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17

They refer to divisions (manuals) of the organ: Grt. for Great (French 'Grand Choeur', German 'Hauptwerk') and Sw. for Swell (French 'Grand Orgue', German 'Schwellwerk'). For English, American and German organs, in a two-manual configuration, the lower manual is the Great, and the top manual is the Swell. French organs usually have the Swell at the bottom. ...


12

Your suspicion that this is a learned skill is correct -- and this even applies when performing as a soloist! The organist must learn to disregard the timing information coming to their ears, and execute playing technique all relative to what their internalized musical image (and fingers and feet) are telling them. Also consider that (especially with ...


12

You have to distinguish between playing transcriptions of organ music and practicing for later playing of organ music on an actual organ. The first was much in vogue in the 19th and early 20th century, when the church lost influence and keyboard virtuosos wanted to preserve the repertoire of the old masters (mainly Bach), without forcing their audience away ...


12

So you can play two, or three, or four different sounds at the same time. Like a split-keyboard on a synthesizer. Note that many professional keyboard players have several keyboards on stage that they can play at the same time. Regarding old-world pipe organs, there are many aspects of European churches that are meant to be grand, impressive, imposing, and ...


11

You'll likely pick up a lot just by listening to how your technique translates into what you hear. On the organ, once you move your fingers from the keys the notes stop sounding instantly - with no sustain pedal to cover your poor legato technique either! So the biggest difference you'll find is that you'll probably end up doing a lot more finger-...


10

Take for example the end of the second bar on page 51 -- the eighth triplet over the two eighth notes. The notes of the triplet last 2/3 as long as the regular eighths. That means this is functionally equivalent to three quarter notes over two dotted quarter notes, since a quarter lasts 2/3 as long as a dotted quarter. Noticing this makes it easier to see ...


9

Yes, dynamic changes are predominantly achieved by choosing different stops. No, baroque music virtually never specifies which precise stops to pull. The most you can expect is something general such as "Sur les flûtes", or "organo pleno" - and even this doesn't mean what you might think (almost never "all existing stops", usually something more like "stops ...


9

The Hammond organ is what is called an analog additive synthesizer (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Additive_synthesis) and it works by adding together sine waves that are multiples of the base frequency. A sine wave alone sounds like a whistle or a dull flute, but the more you add up the more interesting the sound can get. The Hammond organ features ...


9

I found the below footnote in a transcription on IMSLP: It translates: I think that one could play the + sign, as a 'pinched' lower mordent. Where this is first notated, it applies to the sign above a single note in the right hand, however, there are further places where the same notation is used on chords, and below the notes, without further comment ...


9

For instance on one guitar A = 442 and on the other A = 467, will they sound okay together? There will be a beat frequency of about 25 Hz between them, which would be annoying to most ears. So generally I think the best answer here is "no". None of my guitar players ever get to exactly 440 on open A. I'm not sure what you mean by "exactly", but it ...


8

Generally speaking, a minority of Bach scholars question the piece's attribution. Christoph Wolf, who is for many the top Bach authority does not question the piece's attribution at all. For what it's worth, the mark's against Bach's authorship can mostly be explained away. There is no direct evidence against his authorship, unlike some other works where ...


8

Just to add to @MattL's answer... Great and Swell are usually assigned to different manuals. (Although they can be linked by couplers.) The Great manual will usually be assigned to principal stops, or as this page describes it, the Great manual usually: contains the meat and potatoes of the organ: the principal chorus. The Swell manual will be linked ...


8

They represent the number of syllables that fit to the lines of the tune. Thus, any hymns with the same series of numbers can be sung to any other (with the same numbers). And vice versa.


7

Cents and Hertz are two different scales. Hz increase exponentially between notes, while cents are a linear compression of the same increase. You can't convert cents to Hz. There are 100 cents between any A and adjacent A#. But you can’t really make a similar statement in Hz. There will be a different number of Hz between A2 and A#2 and A3 and A#3. Cents ...


7

Organists are one of the very few groups of musicians who have to learn not to listen to what they are playing, because (except for situations where a detached playing console is in the middle of the building) what they hear while playing has no resemblance to what the audience is hearing. Even with a relatively small pipe organ with the console "built in" ...


6

The Hammond B3 is by far the Blues organist's instrument of choice. Why? Hammond organ is the first electronic organ that uses "mechanical tonewheels that rotate in front of electromagnetic pickups." Yes, all the additive synthesis stuff is important but more importantly is how it is implemented by mechanical means, and uses 'drawbars' to mix and blend the ...


6

It has to be said. Find a teacher! Yes, even at your tender years. After all the experience you say you have, an awful lot of what you think you don't know is probably in there, hiding, at the moment. A teacher will, in a very short time, re-align all the information you've been using for many years, and make it all blindingly obvious to you. You'll probably ...


5

To make an electronic organ sound like a conventional pipe organ, the most important component is the sound reproduction itself. Even on your tiny one-manual ten-stop instrument, a full 8-note chord can sound 80 pipes simultaneously. On a larger instrument, there may be several hundred individual pipes sounding together. In contrast to this, an electronic ...


4

Fingering is a lot different. Try playing a series of parallel thirds and just keep going up the keyboard. On the piano you would just play them with thumb and third, then second and fourth, then third and fifth, and then just move your hand. But on the organ you can't lift the hand and move it like that, or it chops up the sound. So you have to learn ...


4

Excellent answer from Widor, I just wanted to add a few bits from my personal experience (which is only a few months ahead of yours, by the sound of it). Registration can be a challenge: not only because you don't know what the different stops 'mean', but also because you have no guarantee that what you can hear from the console is what everyone else can ...


4

It depends on the piece of music you're playing. In your particular example, the triplets are quite important for the overall timing and sound, but they are not really part of the perceived rhythm. It is not really necessary, and perhaps not even desirable, to force your brain to count them. What you might rather do is train your hands to play these triplets ...


4

Check this out. Thumbing is the act of playing with one or both thumbs on the keyboard below the keyboard on which the rest of fingers are playing. This technique was developed in the late 19th century, and fell out of use after 1930. While at first an organist not used to this technique will only be able to use it to play isolated sustained ...


4

If you mean a glissando, I'd recomend using the back of your fingers; hitting the keys with your fingernails. With certain keyboards it has helped me a lot, since you can pressure the keys easier this way, and your fingers will be angled so you probably wont get them stuck.


4

Well, I count 4 questions rather than two. And you need to clarify what you mean by "electric organ". That label can be applied to organs with a motor for air supply (but that's basically every church or theatre or other pipe organ these days), or it can be applied to tonewheel organs (of the Hammond persuasion). But the former does not readily fit in ...


4

There is so much jazz music written for pipe organ it'll make your head spin. (Just last month I played a nice toccata on O when the saints for my congregation.) In general, at least some practitioners of most religions, and certainly of most Christian denominations, embrace almost any musical style there is. The reason you don't hear it more often is the ...


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