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Music- the Sound of Love "That which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music" said the writer Aldous Huxley It is particularly so with wedding music. Aside from the ceremony itself, no other single element of your celebration has the power to move your guests and engage the emotions of all in attendance the way beautiful music of a guitar and violin duo does. And the music is an important part of your celebration that can be recorded and enjoyed forever! You don't have to be an expert in the classics or a devotee of the opera or the symphony to select wonderful music that will set the mood for your Boston ceremony and reception, but you do have to give this choice at least as much time and attention as you have each of the other elements of your wedding. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help you, and professional musicians are always eager to talk about the art they love.

Music for the Ceremony

The first thing you must do before planning the music for your ceremony is to be clear on whatever restrictions may prevail where your wedding takes place. More and more houses of worship in are adopting policies on what they feel are, and are not, appropriate wedding selections, and it is wise to know what that policy is before getting your heart set on music you cannot have. Some consider such well-known pieces as the "Bridal Chorus'' from Wagner's Lohengrin (the"Here Comes the Bride'' melody) and Mendelssohn's Wedding March'' (the theme song of ''The Newlywed Game") as secular, nonsacred selections, and thus will not allow them. Therefore, you need to meet with the musical director of your house of worship to learn about the parameters for your selections. Even if you are not being married in a religious setting, you will still want one or more Boston musicians, who may or may not be liturgically trained, to provide ceremonial music. Those who do weddings regularly will have a repertoire of appropriate music and will be happy to play samples of their usual selections for you. Chances are you'll recognize many of the melodies once you hear them. You can also buy tapes or CDs of popular Boston wedding musicians to familiarize yourself with traditional selections. Determining the music will be easier if your house of worship has an accomplished music director, an experienced choir, and/or an impressive organ or piano in place, because you'll have all of these resources, anymore, at your disposal. Choral directors will have access to, and recommendations for, other vocalists and musicians in the Boston area who can enhance your wedding ensemble. Be prepared to pay their standard performance fees, however, and maybe even a bit more if several rehearsals are required. You should also know that, if you decide not to use the services of the organist or choral director at your house of worship, you will still probably have to pay his or her standard fee. This practice is considered pro fessional courtesy, and it is endorsed by The American Guild of Organists. If your house of worship has no music director, or if you're being married at another location, you may find musicians for your ceremony through the music departments of colleges and universities, your local musicians' union, or area orchestra and symphony groups. Don't hire any vocalist or Boston musicians you haven't actually heard, though; your wedding music is too important to be left to chance - or to neophytes. Once you have arranged for a professional to work with you in determining music for the service, you'll have to consider the four distinct parts of the wedding ceremony for which appropriate selections must be made.

The Prelude

Your wedding music actually begins 20 to 30 minutes before the ceremony. Called the prelude, this short program sets the mood and provides listening enjoyment of our Boston violin and guitar duo for your guests as they arrive and take their seats. The prelude program may contain any kind of music, vocal or instrumental, that you feel is appropriate to your celebration and that your guests will enjoy. Often, the repertoire is a medley of classical and contemporary pieces, from Bach to Broadway to the Beatles. Bear in mind, though, that if your Boston ceremony is being held in a church or synagogue, liturgical restrictions may also apply to the musical selections for the prelude. The organist or musicians who will be performing for the ceremony may begin with the prelude, or you may engage other musicians for this part of the program: a string or brass quartet, Boston Con Fuoco violin-guitar duo, harp, flute, piano, harpsichord, etc. You might even want to coordinate the musical selections of the prelude to the ethnic, thematic, or holiday motif of your wedding celebration: classical jazz (Chari Peno Jazztet), Baroque, Spanish guitar, or Christmas carols. Remember, you're trying to set a mood, and music is one of the most effective ways of doing that. The musicians you engage for the prelude will no doubt have some suggestions to help you achieve the proper atmosphere and variety. If you plan on having a printed program, it's a nice idea to include the prelude selections Along with the names of the composers and the performing artists, so that your guests will know what they're enjoying.

The Processional

The processional begins as the mother of the bride is seated, the groom appears, and a breathless hush of anticipation comes over the crowd. Organ accompaniment is, of course, traditional for wedding processionals, but if you can afford to engage just one other musician, professionals agree that it should be a trumpeter. The trumpet adds a royal touch, and there are many beautiful arrangements written especially for an organ and trumpet combination. Processional music is generally joyous and majestic and builds to a crescendo for the entry of the bride. (You may use one selection for the attendants' processional and another for yourself, or you may use the same selection for all with increased volume and intensity for the bridal march.) Whatever you choose should have a clearly audible cadence so that it's easy for you and your attendants to keep time while walking.
Some popular processional selections are:"Bridal Chorus'' from Lohengrin by Richard Wagner"Wedding March'' from A Midsummer Night Dream by Felix Mendelssohn" "Canon in D Major'' by Johann Pachelbel, " Coronation March'' by William Walton"Prince of Denmark's March'' by Jeremiah Clarke
"The Rondeau'' by Jean Joseph Mouret The Ceremony Soloists, vocalists, and choirs have their special places in the music that accompanies the ceremony itself. Depending on how the ceremony is structured, those gathered are likely to hear Schubert's "Ave Maria'' (or the Bach-Gounod - our wonderful violin-guitar duo arrangement of it), "Oh, Promise Me '' "Sunrise, Sunset", or any of the other popular ballads or biblical psalms set to music. You'll want to work with your music director to choose a combination of vocal and instrumental selections to enhance your ceremony and make it disdistinctive. If appropriate, you might even choose songs that are particular favorites of yours or ones that have special meaning to the two of you and your relationship. Ceremonial music is also helpful in extending an otherwise very brief ceremony and making it seem like more of a service. If your ceremony is being held within the context of a religious service, then some musical selections will necessarily have to be hymns that are a part of that service, such as the "Alleluia" or "Holy, Holy, Holy'' in a Catholic Nuptial Mass. Depending on your wishes and the custom in your congregation, you may or may not invite those gathered to participate in song. Many couples do feel, however, that the joined voices of their guests in the singing of favorite hymns adds to the communal spirit and joy of their celebration.

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