Holy Week 2019
An organ graces the cover of the New York Times today, which is probably a rare event.
When was the last time this happened? Anyone?
The Times's photo caption is a bit cryptic, but I believe the instrument in question is located in Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Selma, Alabama.
I am currently researching the specifics of this instrument.
Photo of Martin Luther King, Jr. and others singing in Brown Chapel. The organ appears to be in place in this 1965 photo.
You might be interested to know what Sinden.org visitors have been looking for lately:
MyPipes.org, a website selling organ mp3s, did not impress me the first time I visited. Now that the site actually has content, my impressions haven't really changed.
The site looks cluttered, the graphics have an 80's sheen, and all the text is too small.
The photos are all poorly chosen. From the banner image at the top to the oddly cropped images of CD photography (one presumes?), everything looks sort of thrown together.
Part of the blame here must lie in the site's concept: getting away from the CD. Zarex is somehow under the misapprehension that to confuse the mp3 files available on the site with the CDs from which they come would be detrimental to sales. This is absurd. I would never have listened to these excerpts anywhere else, and was frustrated that links to the CDs from which they come are not provided.
The buttons for manipulating each product are needlessly cumbersome and redundant. "Download to cart" one button says. "Listen 30"" says another. And these appear for every file (and they don't even work well -- see below). As a site offering mp3s for sale, users are going to expect to be able to listen to exerpts of files before purchasing. This doesn't need to be explained with so much text. A few universal symbols would suffice.
I must have clicked on "Listen to 30"" about six times before I realized that my browser was blocking a popup. How annoying. And when I did hear it, I was sure it didn't play the whole way through, but then I realized that someone did a remarkably poor job of fading out the excerpt the way online music perveyors have known to do for years.
And I must have clicked on "Download to cart" about six times before I realized that on the opposite side of the screen, in a red box viewable only by scrolling down, was an indication that had "1 item" in my cart. How anti-user.
The phraseology "Download to cart" presents its own set of problems. What am I doing when I click this button? Am I actually downloading the file? Or am I just tagging that file to be downloaded later, say when I hand over my credit card information?
Occasionally, by clicking on the title bar, I was able to get the site to tell me "There are currently no tracks available. Please try again at a later date."
I would love to try again, especially if Zarex would just put these up on iTunes. They would spend a lot less on MyPipes.org, and I'll wager that a lot more of their organ music would be purchased too.
Hypothetical Organ Recital Program (HORP)
"Keep your eye on the fugue!"
Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C Major, BWV 564
J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
Prelude, Fugue and Chaconne [sic] in C Major, BuxWV 137
Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707)
Fugue, Chorale and Epilogue
Herbert Howells (1892-1983)
Prelude, Fugue and Variation
Cesar Franck (1822-1890)
Canon, Chacony and Fugue (1948)
Leo Sowerby (1895-1968)
April 24, 1915 marks the anniversary of the first modern genocide, a planned attempt by the Ottoman Turks to exterminate the Armenian people and the first act of "race murder" of the 20th Century. Over the course of the next several years more than one million Armenian Christians died. Yet a century of genocide was just beginning. The "quip" by Adolph Hitler on the eve of the Holocaust of "Who remembers the Armenians?" emboldened the Nazis to exterminate millions of Jews and Gypsies during the period of the Second World War. Yet there would be more as the decades of the century continued. The communist Khmer Rouge campaign of death in the 1970s in which 2 million Cambodians perished; the attempted destruction of Iraq's Kurdish population by Saddam Hussein in the late 1980's; "ethnic cleansing" of Muslims and Croats by Serbians in Bosnia in the 1990's; the massacre of more than 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu in Rwanda during 100 days in 1994; and as the last century ended, the beginnings in Sudan of the still unfolding tragedy in Darfur. Arguably, the 20th Century was the century of genocide. To honor the memory of the countless victims of ethnic cleansing and race murder, and to corporately pray that such tragedies are never again repeated, the Church must call the faithful to awareness and prayer by the annual commemoration of "Genocide Day" in honor of all who have perished.
2006 General Convention Resolution C043
Labels: Lesser Feasts and Fasts
Today (St. George's Day) in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer we pray for "Royal Perculiars [sic] Chapels Royal, Religious Peculiars, and Westminster Abbey".
What's a Royal Peculiar, you ask?
A Royal Peculiar (or Royal Peculier) is a place of worship that falls directly under the jurisdiction of the British monarch, rather than a diocese.
It dates to Anglo-Saxon times when a church could ally itself with the monarch and therefore not be subject to the bishopric of the area. Later it embodied the relationship between the Norman and Plantagenet Kings and the English church.
Every good Anglican should know this.
A Royal Pipedreams peculiarity: It seems to me that the third selection on this week's episode of Pipedreams was not a Fantasia on MADRID, but rather KINGSFOLD (it starts at about 26:00 into the program). This is a little strange since host Michael Barone introduces this selection by referring to the ubiquity of hymn tunes in organist-composed music and saying "I expect some of you might recognize this one". Barone himself either does not recognize it, or is confused about its name.
A royal explanation? It was Spain's King Phillip II who moved the Spanish capital to Madrid. Previously, ruling families held court in Toledo and Zargoza. It is said that Phillip folded these the power of these other two capitals into Madrid, the "doblez del rey" or "king's fold".
MADRID is included in the Presbyterian Hymnal at 150: "Come, Christians, Join to Sing".
The results of Higher Education Arts Data Services's survey of music schools reveals that the number of organ performance majors is down across the board.
The number of organ majors at the baccalaureate level (237) and master's level (123) are at their lowest level in eight years.
Taken as hymn numbers in the Episcopal Hymnal 1982, these numbers correspond to "Let us now our voices raise" and "Alleluia, song of gladness" respectively.
The total number of organ performance majors (498; "Beneath the cross of Jesus") is also at an eight-year low.
The sharpest decline is shown at the critical baccalaureate level, which has sustained a 28.4% drop over the past three academic years.
With fewer students entering an organ degree program after high school, one can expect the other degree programs to suffer in the coming decade.
The good news in all this? I singlehandedly accounted for .813% of all organ students in a master's degree program in the 2005/06 academic year.
I can also infer that I hold slightly less than 1% of all master's degrees in organ performance awarded in 2006.
The BBC reports that a 'Pipe organ' plays above the Sun.
Today on the current issue of Living Church, a periodical about the Episcopal Church and its affairs, I noticed the back cover was devoted to an advertisement for MyPipes.org
As you enterprising link-clickers have already discovered, there's nothing there! The site just says "Coming Soon" (which at the very least is a step up from the undercapitalized "Coming soon" and the hopelessly casual "coming soon"). But what is the site supposed to be?
Well, you guessed it: something about organ music. The advertisement prominently features an organ pipe and says something about organ mp3s.
I distinctly remember the phrase "turn your iPod into a virtual cathedral".
A quick check reveals that mypipes.org is registered by Zarex corporation. So, it could be interesting.
But let me just ask first: why take out such a prominent advertisment if the site isn't active at all?
What about "Coming [small picture of organ pipe] soon"?
I mean, come on.
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Yes, but they're not the kind you buy on Wheel of Fortune.
the owner of a bower at Bucklesfordberry?
Full daintily it is dight.
interested in touch lamps?
And fountain pens.