Talking about arranging Music
If practice makes perfect, then a vlog in my car-turned-studio makes perfect sense!
I’ve just updated my “Organist” page on this website, but now I must reach for the ring-binder that contains my notes on Welsh music. I have an encyclopedia article to write! I’m awaiting three books from Amazon to supplement the material I already have – this for a comparatively small article – but I might as well plan a structure for the piece and leaf through what I’ve amassed so far, so I know what exactly needs filling in.
Yes, there IS a link between “Church of Scotland Organist” and “Wales”: my father’s family were Welsh Baptists, and long before I took up the organ, Dad was a church organist before I was even born!
“Seated one day at the organ, I was weary and ill at ease …”
So begins Adelaine Anne Procter’s poem, “The Lost Chord” of 1858, popularised by Arthur Sullivan’s song of the same name.
The lines came to mind this morning. With informality key, our congregation sits and chats merrily before morning worship. Quiet reflection? Best do that at home before you set out! The choir does not process in, and neither does the minister: instead, the Bible is brought to the front of the sanctuary with due dignity during the first hymn. However, this presents a problem. How, when the organ is being played quietly and reflectively, and there’s no other signal to the congregation that the service is about to start, do you notify the congregation that things are about to start.
Today, before the welcome or the first hymn, we began with a prayer. As the first word was uttered, “Lord”, I almost wondered if it would be followed by, “Lord, how can we get Your people here to settle down and stop talking?!” Fortunately, it wasn’t!
Now, the organist has several choices in the twenty minutes before worship commences:-