Tuesday, June 27, 2017

a rit and a flourish

At a church I used to lead music for, we always divided the Sequence hymn, that hymn in the part of the service where they're doing Bible readings. We sang two verses before the Gospel reading, then one or two after.

To keep people from absentmindedly continuing, I often ended the second verse with a slight ritard and slow arpeggio. It's like using your legs to slow down on a swing. Keyboardists have done it since the days of Mozart, Bach before him, Buxtehude before him.

Every once in a while, I thought, "With this simple gesture (rarely even notated), I connect myself to a centuries-long tradition."


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