Miserere Mei Z 109, Henry Purcell with Ash Wednesday Antiphons and Psalm 22
  • I am planning on using Purcell's Miserere Mei throughout Lent this year, and have compiled this amalgam that it may be sung for various purposes. I have placed it with the Ash Wednesday antiphons for the imposition of ashes, as well as with Psalm 22. I am thinking I will bring it out on Ash Wednesday, on Maundy Thursday for the Stripping of the Church's garments, and on Good Friday during communion.

    Here it is, if you find it useful.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,943
    Nice, but some hyphenations are badly in need of correction:

    hoped (one syllable only)

    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 1,030
    I actually prefer the hyphenation as printed and find it to be much more readable when singing, as well as more idiomatic.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,943
    Sorry, but I disagree, strongly. Proper hyphenation is generally to be used in text underlay, with few exceptions, as it is an aid to cognition of what the text is. What appears in the present case is not idiomatic at all, and I find it jarringly unreadable.

    For example, on seeing the beginning of "hea - - - - rest" (should be "hear - - - - est"), one cannot be sure whether the word might be "hea - - - - ven" (which should be "heav - - - - en", which has a completely different pronunciation for the first syllable.

    Competent singers know where to sing the consonants between syllables. The system of postponing essentially all isolated consonants to the beginning of the next syllable is an insult to competent speakers, singers, and writers of English.

    There are isolated instances where abrogating the usual hyphenation rules make sense for singing, but these are actually rather sparse in practice. While "ev-er" is correct in all cases (and similar cases to make the short vowel clear), one would choose "e-ven" to get the long first vowel clear. So, "clea-veth" might be used by some engravers, although I wouldn't (preferring to make the meaning clear). There is similar disagreement with "for-sak-en" versus "for-sa-ken" (and I have tended to use the latter, even though it is technically wrong, according to hyphenation dictionaries).

    Addendeum: There is a nice online Lyric Hyphenator for lyrics - just type in the text and let it put the hyphens in, making it easy to enter into the score in Finale, Sibelius, etc.: https://juiciobrennan.com/hyphenator/
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 1,030
    Hyphenation guides often tend to give hyphenations that do not even bear resemblance to the word's origin (noth - ing, as one example). One could also make a case that English is the only language to follow this hyphenation practice in singing (German, for example, almost always begins each syllable with a consonant) and therefore it ought to be standardized in line with the other languages that singers will encounter.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,765
    and therefore it ought to be standardized in line with the other languages that singers will encounter.

    Unfortunately, this theory just doesn’t hold. There are many features of other languages (gender, tenses, word order, etc.) that differ significantly from English. Just because Germans hyphenate at consonants has little bearing on English practice.

    I strongly agree with Charles on this matter. (Although I sympathetic to no-thing.) The fact is, there is a well-established praxis for hyphenating sung texts in English, and deviating from those expectations can be a recipe for disaster. Charles’s examples of words beginning “hea-” are quite pertinent to demonstrate why.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,372
    Thank you for this! Just a note, you can use a dotted slur for parts of the verses where some verses should have slurs and some not.
  • On the subject of hyphenation, would anyone agree to the proposition that hyphens should be placed where they make most sense from the perspective of a text being sung?
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,536
    English hyphens no more have to 'make sense' than English spellings do. There's a right way that can be checked in any dictionary, and then there are varying degrees of raised eyebrow. On the perils of departing from conventions, see this.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,943
    " (Although I sympathetic to no-thing.) "
    I have to agree. I think that "noth-ing" somehow got caught in the "-ing" ending conventions for spelling gerunds ("play-ing" "ic-ing" etc.), when the convention should have been for hyphentaion of a compound word ("no thing").