Percussion

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organist
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Percussion

Post by organist » Tue May 03, 2016 6:06 am

I went to St George's cathedral Southwark in my capacity as Provincial President of the Catenians Province 7 to promote our Bursary fund and ended up taking the collection! The cathedral was well filled for the HCPT 60th anniversary Mass. BUT the music group/singers were amplified and accompanied by piano and very loud percussion. At one point I had to turn my hearing aids off it was so awful. OK it was joyous and celebratory and the kids loved it but what about those with hearing difficulties? Could this loud noise have a bad effect on some of the disabled?
There seemed to be very little relief from the drums. At communion Psalm 23 (Townend) was wrecked in the chorus by drums, followed by Here I am Lord and then the same thing happened to Be still for the presence of the Lord!!!!!! :(
The person conducting should have selected items for the percussion to accompany. Sprinkling Water of life Dean (again with drums - why?) The peace came at the beginning to Shalom and the Gloria (Anderson) was omitted! The eucharistic prayer ended with traditional Caribbean 5 times A....men not Ah....men. The psalm involvd a lot of rhythmic clapping CJM This day was made by the Lord followed by Halle, halle which was repeated after the Gospel (I hate that!). Offertory we come to your feast (Joncas). Sanctus John Carroll (not known to me) Lamb of God said.
Warm up numbers Matt Redman Bless the Lord, Give thanks and Sing hosanna as entrance hymns. Final hymns Sing it in the valleys and Rise and shine! At least we were spared Shine Jesus shine!
My point is simply there needs to be variety of sounds in a liturgy. Organists are often accused of beng too loud but this was deafening and inappropriate to the words being sung. If this is what Southwark Lourdes Masses are like my advice is do not go! At least I am told Westminster does not have this sort of loud music. :D

organist
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Re: Percussion

Post by organist » Tue May 03, 2016 6:12 am

A lot Facebook support for my comments about this! :D I'm fed up with bad church music

Southern Comfort
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Re: Percussion

Post by Southern Comfort » Wed May 04, 2016 7:34 pm

The John Carroll Mass is by Michael Joncas. John Carroll was, I believe, the first Bishop of Baltimore, and thus the first RC bishop in the USA.

organist wrote:Halle, halle which was repeated after the Gospel (I hate that!)


Repeating the Acclamation after the Gospel actually has a lot to commend it. It is like musical bookends, and proclaims that we believe that the Gospel reading is somehow "more special" than the other readings, as indeed it is, being the story and words of Jesus himself. It was introduced to help places where there was no procession to honour the Gospel to compensate and show honour in a different way. If you have had a proper Gospel procession, it isn't necessary to repeat the Acclamation after the Gospel reading, but see the following paragraph:

At Masses with a Bishop, the repetition of the Acclamation has a further function, covering the time taken to carry the Book of the Gospels to the Bishop to kiss, or alternatively the time taken for the Bishop to come to the ambo to preach if he preaches from there instead of at the chair.

organist
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Re: Percussion

Post by organist » Wed May 04, 2016 10:07 pm

How interesting - where is that quote from please? I thought we greeted the Gospel with the Acclamation and the homily should follow naturally. AN instrumental to cover the procession with the Book makes more sense. :D

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mcb
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Re: Percussion

Post by mcb » Wed May 04, 2016 10:34 pm

The English and Welsh bishops have this to say:
On more solemn occasions, it may be appropriate to repeat the sung Alleluia at the end of the Gospel reading after the final acclamation Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ. [Celebrating the Mass, 166]


As for your wider point, organist, might it be sensible just to accept that you're not a prototypical member of the congregation for an HCPT Mass? :) A lot of people (to judge from Facebook) seem to have found it enormously uplifting and rewarding. It's a good thing (IMHO) that not every celebration of the Mass is identical to all the others.

dmu3tem
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Re: Percussion

Post by dmu3tem » Thu May 05, 2016 11:28 am

Yes, percussion can be very loud; but one should be careful not to 'throw the baby out with the bathwater'. Percussion can be handled delicately and sensitively - above all it is about 'colour' - and the variety of instrumental 'colours' it can offer is almost limitless (anyone with any imagination can 'make' or discover new sounds from almost any object. It also has the merit of being usable by absolute beginners with absolute precision and professionalism as well as by highly trained executants. The real issues are threefold: (1) Outside 'folk' and 'happy clappy' styles people often do not seem to think percussion has a role in church services (2) the supply of percussion players who can read a written part is very limited (3) Using percussion requires careful planning to achieve maximum tonal effect (not noise).
T.E.Muir

IncenseTom
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Re: Percussion

Post by IncenseTom » Thu May 05, 2016 6:25 pm

We always repeat the singing of the Alleluia at the end of the Gospel outside of Advent and Lent and it does indeed make more of the Gospel.

I had better leave my thoughts on percussion in the liturgy to myself. :wink:

Southern Comfort
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Re: Percussion

Post by Southern Comfort » Thu May 05, 2016 8:54 pm

organist wrote:How interesting - where is that quote from please? I thought we greeted the Gospel with the Acclamation and the homily should follow naturally. AN instrumental to cover the procession with the Book makes more sense. :D


That paragraph was not a quote. It was me. But that doesn't make it any the less true! :) I wouldn't agree that an instrumental to cover the procession with the Book makes more sense than singing the Alleluias again. But of course if you don't like the particular setting being used you may not agree.

alan29
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Re: Percussion

Post by alan29 » Fri May 06, 2016 10:33 am

On a practical note ... percussion is almost always a mistake in a large acoustic.

blackthorn fairy
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Re: Percussion

Post by blackthorn fairy » Fri May 06, 2016 12:20 pm

HCPT please?

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mcb
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Re: Percussion

Post by mcb » Fri May 06, 2016 12:40 pm

blackthorn fairy wrote:HCPT please?


There's an explanation here: http//www.google.com :)

Oh all right then, here: http://www.hcpt.org.uk

If I remember right, HCPT was originally Handicapped Children's Pilgrimage Trust, but that's given way to a more PC reading of the same initials.

blackthorn fairy
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Re: Percussion

Post by blackthorn fairy » Sat May 07, 2016 4:30 pm

Thanks MCB - now I know. An ingenious adaptation. However, I've never understood what is unacceptable about the word 'handicapped'.

organist
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Re: Percussion

Post by organist » Sun May 08, 2016 1:22 pm

Yes I accept I am not a "prototypical" whatever that is! Actually there were quite a few elderly people there who commented on the same thing -too loud! Musicians need to remember that hearing aids can pick up too much and I include organists in that! :D
I am certainly happy with added colour e.g. the cymbal crash in Willcocks arrangement of Hark the Herald is a master stroke. But in every item? It did occur to me that the players involved might be "disabled" themselves and see this as a great opportunity to have fun! I can only imagine what the sound is like in the Lourdes underground church! :D

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