PipeChat Digest #3874 - Tuesday, August 12, 2003
Re: Playing things wrong-- on purpose
  by "Alicia Zeilenga" <azeilenga@theatreorgans.com>

(back) Subject: Re: Playing things wrong-- on purpose From: "Alicia Zeilenga" <azeilenga@theatreorgans.com> Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 23:27:48 -0500     > Has anyone here ever been asked to play hymns, wrong to satisfy > the way the minister prefers to sing it rather than how it's notated in > the book? Examples would be like dropping a couple of beats from > a whole note, singing quarter notes as 8th notes, etc.   This reminds me of the cantor at the chapel on my campus. For some reason, he likes to lead a capella praise songs during Communion at weekday services. But he does not COUNT THE LONG NOTES OR KEEP A PULSE. It can drive me so crazy that I just don't go if I think he will be there.   When I play, I try to let the cantor lead on praise songs, since very often the rhythms make no musical sense to me. For instance, one time we had a song with three quarters in two beats, and she decided to sing it as a quarter and two eighths. Certainly this was easier and it stayed with the pulse.   > I keep some kind of movement going through the long > notes so it doesn't feel like running into a brick wall. If the > arrangement's not too far out, I just play it as written.   My old piano teacher who had a degree in Sacred Music taught me to put in some moving notes on longer notes if I did not trust myself to keep the pulse. I find it helpful since it also keeps those singing from getting too lost.   > > Some of these arrangements are just plain, flat out, poor > arrangements. They're cheesy and don't work. Is my job as an > organist to "change" such pieces to make them sound better? Is > my job to make up for the deficiencies of others? Should bad > arrangements be played as written, in all their bad glory, exposing > those particular editors and arrangers for the charletains they are?   If you can make them sound better, do it.   My ideas at least,   Alicia