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Re: Organs and choirs

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  • Stan Takis
    Dear Dana: Right now I don t mind this being back and forth between you and me. I know there are a handful of lurkers here, but I hope your post on the
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 2, 2005
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      Dear Dana:

      Right now I don't mind this being back and forth between you and me.
      I know there are a handful of lurkers here, but I hope your post on
      the Byzantine Chant board will inspire more folks to post here.

      I think at the time Anastasiou wrote his hymnal, women singing in the
      choir was still a contentious issue. It still is today in Greece. So,
      anyway, I believe the arrangements in his hymnal are for male choir.
      However, if you read all of the stuff he wrote at the beginning and
      end of the hymnal, Anastasiou indicated that for mixed choirs, women
      and men were to double the written parts. He also goes into a long
      endorsement of the organ and claims with pride to have introduced it
      in America.

      I had a chuckle over your comment about the "organ apichima."

      Stan
    • Dana Netherton
      ... Same here, on all counts. :-) I do think that this is a much more appropriate place to discuss the musical woes of the GOA (as well as other musical
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 2, 2005
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        --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, "Stan Takis"
        <takistan@y...> wrote:
        >
        > Dear Dana:
        >
        > Right now I don't mind this being back and forth between you and me.
        > I know there are a handful of lurkers here, but I hope your post on
        > the Byzantine Chant board will inspire more folks to post here.

        Same here, on all counts. :-)

        I do think that this is a much more appropriate place to discuss the
        musical woes of the GOA (as well as other musical aspects of the GOA)
        than one of the lists that focuses on specific types of music (such as
        Byz chant).

        > ... if you read all of the stuff he wrote at the beginning and
        > end of the hymnal, Anastasiou indicated that for mixed choirs, women
        > and men were to double the written parts.

        Looking at p. 325, in the back, I see that he had it in mind for the
        Sopranos and Tenors to double on the upper part in the treble clef,
        the "Contralti" and "Baritoni" to double on the lower part in that
        clef, and the "first and second Bases" [sic] to sing the two parts on
        the bass clef.

        Well, this at least would offer additional voices for those 3-note
        (and sometimes 4-note) chords that show up in the treble clef ...
        (Dana shakes his head, trying to believe his eyes)

        > He also goes into a long endorsement of the organ and claims with
        > pride to have introduced it in America.

        Yes ... he does, and he does.

        > I had a chuckle over your comment about the "organ apichima."

        Yeah, that goes in the I Kid You Not department.

        But what I was getting at, with all that, is that we can grow to
        depend upon the organ, when our choir sings music *that was written to
        have organ accompaniment*. If the organ has moving parts while the
        choir holds sustained notes ... then when the organ stops playing,
        something will feel "missing".

        I have only just noticed this -- just a few days ago, in my parish
        choir where we stopped using the organ a couple of years ago. No one
        seriously misses the organ, perhaps because we *can* double (most of)
        the organ's music. For us, it's not a serious loss.

        I don't have a wide acquaintance with today's GOA organ-and-choir
        repertoire; I really know little more than my own choir's repertoire,
        and I have only a nodding acquaintence with other composers and
        compositions. But it struck me that this was a situation that
        composers *could* paint their music into (dependence upon the organ).

        I wonder whether any others (other composers than Anastasiou, whom we
        have already discussed) have?

        In Christ,

        Dana Netherton
      • Stan Takis
        Dear Dana: We stopped using the organ in our parish (Flint) last year. The choir couldn t sing in tune with it, oddly enough. Now we get the pitch from Father
        Message 3 of 6 , Feb 3, 2005
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          Dear Dana:

          We stopped using the organ in our parish (Flint) last year. The choir
          couldn't sing in tune with it, oddly enough. Now we get the pitch
          from Father Stavros's chant and adjust to it. We do a simple liturgy
          that Nancy and I put together that is a combination of Sakallerides-
          style 3-part harmony in the 2nd Tone hymns and the Communion hymn
          (this was my contribution and it was because the choir couldn't
          handle 2nd Tone), and the rest of it is Byzantine Chant, mostly
          Plagal Fourth, First, and Plagal First (Nancy's contribution.)

          I don't miss the organ at all, and I thought there for a moment that
          the choir didn't either, until this past Christmas when we sang a few
          Christmas Carols for the kid's pageant and Nancy accompanied on the
          organ. A couple of choir members got nostalgic for the old days and
          wondered aloud if we could go back to accompanying the liturgy with
          the organ.

          That won't happen, but, hey, our organ is a Baldwin classical organ
          and it sounds nice.

          Stan
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