Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Church Music

April 6th, 2009 No comments

This is a long-term post that will collect my ideas on church music. I will start it small, just to get it going.

1. Keep in mind that church music is not a performance for an audience, even an audience of God. The congregation is there too, and they’re supposed to be worshipping. If you want a concert for God, do it with no congregation present.

This idea has lots of implications. One is that there should not be instrumental interludes, preludes, or postludes, during which the congregation waits nervously. Another is that beauty is not the main goal (if it were, you’d expel the congregation, because they cough, sing badly, etc.)

2. If there is a solo, let the congregation chip in at the last verse.

3. Don’t have undignified children songs with gestures, etc., except for children. It is degrading for adults, insulting the Dignity of Man.

4. Overheads slide person is most important person.

5. People should be able to hear each other singing.

6. Don’t jazz up arrangements just for the sake of putting personal
imprint on it. Old arrangements are old for a reason– they’re good.

7. Clapping is good for kids and illiterates. Make sure they can participate somehow.

8. Have strong male voices leading.

9. Not too many verses of any one hymn.

10. Explain hymns in advance.

Categories: beauty, music, religion Tags:

"Music Make You Lose Control"

January 16th, 2009 No comments


LD passed this along to me.

Categories: art, humor, music Tags:

Singing at Age 95

January 15th, 2009 No comments

From National Review:

Finally, a colleague sent me a YouTube video of Licia Albanese, the famed soprano. Apparently, the video was shot last summer, when she was 95 (not 100, as the text says). Watch her nail (pretty much) an A flat. It starts to sag a little, but it is awfully good. And she releases it like a true pro. Go here. Enjoy.

Categories: health, music Tags:

A Hammerstein Rhyme

December 16th, 2008 No comments

Mark Steyn writes:

For a driving rhythm number in the show Sunny (1925), Hammerstein wrote:

Who stole my heart away?
Who makes me dream all day?
Dreams I know can never be true
Seems as though I’ll ever be blue.

Can’t see why I’m so impressed by the rhymes? Here—let me hit the italics key:

Dreams I know can never be true
Seems as though I’ll ever be blue.

That’s quite a rhyme scheme.

The entire Steyn article in The New Criterion on Hammerstein is good.

Categories: music, poems, words, writing Tags:

The World’s Best Orchestras

November 29th, 2008 No comments

Marginal Revolution, via Timesonline, via Gramophone magazine, has a top 20 list of world orchestras.

1 Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
2 Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
3 Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
4 London Symphony Orchestra
5 Chicago Symphony Orchestra
6 Bavarian Radio Symphony
7 Cleveland Orchestra
8 Los Angeles Philharmonic
9 Budapest Festival Orchestra
10 Dresden Staatskapelle
11 Boston Symphony Orchestra
12 New York Philharmonic
13 San Francisco Symphony
14 Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra
15 Russian National Orchestra
16 Leningrad Philharmonic
17 Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
18 Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
19 Saito Kinen Symphony Orchestra
20 Czech Philharmonic

Categories: music Tags:

Hymns with Blame for the Crucifixion

May 3rd, 2008 No comments

From The Cyber Hymnal here are some hymns that put blame for the Crucifixion on those who follow Jesus. I’ve given authors when I’ve heard of them. In each case I’ve given the first verse and the relevant verse.


John Newton

In evil long I took delight,
Unawed by shame or fear,
Till a new object struck my sight,
And stopped my wild career.

I saw One hanging on a tree,
In agony and blood,
Who fixed His languid eyes on me,
As near His cross I stood.

Sure, never to my latest breath,
Can I forget that look;
It seemed to charge me with His death,
Though not a word He spoke.

My conscience felt and owned the guilt,
And plunged me in despair,
I saw my sins His blood had spilt,
And helped to nail Him there.

A second look He gave, which said,
“I freely all forgive;
This blood is for thy ransom paid;
I die that thou mayst live.”

Thus, while His death my sin displays

In all its blackest hue,

Such is the mystery of grace,
It seals my pardon too.


Charles Wesley

Come, Thou everlasting Spirit,

Bring to every thankful mind

All the Savior’s dying merit,

All His sufferings for mankind!
True Recorder of His passion,
Now the living faith impart;
Now reveal His great salvation;
Preach His Gospel to our heart.

Come, Thou Witness of His dying;
Come, Remembrancer divine!
Let us feel Thy power, applying
Christ to every soul, and mine!
Let us groan Thine inward groaning;
Look on Him we pierced, and grieve;
All receive the grace atoning,
All the sprinkled blood receive.


My times are in Thy hand;
My God, I wish them there;
My life, my friends, my soul I leave
Entirely to Thy care.

My times are in Thy hand,
Jesus, the crucified!
Those hands my cruel sins had pierced
Are now my guard and guide.


Isaac Watts:

How condescending and how kind
Was God’s eternal Son!
Our misery reached His heav’nly mind,
And pity brought Him down.

Here let our hearts begin to melt,

While we His death record,
And with our joy for pardoned guilt,
Mourn that we pierced the Lord.


My sins laid open to the rod,
The back which from the law was free;
And the eternal Son of God
Received the stripes once due to me.

I pierced those sacred hands and feet
That never touched or walked in sin;
I broke the heart that only beat
The souls of sinful men to win.

That sponge of vinegar and gall
Was placed by me upon His tongue;
And when derision mocked His call,
I stood that mocking crowd among.

Categories: music, religion Tags:

December 26th, 2007 No comments

Free Classical Sheetmusic Downloads. This is harder to find than I thought it would be. For page-by-page GIF files, try the Indiana University Library Variations site. It has the complete Beethoven piano sonatas, which is what I was looking for. The largest classical site seems to be Sheet Music Archive, which says it allows two free downloads of pdf files per day. I only succeeded with one, a fine file, and then for the next two days it’s said Download Limit Exceeded. For $20 you can get a membership, though. Zimmusic is a smaller site where I found some small-size Beethoven bagatelles. None of these are entirely satisfactory, but they are better than the many other sites I came across.

Categories: art, downloads, music Tags: