Frequently asked questions

Q1: You always describe Sir Arthur Bliss as ‘Master of the Queen’s Music’ – shouldn’t it be ‘Musick’, which he used?

A: In the editorial to the Newsletter of Spring 2005 (vol 3 no 1) the Editor writes: “When receiving articles that mention Bliss’s role as Master of the Queen’s Music, I find opinions divided as to whether it should be ‘Music’ or ‘Musick’. The truth is that the k was included in the time of Charles I, who founded the office in 1625, but updated itself as conventions changed. Bliss, however, favoured the use of the k and so it became a sort of tradition to use it again during his tenure of the title.” However, the royal certificate presented to Bliss on his appointment to this office does not use “k”.

Q2: Is there any way in which the Society could alert members more quickly to forthcoming performances of Bliss works? I know that they usually appear on the website a reasonable time in advance, but one cannot keep looking at the website.

A: Unfortunately we cannot afford to post extra notices to every member, but we now email those members who have given us email contact addresses and their permission for us to use them for circulars. These are sent to ‘Undisclosed Recipients’ and no names or addresses are revealed. Please remember that we can only put on the website those performances we know about. We try to keep our collective eyes and ears open, but some slip past us. Please help by telling us of any forthcoming performance of Bliss work you hear of, however small the event. If you have not given us an email contact but have one and would like to be included, please contact the webmaster. Users of Twitter might find information and discussion on that medium.

Q3: I would like to find a Bliss piece suitable for my small but enthusiastic church choir. Can you suggest something?

A: A recording (Priory PRCD 645) by The Collegiate Singers (conducted by Andrew Millinger) gives a comprehensive selection of Arthur Bliss’s shorter choral pieces, and is an excellent point of reference. Most of his choral output was published by Novello.

Q4: Did Sir Arthur compose any hymns for church worship?

A: We know of three:
1967 He is The Way tune: Santa Barbara
1967 Sweet Day, So Cool tune: Pen Selwood
1970 Christ is Alive tune: Mortlake

Q5: Where can I find copyright information on arranging a Bliss piece for a performance to be streamed online?

A: You should contact the licensing department at Wise Music to obtain both their and the Bliss Trust’s permission for the arrangement to be made.

Q6: What is the music on your Home Page?

A: It’s from the Bliss Piano Concerto.

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