Mary Jane captures what I’ve often thought of strophic hymns, On Jordan’s Bank, as one in particular.
“Oh well, I want to move away from strophic hymnody at the Mass anyway.”
Interesting. That’s what the pseudo-folkies tried in the late 60′s, culminating in the SLJ’s practice of antiphon + psalm of the preconciliar days. Only recast with guitar and voice. Some how I don’t think that’s what this year’s musical movement has in mind.
It all seems so strange, as I recall my first adventures in liturgical music in the 80′s, and meeting many conservatory-trained organists. Hymn-playing was so Big. I remember with fascination the technique of playing the bass part on the pedals, the tenor and alto with left hand, and soloing out the melody on right. I seem to recall that being a requirement for certification I saw somewhere once.
I think I program “On Jordan’s Bank” on auto-pilot. I tried to give it a sabbatical this year, but it popped up once. GIA put out an interesting rendtiion of it in 7/4 time. But I don’t need Dave Brubeck rhythms to produce a lively and light accompaniment with piano, guitar, bass and violin. Just imagine what I could do with proper Gregorian propers. Or perhaps you’d rather not.