Descants

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpetguy27, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. trumpetguy27

    trumpetguy27 Mezzo Piano User

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    Hello All,

    With the big Easter gigs next weekend upon us I have a question out of curiosity mostly...

    Is there a norm as far as what verse(s) descant parts are usually played on for church services? I ask because in my experience over the years I've pretty much accepted it as standard that the Descant is used on the final verse of the hymn, however the organist I'm working with this year has suggested that we play descant/harmony on the final two verses of the hymns.

    In other words if it were up to me I would play melody on the second to last verse while the trombone (only other brass) played harmony and then on the final verse I would play the descant while the trombone played melody.

    I'm going to do it however they want me to do it... (especially since I asked not to come to the rehearsal they had as the curch is an hour and a half away and I'm essentially getting paid only gas money for Sunday, if that.) but I did mention it to my friend the trombone player in an email so I'm curious to see what he says.

    Any thoughts? I know nothing is set in stone and there are no defined rules here... but am I the only one that thinks it's a little odd to play descant two verses in a row? (I guess I kind of view the descant as a "Here's the big finish" kind of thing)

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree with your thinking.

    Descant on last verse only.
     
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Scott!

    You are correct, nothing is set in stone, but usually descants are played in the final verse.
     
  4. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

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    Great minds think alike.

    When left to my own devices, or when asked for an opinion I'll always recommend descant on the last verse.

    As Scott said, I'm do it however they want me to do it...even if I prefer something different.
     
  5. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    That's how it's usually done. Sometimes, the problem is figuring out which is the last verse, though...:D
     
  6. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

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    Exactly!! Music played during different parts of a liturgy may end on an earlier verse if/when activities are finished. Waiting for descants becomes like Waiting for Godot. Some hymns have a refrain and I will play descant sometimes on every refrain.
    Often the only instumentalist other than the piano player, I play it by, uh, ear.
     
  7. Buck with a Bach

    Buck with a Bach Fortissimo User

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    I agree with the others, last verse........normally:roll::oops:
     
  8. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

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    I will also say the normally descant is saved for the last verse but I have learned to always follow the person with the stick [director] and in this case the organist. I figure I can get my way all the time when I become the director. lol
     
  9. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Right or wrong, the Director is always right. That has been droned into my brain from early on, and the Docs know of no med or surgery to remove it. I won't agree that the descant always be played with the last verse, but in the final one to be played as the timing of the entire church program allows, even if it is the only verse to be played. That is, unless the Director specifies otherwise. You should know what up, if you participate in rehearsal.
     
  10. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    It's nice when things work that way, but how many of us have been ambushed by on-the-fly changes during a service? I can think of quite a few instances - hymns played out of order, either more or fewer verses sung than rehearsed or printed in the service order, "standard" service items that weren't mentioned (or rehearsed), and so on. Easter services seem to contain more than their share of these...just muddle through and play with conviction when you figure out where you are in the music...:lol:
     

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