William Groth | The Piano and the Spiritual

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New Age: Solo Instrumental Spiritual: Hymns Moods: Type: Improvisational
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The Piano and the Spiritual

by William Groth

Piano arrangements, with improvisations, drawing from the music of traditional hymns and spirituals in various jazz, folk and gospel/rock styles.
Genre: New Age: Solo Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Morning Hangs a Signal
2:48 $0.99
2. The Lone, Wild Bird
3:41 $0.99
3. Give Thanks
2:08 $0.99
clip
4. We Shall Overcome
4:04 $0.99
5. Here on the Paths of Every Day
3:52 $0.99
6. Oh What a Piece of Work Are We
3:48 $0.99
7. This Old World
3:06 $0.99
8. Hush
3:29 $0.99
9. Years Are Coming
3:16 $0.99
10. Alone She Cuts and Binds the Grain
3:06 $0.99
11. Part in Peace
3:36 $0.99
clip
12. Who Can Say
4:48 $0.99
13. We Sing of Golden Mornings
3:44 $0.99
14. Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child
3:34 $0.99
15. When the Summer Sun Is Shining
3:20 $0.99
16. Whence, Oh Shepherd Maiden?
3:33 $0.99
17. A Long, Long Way the Sea Winds Blow
3:12 $0.99
18. Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
3:57 $0.99
19. Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen
3:50 $0.99
clip
20. The Sun at High Noon
3:22 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Take the melody of an old hymn with roots in folk music, free oneself from the common role of accompanist to the vocal line, and little impressionistic piano pieces can sometimes arise.

Keyboard instruments were unable to travel well and had little significance with the evolution of folk and country music in Early America. The fiddle, guitar, mandolin and banjo owned the touring sessions in roadhouses and the sounds that became the music.

Decently regulated and tuned pianos were at home in the chapel, though, and it makes complete sense to me now as I review this collection that these hymns can become an appropriate vehicle for what might be called folk or "Americana" piano. Beautiful circular melodies that are often only eight or ten bars and have no modulation or 'bridge" to somewhere else.....this was a set-up for pentatonic-scale "country" improvisations that allow for spontaneous counterpoint as well.

More than half of these short pieces are of this nature, so for tonal contrast I have included, (from the same recording sessions), three contemporary pieces, three African-American spirituals, and four Protestant numbers that became rock-Gospel outlets. It was no coincidence that modern altered chords.and blue notes seemed to be able to appear here.

The melodies used in many of these folk hymns and spirituals are often from composers whose identities are now lost to the historic record. In many cases, the original title itself is unknown. The option that remains is to use the title created by those who first contributed sacred or soulful text to the music as it began to meet publication.

The first major collections of the music such as William Walker's (Southern Harmony - 1835), A.D. Carden's (Missouri Harmony - 1820), and William Caldwell's (Union Harmony - 1837) allowed groups of people to sing these melodies together. Many were soon inspired to combine four-part choral writing with the work of lyricists and poets, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Channing Gannett, and William Wordsworth, to create vivid spiritual music about such common concerns as the sun, the sea, the field, or even a solitary bird.

The choral arrangements in the style survive today through the care of the singing spiritual community, and serve as inspiration for this musician to create new arrangement and improvisational ideas for the piano.

The order of songs on this product has been set up to provide for variety of sound and a continuous raising of key. The CD is meant to be enjoyed from beginning to end.

William Groth




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