PipeChat Digest #3881 - Friday, August 15, 2003
 
RE: funniest funeral (X-posted)
  by "bobelms" <bobelms@westnet.com.au>
RE: Playing things wrong-- on purpose
  by "Andr=E9s G=FCnther" <agun@telcel.net.ve>
"Feelings" Funeral
  by "Robert Ridgeway" <robert@magneticlab.com>
Organ as an instrument of war - Was Crescendo Pedal Usage
  by "Walter Greenwood" <walterg@nauticom.net>
Fermatas (was: Playing things " wrong ")
  by "Andr=E9s G=FCnther" <agun@telcel.net.ve>
2nd RE: Playing things " wrong "
  by "Andr=E9s G=FCnther" <agun@telcel.net.ve>
Celestes/Mixture pipes
  by "Michael Franch" <mvfranch@hotmail.com>
partial ranks
  by <quilisma@socal.rr.com>
Re: Organ as an instrument of war - Was Crescendo Pedal Usage
  by <BlueeyedBear@aol.com>
Re: partial ranks
  by <BlueeyedBear@aol.com>
 

(back) Subject: RE: funniest funeral (X-posted) From: "bobelms" <bobelms@westnet.com.au> Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2003 20:40:31 +0800   Well, I can't tell stories about funny funerals, but, in my many years as the son of a Methodist minister, and as a church organist I have been to some services that became a bit of a circus.   Recently I attended a service in a regional city in this state. The organist for that service was an old lady aged 92, who was as deaf as a post. She was always keen to get onto the next hymn and when the minister paused for breath she would start playing the introduction. He would stop her with "Not yet, Mrs X, not yet."   A lady came out at one part of the service to tell the children a story. Her talk started with something about rabbits and she produced one, to the delight of the kids. Unfortunately one of them let the wretched animal go and then the whole Sunday School erupted as the children chased the rabbit round the church.   That was not all. Came the offertory and one of the stewards had almost collected all he was likely to get when he dropped the plate.   After the service the minister, who was well known to me, met me, shook hands, and said wearily, "Bob, it's not always like that!"   Bob Elms. ---- Original Message ---- From: quilisma@socal.rr.com To: organchat@egroups.com, >AnglicanMusicLiturgyandControversy@yahoogroups.com, >anglican-music@list.stsams.org, pipechat@pipechat.org Subject: RE: funniest funeral (X-posted) Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2003 17:44:45 -0700   >I think I've told this story before, but it bears repeating: > >La    
(back) Subject: RE: Playing things wrong-- on purpose From: "Andr=E9s G=FCnther" <agun@telcel.net.ve> Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2003 09:31:09 -0400   Andres Gunther agun@telcel.net.ve     > 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.   Yes, and my answer depends from the Minister's idea. Some are clearly an amateur's "original" ideas. Others have a real good feeling for music, an= d let me be sincere, some religious music arrangements or harmonisations ar= e quite terrible as you wrote. If the suggestions make sense I gladly accep= t them. If not it becomes a matter of beeing a good diplomat.   > This is one of the problems you encounter when some editor or > arranger tries to FORCE a composition into a format different from > that intended by the composer.   Exactly. And other thing: popular church tunes can vary a lot from a plac= e to another. In our RC church I learned them in their original version whe= n I was a kid and they were new (this was immediately after the 2d. Vatican Councile and we got the scores). After 40 years people made their "own" versions in different churches and countys. A similar thing happens to "g= ood old traditional" lutheran tunes.- Charismatic chants got an interesting way in my country. The Adventists brought them in; I learned them in sunday school in the presbyterian chur= ch where they were adopted. This was in the late sixties-early seventies. In the late 1980s our catholic charismatics took them over as "the big n= ew style" and were astounded when I told them where I had learned them. Interesting is however that the rithms and some secondary melody turns ar= e different, and some even have other lyrics. I'll come back to this later.   > 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?   Definitely yes.   > Should bad > arrangements be played as written, in all their bad glory, exposing > those particular editors and arrangers for the charletains they are?   Definitely not. I go sportly over bad arrangements and make better ones by improvisation. For that I am musician. The organist of our german lutheran church change= s harmonisation and organ registration from one stanza to another with sometimes astounding effects. An endless hymn with four+ stanzas goes ove= r like nothing! The most important thing is that the melody remais as a clearly audible cantus firmus to lead the congregation... and that *our* arrangements are not *worse* than the original <G>   > The minister wants to meet with me this week. He's doing some > newer hymns on Sunday, and he wants to sing through them with > me playing so I can see how he sings and adjust my playing > accordingly.   If his ideas are good and you feel that it improves the singing, join him. If not, I hope that he is an understanding man who respects and accepts t= he founded opinion of *a professional musician he isn't*   > Here's the rub. The previous organist at this church did not count > well. He often dropped beats and played rhythms wrong. When I > took over, I found that the congregation still sang things "wrong" > while I played them "right." After three years, they're finally > counting with me, and singing with accuracy. I really don't want to > unravel all this by starting to play things wrong.   You wrote they are "newer" hymns so I guess the congregation doesn't know them well at this point, am I right?- then there wouldn't be any difficulties.   As for older repertoire and the other organist - Ouch. Here I come back t= o what I said of the "different versions of popular church tunes" and won't quote myself but my father who was piano teacher, organist and choir mast= er and had to face these problems quite often. He told me once that as a "young wild man" he insisted to correct things clinging to "original". In mature years he advised me to let things be as they were or only correct the worse details. "Ma=F1as" (manierisms) are astoundingly hard to get out. If he had to took over a pupil or a choir f= rom another instructor or conductor he avoided consequently "wrong teached" repertoire. It was less tiresome and more instructive to learn on a new o= ne.   In a congregation which usually has a fix repertoire of a dozen hymns or = so he couldn't and first sticked to the etablished status quo- as long as it was musically bearable. Then he made corrections very slowly, one by one, through the years. I took over his advice.   Yours Andres =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D First was the cat, then was the Orgler. The Orgler got a pet and the cat got something to wonder about.    
(back) Subject: "Feelings" Funeral From: "Robert Ridgeway" <robert@magneticlab.com> Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2003 08:06:59 -0500   Here is an account of a funeral service that was sent to me by a friend. I= =20 can just envision this entire episode. In spite of the seriousness of the= =20 event I think the way it unfolded is hilarious.   >The =93Feelings =93 Funeral > >Years ago (early 80's) when I was in Mortuary School I was organist for a= =20 >Presbyterian Church just south of Syracuse, NY. They had just installed a= =20 >Baldwin microprocessor church organ. Pastor called me one night and said,= =20 >=93Tim, we have a funeral on Tuesday=94 and started to give me some of the= =20 >details. He told me the family was marginal in their attendance and would= =20 >show up once every other year or so, on a Christmas or Easter, and went on= =20 >with a few other things. He also told me the widow was a little unstable.= =20 >(That was the understatement of the year.) After a minute or so of this he= =20 >grew silent. Then he said, =93And the widow has requested the song Feelings= =20 >to be played=94. I said, =93John, no problem, I could make =93Twinkle,= Twinkle=20 >Little Star =93 sound like a fugue if I wanted. I'll just play it in a=20 >=93churchy style=94 as a prelude. =93 Pastor said, =93No, you don't= understand,=20 >she insists that this be an organ solo=85.in the middle of the funeral. She= =20 >won't take no for an answer.=94 Then with a small amount of panic he asked,= =20 >=93What are we going to do? =93 I replied, =93John, leave it to me.=94 > >I really did try to keep it churchy. I used the Celeste pair in the Great= =20 >and the Oboe as a nice solo reed in the Swell. All went well until I got=20 >to the bridge. All heCK broke loose! As I started into the bridge the=20 >widow started to rotate her head. Then she started to wail and moan. Soft= =20 >at first, but it got very loud very fast. She then started to wave her=20 >hands and arms around her head like she was being attacked by bees. ( I=20 >was looking for Linda Blair. I thought we were at the filming of The=20 >Exorcist.) She then let out a blood-curdling scream, stood up, then with=20 >her body as rigid as could be hit the floor. Her whole body was wiggling=20 >and convulsing under the first pew. Poor Pastor was about two seconds from= =20 >having a coronary. He looked over at me with a =93what are we going to=20 >do?=94 look. I gave a simple =93Don't Panic=94 nod and continued. More= than one=20 >person rushed to leave the church for fear out breaking out in laughter. > >I finished the bridge and returned to the beginning of the song. At this=20 >point she picked herself up, brushed herself off, fixed her hair and sat=20 >down in the pew as if nothing had happened. When she did that I thought to= =20 >myself =93Ah...I now know what the score is.=94 > >Being a kind and compassionate person, and having a sense of good taste I= =20 >was going to play the song only once, but when I saw what happened, I=20 >thought to myself, Hummm...Tim, this deserves an instant replay. I gave=20 >Pastor a =91Buckle your seat belt, we're going for a ride=92 look. If one= =20 >thought he had a look of panic the first time through=85.. > >This time I started to add stops as I came around to the bridge. I added=20 >the full Theatre Organ trems (Celestial Vibrato for those who remember the= =20 >old Baldwins) and all the celestes and flutes the organ had to offer,=20 >ending with the 16' Pedal Reed and Swell Trumpet acting as a Post=20 >Horn.....Honey ,It sounded like the Mighty Wurlitzer rising out of the pit= =20 >at the San Francisco Fox. Well, let me tell you. This time I came into the= =20 >bridge with a huge glissando that would have made Jessie Crawford proud.=20 >The widow hit the floor again, only this time it was 100 times worse. At=20 >first, and as before, she was under the first pew writhing. Then she=20 >started rolling around the chancel area, throwing her arms around and=20 >moaning. Between moans she would scream, =93Oh My God, My God, My God,=94= at=20 >the top of her lungs. She rolled herself several times into the dolly that= =20 >held her dear husband. The Funeral Director came flying down the isle in=20 >an attempt to keep the dearly departed from falling on her, casket and=20 >all. It was so surreal. It seemed like a scene right out of Saturday Night= =20 >Live. As I started toward the end of the song, I started to bring things=20 >back down. I finished the bridge and ended the song with just the Celestes= =20 >and the widow got back into her pew and the remainder of the funeral went= =20 >along as if nothing happened, although we all did hold our collective= breath. > >Now, I need to tell you that under normal circumstances I will play a nice= =20 >Hymn as they take the dearly departed to his or her final place of rest.=20 >In the Garden, How Great Thou Art=85.one of those standards. I thought that= =20 >we needed some icing on the cake. As the bearers were trying to carry her= =20 >dear husband down the center isle she was holding on to the back handle of= =20 >the casket, feet dragging, and letting out the most God awful sounds, all= =20 >to the sounds of...you guessed it, =93Feelings =93. Somewhere down the isle= =20 >she lost a shoe, the flower spray fell off the top of the casket into the= =20 >isle and made and awful mess. > >After the funeral I tried to get out of the church without running into=20 >Pastor. No such luck. I thought for sure he was going to fire me!! But=20 >alas, he gave me a firm handshake and an extra $50. He said it was well=20 >worth the show!! He asked if I wanted to ride along to the graveside. I=20 >said, =93No thanks, I'm going home to a glass of wine. I've had enough for= =20 >one day.=94 > >Tim Schramm >Rochester, NY > > > >----------      
(back) Subject: Organ as an instrument of war - Was Crescendo Pedal Usage From: "Walter Greenwood" <walterg@nauticom.net> Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2003 09:19:40 -0400   Years ago Langlais himself told me a great story about Vierne. I don't = know if it's true, but why not? The story goes that Vierne was = improvising a lengthy offertoire, and the priest cut him short by = beginning to speak to the congregation. When later Vierne asked him why = he had done it, the priest said "I thought you had played long enough." = Well, at next Mass the priest was preaching a lengthy sermon and Vierne = cut him off by beginning to play. When later the priest asked him why he had done it, Vierne said "I thought you had talked long = enough."   -WG   > <DERREINETOR@aol.com> wrote: > > Here's my favorite usage: > About 10 years ago, I was an assistant to an organist in Texas (a = FANTASTIC > organist he was, God rest his soul!) at a Presbyterian church. The = minister was > from Northern Ireland, had a thick accent and preached for at least 40 = to 50 > minutes each Sunday. Unfortunately, he lacked substance and had a great = gift > for repetition and rambling. After 15 minutes, the choir started to = flip > through the hymnal and pass notes. After 25 minutes, the entire alto and = tenor > sections slipped out of the gallery for coffee. After 30 minutes, my = boss, the > organist/choirmaster slipped off the bench and snuck into a Sunday = School room to > smoke a cigarette. Should the sermon exceed the 45-to 50-minute mark, > however, our fearless leader would sigh, open the crescendo pedal, and = "accidently" > create a tone cluster on the pedal board. The sermon, of course, would = come to > a quick conclusion. > > They never did install that clock on the gallery rail! > > BH    
(back) Subject: Fermatas (was: Playing things " wrong ") From: "Andr=E9s G=FCnther" <agun@telcel.net.ve> Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2003 10:22:06 -0400   Andres Gunther agun@telcel.net.ve   Bud's remark reminds me that once we had a student as substitute when the organist was on vacation. The young man played correctly the hymns as they were noted in the book- but he also played correctly the fermatas! - The melee was historic. We forgot to tell him that fermatas in traditional german chorales have a different meaning... equivalent to our present commata.   Cheers Andres =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D First was the cat, then was the Orgler. The Orgler got a pet and the cat got something to wonder about.   ----- Original Message ----- From: <quilisma@socal.rr.com> To: PipeChat <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Wednesday, August 13, 2003 8:21 AM Subject: Re: Playing things " wrong "   (SNIP) > The 1940 still has all the old-style fermatas in the German chorales; we > took those out, and marked the choir and organ hymnals.      
(back) Subject: 2nd RE: Playing things " wrong " From: "Andr=E9s G=FCnther" <agun@telcel.net.ve> Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2003 10:31:42 -0400   Andres Gunther agun@telcel.net.ve   Mike wrote on second posting:   > My beef is this: If these pieces are poorly arranged, then let them be > heard that way. People think this new stuff is so wonderful that they > can just toss out good old traditional stuff without a second thought. > Let them hear it for what it is. If it's awkward to sing, or sounds stupid, > then maybe that's a clue that it's not so wonderful after all.   For the really bad stuff, you got a good idea to subject it mercelessly to its own mediocrity :) - Have care however. Some new stuff is really good, (musically speaking) unless it's poorly arranged or has some "glitches" in the melody because its composer didn't mature the idea (or the arranger-copyist wasn't a good profi). In this case it should be improved and incorporated to new repertoire.   Regarding throwing out good old traditional stuff: this ain't necessary, = is no good for the congregation and shouldn't happen. Regretfully this = depends not only from us church musicians but from "above" (to say: Pastor and Board).   When our former presbyterian church shifted to adventist in the mid-seventies, traditional chorales and hymns were elliminated one by one and substituted by charismatic chants. Finally my father resigned = alledging that he didn't study in the Leipzig Conservatory to finish accompanying = such rubbish. He wasn't the only who left. The traditional fraction of the congregation left too and founded a new church. They are actualizing repertoire under the conduction of a progressive thinking music staff = which is rooted in the tradition (some were pupils of my dad) and an = understanding Pastor. They managed to blend the old with the new- but this is a true exception. In a future posting I will go a little more into detail about this. They made a positive and interesting job there.   Cheers Andres =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D First was the cat, then was the Orgler. The Orgler got a pet and the cat got something to wonder about.    
(back) Subject: Celestes/Mixture pipes From: "Michael Franch" <mvfranch@hotmail.com> Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2003 09:16:43 -0500   Can anyone educate me on how far down mixtures, partials and celeste ranks =   go? Our organ at church is missing the first octave (notes 1 - 12) of the following ranks (by missing I mean they're "dead" notes. I have not = checked the chamber to see if there are actually pipes there):   Choir: 8' Erzahler Celeste Tierce Swell: Violone Celeste   Is there a website, or another reference point that you can recommend that =   explains how far certain ranks go, and where the breaks are on mixtures? I =   am able to hear the breaks on the mixtures, but would like to have a reference to look at.   Mike Franch in Madison, WI   _________________________________________________________________ Add photos to your e-mail with MSN 8. Get 2 months FREE*. http://join.msn.com/?page=3Dfeatures/featuredemail    
(back) Subject: partial ranks From: <quilisma@socal.rr.com> Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2003 07:35:54 -0700   It's customary, though not desirable, to build celestes beginning at tenor C. What one misses is the lovely sound of a desk of celli in that bottom octave when the celeste rank IS present, particularly on a big Violone or Gamba Celeste.   Sometimes Nazards, Tierces, and Cornets are also built from tenor C.   This is an unmitigated nuisance, particularly if there's only ONE in the organ. How is one to play a fiery Recit de Tierce that ranges over the whole keyboard, INCLUDING the bottom octave; or use the Cornet to reinforce a Basse de Trompette?   Yes, the short-compass French baroque RECIT had a Cornet from tenor c or middle c; but the G.O. and Positif did NOT.   Once again, I join Sebastian Gluck in singing a duet in the wilderness:   GO TO THE *LITERATURE*!!! What does IT require??? In this case, what it requires is at LEAST one full-compass Cornet FIRST.   And I'm not convinced that the bottom octave of a Celeste is all THAT much of a luxury ... surely haskelled basses could be used.   Cheers,   Bud      
(back) Subject: Re: Organ as an instrument of war - Was Crescendo Pedal Usage From: <BlueeyedBear@aol.com> Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2003 11:14:00 EDT   In a message dated 8/15/03 6:21:37 AM Pacific Daylight Time, walterg@nauticom.net writes:   << Years ago Langlais himself told me a great story about Vierne. I don't =   know if it's true, but why not? The story goes that Vierne was = improvising a lengthy offertoire, and the priest cut him short by beginning to speak to = the congregation. When later Vierne asked him why he had done it, the priest = said "I thought you had played long enough." Well, at next Mass the priest was =   preaching a lengthy sermon and Vierne cut him off by beginning to play. = When later the priest asked him why he had done it, Vierne said "I thought you had talked long = enough." >>   luckily, if it comes down to the organ or the PA system, the organ will = win every time.   at least in notre dame.  
(back) Subject: Re: partial ranks From: <BlueeyedBear@aol.com> Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2003 11:21:38 EDT   In a message dated 8/15/03 7:32:44 AM Pacific Daylight Time, quilisma@socal.rr.com writes:   << I'm not convinced that the bottom octave of a Celeste is all THAT much of a luxury ... surely haskelled basses could be used. >>   but it sure is nice when it goes down to the low G or F.