Alistair Warwick – blog

New blog section (in progress)

I’ve imported my old blog ( blog) into this website. There’s a lot of work to do to make it look right. Please note: Although clicking on an individual post goes to the correct page, the content isn’t updated to show that post; instead the extracts continue to appear, furthermore, as one continuous string …

27th November 2018

Using music for refreshing worship

Some notes in preparation for a Clergy Study Day for the Diocese of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane • Cumulative • Frustrating • Juxtaposition of tunes and new words & vice versa • Patience & determination • Other forms than hymns: o litanies (e.g. Agnus Dei, originally for breaking of the bread o processions (sung …

26th November 2018

RSCM singing exams i

Adults can get very worried about taking exams. Children usually take them in their stride. Perhaps that’s because children are so used to them. Or maybe, as adults, we feel we have too much to lose. So, I’m going to write a bit about the RSCM’s Voice for Life singing exams to help you feel …

25th November 2018

Singing intelligently

When we have a new hymn or song to learn, we each read a verse aloud. One person reads verse 1, then the person next to them reads the 2nd verse, and so on. This has two purposes: 1. Separating out the text from the music helps the learning process. (It’s a bit like practising …

19th June 2015

Some thoughts about helping musicians (of all skill levels)

This is the first in a series of posts in which I hope to share some of my experiences of working as one musician enabling others. Some of it will relate to church music, some to music in the community. And some will relate to helping singers and others to increase their confidence in faster …

18th June 2015

How to avoid being party to a huge, vile, cruel injustice.

Some excellent thoughts on what (and what not) to do/say in meetings when something is said which is plainly wrong. How to avoid being party to a huge, vile, cruel injustice.

3rd April 2014

All of us first

As children we have a sense of fairness: it’s not right that someone should get something while others go without As young people we have real sense of justice (despite “whatever!”) But what happens when we “grow up”? Do we abandon the sense that we are all equal?   As we prepare for the referendum …

24th March 2014

Another day. Another bag…

Another day. Another bag. Another vision? A new hope for Scotland? Lesley Riddoch’s brilliant book Blossom: What Scotland Needs to Flourish (Viewpoints) describes Scotland as a garden: Scots currently inhabit a large, beautiful garden whose owner is busy but can’t trust anyone else to manage it. As a result, monocultures run riot, dominant plants stifle …

21st March 2014

You can get it if you really want

Read this motivating story about two ordinary people who did extraordinary things. You Can Get It If You Really Want Two inspiring men from completely different backgrounds who faced huge challenges. They persevered and made the most of their natural abilities to reach the top of the tree in their chosen careers. We may not …

26th May 2012

A new hope

I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope. When you look for me, you will find me: when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11,13 )

16th December 2011

Love blooms bright

Enjoying reading the posts at Love Blooms Bright, a blog for the Advent season. Set up by wonderfulexchange, with guest writers, Love Blooms Bright offers words, images and quotations to help us enjoy and prepare for God’s coming among us. The contributors are drawn mostly from among the clergy and laity of the Scottish Episcopal Church, …

29th November 2011

Sic transit gloria funghi

O tempora, O mores. So there it was, a beautiful red-cap mushroom, both complementing and contrasting with the grass in which it sat. The following day we saw it again, this time with a slightly flatter top, but still showing off its beauty for all to see. And then, just a couple of days later, …

24th November 2011

Young Voices

At the RSCM Scotland Young Voices Festival in Haddington yesterday. 32 young people – the same number who were in Glasgow last year – singing their hearts out. The singers came from Queensferry (Parish Church), Haddington (St Mary’s), Edinburgh (St Peter’s, Lutton Place), Bridge of Allan (St Saviour’s) and Dunblane (Cathedral & St Mary’s), and …

18th September 2011

Where to start?

“The End.” “The End.” So much opportunity. So many good things. But it wasn’t to be. Although in some ways it’s back where it was before, in other ways, it’s quite different. We are changed. And that’s good. And some of the good things will continue, and develop further. But it will take some time …

13th September 2011

A story (or a parable) – whatever

One upon a time there was a young musician – let’s call him Alex. As a teenager he became aware of another young musician – let’s call him Michael. Like Michael, Alex was a pianist and conductor, albeit a bit younger – unlike him, he was totally unknown and at an early stage of his …

26th March 2010

Welcome news about Trijicon removing bible verses on scopes

BBC News reports that US firm are to remove Biblical references on gunsights Apparently they have responded to the concern felt by many people. In a statement, Trijicon say “Trijicon has proudly served the US military for more than two decades, and our decision to offer to voluntarily remove these references is both prudent and appropriate.” …

22nd January 2010

Disturbing news that Scripture references are used on military gunsights

I have written today to Trijicon Inc. (, regarding the disturbing news from the BBC that Scripture references are “inscribed on gunsights widely used by the US and British military in Iraq and Afghanistan”. Trijicom are “manufacturers of  sighting systems for use by Law Enforcement, Military and Individual customers”. While Trijicom claim “We believe that …

20th January 2010

Playing for pantomimes: bad jokes, lead sheets… and beer

This morning I heard Andrew Gold’s ‘Thank you for being a friend’. Now – as Obi-Wan Kenobi might have said – I haven’t heard that for a long, long time. It instantly brought up memories of playing in a 5-piece band for pantomimes when I was about 20; in one of these, the last song …

17th December 2009

Mozart ‘Requiem’ at Dunblane Cathedral

Well, my first term with Stirling University Choir has now come to its conclusion with a lively performance in Dunblane Cathedral of Mozart’s final work, together with two other works by the Master, rounding off with Justorum animae by Lassus. The concert, on the 218th anniversary of Mozart’s death (5 December 1791), brought together two …

7th December 2009

“Towards a New Narrative”: Symposium on Scottish Sacred Music

Well, I’m now preparing for the forthcoming Symposium on Scottish Sacred Music at Pluscarden Abbey, near Inverness, Scotland. Over 150 people are expected to come to this Benedictine Abbey for the three-day event, which will include talks and recitals of sacred music from Scotland. Day 1: Tuesday 1 September 2009: Mediaeval & Renaissance Scottish Sacred …

17th August 2009

Magic stories from Earthsea revisited

Just re-reading the ‘Earthsea’ novels by Urula Le Guin (A Wizard of Earthsea, Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore and Tehanu). Fabulous, beautiful stories, even parables. I first read the trilogy in the 70s and it is a delight to have come across them again. (The fourth story in this volume was added some 15 …

12th August 2009

Dare to think differently!

Found this on “Hit the Back Button“. I think it speaks for itself. (Of course what you get out of it may depend where you’re coming from!) Enjoy 8 minutes of wisdom! Reminds me a bit of the BBC’s New Year message from, I think, 2001, where a chap had had to register his child’s …

10th August 2009

Workflow interrupted

Well, my laptop is being diagnosed for hardware faults, and has been since last Thursday. I knew there was a problem with one of the memory modules and I replaced that, but I was still getting Blue Screens of Death – WinXP SP3 – so decided it needed some serious looking at. Whatever happens I …

Psalm refrains for use with a common chant

This is the second* of a group of psalm responses I’ve been writing for use with a common chant for use over the summer period while the choir are away. Based on the RCL (Revised Common Lectionary), although they could easily be used with the Roman Lectionary or the Common Worship Lectionary. The refrain above …

10th July 2009

Refrain for Psalm 24

This is the second* of a group of psalm responses I’ve been writing for use with a common chant for use over the summer period while the choir are away. Based on the RCL (Revised Common Lectionary), although they could easily be used with the Roman Lectionary or the Common Worship Lectionary.

The refrain above is for the responsorial psalm for this coming Sunday (5 after Pentecost (B)).

The psalm chant can either be plainsong (usually Mode VIII) or a traditional simple chant whose melody is coincidentally identical to the first half of one by Gregory Murray OSB. The notes of the simple chant ( G | E G | A || A | G E | G || ) are suitably vague as to work in a number of different modes, so as to reflect the nature of the psalm text: joyful, neutral, or sad.

The words are from Common Worship: Services and Prayer for the Church of England, copyright © 2000 The Archbishops’ Council.

The music is copyright © 2009 The Art of Music.; however, you are welcome to use it if you wish.

Typeset with SCORE, naturally!

Your comments are very welcome!

*The first refrain I wrote, for Ps 48, was “We have waited for your loving kindness, O God, in the midst of your temple”.


You can contact Alistair Warwick at:
Ardarroch, Glen Road, Dunblane, FK15 0GY, Scotland
+44 (0)1786 823000 | +44 (0)7792 566349