If, then thou seekest miracles
  • sdtalley3sdtalley3
    Posts: 260
    Hello to anybody reading this. I am new to this forum, and I am hoping to share some works of mine, and get feedback if possible. The hymn I'm posting is taken from "Si Quaeris Miracula", a hymn/antiphon to St. Anthony of Padua. Originally intended for my home parish, I wanted to start to send out my work (God Willing).
    I will admit I am not the best at formatting, so constructive feed back is greatly appreciated in advance.
    Thanked by 1m_r_taylor
  • sdtalley3sdtalley3
    Posts: 260
    I usually write in 4+ voices, and more often times I separate them for easy reading for choirs. I decided to stray into a more hymn format to conserve on space.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,780
    Out of curiosity, what program are you using? It looks like 3 beats have been hidden or erased in the upbeat bar.

    Tenor first system entails a lot of guesswork.

    …With-out end. __ A-men (word extension line, with or without dotted slur, unless something else intended.)

    If ca·lam·i·ty were correctly hyphenated the spelling wouldn't be as much of an excuse for stumbling ;-)
  • sdtalley3sdtalley3
    Posts: 260
    I use Finale (Song Writer), sure there was some things I wasn’t completely ok with, the tenor m3-4. I use a „pickup measure“ to begin with, and yes calamity should be hyphenated better. I wasn’t sure to slur the without end in the tenor, i have seen compositions where such things are implied. Let‘s see how it works after I fix it.

  • sdtalley3sdtalley3
    Posts: 260
    Hopefully this is better, I will keep the anacrusis (pickup note). Let me know if there is anything else, and thank you in advance.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,780
    There's yet another way to tackle this if you want it laid out as a strophic hymn, "-kest" not being a fortunate syllable for a downbeat:

    If,  | then, thou seek-est | mir- - -a- | cles,        (2nd comma please!)
    All | dan-gers van-ish     | from__ our | path,
    To |Fa-ther,     Son let       |glo- - -ry | be,
    Thanked by 1sdtalley3
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,182
    The Latin text is much more appealing than the English, and it has a consistent meter; and the verses rhyme with each other neatly:

    Si quaeris miracula,
    Mors, error calamitas,
    Daemon, lepra fugiunt,
    Aegri surgunt sani.

    Ant: Cedunt mare, vincula:
    Membra resque, perditas
    Petunt et accipiunt
    Iuvenes et cani.

    Pereunt pericula,
    Cessat et necessitas:
    Narrent hi, qui sentiunt,
    Dicant Paduani.

    Here's a rather literal translation:

    If you seek miracles,
    Death, error, calamity,
    Demon and leprosy flee
    The sick arise, healthy.

    Seas yield, and chains;
    members and things lost
    they ask and receive,
    the young and old.

    Dangers perish
    And need ceases
    Let those who perceive make known:
    Let Paduans say.

    So much of the English text in the version that circulates is padding not found in the Latin, but inserted to make it fit an meter:

    If, then, thou seekest miracles,
    Death, error, all calamities,
    The leprosy and demons flee,
    The sick, by him made whole, arise.

    Ant: The sea withdraws and fetters break,
    And withered limbs he doth restore,
    While treasures lost are found again,
    When young or old his help implore.

    All dangers vanish from our path,
    Our direst needs do quickly flee:
    Let those who know repeat the theme:
    Let Paduans praise St. Anthony.


    Since the English is so awkward and its first stanza doesn't rhyme, maybe it would be best to just sing the Latin until someone makes a better singable translation.

    By the way, this is not a comment on sdtalley's music; I just wish there were a better English text to work with.
    Thanked by 1sdtalley3
  • sdtalley3sdtalley3
    Posts: 260

    I agree completely about a lack of a good translation. Now I might be able to make things work a little better if I changed the time from common to 3/4, I was thinking about this and I could work with some changes here and there without too much alteration to the melody I had in mind.
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 1,063
    English hyphenation according to the dictionary is often less helpful than starting each syllable with a consonant.

    I find ca - la - mi - ty far easier to read and process when sight-singing, and it more accurately represents good singing technique as well.
    Thanked by 1sdtalley3
  • sdtalley3sdtalley3
    Posts: 260

    Amen to that.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,780
    Schönbergian, how did you do with ca-la-ma-ties? Ca-lam-a-ties at least looks slightly less like an olive.
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 1,063
    Still find it easier to read, in part because we don't close to the M halfway through the second syllable while singing but start the third syllable with the M. There's also no obvious etymological reason for the latter hyphenation.
  • JonathanKKJonathanKK
    Posts: 542
    FYI, you can definitely find English translations in the public domain, e.g. HERE.

    My two cents on the rhythm: when I skimmed through, I was wondering if you might want to rebar into measures of varying lengths. It is a difficulty of composition, trying to articulate on paper what your mind's ear has come up with. I remember one place in a short art song I had written, trying to describe to the pianist how a certain note should be stretched and played out of rhythm. She couldn't get it. Finally she suggested that maybe I wanted a fermata on that note? Well, let me tell you, a fermata is what I wanted.
  • sdtalley3sdtalley3
    Posts: 260

    I know exactly what you are saying. While this is useful for conforming music to awkward English texts (this was my first attempt at English, Latin is usually my cup of tea), I would prefer to stay within limitations of the time signature. I do use a fermata in the refrain/antiphon, and it works out the way I wanted.
    In regards to the previous concern about the “est” in seekest, falling on a strong beat, I had more of a proper English sound in mind such as can be found in Handel’s works. I plan on toying around with it when I Get back to my home from where I am working.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,780
    Good singing includes coping with standard hyphenation, bu tif you 'rego i ngto go Fre dua ri ngo nme I'll have to concede you a point for pos-ci-mus ;-)
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 1,063
    There's no point in sticking to a standard if it artificially makes the score harder to read, unlike your silly example. There are also cases where the dictionary indicates a split that is neither etymological nor phonetic (i.e. noth - ing instead of no - thing)
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,171
    How about fa-ther & moth-er?
  • sdtalley3sdtalley3
    Posts: 260
    Don’t get me wrong, corrections will be made, I just got done with a 5.5 hr drive home for the weekend. Can we agree to a “good form”?...I usually just wing it on the hyphenations. The part that had me a little unsettled was the part where seekest goes between m2-3and as Richard Mix pointed out earlier, with est falling on the major beat. I think if I changed the time signature to a 3/4 I can avoid this issue and lose the pickup beat, and make other adjustments. For me the melody in general is good, I’ll fix the other points, but I don’t want things getting lost about correct hyphenating.

    Hopefully I can slip into my parish church and make a recording on the organ.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,709
    I would compose this piece in irregular meter letting the text decide time signature measure by measure. JonathanKK is also hinting at the same.
  • Chrism
    Posts: 869
    There's also Fr. Aylward's "If Great Wonders Thou Desirest", found in the St. Gregory, #100, which in many ways seems inferior to the translation you are working with now.

    I really like this in 4-part. I was listening to the Mp3 and praying along. This would be a great hit at a parish novena.

    For the doxology, I wonder if you can start on the third stanza, i.e. measure 6, in order to keep the meter.

    Typographically, you might want to break before "While" in the refrain and have While be a pickup / anacrusis on the next line.
  • I'm posting this with some revisions, unfortunately I have to have a looooooooooong time to think about these things as they should make sense audibly and visually. I took some of all y'alls advice and so far it looks ok, but being my own editor in addition to everything else is a fool's task.

  • I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but here is a link that I posted to my YouTube channel for the Song. https://https://youtu.be/zWtWawXrVTw Hopefully one day when I strike it lucky I can form my own group and they will be at my mercy to perform this stuff, but until then, I do what I can with what I have.