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Re: [Covenanted Reformation] part singing

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  • Thomas Roche
    The objection to doing this would be? ... ===== Dr. Thomas P. Roche Librarian The Marvelwood School 476 Skiff Mtn. Rd.-- PO Box 3001 Kent, CT 06757
    Message 1 of 5 , May 13, 2003
      The objection to doing this would be?

      --- Jason Robert Schuiling <jrschuiling@...>
      wrote:
      > That's where the folks with different vocal ranges
      > sing different
      > music to the same song, like bass, tenor, alto,
      > soprano.
      >
      >
      > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com,
      > Thomas Roche
      > <tertullianus_2000@y...> wrote:
      > > For us musically-illiterate barbarians, would
      > y'all
      > > kindly refresh my memory as to what 'part singing'
      > and
      > > 'four-part harmony' mean?
      > >
      > > --- Dan Fraas <fraasrd@y...> wrote:
      > > > I recently read Mike Bushels book, "The Songs of
      > > > Zion: a contemporary
      > > > case for exclusive Psalmody.) I found it very
      > > > informative and
      > > > inciteful. Among the historical testimony
      > Bushel
      > > > cited he noted that
      > > > Calvin was against part-singing in public
      > worship
      > > > and vehemently
      > > > opposed it's introduction in Strassburg and
      > Geneva.
      > > > How does this
      > > > relate to current Reformed Presbyterian practice
      > of
      > > > singing the
      > > > Psalms in four-part harmony?
      > > >
      > > > Riley
      > > >
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      > > =====
      > > Dr. Thomas P. Roche
      > > Librarian
      > > The Marvelwood School
      > > 476 Skiff Mtn. Rd.-- PO Box 3001
      > > Kent, CT 06757
      > > tertullianus_2000@y...
      > > (my opinions do not reflect those of my employer)
      > >
      > > __________________________________________________
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      >


      =====
      Dr. Thomas P. Roche
      Librarian
      The Marvelwood School
      476 Skiff Mtn. Rd.-- PO Box 3001
      Kent, CT 06757
      tertullianus_2000@...
      (my opinions do not reflect those of my employer)

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    • thebishopsdoom
      ... I think it was pretty much only brought up because Calvin was opposed to parts singing and the practice was forbidden in the churches of Geneva,
      Message 2 of 5 , May 15, 2003
        --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Thomas Roche
        <tertullianus_2000@y...> wrote:
        > The objection to doing this would be?

        I think it was pretty much only brought up because Calvin was opposed
        to parts singing and the practice was forbidden in the churches of
        Geneva, Switzerland. It was based upon Calvin's (and obviously I
        presume his asscoiate's) theory of church music. For instance, in
        mentioning his displeasure at Goudimel's 4 part harmony settings (of
        which incidentally, some are available on a CD of French psalms that
        is in the classical music market),

        "They were too complicated for congregational singing, and the very
        beauty of their harmonic text would attract attention to itself."

        Calvin believed:

        "Whatever music is composed only to please and delight the ear, is
        unbecoming the majesty of the church, and cannot but be highly
        displeasing to God."

        (I found both these quotes on the internet, which I am somewhat
        reliant on now without a copy of Garside's Origins of Calvin's Theory
        of Music before me to look it up, it had more detail on his views on
        church music, but I seem to recall what was expressed above being in
        harmony with what is mentioned in Garside.)

        Harmony singing he saw as having no function but to make it sound
        prettier, and as such, he felt it was unneeded, and believed it would
        make the words become second to the music. I think he also may have
        said something about expressing a unity in voice being better suited
        to represent the unity of the worship, but that's just a (possibly
        wrong) recollection. Obviously he also opposed antiphonal singing,
        and I am pretty certain he (or if not him, certainly it was the case
        with some others) believed chanting was unsuited for congregational
        use, because too complex, though it was chanted in the OT. But that
        may have tied in with the concept of the fact that congregations
        hadn't been doing much singing in the churches for a few hundred
        years (that was reserved in many cases for professional singers).
        Things were done by professional choirs and the styles were not
        easily learned by the people, who learned metrical singing much
        easier. Some (maybe Calvin) also claimed that chanting was lifeless
        and unemotional. I suppose that's a matter of taste. Many people find
        chant to sound beautiful and powerful. And it appears to
        be the style of singing (though perhaps with some variation on the
        style of chanting) used by the people of God from ancient times up
        thru the early church era for the first few centuries. Of course, I
        do not believe, either, that there was anything wrong with most of
        the reformed churches, when determining what sort of music to use in
        their churches, deciding to use metred singing instead of chanted
        singing, nor their desiring uniformity in practice one or the other
        in all the churches under their church courts, in order to preserve
        the same order from church to church so people from one church to
        another will be familiar with the same practice.
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