CORNISH-L Archives

Archiver > CORNISH > 2009-12 > 1261730347

From: <>
Subject: [CORNISH] Christmas Greetings and "Pitching the tune"
Date: Fri, 25 Dec 2009 02:39:07 -0600

Hope all listers have a truly wonderful Christmas, and the New Year brings all a goodly share of joy, laughter, and love (and luck, for finding relies)!

A.L. Rowse mentioned in his book that while at chapel, "an old person would set the pitch" or "pitch the tune," and many who did so were prideful of never picking the same tune twice at a 3 hour service. So, how did they "set the pitch". Was it that the person would sing a line, and the rest a response - rather as songs are presented in Africa? Or was it like the organist who plays a verse of the hymn, then everyone starts singing on the second - so the person would sing one whole stanza?

I'm picturing someone singing "Ding, dong merrily on high, hosannah in excelsius!" the everyone else joining in "Oho-hoho...etc. hosannah in excelsius." (A choir was just on television, and the soprano's sang the first line, then everyone joined in on the second...which is what prompted the question.) "Go tell it on the Mountain" has an introduction, which is usually sung by one person, then everyone sings the actual song, which is another way of introducing the carol.

Were there particular times in the service when hymns were sung, or was it as the spirit moved?



Julia Mosman, OPC for St.Austell,Charlestown, and Treverbyn

Website at

W. Briton newspaper transcripts at

Please visit the OPC website at

This thread: