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LESSON XXXIV
Monotones
Accompaniment to monotones figures largely in the work of the Episcopal Church organist. The monotone may be either choral or solo; the former when the choir recite words of the service all together, as in the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, the Psalms, etc., the latter during prayers and other parts of the service taken by the minister alone. In some churches the accompaniment to the minister's part is carried out through almost the entire service, and when efficiently done is both helpful and de­votional. With choral monotoning too little attention has been given to the rendering of the Psalms. These should of course always be chanted; but as there are so many cases where the choir is not prepared to do this, a very effective substitute can be obtained by the use of the monotone with organ accompaniment. This gives a quasi choral rendering, while avoiding the difficulties of actual chanting. Here, however, everything depends upon the organist. If he has abundance of taste, imagination, and creative power, all will be well; if not, he had better not attempt this branch of his art.
Far too little attention has been given to the accompani­ment of monotones in connection with the Episcopal Service. Many believe that all that is necessary is to supply a few wandering chords which will harmonize with the monotone, but which contain no real musical thought of their own, having no definite rhythm, no clear tonality, and no musical figures.
On the other hand, the accompaniment may be made a real living art-work. It should have definite time, marked rhythm, clear tonality, and individual style.
The general principles of harmonization will, of course, be the same as in the case of the regular pedal or organ-point, but it will be well to avoid extreme freedom of
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