Eternal Time

For: Choir
page one of Eternal Time

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Eternal Time


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Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
8 minutes
Modern classical music
License details
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Here is another attempt to write for voices. There are parts of this thing that I actually like. Of course, the score is filled with errors ommissions typical of what happens when a non-musician attempts to write music. What I like about this composition is that it generates a little internal heat, and that's worth something.

A few words about the text. The text is anonymous and dates from the last half of the 16th century. It was published in London in 1602,

Eternal Time that wastest without waste That art and art not, that diest and livest still. Most slow of all, and yet of greatest haste. Both ill and good, and neitehr good nor ill. How can I justly praise thee, or depraise? Dark are they nights, but bright and clear they days.

Both free and scarce thou giv'st and tak'st again. They womb that all doth breed, is tomb to all. What so by thee hath life, by thee is slain. From thee do all things rise, by thee they fall. Constant, inconstant, moving, standing still. WAS, IS, SHALL BE. do thee both breed and kill.

I lose thee when I seek to find thee out. The further off, the more I follow thee. The faster hold, the greater cause of doubt WAS, IS, I know, but SHALL, I cannot see. All things by thee are measured; thou by none. All are in thee, thou in thyself alone.

Because of its anonymous origns, one may expect that the text has been through a number of iterations. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to allow certain liberties with specific words to make them easier to sing and more easily understood. It is up to the singer's discretion to change "wastest" to "wasteth," "Livest to "Liveth" etc.

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