Oakeley, Sir Herbert (Stanley)

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Old Vic.

London theatre opened in 1818 as the Royal Coburg Theatre and occasionally used for musical performances. See London (i), §VI, 1(i).

Old Way of Singing.

Term used from the 18th century for a slow, heterophonic style of unaccompanied congregational hymn singing found in rural Protestant churches in Britain and the USA. It is also variously called the ‘Common Way’ or the ‘Usual Way’, to distinguish it from ‘Regular Singing’. The practice is orally transmitted. The tempo is extremely slow, lacking rhythmic drive and precision. Singers may diverge on their way from one tune note to the next, resulting in heterophony that is sometimes perceived as conscious embellishment. In some cases a harmonic element is present.

The origins of the ‘Old Way’ are uncertain. Similar practices have been noted among German-speaking groups tracing their descent from the 16th-century Anabaptists (see Amish and Mennonite music), and in several Scandinavian countries. This gives rise to the possibility that it preserves an ancient, pre-Reformation mode of popular singing that was once prevalent in northern Europe. In Britain and North America it has generally been associated with Lining out: the practice of reading (or later, chanting) each line of a hymn or metrical psalm by a parish clerk or precentor before it was sung by the congregation. Lining out was first discussed in the 1640s but may have existed before. Contemporary descriptions of the ‘Old Way of Singing’ tend to be pejorative. The earliest representation in music notation dates from 1686.

The ‘Old Way of Singing’ was quickly suppressed when organs, rehearsed choirs, or band instruments were introduced into worship, as they were in most denominations during the 18th century. It had probably disappeared from Anglican churches by about 1770. The practice survived longest in remote areas where such facilities were not available, and in theologically conservative sects that still maintained the Puritan ban on all aids to singing in worship. It can be heard today in Free Presbyterian churches in the Western Isles of Scotland and in Primitive and Regular Baptist churches in southern Appalachia.


GroveA (N. Temperley)

J. Cotton: Singing of Psalmes, a Gospel-Ordinance (London, 1647)

A New and Easie Method to Learn to Sing by Book (London, 1686)

N. Chauncey: Regular Singing Defended (New London, CT, 1728)

J. Mainzer: The Gaelic Psalm Tunes of Ross-shire (Edinburgh, 1844)

W.H. Tallmadge: ‘Baptist Monophonic and Heterophonic Hymnody in Southern Appalachia’, YIAMR, xi (1975), 106–36

N. Temperley: ‘The Old Way of Singing: its Origin and Development’, JAMS, xxxiv (1981), 511–44


Olearczyk, Edward

(b Rawa Ruska [now Rava-Russkaya], 4 March 1915). Polish composer and conductor. He studied the piano with Zbigniew Drzewiecki at the Warsaw Conservatory (1934–8) and lived in the former Soviet Union from 1939 to 1945. After the war he returned to Poland and became musical director of the Polish Army Ensemble.

Olearczyk was one of several composers (together with Gradstein, Lutosławski and Witold Rudziński) who were the principal contributors to the genre of mass song during the period of socialist realism (1947–55). His style ranged from the portentous hymn (usually reserved for political topics) to the jaunty march. The most famous example of the latter is Miliony rąk (1950), a vision of the future in which millions of hands work to a single beating heart. Olearczyk's songs also demonstrate a lighter touch, as in the waltz Na strażnicy (‘On the Watch-Tower’, 1952), a love letter from a border guard to his girl back home. The greatest influence of popular light music is felt in M.D.M. (1952), an evocation of the massive Stalinist residential and commercial showpiece being built at the time in central Warsaw. Its perky rhythms and melody undoubtedly matched the capital's aspirations for a new life; but they are curiously out of kilter with the scale of the project, which is second only to the contemporaneous Palace of Culture and Science in its grandiosity.


(selective list)

Stage: Melodie miłości [Love Melodies] (musical comedy, M. Łebkowski), 1953; incid music

Vocal: c50 mass songs, inc. Miliony rąk [Millions of Hands] (K. Gruszczyński), 1950; Piosenka Zetempowców Warszawy [Song of the Warsaw Branch of the Polish Youth Union] (W. Woroszylski), 1950; Pokój! Mir! Frieden! Paix (Łebkowski), 1951; M.D.M. [Marszałkowska Housing District] (H. Kołaczkowska), 1952; Na strażnicy [On the Watch-Tower] (Łebkowski), 1952; Pieśń o prezydencie [Song about the President] (J. Jurandot), 1952; Przysięgamy ci, Ojczyzno [We Vow to Thee, O Country] (S.R. Dobrowolski), 1952; Nasza Partia [Our Party] (H. Gaworski), 1954; Piosenka o samolocie Iliuszyn [Song about the Iliuszyn Aeroplane] (R. Stiller), 1954

Principal publishers: Czytelnik, PWM


W. Rudziński: ‘Pieśń masowa’ [The mass song], Kultura muzyczna Polski Ludowej 1944–1955 (Kraków, 1957), 225–32


O'Leary [née Strong], Jane

(b Hartford, CT, 13 Oct 1946). Irish composer of American birth. She studied at Vassar College (BA 1968) and at Princeton University (MA 1971, PhD 1978), where her composition teachers included Babbitt and Randall. She taught at Swarthmore College (1971–2) and, after moving to Ireland with her Irish husband, at the DIT College of Music, Dublin (1974–7), and University College, Galway (1978–83). In 1976 she founded the contemporary music ensemble Concorde, with whom, as both pianist and artistic director, she has given many first performances of new Irish works. She has spoken and had her music performed at international congresses of women composers, and from 1986 to 1994 served on the executive committee of the International League of Women Composers.

In addition to her work as a composer and performer, O'Leary has been active in the administration and organisation of music in Ireland. She was a founder of Music for Galway in 1981 (chair 1984–92), and has served as a member of the board of directors of the Contemporary Music Centre, Dublin (1989–97), the Cultural Relations Committee at the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and the Irish Arts Council. Her honours include membership in Aosdána (from 1981), a special commendation from Vienna Modern Masters (1992) for her orchestral work Islands of Discovery (1991) and the Marten Toonder Award for composition (1994).

Most of O’Leary’s compositions written before 1983 employ dodecaphonic or serial techniques. Many of these are short movements for chamber ensemble, such as the Quartet for clarinet, bass clarinet, violin and violoncello (1969); a few are solo piano or vocal works. With her membership in Aosdána came a change in musical style. Turning away from strict 12-note procedures of a fragmentary character, she embraced long, fluid melodic lines and rich harmonic textures. Modal harmonies and folksong-like melodies show the influence of her adopted homeland. Poetry, especially of the Irish poet Brendan Kennelly, and the landscape of the Irish west coast have served as extra-musical inspirations.


Orch: from the flatirons, fl, ob, cl, str, 1985; the petals fall, 2 ob, 2 hn, str, 1987; sky of revelation, str, 1989; Summer Stillness, 1989; Islands of Discovery, 1991; Mirror Imaginings, 1991

Vocal: I Sing the Wind Around (T. Roethke), S, fl, cl, 1968; The Prisoner (H.M. Enzensberger), Bar, hn, pf, 1969; Begin (B. Kennelly), SATB, fl, 1974; Poem for a Three Year Old (Kennelly), S, fl, cl; Siollabadhe [Syllabling] (S. Ó Ríordáin), SATB, 1976; Three Voices: Lightning, Peace, Grass (Kennelly), S, ob, pf, 1977, rev. 1984; Filled Wine Cup (Kennelly), SATB, 1982; Is it Summer? (M. Cannon), Mez, fl, 1988; To Listen and to Trust (Cannon, Kennelly), SSAA, 1990; A Woman's Beauty (W.B. Yeats), spkr, fl, perc, dancer, 1991; Dream Songs (J. Townsend, B. O Brádaigh, Kennelly, Yeats, P. Ingoldsby), SSA, pf/orch, 1996

Chbr and solo inst: Qt, cl, b cl, vn, vc, 1969; Movt, 10 insts, 1970; Trio, fl, vc, pf, 1972; Pf Piece, 1974; Trio (Homage to Webern), fl, cl, pf, 1978; Concortet, fl, vn, vc, hpd, 1979; Pf Piece II, 1980; Sinfonia for 3, fl, vn, pf, 1980; Str Qt, 1983; Variations, fl, pf, 1984; Reflections, pf, 1986; Two for One, recs, 1986; Cartoline dalla Sicilia, pf, 1987; Forgotten Worlds, pf, 1987; A Silver Thread, vn, perc, 1988; Memories Grown Dim, tr rec, hpd, 1988; When the Bells have Stopped Ringing, pf, 1989; Pf Trio, 1992; From the Crest of a Green Wave, pf, 1993; 4 Pieces, gui, 1993; Silenzio della terra, fl, perc, 1993; Duo, vn, vc, 1994; Duo, a fl, gui, 1995; Mystic Play of Shadows, str qt, 1995; Settings of Stein, s + a rec, perc, 1995; Distant Voices, 8 vc, 1998; Into the Wordless, fl, cl, vn, vc, pf, 1998


Principal publisher: Mobart



J. Clarke: ‘I'm just going to start in and see what happens …’, New Music News [Contemporary Music Centre, Dublin] (1994), Sept, 9–11

A. Scahill: The Piano Music of Jane O'Leary (thesis, St Patrick's College, Maynooth, 1995)

A. Klein: Die Musik Irlands im 20. Jahrhundert (Hildesheim, 1996)


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