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Our plan is to move the church service outdoors this Sunday.

When choosing music earlier in the week, the first thing I did was to look at the weather forecast.  As it turns out, we have deferred to Mother Nature twice already this summer.

For August 4th, AccuWeather.com predicts that it will be “partly sunny with a t-storm.”  With that in mind, I chose music that can move easily from a Clavinova outdoors to an acoustic piano inside if necessary.  (I’ll play piano this time so as to eliminate the possibility of last-minute pedal and registration changes.)

The music

The Clavinova has only one sound.  The volume can be raised or lowered with a toggle wheel, but there are no alternative sounds available (such as harpsichord, flute, etc.).  So the music needs to being written for one manual, and the ability to employ voicing to differentiate various parts (melody/accompaniment; fugue lines) will be quite limited.

I prefer playing sacred music for services, not piano preludes by Chopin and

The music needs to have an organ pedal part that can be played along with the manual parts (i.e. close to the left hand in range).  Another possibility would be to choose music with no organ pedal part at all.

Pieces that are 2 pages in length would eliminate page turns.  That way, when clothes pins are keeping the printed music steady, they can stay there for the entire piece.  (It’s safer!  Picture removing clothespins, turning the page, and re-clipping the clothespins, while playing the entire time.)

What else?

Although I have played services outdoors under the roof of a picnic shelter, the setting on Sunday will be completely in the open.  I will need hair clips and sunglasses.  

West Nile Virus has come to the area, so bug spray is a necessity.

And may I please borrow your dog to fetch the things I drop?


Repertoire for August 4th

Come, Thou Almighty King     Martin Stellhorn
The organ pedal part can be played an octave higher.  This will allow the piece to move without arpeggiating the bass and tenor lines (to accommodate reaches wider than the span of the left hand).

Praise God the Lord, Ye Sons of Men     Johann Gottfried Walther

This piece is contrapuntal, but is not a fugue.  The tune is clearly in the top voice, so it will be easily heard when played on a Clavinova.

I Come, O Savior, to Thy Table     Paul Kretzschmar
The embellished tune is a right-hand solo.  Played on the organ, a solo stop on a separate manual would be the way to go for clarity.  With the embellishments, the tune stands out from the slower left-hand rhythm, so I think it will be OK played on a Clavinova.

Now Thank We All Our God     Georg Friedrich Kaufmann

This is a toccata with the tune in the top voice.

As it happened

This is a follow-up, added on Monday.

We had a beautiful day!  During the outdoor service, the breeze kicked up 2 or 3 times, but I was reduced to holding the music with one hand and playing with the other only once.  That was during a hymn.  With the congregation singing at the time, it was fine.

The Clavinova has more variety available in volume by touch than I had recalled from a year ago.  That was a welcome surprise.

In the offertory, the editor indicates in the score that the melody is to be played an octave higher when all parts are heard on the same manual.  I actually forgot during the service until the B section.  When moving up an octave, though, the sound was unsatisfactory for a melody.  So I went back to playing the score as notated.

Around 11:30 a.m., we had a few raindrops.  I was in Amherst by then.

Later on, we had light rain.  But the “t-storm” forecast never materialized.


Have I forgotten anything?

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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