Triduum accompaniment

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High Peak
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Triduum accompaniment

Post by High Peak » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:28 pm

"During the same period (ie between the Gloria of Maundy Thursday and that of the Easter Vigil), the organ and other musical instruments may be used only for the purpose of supporting the singing."

Some guidance, please (as the old phrase put it - how far can you go?), as well as examples of best practice if you would be so kind.

alan29
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Re: Triduum accompaniment

Post by alan29 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:46 pm

I take it at face value..... no singing=no playing.

JW
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Re: Triduum accompaniment

Post by JW » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:51 pm

I suspect best practice would be no accompaniment at all, but few congregations could cope with that.

What I do is accompany everything, except the Exsultet. When accompanying, you will need to provide a proper introduction. But no fancy harmonisations, modulations or twiddly bits.. Instrumentation should be restrained. If organ, perhaps no more than 8' and 4'.
JW

Southern Comfort
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Re: Triduum accompaniment

Post by Southern Comfort » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:53 am

We have this conversation every year.... :(

We need to be clear that the former regulations — that the organ was not played during Lent/the Triduum — date from a time when parishes (not all) had in their repertoires some music that could all be sung unaccompanied (Gregorian chant, polyphony...). Today we have totally different repertoires that often rely upon instrumental accompaniment for support or to have full musical/emotional effect. This music was written to be accompanied. (I personally can't envisage a Triduum without Stephen Dean's amazing Father, if this cup during the Veneration of the Cross, perhaps preceded by just the refrain as interludes in the Good Friday Passion reading. But without its wonderful chromatic accompaniment, it is nothing.)

It is therefore not realistic to insist that this repertoire be done without instruments (some of it can work, obviously, but much cannot). There are other ways of marking off the different character of the Triduum, e.g. selecting repertoire such as the example I gave above. The present regulations are there because they understand pastoral needs: if the singing needs accompaniment, then use it. End of argument.

Some will say, ah, then you must change to unaccompanied monody and polyphony for the Triduum. That, too, is not realistic for many parishes. It's a bit like giving meat to someone who is a vegetarian. They're not used to it and don't know how to handle it, let alone pray with it. Their regular diet is quite different, whether it's hymns, Taizé, St Louis Jesuits or whatever. A proportion, perhaps the majority, would not currently be capable of doing unaccompanied monody or polyphony well, so probably better not to attempt it at all.

It's also worth remembering that even in former times there were strange anomalies. How bizarre, for example, to have massive organ on Maundy Thursday evening up to the end of the Gloria when often you had not been using the organ during Lent at all.....

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keitha
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Re: Triduum accompaniment

Post by keitha » Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:19 am

Broadly, I am with SC on this. If we are singing something that does not need an accompaniment because everyone is comfortable with singing unaccompanied, I do not use an instrument (for example, simple chant, plain or otherwise). If, without an accompaniment, a piece just won't 'work' in an acceptable manner (or the risk is too great!), it gets an accompaniment. Perhaps, oversimplistically, if it works unaccompanied, don't accompany; if it doesn't, do!
Keith Ainsworth

High Peak
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Re: Triduum accompaniment

Post by High Peak » Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:31 am

Thank you for your replies, especially SC and KA; I concur with your "sensible compromise" approach but I'm in something of a battle for which I required additional firepower - I think you provided it. Now let's see whether it's decisive. :wink:

Southern Comfort
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Re: Triduum accompaniment

Post by Southern Comfort » Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:07 pm

High Peak wrote:Thank you for your replies, especially SC and KA; I concur with your "sensible compromise" approach but I'm in something of a battle for which I required additional firepower - I think you provided it. Now let's see whether it's decisive. :wink:


Keep us posted!

alan29
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Re: Triduum accompaniment

Post by alan29 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:55 pm

I have theory.
Plainsong all sounds much of a muchness. So the best way of musically signalling the Triduum to the musically less sophisticated is by having minimal organ.
Modern stuff has much more obvious musical contrasts so there is less need to pare down the accomaniment to signal the season. Its plain to hear in the choice of songs.
Probably rubbish.

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Gwyn
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Re: Triduum accompaniment

Post by Gwyn » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:51 pm

I'll have a pint of whatever Alan's drinking. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Hare
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Re: Triduum accompaniment

Post by Hare » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:47 am

I am 100% with Southern Comfort on this. Very good, sensible comments.

quaeritor
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Re: Triduum accompaniment

Post by quaeritor » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:10 pm

Hoping for a quick response (given the date!) - and hoping that this has not been asked too many times before (not wishing to irritate) - but as I'm moonlighting on Sunday (being Laetare Sunday) in a church that observes the "no incidental music" rule during Lent I'd like to know if they would or would not expect me to play tastefully during Holy Communion on that Sunday - and "in" and "out" too. (Of course I could always ask them, but that would destroy the illusion under which they labour that I am omniscient in all such matters. :twisted: )
Q

quaeritor
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Re: Triduum accompaniment

Post by quaeritor » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:25 pm

Sorry, Sorry, SORRY - just found SC's very comprehensive post from an old thread about Accompaniment on Good Friday - shouldn't have asked! :oops:
Q
(ps - anyone know how to do a link to a post in another thread? - meanwhile search on Laetare and all will be revealed.)

quaeritor
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Re: Triduum accompaniment

Post by quaeritor » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:48 pm

(Note to self: Calm down, Q, don't be in such a rush!) - I've just noticed that SC was in fact quoting an article by Paul Inwood in M & L, so credit where it's due, and apologies all round.

(I am rather looking forward to being taken to task and quoting this trenchant paragraph:

But the real point is that those who wish to continue to ban the organ during the seasons of Advent and Lent are not only working in a different direction from the changing thrust of the Church’s pastoral wisdom, as evidenced in the documents quoted above, but have failed to recognize that we now have a different kind of liturgy from that of preconciliar days.

Should make me popular! :twisted: :twisted: )

Q

High Peak
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Re: Triduum accompaniment

Post by High Peak » Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:35 pm

Southern Comfort wrote:
High Peak wrote:Thank you for your replies, especially SC and KA; I concur with your "sensible compromise" approach but I'm in something of a battle for which I required additional firepower - I think you provided it. Now let's see whether it's decisive. :wink:


Keep us posted!


I can report a qualified success!

Southern Comfort
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Re: Triduum accompaniment

Post by Southern Comfort » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:03 pm

quaeritor wrote:Sorry, Sorry, SORRY - just found SC's very comprehensive post from an old thread about Accompaniment on Good Friday - shouldn't have asked! :oops:
Q
(ps - anyone know how to do a link to a post in another thread? - meanwhile search on Laetare and all will be revealed.)


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