User talk:Mike Wallen

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Welcome to CPDL! We hope you will contribute much and well. You will probably want to read the help pages. Again, welcome and have fun! Claude (talk) 06:43, 13 July 2021 (UTC)

Arnold's Cathedral Music

It is useful to see a lot of services been posted up in an alternative edition, although I think that the market for C clef transcriptions must be fairly limited. Unfortunately, you have selected Barry Johnston to help post items up, and his competence in this field is limited to 4 (max) part hymns, and not to the Anglican choral repertoire. I'm afraid that forces, as seemingly implied by Arnold, are being stated incorrectly. These pieces are not for double choir, and would not have been interpreted by contemporaries as for double choir. Arnold's sources are part-books from the 1590s onward. Child's services (there are more than a dozen in total) shew a typical history: scores (a novelty at that time) were first compiled from pre-existing part-books by John Blow in the 1680s, then revised by Thomas Tudway in the 1720s, then by Maurice Greene who gave his unfinished collection to Boyce. Boyce published 3 volumes, and Arnold took over a lot of Boyce's unpublished services to issue as his own supplement. All of these editors would have understood that, in the entire corpus of English liturgical music, decani/cantoris directions do not imply spatial variation, but are solely a means to achieving volume variation, in the period before dynamic indications (pp-ff) were invented. Three levels of volume are achieved: by full choir, by half choir and by soloists. Arnold notates, in a very standard way, these different layers. The forces therefore should be evidenced as different constituent elements of one choir, not as two choirs. That is why Arnold publishes in four parts and not eight (except where catering for solo combinations in excess of the starting line-up) At no point do both sides sing in competition. It is true that the part-books, from which these scores were originally compiled, would have contained separate sets for decani and cantoris, with the opposite side's passages omitted. That is purely a cost cutting exercise to save expensive paper. Therefore Arnold, in common with all the editors before him, is not requiring elaborate double-choir forces similar to Venetian cori spezzati, but a single choir singing eyeball to eyeball, but thinning out antiphonally. To categorize this style of performance as SATB.SATB misstates the forces, the requisite realization and the appropriate style of rendition. Arnold, and his predecessors, would have assumed that with less than a full complement (4-6 men's voice for each part, about 16-20 boys) then the cues for layering of full passages would be treated as optional. This would also be the interpretation for churches with smaller choirs buying his editions (many copies of Arnold were shifted to such customers by Rimbault, who published revisions of Arnold's editionsin the 1840s). On a practical level, your categorization as SATB.SATB as the default therefore dispossesses those searching for services for small choirs (I would estimate about 80% of downloaders of this class of material), and restricts their potential choice. So please reconsider your interpretation of Arnold's prescribed forces: it is more ambiguous than you might think. Pardon my prolixity.Cjshawcj (talk) 00:02, 1 August 2021 (UTC)