PipeChat Digest #4310 - Saturday, February 28, 2004
 
Re: I have a confession to make - I'm a terrible organist
  by <ContraReed@aol.com>
singing the AMENs
  by "Christopher Howerter" <OrgelspielerKMD@msn.com>
Re: singing the Amen
  by "Randolph Runyon" <runyonr@muohio.edu>
Re: singing the Amen
  by "Randolph Runyon" <runyonr@muohio.edu>
new stuff on organ clearing house
  by <Gfc234@aol.com>
RE: the confession
  by "james nerstheimer" <enigma1685@hotmail.com>
RE: the confession
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Re: New chair of organ dept at Juilliard announced
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Re: I have a confession to make - I'm a terrible organist
  by "bgsx" <bgsx52@sympatico.ca>
Re: New Johannus
  by "John Foss" <harfo32@yahoo.co.uk>
RE: singing the Amen
  by "Will Light" <will.light@btinternet.com>
RE: singing the Amen
  by "Will Light" <will.light@btinternet.com>
 

(back) Subject: Re: I have a confession to make - I'm a terrible organist From: <ContraReed@aol.com> Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2004 21:28:31 EST   In a message dated 2/27/04 2:01:39 PM Eastern Standard Time, bruce.shaw@shaw.ca writes:   << ...and I don't know what to do about it. I'm quietly losing my mind = over this. >>   A couple or three suggestions from a non-organist.   If you haven't already, read "The Inner Game of Music" by Barry Green. = This might give you some insights to what is happening in your mind while = you're playing, and how to help yourself. (If you can't find that book, "Inner = Tennis" is a close relative)   Bananas. Someone mentioned something about them in another post, but many =   orchestral musicians use them to help control their nerves before = performances. (Other have their physicians prescribe beta-blockers for this purpose, but =   they say that although their nerves are much more settled, they feel like they're playing like zombies.)   Memorization & Muscle Memory. In my brief attempts at trying to be a keyboard player ( I got as far as Bach Little Prelude & Fugue #1), I = learned that I could memorize pieces and play them almost without thinking about them, = with lots of practice while thinking about how the large muscle groups and = small muscle groups feed off each other in training fingers (and feet) to work. =     I'm not going to say it gets easier with time, in my own case, I find it = more difficult to play in front of people as I get older. But I can't explain why. I do know that I get more "tense" in playing for my own congregation = than if I'm a guest in another church (bassoon, recorder, clarinet - I do not = claim to be an organist).   Finally, realize that the people in your congregation are not there to witness your mistakes, they're there to worship God and you are a helper = in that regard. They want you to play well. I don't know exactly how to say it = without sound "new-age-ish", but you should try to open yourself to their desire = to want you to do a good job, not to concentrate on what you think might go = wrong.   Just some late night ramblings.   Richard Spittel  
(back) Subject: singing the AMENs From: "Christopher Howerter" <OrgelspielerKMD@msn.com> Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2004 21:59:44 -0500   Dear List,   The first church job I ever had was at a Methodist church. We sung the = AMEN after every single hymn, whether it was written in or not. The = church where I am at now has a liberal woman pastor and she wouldn't = care if we sung AMENs all the time!!! And, yes, I said LIBERAL WOMAN = pastor! Well, I've said enough.   Cheers, Chris    
(back) Subject: Re: singing the Amen From: "Randolph Runyon" <runyonr@muohio.edu> Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2004 22:14:15 -0500   on 2/27/04 7:58 PM, Dr. Amy Fleming at docamy@alltel.net wrote:   > Randy Runyon writes "Are they still singing Amens at the end of hymns in > your church? I haven't seen a church do that in years (thank God). ; - ) >=20 > At our church we sing the Amen if it is written as a prayer to God, or if > the hymn is trinitarian. Some in our congregation stand for the last ver= se > if it is a trinitarian verse. Do you not approve? But then again we went > back to TLH after several years of LW and now use both. > Amy Fleming >=20 No, I do not approve of singing an amen to a hymn that did not originally have one. If one was originally part of the text and music, then do sing it. But an amen added to a hymn that didn't originally have it is, according to Erik Routley--summarized below from the web site http://www.gbod.org/worship/default_body.asp?act=3Dreader&item_id=3D2773 --a fashion that only had a life of about a century, from 1861 to 1966. I've always thought that putting a plagal cadence on a piece of music that didn't call for it was a bit like painting a moustache on the Mona Lisa, bu= t I imagine if I said something like that on this list serve I'd stir up a hornets' nest, so I won't (oops! I already did). I would add, from a practical standpoint, since I've been there, done that, that it just don't work to say let's sing 'em after hymns that are prayers because how is everyone in the pews going to agree in advance without it being spelled out for them in each case which hymn is a prayer? (Or for that matter which on= e is trinitarian?) The same hymn might seem a prayer to one person and not t= o another. How about this compromise: If you like amens, then SAY them afte= r all the hymns you want.   I quote from the abovementioned site:   Here is Routley's argument summarized:   1. It was in medieval Ambrosian chant that amens were first added to the final stanzas of hymns in praise of the Trinity. These final stanzas are known as doxologies, many of which may be found in our United Methodist Hymnal (nos. 61, 62, 64, 102, 160, 184, 559, 651, and others). 2. The custom of adding amens to hymns did not exist in Lutheran, Reformed, seventeenth- or eighteenth-century Anglican (including the Wesley= s and early Methodism) or evangelical congregational song. 3. By the middle of the nineteenth century, hymnbook compilers were including translations of some of the ancient hymns that included amens. Th= e problem arose with the musical style of the hymns of the nineteenth century= ; that is, they were composed for the meters of the poetry of the texts, and the amens were usually two short syllables added to the final stanza, so th= e music of the hymn tune did not accommodate them. As a result, the doxological amen was added to the final stanza following the completion of its singing, usually set to the familiar IV-I plagal or amen cadence. 4. Eventually, additional concluding doxologies with amens were added to hymns that originally did not contain them =8B to the point where the most influential hymnal of the nineteenth century, Hymns Ancient and Modern (1861), added an amen to every hymn. 5. Some American hymnals picked up the practice, including the Presbyterian hymnal of 1895. The Methodist hymnals of 1905 and 1935 did the same. The 1966 Methodist Hymnal began to reverse the process by deleting th= e amen from selected hymns, including "How Great Thou Art" and "The First Noel." 6. By the middle of the twentieth century, British Anglicans dropped the amens, while American Episcopalians continued it until their 1982 hymnal, which also dropped the amens. Most hymnals toward the end of the century dropped the amens, and the Southern Baptists never included them.     Randy Runyon Music Director Zion Lutheran Church Hamilton, Ohio runyonr@muohio.edu        
(back) Subject: Re: singing the Amen From: "Randolph Runyon" <runyonr@muohio.edu> Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2004 22:26:46 -0500   I like this account, too. It's from the Presbyterian site at http://horeb.pcusa.org/pam/Amens.htm It points out that the short-lived (relatively speaking: a mere century) fa= d of tacking on amens was based on an egregious error, a ludicrous misunderstanding of history and of the original purpose of the amen associated with the Ambrosian tradition. In the beginning (in the time of Ambrosius), amens were sung (or said) not by those singing the hymn but by persons responding to the hymn. Think about it: Amens are called out from the pews, in those rare churches where good preaching is heard, by people responding to the preacher. They are not said by the preacher by way of cheering himself on. To say amen to oneself is a bit solipsistic.   I quote:   Q. Why does the Presbyterian Hymnal omit Amens from hymns?   There are a number of appropriate uses and meanings of Amen, but that attached to hymn singing is as a response signifying agreement. Such use goes back to St. Ambrose (4th century A.D.) at the time of the Arian heresy about the nature of Jesus Christ and the Trinity. The Arians believed that Jesus was half human and half divine; the orthodox position was and is that Jesus was fully human and fully divine. In counter to the Arians, St. Ambrose wrote a number of hymns in support of the orthodox position, which, it is believed, were sung in procession outdoors. The final stanzas of thes= e hymns were doxologies restating the church's position. People in the street= s who heard these hymns being sung would respond with "Amen", signifying thei= r agreement with what they had just heard.   Such hymns entered monastic life and were used routinely in the daily offices where they would be sung antiphonally by sections of the choir; the entire community would respond with Amen after the final doxological stanza= .. The important points here are that Amen was a response; that is, it was sai= d (or possibly sung) not by those who had actually sung the hymn, but by people who had heard it sung and wanted to voice agreement. Also, it is historically a response, not to the hymn itself, but rather to what is said about the Trinity in the concluding doxology.   During the period of the Oxford Movement in the middle of the nineteenth century, many ancient Latin hymns (by St. Ambrose and others) were rediscovered, translated into English verse, and published in a number of hymn collections for congregational use. The translators and compilers apparently failed to note the responsive nature the Amens in these hymns an= d Amen was attached to the end to be sung by everyone. This, of course, is redundant since it is not necessary for the people to express agreement wit= h what they themselves have just sung.   This practice was soon followed by non-conformist groups (the Anglicans, apparently, being thought to know their business liturgically) and spread. To their credit, the Anglicans fairly quickly saw the error of their ways and have largely abandoned the practice, as have most other denominations that have given thought to the matter.   The musical consideration involved is that the combination of chords (technically, a plagal cadence) in the typical Amen is much weaker and less final sounding than the chords with which most hymn tunes end. Hymn tunes are, after all, complete compositions and it makes no more musical sense to tack a plagal cadence on to the end of one of them than it does to attach one to the end of, for example, a Beethoven symphony.   Generally speaking, then, singing Amen at the end of a hymn is both liturgically redundant and musically anticlimactic. When one considers the history of congregational song going back at least to the time of the Psalms, it is also a very recent and short-lived phenomenon. Most recent hymnals in this country either omit Amens entirely or, as in the case of th= e new Presbyterian Hymnal, include them only very rarely in situations where the music is incomplete without them (e.g., some plainsong tunes).   =A9 2002-2004 Presbyterian Association of Musicians     Randy Runyon Music Director Zion Lutheran Church Hamilton, Ohio runyonr@muohio.edu       =A0    
(back) Subject: new stuff on organ clearing house From: <Gfc234@aol.com> Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2004 22:31:32 EST   Take a look at all of these newly available organs! WOW! http://www.organclearinghouse.com/newavl.html                                 Gregory Ceurvorst M.M. Organ Performance Student Northwestern University Director of Music and Organist St. Peter's U.C.C. Frankfort, IL 847.332.2788 home 708.243.2549 mobile gfc234@aol.com    
(back) Subject: RE: the confession From: "james nerstheimer" <enigma1685@hotmail.com> Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2004 21:54:45 -0600   Lucy would recommend, VITAMEATAVEGEMIN!   Do you have a cassette recorder or some other device? Try recording when you practice and then listen after you get home. Listen over and over. After a while you'll find those wrinkles in the musical fabric being = ironed out. Seems to work for me. Except of course, if I've had a nip of our chior's traditional Easter Sunday mamosa!   jim   O):^)   _________________________________________________________________ Click, drag and drop. My MSN is the simple way to design your homepage. http://click.atdmt.com/AVE/go/onm00200364ave/direct/01/    
(back) Subject: RE: the confession From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2004 22:51:05 -0800 (PST)   Hello,   Poor Bruce....we've probably sent him over the edge by now.   However, I would agree with James in the use of a tape recorder.   If the problem is one of anxiety, then that would normally manifest itself as over-rapid playing or getting faster in the difficult bits.   If that is the case, then I'm afraid technique is the culprit (or lack of it!)   "Stage fright" can also be an extreme handicap, but it really comes down to a perception of oneself. Confidence can be built in anything, and perhaps one way is to set yourself an "impossible" task each day, and then achieve it. This doesn't have to be musical.....just something you never thought you could do. Once you KNOW things can be achieved, then your self confidence grows. It's what you call "focus" over there.   Of course, in music, we have many "impossible tasks" available to us!   Try these ideas for starters, and see if they deliver any clues as to the source of the problem.   If not, then you are at least doing something to rectify the problem by a process of elimination.   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK   --- james nerstheimer <enigma1685@hotmail.com> wrote:   > Do you have a cassette recorder or some other > device? Try recording when > you practice and then listen after you get home. > Listen over and over.     __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Get better spam protection with Yahoo! Mail. http://antispam.yahoo.com/tools  
(back) Subject: Re: New chair of organ dept at Juilliard announced From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2004 23:00:44 -0800 (PST)   Hello,   I think that performing 9 hours of Messaien earns any organist a chair, and for anyone who cares to sit through it, a whole sofa.   It's probably just me, but much as I like some of Messaien's piano works, I detest his organ music.   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK     --- Mark Quarmby <mark_quarmby@yahoo.com> wrote: > > > Paul Jacobs has been named Chair of the Organ > Department at The Juilliard > School beginning in September, 2004. > > > On Saturday, April 24th, Paul will perform another > 9-Hour Marathon of the > complete works of Olivier Messiaen > Cheers, >     __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Get better spam protection with Yahoo! Mail. http://antispam.yahoo.com/tools  
(back) Subject: Re: I have a confession to make - I'm a terrible organist From: "bgsx" <bgsx52@sympatico.ca> Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2004 03:22:22 -0500     http://www.childdevelopmentinfo.com/disorders/famous.shtml   Famous People With Attention Deficit and Learning Disorders   Albert Einstein Galileo Mozart Beethoven      
(back) Subject: Re: New Johannus From: "John Foss" <harfo32@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2004 08:56:02 +0000 (GMT)   I recently played a new Johannus - no better or worse than the competition, reasonably priced and it was a nicely made console. However the stops are "light up" with a short travel - push me/(pull me ?) - and seemed to me to be on the fragile side. The inspiration behind their design seems to be "looks" rather than durability. I actually found them rather confusing to use. The organ in St John's seems to be using this system, as far as I can tell from the photos - I should be interested to see how well they wear with use. I doubt if they will be as trouble free as Compton's light up push button stops, which are still giving good service after 80 years.   John Foss.   www.johnfoss.gr http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/orgofftop/ Topics of the week Passions aroused Cynicism on the rise     ___________________________________________________________ Yahoo! Messenger - Communicate instantly..."Ping" your friends today! Download Messenger Now http://uk.messenger.yahoo.com/download/index.html  
(back) Subject: RE: singing the Amen From: "Will Light" <will.light@btinternet.com> Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2004 09:34:51 -0000   Our latest Methodist hymnal in the UK, Hymns & Psalms (1985) has left = Amens off all hymns. Prior to that, the Methodist Hymnbook (1933) had Amens on prayers and none on others.   Will Light Coventry UK     -----Original Message----- From: pipechat@pipechat.org [mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org] On Behalf Of quilisma@cox.net Sent: 28 February 2004 01:31 To: PipeChat Subject: Re: singing the Amen   ALIENATES? Come ON! Where'd THAT come from?   "Amen" is to be sung at the end of ALL Office Hymns that conclude with any one of a NUMBER of Trinitarian doxologies, the most common being:   O Father, this we ask be done Through Jesus Christ, thine only Son; Who with the Holy Ghost and thee Doth live and reign eternally. Amen.   and at the end of any hymn which is a prayer, or concludes with a prayer, such as the refrain of "Now the Labourer's Toils Are O'er"   Lord all-pitying, Jesu blest; Grant them everlasting rest. Amen.   though not after EVERY verse, of course (grin).   The Episcopal Hymnal 1940 TRIED to make the distinction, but about half the time the congregation, the choir, and/or I (or any combination thereof) FORGOT and sang it ANYWAY (chuckle).   I don't think it's worth fighting about one way or the other.   Bud           Shaun Brown wrote:   > The 'Amen' should only ever be sung at the end of a hymn if the final > verse is a doxology, Ie, > > Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, And to the Holy Ghost.... > > Even then, it should be regarded as optional, as it alienates many > people. > > Most English Cathedrals rarely sing Amen at the end of a hymn. > > Regards, > > Shaun D Brown > > "Pipe Up and Be Heard!" > PipeChat: A discussion List for pipe/digital organs & related topics > HOMEPAGE : http://www.pipechat.org > List: mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org > Administration: mailto:admin@pipechat.org > Subscribe/Unsubscribe: mailto:requests@pipechat.org > > >     "Pipe Up and Be Heard!" PipeChat: A discussion List for pipe/digital organs & related topics HOMEPAGE : http://www.pipechat.org List: mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org Administration: mailto:admin@pipechat.org Subscribe/Unsubscribe: mailto:requests@pipechat.org      
(back) Subject: RE: singing the Amen From: "Will Light" <will.light@btinternet.com> Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2004 09:34:51 -0000   WHAT?? Doesn't your congregation stand up to sing everything? How can they possibly sing if they are slumped in their seats? This is unheard of in English Methodism at any rate! (Except very occasionally if we have a prayer-hymn of maybe a couple of verses, when the minister might say "we will sit and sing this")   Will Light Coventry UK     -----Original Message----- From: pipechat@pipechat.org [mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org] On Behalf Of = Dr. Amy Fleming     At our church we sing the Amen if it is written as a prayer to God, or if the hymn is trinitarian. Some in our congregation stand for the last = verse if it is a trinitarian verse Amy Fleming