Author Topic: "May the Words of My Mouth," SATB chorus with piano accompaniment  (Read 501 times)

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gogreen

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Happy New Year!

Here is "May the Words of My Mouth," my setting of Psalm 19:14 for SATB choir with piano accompaniment. I recently set this text to music for two main reasons. First, it's a prayer that has stayed with me ever since I can remember, and second, the words are simple, yet they are heartfelt, beautiful, and powerful.

"May the Words of My Mouth" is moderately difficult, and it is suitable for concert and worship. I apologize for the choir aahs.

Comments welcome. Thanks.

PDF Score:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jq8gfzb79w7a9l2/May%20the%20Words%20of%20My%20Mouth%20-%20Michaels%20-%20score.pdf?dl=0

MP3:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/7imu51ectxy93ma/May%20the%20Words%20of%20My%20Mouth%20-%20Michaels.mp3?dl=0

RJB54

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Re: "May the Words of My Mouth," SATB chorus with piano accompaniment
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2018, 08:28:16 AM »
This sort of thing isn't exactly my cup of tea so i can't speak to the specifics, but to me it comes across as a well done chorale.
Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is THE BEST.
Frank Zappa

tbmartin

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Re: "May the Words of My Mouth," SATB chorus with piano accompaniment
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2018, 11:07:34 AM »
Very nice.  This should be within reach of any competent church choir. One thing to consider. Most of the time when the choir is singing, the piano is playing exactly their parts. Consider having sections where the piano plays a simplified foundation, something with a contrasting or more complex rhythm (sort of a piano descant), or even having the piano drop out for a brief a capella section. An a capella section could keep the piano written in with a "for rehearsal only" note, which allows the piano to play lightly if the choir has pitch problems.
Terence Martin

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Jerry Engelbach

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Re: "May the Words of My Mouth," SATB chorus with piano accompaniment
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2018, 12:49:37 PM »
Arthur,

It's very skillfully done. The harmonies are beautiful. I enjoyed playing the accompaniment on my piano.

It seems to me that the material might welcome more polyphony, which would add textual interest and drama, as each voice has its own solo moment and the combinations of voices are more varied.

For example, I can imagine each voice entering in turn on that beautiful beginning "May the words of my mouth, etc.," then continuing polyphonically, and finally coming together dramatically on "be acceptable in thy sight." Just a thought.

Is there any special reason that you modulated up a whole step rather than to a more contrasting key? To me the difference is hardly noticeable.

In the recording I'd rather hear the voices with barely a hint of piano, except in the piano transitions. The piano just mimics the voices, and at the volume it's playing the timbre distracts from them.

Thanks much for posting it.

Cheers,
Jer
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gogreen

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Re: "May the Words of My Mouth," SATB chorus with piano accompaniment
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2018, 06:12:56 AM »
Thanks, RJB54.

Quote
Very nice.  This should be within reach of any competent church choir. One thing to consider. Most of the time when the choir is singing, the piano is playing exactly their parts. Consider having sections where the piano plays a simplified foundation, something with a contrasting or more complex rhythm (sort of a piano descant), or even having the piano drop out for a brief a capella section. An a capella section could keep the piano written in with a "for rehearsal only" note, which allows the piano to play lightly if the choir has pitch problems.

Thanks, Terence. Great ideas, and I will consider implementing them.

Quote
It's very skillfully done. The harmonies are beautiful. I enjoyed playing the accompaniment on my piano.

It seems to me that the material might welcome more polyphony, which would add textual interest and drama, as each voice has its own solo moment and the combinations of voices are more varied.

For example, I can imagine each voice entering in turn on that beautiful beginning "May the words of my mouth, etc.," then continuing polyphonically, and finally coming together dramatically on "be acceptable in thy sight." Just a thought.

Is there any special reason that you modulated up a whole step rather than to a more contrasting key? To me the difference is hardly noticeable.

In the recording I'd rather hear the voices with barely a hint of piano, except in the piano transitions. The piano just mimics the voices, and at the volume it's playing the timbre distracts from them.

Thanks, Jer. Your ideas are also very helpful, and I appreciate your playback comments. I will look over the piece and consider implementing them.

Thanks again, guys.

mjf1947

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Re: "May the Words of My Mouth," SATB chorus with piano accompaniment
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2018, 09:10:14 AM »
Art ..... lovely melody and intent here.

I have to agree with the comments so far suggested.  I think you can accentuate the line by having - for example the sopranos "ring" out more and maybe have the other voices follow in ..... this would generate more forward drive and provide the listening with a  more varied experience.

Then again it also depends how you view its place in the service and how the music plays into that context.  So as an interlude - transition I think you have the right touch here ... however, as a major presentation it needs a bit more shine.

Mark

gogreen

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Re: "May the Words of My Mouth," SATB chorus with piano accompaniment
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2018, 09:25:55 AM »
Thanks, Mark. I tried to keep this a bit subdued with more of a service in mind. But I understand your excellent suggestions. Thanks again.