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#61 Latin pianist

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 10:07

Have you practised with someone singing along? If not, get a friend to come and sing hymns as you play. That'll help you judge how long to leave between verses and how to start them.
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#62 fsharpminor

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 10:22

A three in a bar hymn (eg Fulda) usually requires and extra bar of silence, as does a 4 in a bar hymn (like Nicaea) which starts on first beat.  A four in a bar hymn where tune starts on upbeat (like Day of Rest), needs  3 beats silence before starting upbeat of next verse.  (This advice from a Cathedral D.of M.)


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#63 musicalmalc

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 10:31

A three in a bar hymn (eg Fulda) usually requires and extra bar of silence, as does a 4 in a bar hymn (like Nicaea) which starts on first beat.  A four in a bar hymn where tune starts on upbeat (like Day of Rest), needs  3 beats silence before starting upbeat of next verse.  (This advice from a Cathedral D.of M.)

I would concur except that in Chester Cathedral I'm sure 4 in a bar tunes that start on the 1st beat are usually given only 2 beats between verses (I'll double check - I'm singing with the Nave Choir for ordination service on Saturday)


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#64 sbhoa

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 10:53

 

A three in a bar hymn (eg Fulda) usually requires and extra bar of silence, as does a 4 in a bar hymn (like Nicaea) which starts on first beat.  A four in a bar hymn where tune starts on upbeat (like Day of Rest), needs  3 beats silence before starting upbeat of next verse.  (This advice from a Cathedral D.of M.)

I would concur except that in Chester Cathedral I'm sure 4 in a bar tunes that start on the 1st beat are usually given only 2 beats between verses (I'll double check - I'm singing with the Nave Choir for ordination service on Saturday)

 

I don't do it by counting. Though I expect some people can make it work for me it can be rather artificial and often not the right gap.

One way you will know if the space is musically right is if the congregation start at the same time as you. Too short and they'll be gasping for breath and get behind and too long and they don't know when to start singing again. Do make sure you lift hands off at the end of a verse so that there is a gap. 

If you sing it in your head you are likely to be about right.  

This may well depend on whether the regular organist does it well. If they are used to a gathering note (or worse still a note played before every verse!!) I wouldn't comply myself and congregations adjust pretty quickly. 

Having said that I think that most of this is for the future. For now just do your best, take it steady, simplify if necessary and if there is anything you really can't get your fingers round ask for a substitute.


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#65 Misterioso

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 11:53

Thank you for the useful tips. Actually, it does help to know I won't die! smile.png

 

Like you, Sbhoa, I have never counted the gap between verses either when playing with the church music group - I have just gone with what feels right. Our regular organist does it well, holding the last chord for much of the gap (probably for x beats as suggested above) so that there isn't a long gap of pure silence which might sound a bit unnatural. But I know that she sings the hymns as she plays, so that is no doubt why it sounds right.

 

It is normally our organist who sets the hymns, unless the priest wants anything specific to fit the sermon, and in her absence that generally falls to me, so I could pick out some that are not too difficult and don't have too many verses. But there is all the service music as well (it's a sung Eucharist) together with a sung Lord's prayer (at least I've learnt that bit!) intro and exit music, and something peaceful and meditative for communion. It seems a lot to have ready in time. The date is already etched in red in my head.

 

I'm an ultra nervous performer, and I really, really don't want it to be a miserable flop. But I'm loving the organ so much that I also think I would like to give it a try.


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#66 Vox Humana

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 12:36

 I believe that in the episcopal church the hymns are chosen well in advance so you will have plenty of time to practise them.

 

I do hope this is true in your church, Misterioso.  If there is the slightest doubt about this, I would politely insist that unless you have x days/weeks to practice the hymns (and anything else), you won't be able to do it.

 

Have you practised with someone singing along? If not, get a friend to come and sing hymns as you play. That'll help you judge how long to leave between verses and how to start them.

 

That's a good tip.

 

Although I think that counting beats between verses of a hymn does help the singing, I really wouldn't bother about it too much at this stage. Remembering what verse you are on, what stop changes (if any) you need to make and getting your fingers onto the right keys may well take all your available concentration to begin with. Keeping strict time between verses in addition to this is another complication you can probably do without. Once you become familiar with the routines and more confident about playing, you can easily add this in.

Gathering notes are generally frowned upon these days as being an 'unclean' practice (but that's a whole 'nother subject).


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#67 sbhoa

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  • Tameside

Posted 31 May 2018 - 14:36

Intro and exit music just keep it simple. I mostly use Hymns/choruses from Mission Praise.

For the Eucharist if it's really to big an ask for now couldn't they have it said for one week?

I've heard someone simplify by more or less playing a chord a bar and it's been useful enough to sing to if you know the tune.


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#68 TweedleDee

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 17:19

If you are planning to use pedal for the hymns, I would practice without pedal also and be prepared to drop the pedal line if needed.  I well remember my first time playing pedal with the congregation.  Nerves got me and I had to drop it in the middle of a verse.  I would second the idea of adding the pedal for the last verse or last stanza of the last verse for your first time.


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#69 Vox Humana

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 23:25

I haven't re-read this thread, so I'm not sure whether it's already been mentioned, but, adapting the advice of one well-known teacher, if you want to play safe you could restrict the use of the pedal just to the cadence (i.e. the last two bass notes) that ends each line of the hymn. 


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#70 Misterioso

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 10:45

Thanks, Vox Humana. Your excellent advice was also given to me by my organ teacher as a good way into beginning, and I plan to put this into practice.... although I think the first few times will be pedal-less.unsure.png


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