Skip to comments.Does This * Cause You To Pause?
Posted on 03/30/2006 6:44:53 PM PST by sionnsar
I very much appreciate the Psalm reciting custom that I learned at Nashotah House. During the recitation of the Psalter in said Morning and Evening Prayer a slight pause should be made at the asterisk that appears in the middle of ever verse of the Psalter.
I will preach the law, whereof the Lord hath said unto me * Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. (Psalm 2:7)At the asterisk you would pause for a moment and so on for every line of the Psalm. The reason I like this is that it creates a very devotional dimension to the Psalter - a moment to consider the words. It also allows the reading to be a sort of lectio divina - a contemplative, prayerful reading of Sacred Scripture.
As a matter of fact, when singing, one takes a breath at the asterisk. The second half of the psalm tone is almost always a repetition or recapitulation of the first, so this makes sense.
It also makes sense to breathe there when reciting - even if not singing. And it's a good time to pause for reflection as well as breath.
That is the unfortunate vocal noise - a click or thump - that occurs when you "hammer" the syllable immediately after the breath. It sounds pretty awful.
O be joyful in the Lord, all ye lands:
SERVE the Lord with gladness, and come before his presence with a psalm.
People tend to clobber "Serve" - to a lesser extent they will also hammer "all" and "come" and the second syllable of "presence".
. . . . sorry , just got out of 2 1/2 hours of choir practice.
Though your Christian point is yours to make.
On a side note, I will be singing all 150 psalms in gregorian plainchant (with a few psalms done metrical and anglican chant) in a Psalter Marathon at my church (Christ Church, Kensington MD) on October 28, 2006, beginning at 9am and completing about 8 hours after. We will be careful to avoid acCENTing the wrong syLLAbles. :)
2.5 hours of choir practice, eh? I sing tenor myself. What are you singing for Holy Week?
The schedule is still a little fluid, we tend to rehearse a LOT of stuff, then pick and choose during warm-up. The lineup so far:
Byrd, "Ave Verum Corpus", Morley, "Nolo Mortem Peccatoris," Tallis "O Lord give thy Holy Spirit," Vittoria, "O Vos Omnes", Palestrina "Sicut Cervus", Billings "When Jesus Wept," "Jesus Dulcis Memoria," "Popule Meus," "Pange Lingua" for Holy Thursday, "Ecce Lignum," the Dubois "Adoramus Te", "Vexilla Regis," the "Tenebrae" . . .
He keeps us pretty busy!
I'm an alto who's working hard to extend my range upwards so I can manage the Palestrina cleanly (I'm solid on top E in the treble clef now, which is a change (I mean no squeaking or vocal stop), and I can hit A sharp but it ain't pretty . . . and downwards so I can handle the Morley - it's got two repeated Es (I'm talking about in the bass clef) in the alto line, down an octave in half a measure . . .
For Easter we're doing the Franck Psalm 150, and the Telemann "Laudate Jehovam Omnes Gentes". That one is a HOOT - the altos have a couple of entrances that you just have to pull from nowhere at all - but it's beautiful and a lot of fun to sing.
Byrd, Tallis, Morely, Palestrina eh? Sounds great! We've done some of that. I can't quote you what we've got lined up because I've been away from practice a bit (my parents got ill and I've been at their house in Indianapolis the last three practices). Sounds like you've got a pretty good choirmaster. How big is your choir? Do you have any of your work on the church's web site?
Our choirmaster is the best ever -- doctorate in organ performance from Juilliard, Fulbright to study at the Lyons Conservatoire . . . and he's a splendid teacher to boot (and former prof. at Juilliard). We are SO lucky to have him!
Choir has really increased in size since he came on board. We are now up to around 30-35 members. Sorry no recordings . . . my old (ECUSA) choir used to make them all the time . . .that's next on The List . . .
We are a small parish, maybe 40 people at the average service. Music is one of our strengths. It's really made a difference for me. When I first joined, there were 9 of us and I was the only male singer. We've gone back and forth since then. Right now we are a perfect double quartet, 2 of each voice. We'll sing a praise song one Sunday, a gospel the next, and then Tallis the week after. We do a fair number of Bach chorales as well; they sound great and are quick to learn by now. Holy Week is heavy on the classics, but there'll be a contemporary number in there. We're doing a fairly simple motet for Good Friday. We had started work on a more complex one, but too many people missed too many rehearsals and we had to go a little simpler.
We had a Handbell Choir Crisis a little while ago, but it seems to have worked itself out.
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