Thursday, November 12, 2009

Exploring Music: Tone Poems

This week on Exploring Music, the world of Tone Poems is contemplated.

In a literal case of art imitating life, symphonic music is freed from its traditional structures and takes a programmatic turn.

Tone poems usually tell a story without words.  Instrumentation is used to let the ear know what is going on.  The week's opening piece told a story with AND without words.  The King's Singers perform Janequin's  Escoutez tous gentilz "La bataille de Marignan; La guerre"

I don't know French, but this song has something to do with a battle!  You'll notice in the song that eventually the words disappear and the singers use syllables to mimic different sounds.  When I listened to the recording on Monday, it sounded like there was laughter.  As you view the video, pay attention to the performers, and you will notice one guy thumbs his nose.  I am guessing the opponents on the battlefield were taunting each other during this section of the piece.

This is one song that you should watch as well as listen to.  If you don't know French, the actions and expressions of the performers can give you a clue as to what is going on.

Those of you who do know French or know something about this piece, drop a comment here at All for Hymn and tell us the story!

You can listen to Exploring Music on weeknights at 7:00 pm Central. 

This website will tell you if the program is airing at this minute, and will give you some station information as well.

Southern Lutheran Kantor: Teaching New Music

Join the discussion with Southern Lutheran Kantor as he gives us tips for teaching music to the congregation.  In the comment section you will find my tips for introducing LSB 960, "Isaiah, Mighty Seer."  This one is particularly challenging given that there is only one verse.

If all else fails, you can throw the words up on the jumbotron and have them change colors to the music!

OK, maybe that's not the best method.  Read the article for lots of tips.

By the way, this means we have touched on two of the major parts of Luther's Deutsche Messe (German Mass).  Look for more posts on this in the future.

In the mean time, perhaps this version is a little more desirable than liturgical karaoke.  Plus, you get the added bonus of the Christmas hymn in the latter half of the recording.

By the way, the Christmas hymn (whose name escapes me - I believe it is in LW) is a fine example of how to tackle a hymn with a lot of verses.  No one sings all of the verses at once. Instead, different groups pick up different verses.  Also, the tempo helps keep things moving along.