BL: voluntary, volunteer
Posted: 11 July 2014 05:18 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Rather straightforward

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Posted: 11 July 2014 11:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Reads to the pleasing accompaniment of Clarke’s Trumpet Voluntary.

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Posted: 11 July 2014 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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And how did that usage come about?

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Posted: 11 July 2014 09:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Wikipedia answers that question clearly and concisely, s.v. Voluntary (music), and trumpet voluntary. I didn’t know, until reading those entries, that the name of the Voluntary mentioned by aldi is “The Prince of Denmark’s March”.

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Posted: 12 July 2014 03:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Wikipedia is basically correct on this one, but doesn’t include the dating or details of the semantic development. It started out as a performer’s variation or improvisation on an existing piece, then a freely chosen tune or improvised prelude, and then, a century or so later, the church sense developed.

From the OED:

2.†a. Music added at the will of the performer to a piece played or sung. Obs.

1565 J. Jewel Replie Hardinges Answeare (1611) 113 This is the plaine song, and may well stand for the ground: the rest is altogether descant and vaine voluntary, and the most part out of tune.

b. A musical piece or movement played or sung spontaneously or of one’s free choice, esp. by way of prelude to a more elaborate piece, song, etc.

1598 J. Florio Worlde of Wordes, Preludio, a proheme in musicke, a voluntary before the song.

c. esp. A piece or solo, usu. consisting of two or more movements, played upon the organ before, during, or after any office of the Church; also, the music for this.
in-voluntary, out-voluntary, those respectively played at the beginning and close of a religious service.

1712 R. Steele Spectator No. 503. ⁋2 Now the Organ was to play a Voluntary, and she..kept time..with some Motion of her Head.

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