Teaching the new Mass settings (including MacMillan)

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johnquinn39
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Teaching the new Mass settings (including MacMillan)

Post by johnquinn39 »

What is the best way to do this?

How was it done last time?

Will they be taught in schools?

Southern Comfort
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Re: Teaching the new Mass settings (including MacMillan)

Post by Southern Comfort »

I have not seen the new settings, but I am told by others who have

(a) that the Gloria is choir-only, which probably rules it out from being taught in schools anyway,
(b) that the Sanctus has an extended introduction which is not exactly in harmony with what we want the liturgy to do here (i.e. lead straight out of the Preface),
(c) that the Agnus Dei is a miniature masterpiece (phew! :mrgreen: ),
(d) that the Sanctus and Agnus are both through-composed, though there is a rumour that Macmillan may have been persuaded to add some repeated sections so that at least some assembly participation might be possible.

I have heard nothing about the Acclamation after the institution narrative, nor the Great Amen, if indeed there is going to be one.

It does look rather as though the celebration will be using a new text with a new setting that no one knows except the loyal choirmembers who will have been slaving away on it beforehand. Sounds as if assembly participation in the setting will be limited and subdued, rather than full-throated and powerful. A shame, if so.

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musicus
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Re: Teaching the new Mass settings (including MacMillan)

Post by musicus »

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think John is asking about introducing new settings in general, whereas SC is referring specifically to James MacMillan's setting, which is to be sung in Glasgow and Coventry during the Papal Visit.

Both scenarios raise interesting questions.
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presbyter
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Re: Teaching the new Mass settings (including MacMillan)

Post by presbyter »

Southern Comfort wrote:I have not seen the new settings, but I am told by others who have


better be clear here - this is the new MacMillan SC is talking about

Southern Comfort wrote:(a) that the Gloria is choir-only, which probably rules it out from being taught in schools anyway,


I think it is about to be taught in 21 secondary schools (20 midlands - 1 London)
It is a through-setting of the text for the whole assembly.

Southern Comfort wrote:(d) that the Sanctus and Agnus are both through-composed, though there is a rumour that Macmillan may have been persuaded to add some repeated sections so that at least some assembly participation might be possible.


No need for rumour - (optional) repeats are in the score

johnquinn39
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Re: Teaching the new Mass settings (including MacMillan)

Post by johnquinn39 »

I think it is about to be taught in 21 secondary schools (20 midlands - 1 London)
It is a through-setting of the text for the whole assembly.



- Wow!

- Yes, to clarify - my original post is about how we are going to teach the new and revised settings.

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presbyter
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Re: Teaching the new Mass settings (including MacMillan)

Post by presbyter »

According to an e-mail i have received from the Director of Music for Coventry, any choir member who makes an unauthorised copy of the MacMillan is almost under threat of excommunication, let alone civil action from the publishers!!!!

Try buying a copy from Boosey if you are not one of those involved in the choirs for Glasgow and Coventry.

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Re: Teaching the new Mass settings (including MacMillan)

Post by musicus »

Let's stay on topic, please.
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HallamPhil
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Re: Teaching the new Mass settings (including MacMillan)

Post by HallamPhil »

Perhaps one way of enabling the learning of new settings is to place recordings, professionally done or otherwise, on diocesan websites. I have recently bought a H4N Zoom hand held recorder for Hallam diocese. I am hoping that this will enable me to easily record talks and music and place these on our soon-to-be-re-vamped website.
Of course problems may result if any of one's own notated material becomes published and websites make such material available to the world so perhaps this is not so good an idea in this regard. But I think I am correct in assuming that home produced recordings of one's own music is OK. What's the situation if you record your own interpretations of someone else's music? I'd appreciate advice from any cognoscenti out there.

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presbyter
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Re: Teaching the new Mass settings (including MacMillan)

Post by presbyter »

HallamPhil wrote:What's the situation if you record your own interpretations of someone else's music? I'd appreciate advice from any cognoscenti out there.


The Archdiocese of Birmingham Church Music Committee has a Copyright Guide available online.

www.abcm.org.uk

I think that making a recording of a work in copyright and putting it out on the internet for anyone to download is not on (hence all the fuss there has been about just that on file sharing sites). Best to go through MCPS - or contact individual composers, if they are not PRS members, and get licences.

justMary
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Re: Teaching the new Mass settings (including MacMillan)

Post by justMary »

My understanding is that in most countries, copyright law means that even MAKING a recording of a tune that is copyright requires a licence. (I think it's what they call a "mechanical licence" - could be wrong about the term.) Publishing it on a website requires a different sort of licence - and I'm not aware of any of the church-copyright-organisations that handle music for the liturgical churches offering these licences.

That said, I'll bet that it won't be long at all before versions start appearing on YouTube: the church and publishers are mad if they think the can control how things spread in this sort of situation. Look at how things spread 40 years ago without the internet, and speed it up by a factor of thousands this time around, IMHO.

blackthorn fairy
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Re: Teaching the new Mass settings (including MacMillan)

Post by blackthorn fairy »

Yes, they did spread around 40 years ago - and in so many variations that it's v difficult to know what the correct version is - and I say 'correct' deliberately as many of the writers/composers are still alive and presumably have a viewpoint - it's not like hundreds of years ago when over time copyists' mistakes have been compounded or things had legitimate variations (e.g.the different versions of Gregorian chant in different places - Roman, Sarum, etc.). How have, for example, Shine Jesus Shine, Make me a channel of your peace, Lord Jesus CHrist (to name but 3), acquired so many versions?

Sorry, is this now off-topic?

johnquinn39
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Re: Teaching the new Mass settings (including MacMillan)

Post by johnquinn39 »

How have, for example, Shine Jesus Shine, Make me a channel of your peace, Lord Jesus Christ (to name but 3), acquired so many versions?


In my view, the reason is that congregations often 'iron out' rhythms (and sometimes notes). For example, I have never heard the triplet sung in 'Living Lord'. Does anyone sing 'Take our bread' as originally written?

Perhaps we are moving on to a new topic here. The final (or 'correct') version of any song will be what the congregation actually in the long run sing.

Anyone who composes, arranges or chooses music for the liturgy has to tap into what is actually the song of the people.

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Re: Teaching the new Mass settings (including MacMillan)

Post by Gabriel »

One reason that songs are 'ironed-out' is that many parish musicians either cannot read music or read it well enough to recognised that there is a difference between what's on the page and what they are singing.
This is not wholly off-topic as many need to hear a new setting before teaching it to others.
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Re: Teaching the new Mass settings (including MacMillan)

Post by dmu3tem »

Returning to the original question - how do you introduce new Mass settings - I do not see what is the problem. You introduce them to congregations (and specialist musicians) in the same way as before.

Here is my usual procedure:

(1) Get the score in sufficient copies for the choir/cantor(s) and teach it to them in rehearsal.

(2) Before Sunday Mass over a period of 4-5 weeks teach each 'movement' in turn to the congregation (possibly allowing 2 weeks for the Gloria) using the choir/cantor to give the lead.

(3) In addition, before even doing this, I sometimes played over movements on the organ as background 'voluntaries' before Mass, during communion and at the end of the service. Another useful trick is to put the congregational part into the parish newsletter. You can do this if you have an appropriate Calamus (or other) licence or if the music is your own. However I do not know what the position is with copyright of the actual text.

Using such methods I taught the congregation at Whalley some 6 new Mass settings over a period of 3 years.
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alan29
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Re: Teaching the new Mass settings (including MacMillan)

Post by alan29 »

Gabriel wrote:One reason that songs are 'ironed-out' is that many parish musicians either cannot read music or read it well enough to recognised that there is a difference between what's on the page and what they are singing.
This is not wholly off-topic as many need to hear a new setting before teaching it to others.


Similarly not all composers are equally proficient at notating their own music, particularly if there is a lot of syncopation or "swung" rhythm. Sometimes the "agreed practise" is the best way.

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