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Davidb

Things That Really Annoy You

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I've been pressganged into buying tickets for the Vicar's Cheese and Wine party by some old codger (not the vicar!) whilst I was playing the communion hymn! His sales pitch started with "are you busy?"!

I'm afraid my reply would have been, "Do you have any respect for our Lord?" followed shortly by, "Well, show him some."

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I'm afraid my reply would have been, "Do you have any respect for our Lord?" followed shortly by, "Well, show him some."

 

Because of the participants still being alive, no names or location! A friend of mine was in the middle of giving a recital when the Vicar, who took no interest in the music side of the church and not a lot in any other side, had come into the vestry via the back door, and hearing the organ being played, wandered over to the console in the chancel, and said to the organist "B...., I need to talk to you about the last Hymn on Sunday morning". B.... simply said "Bugger off", the affronted cleric did just that and reported him to the Chairman of the PCC. The PCC were on B's side and the Chairman asked said Cleric if he had realised there was a recital being played - "What recital", was the reply. B.... was congratulated on his self control!

 

FF

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Because of the participants still being alive, no names or location! A friend of mine was in the middle of giving a recital when the Vicar, who took no interest in the music side of the church and not a lot in any other side, had come into the vestry via the back door, and hearing the organ being played, wandered over to the console in the chancel, and said to the organist "B...., I need to talk to you about the last Hymn on Sunday morning". B.... simply said "Bugger off", the affronted cleric did just that and reported him to the Chairman of the PCC. The PCC were on B's side and the Chairman asked said Cleric if he had realised there was a recital being played - "What recital", was the reply. B.... was congratulated on his self control!

 

FF

Frank - I would be interested to learn whether you can confirm (or deny) the story about a tuning visit to Bath Abbey (by HN&:huh: some years ago, which was interrupted by an important funeral; therefore, the tuners retired to the nether regions of the organ loft and began to play a game of cards.

 

Apparently, the problems began when one of the organ tuners noticed that one of his colleagues was palming cards. Entirely forgetting where he was - and the solemn event unfolding many feet beneath them, he shouted indignantly "You cheating bastard!"

 

The situation was exacerbated by the fact that some in the congregation, hearing this stentorian disembodied shout, took it to be a comment from the Almighty on the recently deceased with the wooden overcoat.

 

So - is this true?

 

B)

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Frank - I would be interested to learn whether you can confirm (or deny) the story about a tuning visit to Bath Abbey (by HN&:huh: some years ago, which was interrupted by an important funeral. Apparently, the tuners retired to the nether regions of the organ loft and began to play a game of cards.

 

Apparently, the problems began when one of the organ tuners noticed that one of his colleagues was palming cards. Entirely forgetting where he was - and the solemn event unfolding many feet beneath them, he shouted indignantly "You cheating bastard!"

 

The situation was exacerbated by the fact that some in the congregation, hearing this stentorian disembodied shout, took it to be a comment from the Almighty on the recently deceased with the wooden overcoat.

 

So - is this true?

 

B)

 

 

I have never heard of this one - the tuner for many years was A.W. (Jack) Pritchard and he did not play cards. In my days with him it would have been a cup of tea in a local cafe. Again, in my days there if there was to be a major interruption the organist would have rung up and the tuning visit (one a month) would have been altered.

 

FF

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.........photographers and video recording persons wandering around willy-nilly during weddings (and occasionally funerals!)

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.........photographers and video recording persons wandering around willy-nilly during weddings (and occasionally funerals!)

 

 

.... and those who come up to the organ/choir loft, who click away while you are playing and who grin in a "friendly" way because they know damn well they are annoying you! (And, incidentally, who are going to make about 10 times as much dosh as you are.)

 

Peter

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Guest Psalm 78 v.67
.... and those who come up to the organ/choir loft, who click away while you are playing and who grin in a "friendly" way because they know damn well they are annoying you! (And, incidentally, who are going to make about 10 times as much dosh as you are.)

 

Peter

 

A photographer came into my loft a few years ago and actually sat next to me on the stool - facing the other way, down the church, and started taking photos during a hymn. :o

 

Now, I would have been annoyed, but she was in her early 20's, and a total babe! :P

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A photographer came into my loft a few years ago and actually sat next to me on the stool - facing the other way, down the church, and started taking photos during a hymn. :o

 

Now, I would have been annoyed, but she was in her early 20's, and a total babe! :o

 

 

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

 

 

I hate weakness! You don't spare a lady photographer just because you Leica!

 

:P

 

MM

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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.

 

:)

 

MM

 

Bwayn was clearly sent to try you.. My personal trial was with Arthur (not his real name) when I was playing at a church which had no money for anything, let alone repairs to the organ, an ancient tracker which I suspect had been defective from the start and had got no better after sixty years. Having enjoyed a medical training, I got into the habit of remedying its most acute defects with surgical plaster (on the bellows), forceps (to remove dead bats and suchlike) and self-adhesive bandage (to tie up anything loose). Arthur was an odd-job man who would, free of charge, do little things like changing burnt-out lamps in the nave, tidying up, and tolling the bell when no-one else was around to do it. But I had an increasing suspicion that he was getting ideas about tackling the organ, just as he was wont to tackle washing machines and bicycles. The day came when, turning up early for practice, I found myself playing some wrong notes while depressing the right keys. Sure enough,. Arthur (who had a key to the church) had been around on Saturday and had found evidence of my having stopped a leakage on the windchest by stuffing paper around a couple of pipes, and felt he could make a better job of it. Having taken out a couple of pipes to get better access he had subsequently replaced them in the wrong holes, interchanging D and E flat. Pipes are pipes, aren't they, so what does it matter where they go?

I bought a padlock for the door to the organ loft next day.

 

Graham

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Bwayn was clearly sent to try you.. My personal trial was with Arthur (not his real name) when I was playing at a church which had no money for anything, let alone repairs to the organ, an ancient tracker which I suspect had been defective from the start and had got no better after sixty years. Having enjoyed a medical training, I got into the habit of remedying its most acute defects with surgical plaster (on the bellows), forceps (to remove dead bats and suchlike) and self-adhesive bandage (to tie up anything loose). Arthur was an odd-job man who would, free of charge, do little things like changing burnt-out lamps in the nave, tidying up, and tolling the bell when no-one else was around to do it. But I had an increasing suspicion that he was getting ideas about tackling the organ, just as he was wont to tackle washing machines and bicycles. The day came when, turning up early for practice, I found myself playing some wrong notes while depressing the right keys. Sure enough,. Arthur (who had a key to the church) had been around on Saturday and had found evidence of my having stopped a leakage on the windchest by stuffing paper around a couple of pipes, and felt he could make a better job of it. Having taken out a couple of pipes to get better access he had subsequently replaced them in the wrong holes, interchanging D and E flat. Pipes are pipes, aren't they, so what does it matter where they go?

I bought a padlock for the door to the organ loft next day.

 

Graham

 

He must have been quite knowledgable to locate two pipes a semitone apart, given that they would have been on opposite sides of the soundboard.

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Guest Barry Williams

Many older tracker jobs are chromatically laid out from about Tenor G. Some Brindley & Foster organs have chromatic chests, even with pneumatic action.

 

Barry Williams

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.... and those who come up to the organ/choir loft, who click away while you are playing and who grin in a "friendly" way because they know damn well they are annoying you! (And, incidentally, who are going to make about 10 times as much dosh as you are.)

 

Peter

 

Speaking of which, and having seen some of the videos on YouTube, it is very obvious that Daniel Roth must have the patience of a saint ...

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Speaking of which, and having seen some of the videos on YouTube, it is very obvious that Daniel Roth must have the patience of a saint ...

 

He is a very gracious man. Requests to ascend to the tribune at S. Sulpice are often granted. His wife meets guests at the foot of the stairs and leads them up to the console. Generally, his registrants are immediately adjacent to the console and, in addition to carrying out their stop-changing duties, ensure that no-one gets close enough to disturb M. Roth whilst he is playing.

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He is a very gracious man. Requests to ascend to the tribune at S. Sulpice are often granted. His wife meets guests at the foot of the stairs and leads them up to the console. Generally, his registrants are immediately adjacent to the console and, in addition to carrying out their stop-changing duties, ensure that no-one gets close enough to disturb M. Roth whilst he is playing.

 

I can vouch for this - when I emailed him he replied very soon after with details of where to go and when to turn up. I then joined about ten others who were 'entertained' very cordially at the console and inthe little 'boudoir' next door - an amazing experience!

 

AJJ

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I can vouch for this - when I emailed him he replied very soon after with details of where to go and when to turn up. I then joined about ten others who were 'entertained' very cordially at the console and inthe little 'boudoir' next door - an amazing experience!

 

AJJ

 

Léfébvre is equally gracious at Nôtre-Dame; although the tiny studio in the case of the great instrument is not the best place in which to be standing when he is smoking a 'Gauloises' - something he likes to do during the homily at the main Sunday morning Mass. Having said that, when I was there in February an few years ago, he had brought a flask of excellent coffee and kindly shared it with my friends and I.

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We had "Amazing Grace" at Mass Sunday Morning, and it immediately reminded me just how much I hate that tune.

 

I genuinely try to poke fun at it, using all sorts of chromatic harmonies, playing it straight and, (a favourite trick) accompanying the melody with a drone left-hand. It's really the only way I can get through it with vomitting, but the strange thing is, people come up to me and say, "Ooooh! That was nice!"

 

I hate them too!

 

Young Bwyan had the perfect sense to imitate blowing the bag-pipes, walking to-and-fro in the pew, like it was the Edinburgh Tattoo....what a clever boy he is!

 

Then we had a homily, which was a sort of modern-version of the Prodigal Son, which took the form of a letter from a mother to her son.

 

I must have been in a very bad mood, because after listening to this sickly, milk and honey, emotional blackmail, and then being asked to "Just think about it," I couldn't resist saying to the priest, "I know what I would have written back. Dear Mother, Now I know why I left the family. Tell dad to get a life!"

 

<_<

 

MM

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Amazing Grace is really an awful tune... i have yet to find a good arrangment of it. I think i might have to have a look at composing something in four parts, which could make it more tolerable for the poor souls like us with vicars who obsess over it

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Agree, not a great tune. I did once play the Wills 'variations on amazing grace' with the George Shearing prelude in a recital. Both give you a new prospective on the possibilities of the tune!

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We had "Amazing Grace" at Mass Sunday Morning, and it immediately reminded me just how much I hate that tune.

 

I genuinely try to poke fun at it, using all sorts of chromatic harmonies, playing it straight and, (a favourite trick) accompanying the melody with a drone left-hand. It's really the only way I can get through it with vomitting, but the strange thing is, people come up to me and say, "Ooooh! That was nice!"

 

I expect most of us have tasteless reharmonisations of hymn tunes we hate - perhaps it might be fun to compile an on-line collection of these, with blanket permssion to use as and when? <_<

 

Peter

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The trouble with tasteless harmonisations is that congregations have no taste and are therefore likely to think your efforts marvellous - as MM found out.

 

If you really want to show up mawkish tunes such as this one, harmonise them as if they were traditional Victorian tunes, with strictly one chord per melody note. Avoid passing notes like the plague. A few verses of Lord Jesus Christ with the first four chords harmonised I I V I (and with a solid semibreve in all parts on the fourth) etc should be enough to set people thnking. They'll still blame the organist rather than the tune though.

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The trouble with tasteless harmonisations is that congregations have no taste and are therefore likely to think your efforts marvellous - as MM found out.

 

If you really want to show up mawkish tunes such as this one, harmonise them as if they were traditional Victorian tunes, with strictly one chord per melody note. Avoid passing notes like the plague. A few verses of Lord Jesus Christ with the first four chords harmonised I I V I (and with a solid semibreve in all parts on the fourth) etc should be enough to set people thnking. They'll still blame the organist rather than the tune though.

You could produce a travesty of Tristan Und Isolde using the same technique. Or Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra. Or the Britten Missa Brevis!

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If you really want to show up mawkish tunes such as this one, harmonise them as if they were traditional Victorian tunes, with strictly one chord per melody note. Avoid passing notes like the plague. A few verses of Lord Jesus Christ with the first four chords harmonised I I V I (and with a solid semibreve in all parts on the fourth) etc should be enough to set people thnking. They'll still blame the organist rather than the tune though.

 

 

There is however a 'reharmonised' version that gives four part haromny - i forget what book it is in, but it was rather good

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There is however a 'reharmonised' version that gives four part harmony - I forget what book it is in, but it was rather good

Peter Warlock could have done a stunning harmonisation of Living Lord, or indeed anything! I only have to think of Yarmouth Fair or Bethlehem Down (the voice and organ version) to come over all unnecessary!

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