Downloadable hymns - music for the Mass

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oopsorganist
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Downloadable hymns - music for the Mass

Post by oopsorganist » Wed May 27, 2015 10:40 am

Is there somewhere, a trove of free downloadable music such as hymns (organ accompaniments or sung with organ) that parishes can use when lacking any musical ability?
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VML
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Re: Downloadable hymns - music for the Mass

Post by VML » Wed May 27, 2015 12:58 pm

Available, oops, but not free.

oopsorganist
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Re: Downloadable hymns - music for the Mass

Post by oopsorganist » Wed May 27, 2015 1:20 pm

I know about the commercial CDs - there are quite a few around really, and other digital resources.
I am just wondering if people can be sharing a set of such resources without buying them? That seems a really bad idea, unethical at least....but then maybe there is something that can be shared without infringing copywrite? That I don't know about?

An acquaintance has downloaded music - whilst being used in church, the technology that was being used was stolen - but my acquaintance has a back up memory stick and so does her friend on Facebook who is going to help out.

But I suspect that pirates have stolen back their music!
uh oh!

Southern Comfort
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Re: Downloadable hymns - music for the Mass

Post by Southern Comfort » Wed May 27, 2015 11:12 pm

If parishes are really lacking anyone with musical ability, then they should be true to themselves and sing unaccompanied. It often works really well!

I often hear from priests and others expressing great dissatisfaction with Synthia and other resources for accompanying hymns when there is no real live person. They don't know how to express what their difficulties are, but it becomes clear when talking to them that (a) a metronomic accompaniment doesn't feel natural, and (b) frequently the tempo feels wrong. It's easy to surmise that the latter is because (i) they have more (or less) people, or (ii) a different acoustic, or (iii) the barometric pressure is different, or (iv) the news on TV last night was not as depressing (or uplifting) — than the robot accompanist was envisaging who made the recordings. Additional problems raised are that the canned accompaniment does not know how to slow down authentically at the end of a hymn, that the recording has the wrong number of verses, that the sound quality of the accompaniment is ghastly.... The synthesiser can never be human and react to the actual local situation in the way that a real person can. All in all, you wonder why people ever choose to go down this route. It's the same debate that we'll be having in a few years' time when driverless cars become more possible than they are at present.

In the same way that you'd never have a pre-recorded CD of the Huddersfield Choral Society singing along with your hymn, or a large video screen playing the homily, or synthetic plastic cloths on the altar, or fake candles, or.... oh wait. We are already in danger of being washed away down the sinkhole of a complete loss of authenticity. But we need to be authentic communities.

If we have little or nothing in the way of resources, and are not willing to pay to have more, then we must be true to who we are as a community. If we have a lot in the way of resources, we should also be generous and think of sharing what we have with others who are less fortunate. But the Big Sin is to pretend that we are not who we are. Little Bogbury can never be a cathedral, and should not try to be. And a cathedral should not try to be a small parish (as seems to be in danger of happening in Philadelphia, if the archbishop has his way).

Fake accompaniments in the end are just that — fake.

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VML
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Re: Downloadable hymns - music for the Mass

Post by VML » Thu May 28, 2015 12:57 pm

Fake accompaniments in the end are just that — fake. Exactly.

And so are recorded songs and hymns at funerals and weddings. I have not yet dared to ask if the homily will also be a recording from someone 'who has a special meaning for us…' Sorry. Off topic. But definitely, sing unaccompanied. It CAN be done. Getting your people to know this is another hurdle sometimes. They/ we need to recognise that if you can speak, you can sing.

oopsorganist
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Re: Downloadable hymns - music for the Mass

Post by oopsorganist » Thu May 28, 2015 6:11 pm

I wonder if that parish using the downloaded music is both "fake" (and I quite agree... there is always the option of just singing, the option of not singing - especially hymns) and breaching copyright.

Saving a penny. One set of CDs per Diocese and Soundcloud!

It just seems that way, I am not sure. I know if attended a Mass with a pre recorded backing track I would probably leave and head for the hills. And I am quite easy to please otherwise.

"With the choirs of angels and the help of modern ICT and recording possibilities.........."
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justMary
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Re: Downloadable hymns - music for the Mass

Post by justMary » Thu May 28, 2015 7:18 pm

There are a few websites with such recordings. There is a list here: http://www.liturgytools.net/2014/04/whe ... hymns.html

For copyright reasons they need to be 1) hymns and arrangements that are in the public domain, and 2) recordings which the musician has chosen to make available for free (or where the musician is at least 70 years deceased - unlikely given the state of recording technology that long ago, but not totally impossible.)

The caveats others have posted apply. Along with a strong warning to listen to the track and decide if the style and pace really do suit your situation. There is a wide variety.

Ideally you would use the tracking to start people singing, and then gently lower the volume. You might even get to the point of being able to start unaccompanied.

You need to work out what technology you will use to play the track, and how you can set it up to start at exactly the right time. Beware that though many machines have a Pause button, some of them revert to the default after a minute or two.

oopsorganist
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Re: Downloadable hymns - music for the Mass

Post by oopsorganist » Fri May 29, 2015 1:26 pm

That sounds very technical that does. It is probably something a computer can do really well with the right input and operation. Stage managed though and always artificial.

But it all a bit sad though. The idea that a small congregation cannot find even one soul to be brave enough to start a standard hymn off.... or even sadderer, that a large congregation cannot find a soul to do so. Most congregations could manage All that I am, Gifts of Bread and Wine things like that. And what is the need for more, if there is not a will to use music to open the Word or other aspiration? To have a complete set of say Celebration For Everyone tracks is a step towards a wish to introduce new hymns and music - it could become yet another variant of Battles Over Hymns. Infinite power in the touch of a button! :lol:

In nurseries etc, workers sometimes cannot sing. Well some improve with some help, but because it is their job, they have a go, and reap rich rewards..... I have weathered plenty of nursery rhymes sung out of key and time, wrong words, variations of the local kind, and usually, deep deep down in their boots. But they give it a go. And they get rewarded by smiles and excitement and the development of language skills and social skills and imagination.

But whey should a parish lacking the wherewithal to start off a hymn, why would they think that the people there want to sing at all? And if they do, why use things of second rank, why not plan, prepare and deliver a tailored package of creative and inspirational quality. To not do so is settling for 110th best solution. Canned mediocrity. Canned mediocrity to aspire to. Maybe parishes who use CDs should use proper choral tracks and enjoy pretending with style.

Goes off humming Come to the Water as heard on Youtube.
uh oh!

High Peak
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Re: Downloadable hymns - music for the Mass

Post by High Peak » Sat May 30, 2015 8:54 pm

Southern Comfort wrote:In the same way that you'd never have a pre-recorded CD of the Huddersfield Choral Society singing along with your hymn....

In my parish 30 years ago, the then PP had a Walkman on the altar and the congregation sang along to Harry Secombe!!! :roll:

oopsorganist
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Re: Downloadable hymns - music for the Mass

Post by oopsorganist » Sun May 31, 2015 5:33 pm

Harry Secombe. I know a parish would like that.

Maybe, the CD sets for those without or organ (ears ?) should include a bit of Gregorian chant. That would make them sit up and frown. Young people might like it. Apparently.

Also, there is some value in having hymns and other sacred music from other cultures. Lots of parishioners in our cities are from other cultures, speak other languages. And if the born to English do not want to sing and have to be aided electronically, then you might as well have it all in Polish, or Ukranian. At least some group or other would be happy. Lots of Nigerians in my ex parish. That could be a lively Mass backing CD.

I might even go back if they could get going on that.
uh oh!

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