"Love One Another" choral piece
  • All of you are always VERY helpful to me in my deliberations and selections, so I'm going to ask again.

    Do any of you know of a good SAB, a cappella choral piece centered around the theme of "I give you a new commandment, love one another" or something similar?

    In my previous position I used Harold Owen's "I Give you a new commandment," published by cantica nova, and I VERY HIGHLY recommend it. This piece will not be doable in my current situation, however, since we are not really an SATB choir at all. There are days when SAB is a stretch, but always doable, even if this writer has to sing the men's part himself with the ladies singing the SA parts.

    Thank you all once again.
  • I give you a new commandment - Peter Aston. Published by RSCM, I think. 2-part + org. Easy and effective.
  • I used the Aston just this morning during Morning Prayer. It is truly beautiful.
  • PGA, doesn't Tallis have a companion pieceto "If Ye Love Me?" that uses that text above? I have it in my library, but I'm not there. I think CPDL might have it.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,451
    You're thinking of "If ye love me, keep my commandments, and I will pray the father, and he will send you another comforter, E'en the Spirit of Truth."

    Nevermind- I didn't read your post well enough.
    (But I left the link up because it's such a nice recording.)

    Did you mean this piece?
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,451
    My Church of Christ friends sing an a capella contrapuntal piece with the "Love One Another" text. Very pretty- but it might be too American-folk-music for you. You want I should track it down?
  • Maestro and Marc,

    I am familiar with that piece, and thank you for the suggestion, however SA won't work since we DO have a couple of men. I don't want to make them just "sit one out". Also, the organ accompaniment is not ideal if we were to use it for Holy Thursday in addition to other sundays.

    Adam, is the piece you have in mind 3 or 4 parts? If it is 3, I'd love to see it.

    Thank you again for the almost immediate feedback everyone.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,451
    This video has a decent recording. It's called "The Greatest Commandment.
    The video says the music is "Traditional," but other places have it listed as by Janice Detweiler.

    The video says it's available from Howard Publishing, but I couldn't find it (I looked for about 2 minutes, though...)

    It's 4 part, but very easy. I learned it sitting on a living room floor without music.

    (By the way, y'all- When I talk about a legitimate place for contemporary/folk/pop music in the Sacred Liturgy, this is the sort of thing I'm talking about. You might still dislike, or disagree, but at least now you'll know I don't really mean this awfulness)
  • Heath
    Posts: 933
    Thought it's not quite the text you're looking for, Proulx did an SAB adaptation of Tallis' "If Ye Love Me", published by GIA. I plunked through it and thought it worked pretty well.
  • CPDL #18172:
    PGA/Adam et al,
    This is the one to which I earlier referred. It is a thematic companion to "If Ye Love Me," as we've performed it a couple of times in the last few years in proximity to the more familiar piece; almost like the Pars secunda of SICUT CERVUS.

    Editor: Rod Mather (submitted 2008-10-23). Copyright: Personal

    CPDL #6947:
    Editor: Michael Gibson (submitted 2004-04-20). Score information: A4, 6 pages, 236 kbytes Copyright: Personal
    Title: A new commandment
    Composer: Thomas Tallis

    Number of voices: 4vv Voicing: SATB
    Genre: Sacred, Anthem

    Language: English
    Instruments: Optional organ which doubles the voices

    Original text and translations
    English text

    A new commandment give I unto you, saith the Lord,
    that ye love together, as I have loved you,
    that e'en so ye love one another.
    By this shall ev'ry man know that ye are my disciples,
    if ye have love one to another.
  • Anthem SAB, Creative Commons 3.0

    Version 2, slight corrections. Tweaking.
  • Noel,

    That will work wonderfully; Thank you very much.

    ALL composers should seriously look at writing more SAB music. I know many choirs of that makeup, some, like mine, are pretty decent, and can handle "real" reperatoire, but just don't have the men for SATB.
  • I agree about the SAB stuff, sounds great and very useful for a small choir. Here is an SAB Ave Maria
  • SAB is tricky since most theory teachers want you to understand 4 part writing and therefore, little or no time is spent on three part writing.

    Thanks, PGA, it was fun to write. My wife's choir will be singing it as well in a few weeks, have a guest soprano, alto and baritone coming from a choir I once led into extinction, that Sunday.
  • I butted heads with a couple of theory teachers in my college time. Still, I'm considering composing some. I prefer to sit down at the piano with the text and look at three note combinations and chords that sound beautiful and paint the text well. I'm sure half of it would be decried by theory professors. But what is the ultimate goal on Sunday morning?
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,451
    Theory teachers... agh!
    As if we are all going to spend the rest of our musical lives writing Protestant Hymns.
  • I can see their interest in getting us to understand baroque music and was lucky to also be studying 16th century counterpoint at the same time but it would be better if they rearranged how they did things:

    They should change their list of things of interest.
    You should learn to compose Gregorian Chant first.
    Then 16th Century counterpoinest.
    Then the rest.

    (the second sentence is not misspelled, just altered like a hymn to make it work for Kathy.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,451
    I know it would take a little longer, and some students would be bored, but serious music theory instruction (especially for choral and composition majors) should mirror the development of music theory itself.
    One of my goals in life is to take a couple years off to re-learn music the way I wish I had been taught it in the first place.
  • That's been my goal all my life!
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,451
    Maybe we could start a school.
  • Theory teachers... agh!

    Adam, take care with your ire. My own upper division theory instructor posts here and at the cafe occasionally, and won an award this last summer at the DC Basilica choral composition "contest." He also sings in the schola of the famed St. Margaret Mary Parish, which has had an indult TLM Mass for decades prior to SP.
    I love this guy. He once tried to convince me to switch my major from performance to composition, but I was so close to completing the Bachelors! But that encounter remains one of my most treasured existential moments. Here I am, almost 60, and I still feel like a whipper snapper when I think of those heady days.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,451
    I have no doubt that, like all groups of people, there are standouts.
    I just wish the average trended a little better.

    And actually, my problem is more with methodology- it was not the fault of any one of my theory teachers that the matriculation for theory went:
    -four-part chorale writing
    -more four-part chorale writing
    -some more four-part chorale writing
    -how to turn four-part chorale writing into a formulaic keyboard accompaniment
    -oh, yeah, if you want to learn anything else, that's an elective at an inconvenient time, and you can't take it until you get through two years of four-part chorale writing.

    As I have often find myself thinking about Episcopalian music, my interests include both the very much older and the very much newer, but not so much that in particular.
  • Well, that IS an unfortunate chronology. In my two semesters with this professor, we were analyzing and composing in the manners of folks like Debussy, Wagner,Stravinksi, Schoenberg and even post-moderns like Harrison. All that chorale stuff was completed in one's frosh year. Of course, the SF Bay Area in the late 20th century attracted a lot of vibrant talent, from Wuoronin to Adams to ....
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,451
    Yeah yeah, you don't have to rub it in.
  • That was actually meant as sympathy; as a former secondary teacher I witnessed progressive dumbing down and redundant curricula/syllabi. Not in my classroom, but I was fortunate as a choral teacher. But there are trade-offs betwixt generations, Adam. Say, for example, you're on a 727 when both pilots come down with food poisoning due to their consumption of the fish dinner. You could likely jump up to the cockpit with your digital skills gleaned from eternal hours with a joystick and video dials and save the day. I, OTOH, would be relegated to deciding whether to sing "You are near" or "De profundis."
    God's still our co-pilot; His landing plans will always seem ineffable to us musicians while traveling the friendly skies.
    The only thing, btw, that I rub in lately is Tiger Balm. No joy in Mudville there.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,451
    CC, you are a trip.

    I would go with "You are near." The last thing you need while falling out of the sky is more gravitas.
  • Thanks, my young buddy-in-arms. As Billy Bob Thorton's great character "Karl" said to his young protege in "Sling Blade," "I lahk uh-way yew tawk, too!"
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    University music professors: what a foul breed! :-)
  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 854
    The difference we're not acknowledging (and maybe the professors themselves aren't making their students aware of this) is that undergraduate music theory and the often associated four-part writing is an exercise - it is not composition. Through a few years of doing the exercises carefully, one gains insight that can help with the technical aspects of composition, but composition itself is an inspired, creative process which must come from another place. Composition is not subject to the rules of voice-leading one is forced to follow in harmony exercises - except that a thorough understanding of those rules helps a modern composer understand when to follow them and when to ignore them throughout the creative process.
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    Harmony exercises are meant to get a student in tune with the common practice of tonal music, not to create great composers.

    Practically all music theory is an ex post facto, or inductive, description: what was done, not what one should or should not do. Learning about theory, therefore, is really learning about history. The amazing thing? Even the Medieval theorists were writing about a practice, not necessarily prescribing rules.

    Music theory curricula, I might add, are built around practicality. Most music students are working in a common practice idiom most of the time. It's as simple as that. I've said it on this board before, but there are prominent theorists, and even some textbooks, that take the "historical lineage" approach described by other posters above.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,451
    Can you offer some recommendations?
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    Neither of these is an "ideal" version of what you're looking for, but if you piece together what they have to offer, you can get a lot out of both:

    Felix Salzer, Structural Hearing
    Steven Laitz, The Complete Musician

    The caveat is that both of these are intended for the study of tonal harmony, so they skip a lot of concepts pertinent to chant, like modes. Their approach takes the Renaissance as its jumping off point and goes from there.

    The interesting thing about their way of thinking is that harmony is a byproduct of interweaving melodic lines, not a strictly vertical phenomenon. Focusing primarily on Roman numerals and figured bass symbols really inculcates the idea that music is made up of several vertical columns moving left to right in time, and these authors don't see it that way.
  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 854
    Doug - thanks for hitting the historical aspect. I tend to agree that theoretical concepts might be better understood when learned in the context of the historical period from which they come.