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http://youtu.be/jBtVRNXOt-s
This piece is called Hymn.

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Very nice. Clever gimmick to have the players sing in the middle.

Having said that, though... is this a new arrangement? 'cos I've heard the melody before. Is it the same arrangement you sent me a link of before, or is it a new arrangement? Not that that detracts from this piece in any way, I'm just curious.

Same exact one. Yep, concerning the singing, just another color.

H. S. Teoh said:

Very nice. Clever gimmick to have the players sing in the middle.

Having said that, though... is this a new arrangement? 'cos I've heard the melody before. Is it the same arrangement you sent me a link of before, or is it a new arrangement? Not that that detracts from this piece in any way, I'm just curious.

Thank you Susan, I wrote it for my grandpa.

Susan Partlan said:

Beautiful, moving piece Rodney.

 

I have a few questions about this piece. 

 

1.  It's offered here for "Veterans' Day."  "Happy Veteran's Day" was the title of the thread.  Veterans of what?   I looked up the word Veteran.   The definition was

 

"a person who has had long service or experience in an occupation, office, or the like"

 

So are we expressing good wishes to those who are veteran composers, veteran musicians, or veteran performers of some type?  Or do we want a broader definition, say those who are veteran nurses, or veteran doctors or police officers or firefighters and other public servants?

 

There are many kinds of "veterans," so I wondered if you were including all veterans of all types, including veteran cab drivers, veteran door-to-door sales persons, and veteran cooks in restaurants—every single type of veteran in fact.

 

There is a reason I ask this.

 

2.  The work we are linked to is called

'Hymn from "In Remembrance."

 

In remembrance of what exactly?  In remembrance of whom?  Perhaps the composer can say.  I looked at the Youtube video carefully, and couldn't see any indication of what was being remembered or who.  And if this is a hymn what definition of "hymn" is being applied.

 

hymn (hĭm)►

n.

A song of praise or thanksgiving to God or a deity.

n.

A song of praise or joy; a paean.

v.

To praise, glorify, or worship in or as if in a hymn.

 

Was this a Hymn, in the sense of being a song of praise or thanksgiving to God (and if so does it matter what conception of God is being considered); or it a "song of praise" of someone or something else?

 

Again, I have reasons for asking, but I will just leave these as very open ended questions, without any presumptions regarding possible answers.

 

I hope the composer, and or some of the listeners might provide responses, either with regard to intentions, or with regard to reactions, images or something which is elicited by the music in the mind.

 

Thank you, in advance, for any replies that may be provided. 

Isn't it VERY obvious what the intention is here oo? Are your questions necessary??
 
O. O. said:

 

I have a few questions about this piece. 

 

1.  It's offered here for "Veterans' Day."  "Happy Veteran's Day" was the title of the thread.  Veterans of what?   I looked up the word Veteran.   The definition was

 

"a person who has had long service or experience in an occupation, office, or the like"

 

So are we expressing good wishes to those who are veteran composers, veteran musicians, or veteran performers of some type?  Or do we want a broader definition, say those who are veteran nurses, or veteran doctors or police officers or firefighters and other public servants?

 

There are many kinds of "veterans," so I wondered if you were including all veterans of all types, including veteran cab drivers, veteran door-to-door sales persons, and veteran cooks in restaurants—every single type of veteran in fact.

 

There is a reason I ask this.

 

2.  The work we are linked to is called

'Hymn from "In Remembrance."

 

In remembrance of what exactly?  In remembrance of whom?  Perhaps the composer can say.  I looked at the Youtube video carefully, and couldn't see any indication of what was being remembered or who.  And if this is a hymn what definition of "hymn" is being applied.

 

hymn (hĭm)►

n.

A song of praise or thanksgiving to God or a deity.

n.

A song of praise or joy; a paean.

v.

To praise, glorify, or worship in or as if in a hymn.

 

Was this a Hymn, in the sense of being a song of praise or thanksgiving to God (and if so does it matter what conception of God is being considered); or it a "song of praise" of someone or something else?

 

Again, I have reasons for asking, but I will just leave these as very open ended questions, without any presumptions regarding possible answers.

 

I hope the composer, and or some of the listeners might provide responses, either with regard to intentions, or with regard to reactions, images or something which is elicited by the music in the mind.

 

Thank you, in advance, for any replies that may be provided. 

"Isn't it VERY obvious what the intention is here OO?" Are your questions necessary??"

 

1.   "Isn't it VERY obvious what the intention is here OO?"

 

I try not to make assumptions.  Intention is not always obvious from the outward action.

 

2.  "Are your questions necessary??"

 

I am not sure what "necessary" has to do with anything.

 

They are questions.

 

I am offering them here, and inviting answers from anyone who wants to provide them.

This is a "forum," so I think questions are appropriate.

 

 

None of the questions I ask here are asked lightly or "unnecessarily," as readers might see by the end of this post.  (That being a partial answer to Paul Halley's last question to me).

 

Susan called this a "Beautiful, moving piece."  Bob Porter called this "extremely beautiful and moving."  H.S. Teoh says, it's very "clever," and that it has a "gimmick," one that he likes.  I asked several questions about the piece, and Paul replied, with another question, asking  "Isn't it VERY obvious what the intention is here?"

 

No, it's not.  I said I am not able to determine any individual human intention simply from an outward action.  This is why I am asking several questions.

 

My questions, if I can reword them are as follows: 

 

1)  What does this have to do with "Veterans Day," and what kind of veterans is being honored by this piece?  Recall the word veteran has as its first definition, "a person who has had long service or experience in an occupation, office, or the like."  Personally, I do not limit the word "veteran," to people belonging to any one profession, which is why I asked if veteran doctors, nurses, firefighters, police officers, cab drivers and various government officials could be included in the definition.

 

2) My other question had to do with the piece itself, since on the Youtube page, there is nothing that I can see about Veterans, though it is called "Hymn," and is part of a larger work, called "Remembrance."   So who or what is the Hymn directed towards (as a "song of praise), and who or what is being "remembered?"

 

I think Susan, Bob Porter, H.S. Teoh, or Rodney might be able to shed a little light on the situation.  I invite others also to do so, based on their own perceptions.

 

I can't assume that what the music conveys is associated with the rather confusing traditions connected with "Veteran's Day." The holiday actually used to be called "Armistice Day," which was originally conceived as a celebration of the signing of the peace at the end of World War I.  As such, we were to remember Peace.   Rodney mentions his grandfather, and I also mention here the fact that my grandfather was a soldier and veteran .  He fought in the First World War.

 

But what about the present?  Has Veteran's Day itself become more of a celebration of "war" than of "peace" for Americans today?  It's a difficult question, one that the US media will seldom explore.  Is the "holiday" used more today to justify war, and continued US armed aggressions around the world; as well as the presence of 700 or more bases in 130 different nations?  Or is it used to justify and encourage diplomats to seek peace and to negotiate to prevent war?

 

Many questions arise, the more one thinks about such issues. Is this a song about peace, about mourning, about regretting war, or commemorating one series of recent wars (Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam) in order to justify further wars in the future?

 

I ask each member of Composers' Forum who reads this, because only YOU know what "Veteran's Day" might mean, or what it meant when you "celebrated it" last Wednesday (if you did).

 

The last "patriotic" military-related holiday I attended was a "Flag Day celebration.  There we received a lecture about how evil it was to allow people to burn the flag, and we were asked to join a movement and participate in an effort, sponsored by the American Legion, to reverse the Supreme Court's decision on the flag, and to aid in the passage of a Constitutional Amendment to ban flag burning with severe legal penalties.   Personally, I think such efforts fly in the face of what the Courts have rightly decided is a matter of individual liberty and "freedom of expression."

 

Now what about the music itself?  Three people have praised it so far, and that's fine.  And my purpose here is not to dispraise the work.  But to ask questions.  I don't think Rodney will mind, because an ensuing dialogue may be much more interesting, and help us understand the essence of the work, than simple praise of the composition will do.

 

If the music is "beautiful," what kind of beauty are we talking about?  There are many kinds of beauty, of course.  Is it similar to the kind we experience, for example, when we hear Berlioz "Symphonie funèbre," which commemorates those fallen in the "July Revolution" of 1830?

 

Berlioz - Symphonie funèbre

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEcSQ8BTlPQ

 

The music, Bob and Susan said, is "moving," and I doubt they were speaking in a purely general way.  So I want to ask, "moved" to feel what, or "moved" to do what?  The reason I ask this is because I am very hesitant about music designed to move one to feel "patriotism," during and in situations where the feeling is misused to justify needless war and support for military actions. 

 

I mention Berlioz "Symphonie funèbre" because I believe it is one of those works (in the genre of commemorative pieces) which celebrates a genuine people's movement intended to bring about greater democracy and freedom for the people.   Works which may celebrate wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam hardly seem to highlight any effort to bring about genuine positive change.  The problem has been, of course, that such wars were entered into for simple tactical reasons, having to do with US prestige, so-called "wars of choice," or merely for the furthering of US power around the world, as opposed to any benign or beneficial motive.

 

I don't know what this Hymn is supposed to move me to feel, exactly.  Nor do I know if I want to "feel" that emotion, whatever it may be (especially if I don't know what it is).  Do I want listeners generally to be moved by this "feeling"?  So this is why I pose questions for the listenership. What do other listeners feel or want others to experience?  What might the composer, today, want listeners to be moved to do or to feel?   One might recall Beethoven's decision NOT to want to move people to think or believe anything positive about Napoleon Bonaparte when the Third Symphony was finally performed (though the opposite was his original intention).   Beethoven was undeceived at some point, and realized that Napoleon Bonaparte was only bent upon power and conquest.   The composer realized that the Corsican tyrant had no desire to further the cause of democracy or representative government, as he had originally thought. 

 

With regards to the "Hymn."  Now what does the composer feel?  And what might the audience be moved to feel about commemorating wars, or commemorating "the war dead," in the light of the ongoing "perpetual war" being waged around the world under various changing pretexts?

 

Have the dead died for just causes, or for the sake corporate power, nationalist self-aggrandizement, or some other goals less than worthy of a civilized people?

 

All this is in "remembrance" of what?  [And let me end by saying, it does no good simply to say, we are remembering those who "gave their lives for their country," because it matters what the wars were about, what their real goals were, and whether they created a net good or a net evil in the world.  To simply mouth the platitude, "they gave their lives for their country," is to avoid the hard and central question.  I don't say this lightly, because my father and my grandfather were both veteran members of the armed forces of the US and UK respectively, and my grandfather died as a result of poisonous gas he was exposed to in France, during the struggle against Germany, in World War I).

 

 

Extremely inventive, expressive powerful  and  beautiful piece, Rodney. You are a master of your material, imo. Thanks for posting.

I hope your granda enjoyed it!

Fredrick, your point about Veterinarians day is explored in excruciating comic detail by

Ali G. in this video excerpt from his television show.

The relationship between Vets and Veterinarians is made clear, as Ali G. asks the questions of a Veterinarian who is also a "Vet".

Q:  So does Vets mainly look after sick animals?

A:  We do a lot of preventive medicine and everything.

Q: Why was there so many sick animals in Vietnam?

A:  There wasn't that many sick animals in Vietnam.

Q:  Weren't there like millions of Vietnam Vets?

A:  ...  [long pause]  ...  You are confusing terminology here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWDP_ew8HqQ

This only becomes more clear, as the video proceeds.



Fredrick zinos said:

Nov 11 is Veterinarians day.

 

Hi Bob Porter.  Thanks for your response.  You said,

 

"All interesting questions that would be better served in a separate thread."

 

Thanks, I am glad you find the questions interesting.  But I don't think we need an entirely new thread.

 

"I think the purpose of the posting is to get comments on the music itself."

 

This is exactly what I am asking for.  A discussion of "the music itself."  I want people to tell me what kind of beauty this specific music might evoke.  I am inviting people to tell me in what way they feel "moved" by the music, what emotions it might make them feel.  All the questions are related to the music itself.  What is this music a "hymn" to?  If it's about remembrance, what are we supposed to remember?  These are all questions about the music itself, and what it makes us feel, imagine, or remember.

 

"Not any hidden agenda."

 

Something seems hidden.  So far the answers to my questions appear to be hidden.  Why doesn't someone just answer the questions in a direct fashion, and show there is no hidden agenda?

 

 

"I know anything having to do with the military is a touchy subject for you."

 

Not at all.  I think others might mistakenly think this a "touchy subject."  "Touchy" usually means "Tending to take offense with slight cause."  I don't think this is a touchy subject (it's not for me, anyway, otherwise, I would not bring it up), but I am interested in the answers to the questions I am posing.  Do these sorts of queries offend certain people?  If that were the case, then it would be those people who consider this to be a "touchy subject."  I don't find discussion of such issues to be at all unpleasant.  It would not offend me, in the least, however the conversation proceeded.  Perhaps Paul H. was a bit put off by my asking what I did, I am not sure, since he hasn't answered my replies yet.  

 

"How many composers are reluctant to post things because of where you might go with it?"

 

It's difficult to answer that question, of course. 

 

"Maybe none, I don't know."

 

Maybe none, maybe a few. I don't see why anyone would be afraid or reluctant about where the conversation "might go," in any case.  What you said is tantamount to accusing members of Composers' Forum of being "scaredy cats."  Surely no one is fearful.  Where might the discussion go, such that it would cause people to be reluctant to offer their honest reaction to the music itself?  Why would anyone be reluctant to say what the music might mean?

 



Bob Porter said:

O. O.

All interesting questions that would be better served in a separate thread. I think the purpose of the posting is to get comments on the music itself. Not any hidden agenda. I know anything having to do with the military is a touchy subject for you. How many composers are reluctant to post things because of where you might go with it. Maybe none, I don't know.

Rodney, first I'd like to say that I agree that this is a beautiful piece of work.

You seem to have a very mature sense of music for such a young face (lol)

The one thing that I thought fell just a bit short and would add a little bit more

dynamic to this would be the addition of a little more timpani, strategically

placed of course. It's very good as  is, but I think it could be even better.

Secondly, in fun, I think that for advertising and promotional reasons you

should adopt the 'stage name'  Rodney Monet. (it's psychologically more a-ffective)   RS

O.O.
I answer your questions directly to offer my experience of the music. This is not written with any other purpose than to explain what I felt when I first heard it.

After a tough week with troubles within my family (severe illness, ridiculous arguments etc.) I sat on the bus to work on monday morning. I saw the sun come up as we passed through a small village by the sea and I was finally able to cry and let loose the feelings that had been building up inside me. Accompanying this was Rodneys Hymn.
During my travel I was feeling more and more liberated from my burdens and all of this together lifted my spirits and helped me through the day and eventually the entire week.
The choral singing in the middle of the piece along with the upward motion in the melodies helped with this I think, as well as the calm and steady pace of the music.

All of this makes the piece beautiful to me.

All on a very personal level, but none the less true for that.

I cannot explain why YOU "should" be moved by it though (if my story in itself doesn't help althoug this was never my intention). I just guess curcomstances helped in my case.

All the best

David

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