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Singing God's Praises 2

Rock around the Flock!

Singing God's Praises 2

Singing God’s Praises - how Christians worship.

Here's another Quiz to see how aware you are of the intersection between music and Christianity and its worship, across quite a wide variety of styles and occasions.

1.
In which famous oratorio would you hear the solo I know that my redeemer liveth?
Elijah (Mendelssohn)
Messiah (Handel)
Bach's Christmas Oratorio
Dream of Gerontius (Elgar)
This beautiful aria opens the Easter section of the work, Part 3. Your author has not infrequently been invited to play it as an instrumental at funerals ~ expressing, as it does, that firm but gentle hope in the afterlife.
2.
In the (choral) Evensong service of the Church of England, the two set 'canticles' are:
Jubilate and Te Deum
Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis
Venite and Cantate Domino
Quicunque Vult and Deus Misereatur
Even if you know little of this repertoire nor of church Latin, the echo of 'dismissal' in the second evening canticle might have struck a faint mental chord as matching the mood of the time of day. This text is alternatively known as the Song of Simeon, after the old man in the Temple who was happy to die after having lived long enough to see and recognise the infant Jesus.
Answers 1 and 3 meanwhile contain the canticles for Mattins and other services.
3.
Which of the following comments and statements on well-known Christmas carols contains at least one outright error?
The tune almost always used for Hark, the herald-angels sing was originally written by Mendelssohn to help celebrate a major anniversary of the introduction of letterpress printing to Europe
Silent Night was first written as Stille Nacht, to be sung without keyboard accompaniment at the Tyrolean village church of Oberndorf in Bavaria in 1818, since the organ had been silenced a few days prior to the carol service by hungry mice gnawing away crucial parts in the bellows and reservoirs during an exceptionally bitter winter
O come, all ye faithful ~ that archetypical four-square seasonal song adapted from the ancient Latin ~ has irregular-metred line lengths and no rhyming lines at all (except in the repeats in the refrain, which hardly count as such)
The entire three verses of the standard (Kirkpatrick) lyrics to Away in a Manger do not include any letters which would individually score more than 7 points in a game of English Scrabble
The top-scoring letters Q and Z (10 points each) do not appear at all, neither is there an X (8) ... but the carol is about Jesus of course, and J is worth 8 points in Scrabble!
All the other details offered here are verifiably true.
4.
Which central British cathedrals have joined together in the annual Three Choirs Festival since almost 300 years ago?
Worcester, Gloucester and Hereford
Salisbury, Exeter and Bath
Peterborough, Lincoln and St Alban's
Southwell, Beverley and York Minster
There are other generically similar festivals elsewhere in the UK now, but the original was in the Heart of England.
5.
What is the connection between Cesar Franck's setting of the text Panis Angelicus, and the hymn Guide me, o Thou great Redeemer?
The tunes are by the same composer
They are usually sung in the same key
Panis Angelicus is the Latin for 'bread of heaven' (more or less), as in the hymn's first-verse refrain
The music for each was composed in the same year
Answer 1 is certainly not true; Answer 2 need not necessarily be (the hymn is rarely sung any higher than in G major, so that the repeated high D's do not overstrain the singers; the Franck piece is usually sung by sopranos, as published, in A major, though there may be lower versions for deeper voices); Answer 4 is at least unlikely.
6.
Which of these special settings of the Requiem Mass was written by Karl Jenkins?
War Requiem
A German Requiem
Solemn Vespers
The 'Armed Man'
The Armed Man (based musically around the theme from a mediaeval folksong) was commissioned from Jenkins by the Royal Armouries Museum. Answer 1 is the work by Benjamin Britten which formed a major element in the opening of Coventry's post-WW2 cathedral; Answer 2 is a work by Johannes Brahms, while the Solemn Vespers are by Mozart.
7.
Which of the following is NOT true about the style of music known as Plainsong?
It is written out using mainly square-headed notes on a staff of four lines, rather than round notes on five lines
It is alternatively known as Georgian Chant
It is only ever used for Scriptural texts (including Psalms and Canticles), hymns, and liturgical material such as prayers and responses
It can be sung by one voice or several, but even multiple singers will follow the same tune rather than harmonising
'Georgian' is wrong; the correct label is 'Gregorian' (after Pope Gregory, though with some apparent confusion as to which one of that name).
8.
Thinking again of single-line, unaccompanied psalmody (see Q.7 above): the Free Church of Scotland only voted very recently to relax its rulings, whereby previously a style ~ seemingly little more modern than plainchant ~ was the only form of music to be used and tolerated during worship. They can now make use of hymns, songs and accompaniment from other (perhaps more lively) traditions ... as of which year?
2000
2008
2010
2012
It comes as a surprise to many of us from more openly musical traditions that this move was only voted-in so very recently.
9.
It may meanwhile also surprise some of our visitors that there is an active creative overlap between Christian belief and rock music (which many people may think is too heavy, aggressive and secular a style to be a 'worthy medium', what with mainstream rock's association with free-love and substance addictions). In the earlyish days of Christian Rock, a clever t-shirt slogan appeared which ran: 'My foot is on the Rock, and ... ... (?) '
... therefore I shall not stumble'
... my name is on the Roll'
... I'm heavily into Jesus'
... I know the One who rolled away the stone'
The words ROCK and ROLL were of course printed large and in appropriately stylish lettering. The scriptural references are to Jesus as the rock (as in His parable of not building the house of one's life upon sand), and the passage in Revelation where there is a 'roll' (i.e. a call-over) of the names of the blessed ones at the Second Coming.
The other offered Answers, dare we claim so, are artfully fabricated rather than genuine; though No.1 has a strongly Psalmy feel to it.
10.
Another way of familiarising young people and their families with Bible stories, in what some lament as being a 'post-Christian era', is through the writing and performance of ear-catching cantatas and variants on the Nativity Play. Musical settings of Scriptural texts have come a long way since the days of Handel ... and we couldn't possibly comment on whether this is an upward or downward journey, just merely 'onwards'!
Which of the following have we at EQ made up, i.e. it is not a published title at the time of our writing? (Though maybe someone's at work on just such a piece, even now ...)
Rock around the Flock
Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo
Jonah-man Jazz
Moses' Rocky Trip
Try pasting any of the upper three Answers into a browser, and you will be deluged with YouTube versions and excerpts from these. The earliest and probably best-known remains Joseph (and his amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) by the then-young Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber (now Sir Tim and Lord Andrew, respectively!).

 

Author:  Ian Miles

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