Arrangement of WINCHESTER NEW for "O Glorious Maid, Exalted Far" (O Gloriosa Domina)
  • The fruit of today's labors: a new Organ+SATB+Descant arrangement of WINCHESTER NEW (does that make it NEW WINCHESTER NEW?) set to a translation of "O Gloriosa Domina/Femina" as appears in the St. Edmund Campion Hymnal #911. I'll probably use it in Advent with "On Jordan's Bank" as well. If anyone sees any grotesque voice leading gaffes in the SATB verse, let me know. (don't worry about the organ part... I wantonly disregard part writing rules in organ reharms)

    Warning 1: I have extremely limited skill or experience with music notation, so it's not the prettiest score in the world. I'll keep working on cleaning it up.

    Warning 2: I'm not a soprano. The Eb and I didn't get along very well. Obviously I didn't even try to sing the descant in the soprano range where it belongs

    Recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOygU1pkHzM

    Draft score attached
    Thanked by 2CharlesW CHGiffen
  • JonathanKKJonathanKK
    Posts: 412
    I am looking at the page and listening that way, for as well as I can.

    Parallels:

    S&T - 8ve's "That which"
    T&B - 5th's "lost in"
    S&A - 8ve's "in hapless" [meant to say, S&T]
    A&B - 8ve's "retrieve" (OK, in contrary motion; but even so.)
    S&T - 8ve's "the tear-worn"
    A&B - 5th's "of Adam's"
    A&T - 5th's "Adam's"

    Other ideas:

    The tenor jump up to Ti and back on "hapless" is not ideal.
    The eighth notes in the alto on holy, I wish they went somewhere.
    S&B are 3rd's for the whole measure "thee have seen the", that may be too many in a row.
    And running the Alto fa-sol and the Tenor up at the final cadence just isn't happy.

    ***

    Those are the main things that leap out, if you are trying to keep the rules of 4-part writing. Parallels you really would get red pencil for in theory class.

    Alternatively, have you come up with any hypotheses yet for when parallels are permissible / necessary / a definite good, as far as your style goes?

    Examples of standard occurrences?
    Thanked by 132ContraBombarde
  • Thanks, Jonathan. Always helpful to have a more refined theory eye on things, and I appreciate your willingness to dive in! Let's see:

    Parallels:

    S&T - 8ve's "That which" --Intentional, accentuating the ascending fourth
    T&B - 5th's "lost in" --Ooops, yep, good catch
    S&A - 8ve's "in hapless" --I assume you mean S&T? I guess I don't worry so much about parallel octaves or doubling as long as it's not a leading tone or a seventh. But would this be better if I just moved the tenor up to double the A an octave above the bass?
    A&B - 8ve's "retrieve" (OK, in contrary motion; but even so.)
    S&T - 8ve's "the tear-worn" Intentional, as with the opening ascending fourth
    A&B - 5th's "of Adam's" --Yep, thanks
    A&T - 5th's "Adam's" --Yep, thanks

    Other ideas:

    The tenor jump up to Ti and back on "hapless" is not ideal. My ear tends to agree, but I'm not sure what else I would want to do with it; would it be better double the Bb on A&T here?
    The eighth notes in the alto on holy, I wish they went somewhere. They're playing off of the bass line; but yeah, it feels a bit stuck. I'll think about that one
    S&B are 3rd's for the whole measure "thee have seen the", that may be too many in a row.Call it personal preference... I like it!
    And running the Alto fa-sol and the Tenor up at the final cadence just isn't happy. I could triple the root and leave the fifth out, letting the alto complete the run down to the third. Thoughts?

    ***

    Those are the main things that leap out, if you are trying to keep the rules of 4-part writing. Parallels you really would get red pencil for in theory class. --I'm not, strictly, but I do like to make sure if I break them it's intentional and informed!

    Alternatively, have you come up with any hypotheses yet for when parallels are permissible / necessary / a definite good, as far as your style goes? In 4-part writing I definitely believe in the merit of the rules as defined. In chant accompaniment and organ reharms, not always. The natural development of chant into organum made heavy use of parallel motion, and to my ear when applied tastefully parallel motion in accompaniment can be extremely effective in accentuating the language of chant.

  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 6,780
    ... long as its not a leading tone or a seventh...
    Ha! you are in good company. In over fifty years as choirmaster-organist I have only once encountered parallel sevenths (in pre-XXth century music). They are in the second verset of the anonymous kyrie cunctipotens in Pierre Attaingnant's 1531 collection of organ pieces. With such august parentage you should feel free to use them to your heart's contentment.
    Thanked by 132ContraBombarde
  • With such august parentage you should feel free to use them to your heart's contentment.


    Now I'm tempted to write something in 7/8 full of parallel sevenths...........
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • JonathanKKJonathanKK
    Posts: 412
    I am disinclined to suggest solutions, because everything hangs together - it doesn't seem like you can say "yes, of technically correct options, this is the solution"; it has to also be right in context, and that could be a couple of measures or the whole piece.

    Regarding the final cadence, I can't remember where read (or heard), I think I owe this to Dr. Marht, but:

    In four voices, the paradigm is thus:

    Tenor is the cantus firmus, ends Re-Do. That is how a cantus firmus ends.
    Soprano is the counterpoint, ends Ti-Do. That is how a counterpoint ends.
    Alto holds steady on Sol.
    Bass falls Sol-Do.

    To have a correct cadence V7 to I in only four voices, this is an impossibility; when the four voices follow their prescribed roles, neither Fa nor Mi occurs.

    To have the third approached Fa-Mi, that is the work of a fifth voice.

    That is why something always has to "give" when writing V7 to I with only four voices, it just wasn't meant to be that way in the first place.
    Thanked by 132ContraBombarde
  • Fair enough. I made a few minor adjustments as a trial run. I'll have to listen to it a few more times to decide what I think. Musescore screenshot of the SATB section attached.
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  • JonathanKKJonathanKK
    Posts: 412
    Probably you will like your first one better?
  • Probably you will like your first one better?


    Not necessarily. I'm definitely happier without the parallel fifths. The thing that has me hung up a bit is grappling with the first 4 bars where the melody hovers so low. I'm struggling to add some interest in the T&A lines while respecting a comfortable range. I'm generally happy with the last 4 bars, and I do prefer letting the alto resolve down to mi and tripling the Do on STB. I've also decided to keep the bass on the D on the last beat of bar 15 instead of doubling the G. It's a work in progress.