Hymns that jam
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,314
    Last night I played the Spanish Mass, and it being Laetare Sunday, we ended with Alabare. Now, this song would not fit the "sacred music" profile, musically. It's a heavily rhythmic, melodically uninteresting song. So far, mediocrity.

    Except, there is something extremely interesting about the way the music of the refrain is written to emphasize the words. a LA ba RE--praise! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJboTxbMrEQ

    And much more interestingly, the words of the refrain are anything but mediocre. They reach out and grab one afresh, like the best of Wesley (rejoice, again I say rejoice!) How many hymns say anything as scriptural as "Juan vio el numero de los redemidos"--"John beheld the number of the redeemed." Who writes like that?
  • Kathy, I regard ALABARE as the Spanish THEY'LL KNOW WE ARE CHRISTIANS.
    I'm not sure what that says.
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    sorry, due to the title of your post I just thought I had to post something XD

    I have heard Byzantine chants that "jam"! If I understand you right. oho, and check out the Ethiopians when they get out their drums. ^_____^

    +1 to that song for having poetic and scriptural lyrics.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I was thinking the same thing as Jam... But I would suggest that spirituals and the orthodox kontakia also have that rich biblical imagery in them, although those are perhaps more traditional repertoire than Alabare.
  • Spanish music can be like that, poor as to music and diction, yet profound in its meaning. That particular number, Alabaré, makes one side of me cringe at the music while the other side trembles at those majestic words, "Juan vio el número ..."

    Joseph Mansfield
    Casas Grandes
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,314
    Oh sure, there are better things to sing.

    But, compare Alabare, Resucito, and Peque Peque to their English counterparts.

    Not to mention Dios no Quiere--an astounding lyric.

    Compare "John beheld the number of the redeemed" to "We will walk hand in hand".
  • Oh Kathy, I just meant in terms of popularity and participation, not your salient, brilliant observation.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,314
    Salient yes. Brilliant? You're a very kind bartender.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,528
    "beheld"? Well, let's not give it more credit for style than it's due: "John saw...."
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,314
    I know that's what it SAYS. But what it means is, in the Book of Revelation, I, John, exiled on the Isle of Patmos, beheld a vision...
  • Bartender? Ad reductionem. (I made that up.)
    Well, if I'm a bartender, I'm one heckuva sight-singing bartender.
    I don't even know how to concoct a real martini, whiskey sour or manhatten.
    But I know a Mondavi Opus One at a 100 paces.
    Love you too, K
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,314

    Oh hey, btw, what's the easiest way to learn some kickin' guitar strums for Flor y Canto? They have some notes in the back, or something. Will that help?
  • I take issue with the comment, "Spanish music can be like that, poor as to music and diction, yet profound in its meaning." There are many hymns in Spanish that are set to beautiful music. There are hymns such as:

    Altísimo Señor
    Hostia Santa
    Grita profeta
    Tú reinarás (originally a French hymn, but was set to Spanish in Mexico during the times of the Cristeros and the persecution of the Catholic Church in the early 20th Century. This is a hymn that really gets the Spanish speakers going).
    Cantemos al amor de los amores (great Eucharistic hmyn)
    Bendito, bendito (ridiculed for its simplicty, but a moving Eucharistic hymn when done well).
    Id y enseñad

    Unfortunately, what happens much too often, is that many of these tunes become simplified and are converted into cumbias or polkas. Then, companies like OCP pass them off as such.
  • Donnaswan
    Posts: 585
    Where can I find these hymns, particularly the Cantemos al amor de los amores?

  • cosfini05: I agree with you fully. My comment referred only to some hymns, by no means to all. Certainly not to those you mention.
  • I need to be educated. Could you put some of this good Spanish hymnody on here? The only Spanish church music I know is mediaeval, or Renaissance polyphony and the too-much-of-mariachi that I have heard. It would be nice to be aware that some genuinely good Spanish hymnody exists.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,314
    I never get tired of Bendito.