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 Post subject: Re: Christian Music
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:19 am 
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Lali Beag Bídeach
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Oh, I don't think my ears can learn to be okay with that.

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 Post subject: Re: Christian Music
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:26 am 
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Jude wrote:
If you're not tired of Christmas music yet, here is something interesting I discovered - The Medieval Baebes' version of "God rest ye merry, Gentlemen". At first I thought the lead singer was out of tune in one note, until I realized they were doing it in the Dorian mode instead of the minor. Check it out!


I've heard that version, it always did sound a little strange - I mean I can hear when I expect one note but they sing another - but I had no idea it was anything other than artistic license. That's interesting to hear that it's a thing and not just... uh... a thing? Wow I'm so literate.

What is Dorian mode? (Yes, I am on the internet, I could look this up myself, but I figure if I ask here I'll get much more interesting answers.)

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 Post subject: Re: Christian Music
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:28 am 
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Lán de Grás
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Modes differ from each other by the pattern of tones and semitones in a scale. In your regular major scale, the pattern is, starting from the bottom, tone-tone-semitone-tone-tone-tone-semitone.

In an unaltered minor scale, the pattern is tone-semitone-tone-tone-semitone-tone-tone. I say "unaltered", but in practice the minor scale is rarely used that way. The seventh note from the bottom is usually raised a semitone to create a stronger attraction to the tonic note (i.e. the note the scale starts and ends on). This creates an awkward interval of a tone-and-a-half between the sixth and seventh note. To avoid this, the sixth note is often raised in passages where you move from the sixth to seventh note. In passages where the melody is moving down, the seventh note is not raised as often because you don't need that attraction to the tonic note, and therefore the sixth note does not need to be raised as well. Of course, composers often don't bother to raise the sixth note because they like the effect of the extra-wide interval between the sixth and seventh note. And sometimes they raise the sixth and seventh in passages that go down, and leave them lowered in passages that go up. This is less common, but if that's the sound you want, that's the pattern you use.

There are many other modes that used to be more common before music gravitated to using the major and minor modes exclusively. The Dorian mode is one of these, with a pattern of tone-semitone-tone-tone-tone-semitone-tone. Another way to think of it is to play a scale on the piano starting on D, but use only the white notes. In modes where there is a tone between the seventh note and the tonic, the seventh is sometimes raised in passages that move from seventh note to tonic. So if you start on D, that would mean playing a C# on the way up, and a C-natural on the way down.

If you know the song "What do you do with a drunken sailor", that's another example of a song in the Dorian mode:


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 Post subject: Re: Christian Music
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:48 am 
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Lán de Grás
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So I recorded some Christmas music for you all*. The acoustics sounded great when I was singing, but now when I listen to the recording, I find the reverb to be too strong. It's the first time I've used a Zoom H2N to record instead of hiring a sound engineer. Should I just upload it as is, or learn how to edit sound recordings? Any advice?


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* Actually, I wanted to do this a month ago when it was still the Christmas season, but when I had booked the church hall and the accompanist, we showed up and discovered that they had locked the piano and neglected to provide me with a key. Yes, I'm still furious about that.

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 Post subject: Re: Christian Music
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:07 pm 
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Lali Beag Bídeach
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Why don't you upload it as is for now and play around with sound editing (harder than it seems) later? I'd love to hear it.

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 Post subject: Re: Christian Music
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:42 am 
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Lán de Grás
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Well, okay. The first one, in honour of Prim's new hearing prowess, is "Frohe Hirten" (joyful shepherds) from Bach's Christmas Oratorio. You can really tell that I didn't hire a professional sound engineer.


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 Post subject: Re: Christian Music
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:10 am 
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Lali Beag Bídeach
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:bow: Just very lovely! :love:

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 Post subject: Re: Christian Music
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:48 am 
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Living in hope
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It's good I can type when I'm choked up. . . .

Thank you, Jude. That was utterly lovely. And my new ears loved hearing the texture in your voice. And I loved the echo from the piano—no doubt a sound engineer would have eliminated that, but it made it sound real to me—as if I were sitting in the real space listening to you both. Churches echo!

Thank you. Thank you. :hug:

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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 Post subject: Re: Christian Music
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:20 pm 
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Lán de Grás
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You're welcome!

For the next one, does anybody have some good pictures of night winter scenes? Both country and city scenes would be good.

If not, maybe I'll google for night winter scenes of my favourite city...

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 Post subject: Re: Christian Music
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:22 pm 
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Feeling grateful
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Jude wrote:
You can really tell that I didn't hire a professional sound engineer.


But you can equally tell that you did hire a professional singer. Or at least a great one!

:bow:

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 Post subject: Re: Christian Music
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:16 am 
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Lán de Grás
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This is one of only two songs that Viktor Ullmann wrote in the English language. Until 1942 he lived and composed in Prague. Most of his Prague works have disappeared, presumably destroyed by the Nazis, but a number of items that he published privately and entrusted to a friend for safekeeping have survived.

In 1942 he was deported to Theresienstadt, where he continued to compose. When he was deported to Auschwitz in October 1944, he entrusted his Theresienstadt compositions to his friend Emil Utitz, who was able to preserve them until the war was over.

This song, written in his Prague period, is based on a rather strange poem by American poet Percy MacKaye:

"I met God walking leisurely,
So calm the time, so keen the air,
It seemed a simple thing to see him walking there.

His little son was at his side,
They held each other by the hand.
Under a shining cloud they eyed the shadowy land.

The cloud, the father, and his son
All moved with such melodious pace,
It was as if they went in one encircling grace.

My heart that beat so quick and wild,
Right then I felt its fears allay,
'Grüß Gott!' I said.
The Three all smiled: 'Grüß Gott!' said they."


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