Got enough music?

You are the director of music of a busy church or cathedral choir. You have at least one eucharist service every week, possibly more. You also have at least one evensong each week, possibly one every day. And your repertoire is impressively vast & your music library significantly ancient and week stocked, so it’s always a good few weeks or months before you have to start repeating music.

So here’s a optimist/pessimist, glass half full/glass half empty scenario for you: How much music is enough music?

Does the fact you sing evensong six times a week mean you’ve got settings of evening canticles coming out of your ears, or does it mean you can never quite have enough of them squirrelled away?

Do your communion services between them say everything there is to be said? Or are you always on the lookout for something fresh?

Do you have a cycle of Responses settings that you follow rigidly week by week, or do you ring the changes every now and then by bringing new pieces in and resting some others for a while?

Is there room in your life for just one more setting of Ave Verum?

Please comment away below.

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About Neil Sands

Director of the Chichester Music Press. Astronomer.
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2 Responses to Got enough music?

  1. John Murdoch says:

    Um, we don’t sing the Ave Verum–but we do use a lot of liturgical music, and I do worry that I’m not adding enough new music to the “playlist” through the course of the church year.

    I have the great luxury of a congregation that sings well–and we actually rehearse the congregation as a whole during Sunday School for twelve weeks each summer. This is where I’ll introduce new service music (including chants)–it’s also where I’ll teach the harmonies for much of the service music we sing.

    What I’d REALLY love to find is a suitable replacement for the Gloria Patri. To the best of my knowledge churches sing either the Greatorex tune or the Meineke tune–or something written for a professional choir that has no hope of joining the church musical lexicon. I’d love to discover something else.

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