / toooooo thuuuu / son" which is what the Parish Psalter pointing leads everyone to do in the end.)

 

Intractability. I like to arrange things that, when we are doing the Ferial responses, the first set are in the key of the psalm, the second set in the key of the anthem (or at least a close one). This seems to me to make sense - there are no great leaps, and it's effectively no more than chanting. I am constantly being berated that "the Ferial responses are to be sung in G major" which seems to completely miss the point. We take care to ensure the sung Amen and voluntary are in a key to suit the last hymn; why on earth do we want to finish responses in G major and go straight into a psalm in F# when you don't need to be particularly gifted, or even wide awake, to sing the responses down a bit?

 

I'd better not start on the thorny issue of reharmonised last verses (complete with unwritten passing notes) - I was brought up that the hymn book was a vocal score and variety in the texture of accompaniments at all times was to be welcomed, as long as the harmony fitted (fat?), and an appropriate and more interesting harmonisation for unison verses likewise. I get more boiling oil poured over me for this crime than any other.

 

Ah! Tubas... now then...

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Oh, my goodness. Where do I start?

 

Clergy who, after announcing the hymn number, have to read the first couple of lines - presumably in case the congregation are completely incapable of reading it for themselves.

 

Hi

 

There are times when we clergy want to emphasise a particular aspect of a hymn.! What's wrong with that?

 

I don't always announce hymns - although the church's tradition is to have everything announced - we are moving away from that - but there are still times when it's appropriate - and maybe more so when we don't have a service or or numbers on the boad because we're using the data projector.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Hi

 

There are times when we clergy want to emphasise a particular aspect of a hymn.! What's wrong with that?

 

I don't always announce hymns - although the church's tradition is to have everything announced - we are moving away from that - but there are still times when it's appropriate - and maybe more so when we don't have a service or or numbers on the boad because we're using the data projector.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

Only that it's what Bill Bryson calls the "London, England" syndrome - if you are confronted with a hymn, and sometimes you have part of it explained to you, then quickly you cease ever to look at it and think about it for yourself, on the basis that if the minister didn't think it worthy of comment it can't be any good (in Bryson's example it prevents newspaper-reading Americans from ever having to wonder just where the heck London is). It's human laziness. The same problem is engendered by piped music in public places - sensitivity and appreciation are dulled.

 

I am no expert but I personally find it can be far more effective when someone quotes a few lines or a whole verse during the intercessions, when there IS actually time for reflection and thought, and the ear is focussing on words, rather than when trying to find a page number (or look at a screen) and preparing to stand up, particularly when the ear is anticipating music and therefore listening in a quite different way.

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Responses settings which go: "The Lord be with you" : "and with thy SPI rit". It's "and with THY spirit", surely?

 

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

 

 

Mmmm!

 

I don't agree with the response as suggested, on the basis that it becomes indefinite.

 

"And with THY right-leg" seems to be passing the buck a little, and could be seen as a dereliction of spiritual duty.

 

Surely, it is a LEG which is an object of interest, rather than whether it is a right-leg or a left-leg; assuming that they are roughly similar. In fact, do not the psalms delight in any man's LEGS?

 

It is surely an important metaphysical/religious concept to assume that a SPIRIT is the essence of a recognised entity, and not just a component-part. I mean, you can lose a LEG and still have SPIRIT; or even lose two, like Douglas Bader. It isn't the end of a person's existence, is it?

 

On the other hand, if a man loses his SPIRIT, he loses the will to live and no more believes in HIMSELF, his fellow MAN or in GOD.

 

Prof Stephen Hawkins certainly has spirit, and consequently, in spite of the amount of electricty he has consumed, his references to global-warming carry a bit of clout.

 

These are important theological and spiritual concerns.

 

Now where did I put that matchbox with the pin and the angels inside it?

 

MM

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

Mmmm!

 

I don't agree with the response as suggested, on the basis that it becomes indefinite.

 

"And with THY right-leg" seems to be passing the buck a little, and could be seen as a dereliction of spiritual duty.

 

Surely, it is a LEG which is an object of interest, rather than whether it is a right-leg or a left-leg; assuming that they are roughly similar. In fact, do not the psalms delight in any man's LEGS?

 

It is surely an important metaphysical/religious concept to assume that a SPIRIT is the essence of a recognised entity, and not just a component-part. I mean, you can lose a LEG and still have SPIRIT; or even lose two, like Douglas Bader. It isn't the end of a person's existence, is it?

 

On the other hand, if a man loses his SPIRIT, he loses the will to live and no more believes in HIMSELF, his fellow MAN or in GOD.

 

Prof Stephen Hawkins certainly has spirit, and consequently, in spite of the amount of electricty he has consumed, his references to global-warming carry a bit of clout.

 

These are important theological and spiritual concerns.

 

Now where did I put that matchbox with the pin and the angels inside it?

 

MM

 

Well - just translate it into modern English. The Lord be with you - and also with you. YOU. Coming as it does just before "let us pray", this is an invocation to each other, not to God. If you balanced it by making it "the Lord be with your spirit - and also with THY spirit" it would make immediate sense.

 

About half the settings I can immediately think of go - 1 2 3 And / with (2) thy (4) / spirit. That makes sense to me. It's the ones that go 3 4 / 1 and with thy / Spiii (2) rit that make less sense - it almost seems derogatory to wish the Lord with someone's spirit but not with the rest of them, particularly when a good deal of Evensong seems to be about physical and mortal affairs (the lost sheep, lightening our darkness, defending from all perils and dangers) that it seems slightly odd to have a completely spiritual idea thrust into the fray.

 

Anyway. Why do I keep getting jabbing pains in the back of my neck?

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I am no expert but I personally find it can be far more effective when someone quotes a few lines or a whole verse during the intercessions, when there IS actually time for reflection and thought, and the ear is focussing on words, rather than when trying to find a page number (or look at a screen) and preparing to stand up, particularly when the ear is anticipating music and therefore listening in a quite different way.
Absolutely. At an Anglican Evensong the final prayers provide an opportunity to reflect on any part of the preceding service that merits further reflection, be it a hymn, the anthem, or anything else. By this sort of reflection I have sometimes been prompted to think more about the words of a hymn and even subsequently to look it up again. I would have thought that their structure of free church services would lend themselves even more to this sort of treatment.

 

I would not necessarily object to the minister drawing attention once in a while to the text of a hymn before singing when there is a particular point to be made. What I object to is those who do it as a matter of routine before every single hymn. If they are genuinely making a point why is it always the opening of the first verse they quote? I don't see what purpose this serves except to insult the congregation's intelligence.

 

But it often seems to be a matter of (mainly free church?) tradition and as such one does need to be sensitive to people's comfort zones. It is an important function of church services to feed that comfort (as well as providing stimulation, challenges, etc, etc) so, while it irritates the Hades out of me, I would never consider it my place to interfere with the practice. One has to give and take.

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Well - just translate it into modern English. The Lord be with you - and also with you. YOU.
Isn't it flawed to assume that a modern transliteration necessarily intends to retain the exact nuance of the original?

 

The BCP text is of course a translation of the medieval Latin Dominus vobiscum. Et cum spiritu tuo, which occurs all over the place in the old services. It is rather similar to those parallel statements so beloved of the psalmists, e.g. "An unwise man doth not well consider this : and a fool doth not understand it". Seen in this light, there is nothing illogical in stressing the word "spirit".

 

it almost seems derogatory to wish the Lord with someone's spirit but not with the rest of them
But isn't "spirit" synonymous with "soul" and thus the very being of the person?

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Guest Andrew Butler

The usual error in "Abbots Leigh"

 

People who sing the 3rd line of "Nicaea" exactly like the 1st.

 

If you know the hymn, people who think "In bread we bring you, Lord" (in RC hymnbooks) ends on the tonic.

 

People who have ample opportunity to speak to me about something vital for half an hour before a service, but wait until I've started the voluntary.

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Oh, my goodness. Where do I start?

 

There are too many things to list here.

 

In addition to my previous post, modern translations often annoy me. They ought to make things easier to understand but so often rob the passage of “soul”.

 

An example: -

 

"The snake tricked me,” she answered. “And I ate some of the fruit.”

And the woman said, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.”

 

I find the second version far better.

 

:o

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Isn't it flawed to assume that a modern transliteration necessarily intends to retain the exact nuance of the original?

 

The BCP text is of course a translation of the medieval Latin Dominus vobiscum. Et cum spiritu tuo, which occurs all over the place in the old services. It is rather similar to those parallel statements so beloved of the psalmists, e.g. "An unwise man doth not well consider this : and a fool doth not understand it". Seen in this light, there is nothing illogical in stressing the word "spirit".

 

But isn't "spirit" synonymous with "soul" and thus the very being of the person?

 

Spose! Poor argument on my part. Wasn't intending to transliterate anything, just provide a comparison.

 

To try another random example - "Peace be to your house" - to which the answer might be "and to to YOUR house." Other languages might say "and to the house of YOU." Or, "Thanks for your letter." "And thanks for YOUR letter!" Isn't it usual to make the person the subject of the conversation, and the subject (house/spirit/whatever) secondary? Relegating the poor old person to a second or fourth beat of a four-beat bar seems to diminish it somewhat.

 

OH! Thought of another one! "Mild he lays his glory by, Born that man no more may die; Booooooorn t'raise the sons of Earth..." AAAAAAGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! There IS NO DOT!!!!! (There IS no dot? there is NO dot!) I feel like having t-shirts printed or annotating every copy of the hymn book or something.

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And while we're on the subject of Christmas, the customary rhythmical error in "Hark the herald angels".

 

I am happy to announce that I have cured that one at the Minster - and for all of out carol service congregations, too. It has to be said that a quick jab at a certain general piston, and a slightly staccato LH and pedals (in octaves) - with the last line first chord held tenutissimo - helps enormously.

 

The usual error in "Abbots Leigh"

 

Indeed - now I cannot even cure that one by using my chamade.

 

Actually, I have managed to convince myself that Cyril Taylor wrote it deliberately like that, just to annoy organists. I suspect he was well aware of what was likely to happen to it in the hands of virtually any congregation.

 

(However, if he did not, it is in any case a bit of bad writing, with a couple of crossed parts - it would make more sense written the way it is generally sung.)

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I am happy to announce that I have cured that one at the Minster - and for all of out carol service congregations, too. It has to be said that a quick jab at a certain general piston, and a slightly staccato LH and pedals (in octaves) - with the last line first chord held tenutissimo - helps enormously.

Indeed - now I cannot even cure that one by using my chamade.

 

Actually, I have managed to convince myself that Cyril Taylor wrote it deliberately like that, just to annoy organists. I suspect he was well aware of what was likely to happen to it in the hands of virtually any congregation.

 

(However, if he did not, it is in any case a bit of bad writing, with a couple of crossed parts - it would make more sense written the way it is generally sung.)

 

I'm confused now - I can't think of any "usual" error in Abbot's Leigh...?

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I'm confused now - I can't think of any "usual" error in Abbot's Leigh...?

 

.......the tendency of most, if not all, congregations to replace the minim d natural in the penultimate bar with an f#.

 

Surely yours do it too?

 

:o

 

 

Graham

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I think Monsieur means the antipenultimate note. :o

 

Ah, I see...

 

Surely yours do it too?

 

Nope. Much too well trained!

 

The only thing I sometimes feel is happening is that the end of the penultimate line has its note values reversed - i.e. "Peace which like the Lord the giiiiii-ver" rather than "Lord the giv-errrrrr", so a detatched first note in that bar during certain verses has become de rigeur.

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Back to pet hates - Dear Lord & Father............a huge noise at 'wind & fire' then off the ppp range for the 'still small voice' - it always makes my toes curl at the naffness of it!

 

AJJ

 

PS It may be easier with general pistons and a Chamade but I still dislike it all the same!

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Back to pet hates - Dear Lord & Father............a huge noise at 'wind & fire' then off the ppp range for the 'still small voice' - it always makes my toes curl at the naffness of it!

 

AJJ

 

PS It may be easier with general pistons and a Chamade but I still dislike it all the same!

 

Oh, come come come! No no no! This is compulsory, especially with a big rit through wind and fire - THEN the piece de resistance - "Oh still small voice of calm...." and during the SECOND still small voice of calm, the opening line of the tune soloed out on oboe and tremulant at a distant octave with the box shut - the very still small voice of calm itself. You can add even more expression by performing an elaborate cellist's vibrato on the key and grinning to yourself, and possibly also by letting a tear drip down your cheek.

 

This is far from naff - it is in extremely good Victorian taste, as the long and profound silence which follows will conclusively prove!

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