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Sgaw Karen hymnal tunes

Haruo 14 Jun 09 - 01:47 AM
Haruo 14 Jun 09 - 02:01 AM
Haruo 14 Jun 09 - 02:07 AM
Jack Campin 14 Jun 09 - 08:42 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 15 Jun 09 - 06:14 PM
Haruo 16 Jun 09 - 04:48 AM
Jack Campin 16 Jun 09 - 05:05 AM
GUEST 16 Jun 09 - 10:54 AM
Haruo 16 Jun 09 - 02:41 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 16 Jun 09 - 03:50 PM
Haruo 16 Jun 09 - 04:59 PM
Haruo 18 Jun 09 - 04:24 AM
Haruo 13 Jul 09 - 05:22 AM
Haruo 03 Aug 09 - 09:51 PM
Haruo 05 Aug 09 - 01:55 AM
Haruo 18 Nov 09 - 02:13 PM
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Subject: Sgaw Karen hymnal tunes
From: Haruo
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 01:47 AM

I've been looking at the contents of the 1963 Sgaw Karen Baptist hymnal, and some of the material seems to me to be either worth sharing or the occasion of questions that may be solved by the Mudcat Brain.


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Subject: My Own Native Land - Karen Hymnal #523
From: Haruo
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 02:01 AM

There is a section of what looks to me like patriotic hymns running from #519 to #525. These are

519 - "The Karen National Anthem"
520 - "Beautiful Burma" (to Materna, the tune Americans typically associate with "America the Beautiful")
521 - unidentified text and tune
522 - unidentified text (to America)
523 - "My Own Native Land"
524 - "Old Folks at Home", yes, the Foster hit in Karen
525 - "God Save the King" (to America)

and I will be posting the tunes of several of them here. Let's start with "My Own Native Land", since it's the only one I've made a melody-line MIDI file of yet. I have a vague feeling that I may have known a text to this tune at some time in the past, but I certainly don't remember which one. The tune is not as far as I can tell associated with the Irish song text that dominates my attempts to google "my own native land". Anyhow, here is the MIDI:

My Own Native Land (MIDI)


Note that this is only the melody line. The hymnal has it arranged in a typical protestant-hymnal four-part harmonized form. Anybody recognize it? Got the English text? Know the composer? Anything?

Thanks,

Haruo


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Subject: RE: Sgaw Karen hymnal tunes
From: Haruo
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 02:07 AM

I should probably add that I do not know the Sgaw Karen language, and I do not know the sounds associated with the letters of the Burmese alphabet, which is used in Sgaw Karen. I do know how to read the numerals, so far that's it. It's at the top of my list of languages to learn.

Haruo


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Subject: RE: Sgaw Karen hymnal tunes
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 08:42 PM

Sounds like a harmony part for "Red River Valley". Sure you've got the tune in the right voice?


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Subject: RE: Sgaw Karen hymnal tunes
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 06:14 PM

Did anyone besides me think upon seeing this thread think it was about our resident Don Rickles and his wife Karen?

Charles


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Subject: RE: Sgaw Karen hymnal tunes
From: Haruo
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 04:48 AM

I can see how that might have been the first thought, though I don't think of them as particularly hymnodic folk. But no, this is the Karen ethnic minority that's getting pushed around by the Burmese military meanies. (Sgaw Karen, sometimes spelled Sqaw Karen, but never Spaw Karen ;-), is the most populous Karen dialect, the second largest being Pwo Karen.)

What do you mean by "the right voice", Jack? I like your Red River Valley harmony idea, but I don't think that's really the solution of the puzzle. I'm convinced that somewhere out there there's an English (or Scottish) text that's normally sung to this tune. Or maybe it's just a pipe air.

Haruo


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Subject: RE: Sgaw Karen hymnal tunes
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 05:05 AM

I meant that in a four-voice harmonization the tune isn't necessarily the topmost part. In old Scottish settings it was always in the tenor.

I've never seen a hymnbook which varied the part that had the tune, though I don't see why it couldn't happen.


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Subject: RE: Sgaw Karen hymnal tunes
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 10:54 AM

Where can I buy Karen language Hymnals


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Subject: RE: Sgaw Karen hymnal tunes
From: Haruo
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 02:41 PM

GUEST, I got mine from Duane Binkley (I think his name is) at KarenKonnection.org. They have the full one (1963 edition) which I purchased and also some sort of abridgment that's a little cheaper. And they have a (16 Mb) PDF hymnbook you can download, here, but this is text only.

Jack, certainly "melody in the tenor" arrangements are common in some contexts (e.g. Fasola shapenote singing) outside old Scotland. I'll try the tenor line and see what it sounds like. (What I MIDIfied was the soprano part.)

Haruo


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Subject: RE: Sgaw Karen hymnal tunes
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 03:50 PM

Haruo, thanks for the pleasant and humorous response to my irrelevant post.

I'm interested in the Sgaw/Sqaw alternatives. In English, unvoiced sibilant consonants are not compounded with voiced consonants, so Sqaw seems easier to pronounce than Sgaw. But some languages, like Japanese, have consonants which have syllabic value. The only way I can see to pronounce Sgaw is sssgaw--the s being a separate syllable, whereas Sqaw is easily pronounced as skaw (I assume it isn't pronounced squaw). Romanizing of non-European languages is often strange and inaccurate, hence the several spellings of the Libyan president: Kadaffi, Qadaffi, Gadaffi,

The son of a friend of mine once worked with Doctors Without Borders crossing back and forth between Thailand and Burma/Myanmar.

Charles (trying for once to be relevant and to avoid thread creep.


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Subject: RE: Sgaw Karen hymnal tunes
From: Haruo
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 04:59 PM

I quite agree with your comments about voiced/unvoiced consonant abutments, and romanizations. My guess is "Sgaw/Sqaw"'s a closer rhyme with "scow" than with "squaw". "Sgaw" is the most frequent romanization. My hope is that this will remain a music thread, and to that end I hope in the next day or two to post the two or three tunes that are actually identified as "Karen airs" in the hymnal, as well as the Karen National Anthem (which is of Karen composition but in a rather western/general "national anthem style").

Haruo


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Subject: Karen hymn #541 (Grace from Heaven) MIDI
From: Haruo
Date: 18 Jun 09 - 04:24 AM

This is one of the few items in the hymnal that is specifically called a "Karen Air", though harmonized by someone in New York:
#541


Haruo


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Subject: Red River Valley variant set to Karen Hymnal #523
From: Haruo
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 05:22 AM

Jack Campin suggested "it sounds like a harmony part for Red River Valley". It's not, but I decided to try. Made a PDF of it.

here


Had to redo some of the lines. Here's the text I ended up with;

From this valley they say you are going away,
We'll miss your bright eye and sweet smile,
For they say you'll remove all the sunshine and love
That's brightened our pathway awhile.
If you love me have a seat,
Don't hurry off tout de suite,
but remember the valley where we two used to dally,
and the cowboy that loved you so sweet.

Fwiw.

Haruo


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Subject: A couple of "Karen Air" midi files
From: Haruo
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 09:51 PM

#536 ANGEL VOICES

#542 BENEDICTION

both described as Karen Airs, the first "harm. by Prof. J. G. Hamilton"

I have no idea if my midis are appropriate in instrumentation or pace.

Haruo


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Subject: RE: Sgaw Karen hymnal tunes
From: Haruo
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 01:55 AM

I've scanned (as JPEGs) a few pages of the hymnal, including most if not all of the "Karen Air" tunes, the Karen National Anthem, and the Ko Thah-byu Memorial Hymn, as well as "My Own Native Land". A list of the scans (with links) is on my church's website,

here


Haruo


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Subject: RE: Sgaw Karen hymnal tunes
From: Haruo
Date: 18 Nov 09 - 02:13 PM

Recently I set up a Google Group aimed at the production by 2013 of a new Sgaw Karen hymnal, and I have been working from the front of the 1963 hymnal in my Miahimnareto blog (I'm up to #5).


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