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Thread: Religious repertoire

  1. #1
    Captain of Water Music jvhldb's Avatar
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    Religious repertoire

    Again I need help.

    I've started relieving the regular organists at the two local Dutch Reformed Chruches in town. As my teacher is one of the organists it was easy compiling a list of music that will work for most services, so I don't have to learn seven new chorals every week.

    My problem is that the local Anglican, Methodist and Roman Catholic churches also asked me if I will help them for special occasions as they don't have any organists themselves.

    Can anybody recommend some religious music (EASY) for these churches that I can "stock up" on? The local clergy can't realy help as they don't know a lot about music.
    Johan van Heerden

  2. #2
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Hi Johan,

    Alexander Guilmant's organ compositions are a staple in my personal library. There are several Volumes (books) of these and most are easy reading. Guilmant passed on in 1911, so lots of his music is now Public Domain (PD).

    The PD site, IMSLP has a plethora of free organ music for the taking - all you need is time and lots of disk space ... ! Certainly a very good site to "stock up" from and build a nice virtual library for organists.

    The works of JS Bach for organ are also on that IMSLP site ... albeit the Gesselschaft editions (not preferred by the most elitist of organists because of omissions and errors) they are still worth perusing - I use them all the time, but I also have the complete organ works (scores) of Bach on a CD that I purchased several months ago.

    Of course, our resident organ composer here, Musicalis, has also provided the members here with a good number of compositions well worth reading and playing - I've used a few of his works in my service playing lately, too.
    Kh ~~.
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    Amateur musicians practice until they get it right ...
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  3. #3
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Aloha Johan,

    I can only echo what Master Krummhorn advised and, may I add: *IMSLP/Petrucci, a working musicians best friend*.

    Cheers,

    CD
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  4. #4
    Captain of Water Music jvhldb's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice. I'm trying to work my way through IMSLP, but there is SO MUCH and not enough disc space. The church I played in last week told me to try and stay away from Bach & Beethoven as the congregation don't like "classic music", so I gave them some Gregorian by Eugene Gigout and funny enough they enjoyed singing song 530, which is set to the music "Ode to Joy" by Beethoven. Talk about double standards!

    As to music by Musicalis, I think I've downloaded everything I could (even if I can't play them YET).

    Any suggestions on Hymns/Songs? With the Dutch Reformed Churches I have a list of about 15 hymns that will cover most events, sometimes, like this Sunday, I only have to play some background music before the service and two songs during the actual service. Somebody told me that for the Roman Catholic Church I will probably need eight just to get through one service. What I'm looking for is something that will suite most occasions (if there is such songs/hymns in the other churches).
    Johan van Heerden

  5. #5
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Aloha Johan,

    Seems like the leadership of that congregation who said that the pew-sitters don't like Beethoven are trying to remove a salaried position in the Church so that they can then buy a *Worship-O-Mat* i.e. a pre-programmed box wherein the priest can punch a few buttons and Voila! Music from the PA system belches forth.

    Cheerio,

    CD
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  6. #6
    Commander, Assistant Conductor
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    Hi Johan,

    I say amen to Corno Dolce's words. Your little anecdote about "Ode to Joy" suggests that these people (or at least the clergy) aren't clear about what they want. So go ahead and choose the music you like. If anyone complains (above all the clergy), you can refer them to a beautiful website called "No organist no problem..."

    Flute'n'Pedal

  7. #7
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Amen Sister Flute'n'Pedal - Your words are quite prophetic - the worst thing being that the more Churches with that kind of *worshiptainment* the fewer jobs for those who wish to be working organists/musicians. 'Tis a very dangerous road that Clergy and Churchleaders embark upon when they vote on eliminating such a key position as Organist/Choirmaster - especially in a Church where there has been a tradition of Organists/Choirmasters. For Churches that have not had that tradition there is no problem.
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  8. #8
    Commander, Assistant Conductor
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    I was rather thinking of starting a website called "No priest no problem..." -- the idea being that the organist would push a few buttons to get readings and prayers and sermons for the day. That way, our jobs would be secured.
    Seriously, I don't understand why the clergy are always telling the organists what to play, whereas no organist would dream of telling the priest what to say.

  9. #9
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Bless you Flute'n'Pedal - Priests, unless they themselves have a degree in organ performance/choirmaster and several years of experience, they should have themselves a big cup of *shut up! you have no idea what you're talking about*. Those kinds of priests are the worst primadonnas!
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  10. #10
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    The late E. Power Biggs often suggested to the organ builders that they lacked two particular pistons on every organ:
    1. Pulpit Cancel, and/or
    2. Rector Ejector
    He also suggested that the organist should be the one being greeted at the door while the preacher was in the pulpit delivering their sermon.

    Martin Luther once said ... "Next to the word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world." I think more pastors and priests need to be reminded of that phrase more often.

    Johann,

    One set of easy pieces that I use sometimes is from a collection called "The Parish Organist" ... there is a hardbound book on the OHS site that can be ordered. I've had the entire set since ... well ... almost before Moses ... amongst the traditional Bach literature, these collections were added soon as well, and they are short and easy ditties that require little or no practice time. Good for fillers when needed. I still use them from time to time.
    Kh ~~.
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    Amateur musicians practice until they get it right ...
    Pro
    fessional musicians practice until they can't get it wrong ...


  11. #11
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    Oh my lord - a pulpit cancel button is a must have for most church environments!! Made me laugh, that's for sure.

  12. #12
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    As a retort to the organists' "pulpit cancel" here's another side to this story from a fellow member of Christ Church St. Laurence (who will remain nameless, and no, it's not me)

    I can think of several organists I've known who would wholeheartedly agree with Mr.Biggs - I do agree with the idea of the 2 extra stops on the organ, but I can think of another - the 'shoot the bloody organist' stop. When XXXX XXXX was organist at Christ Church St. Laurence he would periodically play the most extensive musical interludes while other things were happening, to the point where everyone had done what they needed to and were simply standing around waiting for him to finish his 'twiddling'. When asked why he made everyone wait so long he would reply "Because I can, and there's nothing anyone can do about it except wait for me!".

  13. #13
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    I've personally found the sets of Interludes by Dom Gregory Murray coming in highly useful as either preludes (or even postludes when registered loudly). Also, Cesar Francks collections of pieces for the Harmonium or Organ (L'Organiste) are real gems, not overly difficult and provide a wealth of pieces for liturgical use.
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

  14. #14
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    There are a few other pistons I'd like to see on an organ
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  15. #15
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    pistons or pistols?

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