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 Post subject: hymns as slow airs?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:05 am 
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Last year Adrian put an idea into my head and the more I think of it, the more I like it. He suggested I do a particular hymn as a slow air, without sticking to the timing of the music strictly as written. I know that most Christian songs do need to be played in keeping with what is written, but I also think there are some that wouldn't be hurt by a different interpretation, based on the feeling of the song. Some that come to mind are:

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
How Great Thou Art
Be Still My Soul

I enjoy playing these privately, making no attempt to keep anything resembling a beat.

Any comments from you all?

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 Post subject: Re: hymns as slow airs?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:25 am 
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Quote:
I know that most Christian songs do need to be played in keeping with what is written


That may be true for melody, but beyond that I think they're open for whatever you choose to do with them. I took a lot of liberties with 'Be Sill My Soul'. The chord changes are nothing like the hymn. I feel free to do as I like with them ... as are you. I do try to 'respect' the song, after all it is worship, but that still leaves a ton of room.

Just my opinion...

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 Post subject: Re: hymns as slow airs?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 11:49 am 
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I play some hymns as marches, some as waltzes and some as a slow air (the ones previously mentioned along with "Poor Wayfaring Stranger").

It all depends upon my mood and the whistle I am playing.


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 Post subject: Re: hymns as slow airs?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:41 pm 
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Quote:
making no attempt to keep anything resembling a beat.

That's what they usually say about my guitar playing. :-k
On a serious note, one that easily meets this criteria would be "Amazing Grace". One of my favorites, although it's one of those love it or leave it alone type songs.
A modern praise song which I love to whistle "freely" without meter would be "I Have Loved You". The Michael Joncas one.

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 Post subject: Re: hymns as slow airs?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:42 pm 
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As far as I'm concerned music, sacred or secular, is for interpretation by the performer. In September I was at a church service which featured a jazz band doing the worship music - my first encounter with that type of setting, and it was very inspirational. We are told to "make a joyful noise" to the LORD. He is well aware of our hearts' intentions while we're offering up our music.


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 Post subject: Re: hymns as slow airs?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:54 pm 
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I find that ametric music, like in the style of traditional Irish airs, can be deeply moving.


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 Post subject: Re: hymns as slow airs?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:00 pm 
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Adrian wrote:
I find that ametric music, like in the style of traditional Irish airs, can be deeply moving.


"Ametric"... let me find a dictionary ;)


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Larry

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http://recovered4him.blogspot.com/


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 Post subject: Re: hymns as slow airs?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:12 pm 
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larrym wrote:
Adrian wrote:
I find that ametric music, like in the style of traditional Irish airs, can be deeply moving.


"Ametric"... let me find a dictionary ;)

Google it and you'll find it is a quite widely used in the world of music. :thumbsup:


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Larry



Google it and you'll find it is a quite widely used term in the world of music. :thumbsup:


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 Post subject: Re: hymns as slow airs?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:15 pm 
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Adrian wrote:
larrym wrote:
Adrian wrote:
I find that ametric music, like in the style of traditional Irish airs, can be deeply moving.


"Ametric"... let me find a dictionary ;)

Google it and you'll find it is a quite widely used in the world of music. :thumbsup:


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Larry



Google it and you'll find it is a quite widely used term in the world of music. :thumbsup:


Shall do so now!
:salute: ;)


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Larry

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"Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal." - Isaiah 26:4 NIV

http://recovered4him.blogspot.com/


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 Post subject: Re: hymns as slow airs?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 1:09 pm 
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jrc wrote:
Quote:
I know that most Christian songs do need to be played in keeping with what is written


That may be true for melody, but beyond that I think they're open for whatever you choose to do with them. I took a lot of liberties with 'Be Sill My Soul'. The chord changes are nothing like the hymn. I feel free to do as I like with them ... as are you. I do try to 'respect' the song, after all it is worship, but that still leaves a ton of room.

Just my opinion...

Your rendition of that song made me feel free to pursue this idea, and now I have posted my version of that same song.

Fancypiper, I almost included Wayfaring Stranger in my first post on this thread, as I play it like a slow air, too, and I think it's a good fit that way.

TC, I agree that Amazing Grace is also a good fit for this type of interpretation.

Larrym, I agree with you completely.

Adrian, thanks for coming to me with this concept in the first place. I know it's not something we should abuse, but for the songs named above, I think it's valid, and I love playing that way.

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 Post subject: Re: hymns as slow airs?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 1:24 pm 
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Darvis, I've been thinking about this and I'm pretty sure that on this particular song, I played with a click track :-k .

I'll have to listen again when I get home - I can't really tell here at work, nor can I give yours a good listen. But I'm sticking to my guns - I don't think anything's off the table musically if it's done sincerely and worshipfully.

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Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.
Habbakuk 2:4


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 Post subject: Re: hymns as slow airs?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 3:17 pm 
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jrc wrote:
Darvis, I've been thinking about this and I'm pretty sure that on this particular song, I played with a click track :-k .
Yes, that was my impression, Jim, but I after listening to it many times, I didn't think I'd do violence to it by giving it the slow air treatment. It's a richly deep song, and I wanted to play it emotionally. So I did.

Quote:
I'll have to listen again when I get home - I can't really tell here at work, nor can I give yours a good listen. But I'm sticking to my guns - I don't think anything's off the table musically if it's done sincerely and worshipfully.

I'm glad you see it that way. Your saying that gave me the freedom to try doing it a little differently. Thank you.

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"The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity."
William Butler Yeats


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