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#703394 - 09/28/06 11:03 PM 1st time organist
newbiehere Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/10/06
Posts: 8
hi everyone.

i am a piano player, and was recently commisioned to play the organ at an upcoming church service today. i have been researching organ playing, and just can't find anything very straightforward. i took some time today to stop by the church and take a look. i took me 10 minutes just to figure out how to turn the think on! it's a digital zimmer organ with 2 manuals. could you give me any basic ideas for registration so that i can sit down, set set the stops, and not have to worry about it for the rest of the mass? i don't plan on playing any pedals. there is also a setting on the organ with a dial called 'cathedral.' would anyone be able to tell me what on earth that means? i was playing around with it, and didn't notice any difference in sound. (although, i may have been playing the wrong manual.) also, there's no sustain on an organ, so how do you keep the sound smooth and legato as you switch hand positions and such?

thanks for you help guys.
i'm beginning to get really nervous about this.

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#703395 - 09/29/06 12:28 AM Re: 1st time organist
LisztAddict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/05
Posts: 2896
Loc: Florida
I haven't played an organ in ages so I don't remember all rules of the registration.

First, you need to try out the registration before the service. Write down all the stops that you plan to use. You will want a Bombarde 16 or 32 on one manual (I think you have to couple that from the pedal to the manual) to have good command in leading the choir. Add a few soft to medium 8 and 4 on the other manual (for right hand). Stay away from all the bright trompette because if you hit a wrong note, it's very very bad. Keep both feet on the foot rest under the bench and off the pedal. Of you can put your right foot on the swell pedal if you want to control the volume.

Playing legato is done by switching fingers or keeping one hand (or feet) on the keys while moving the other hand from one manual to another.

And you do need to have one or 2 rehearsals with a few singers first. Playing organ is very different from playing piano.

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#703396 - 09/29/06 03:41 PM Re: 1st time organist
newbiehere Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/10/06
Posts: 8
sorry guys, i didn't mean that the performance was today. it's coming up in a week or so. it was today when they asked me to play. ;\)

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#703397 - 09/29/06 08:04 PM Re: 1st time organist
whippen boy Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 3886
Loc: San Francisco
LisztAddict got most of that right, except for the part about the Bombarde on the manual - a 32' stop is almost always found in the pedal, and the pedal is not often able to be coupled "up" to a manual - so disregard that.

A "Bombarde" stop is a very loud reed stop - most reed stops - Bombardes, Trumpets, Tubas, and to a lesser extent Clarinets, Oboes, etc. etc. - tend to be the louder stops on an organ. Their stop tabs or drawknobs are usually engraved in red ink to differentiate them from the other (flue) stops. You would use these reed stops when you need maximum power, such as when accompanying a whole church during a loud hymn. As LisztAddict says, you probably are best advised to avoid them until you really know what you are doing. ;\)

Organ playing is SO different from a piano, that it takes years of study to learn it. There is no way I can go into the level of detail that you need. You should perhaps find an organ teacher - or at the bare minimum, a "coach" who can show you the basics in a session or two. I'd recommend going to one of the larger churches in your area - see if you can contact their organist and arrange for a meeting.

In a "pinch" you can play an organ like you play a piano. LisztAddict was correct on these points:

Keep both feet on the foot rest under the bench and off the pedal. Of you can put your right foot on the swell pedal if you want to control the volume.

True - use the swell pedal [/b] (a very large pedal that tilts front to back) to make the organ louder and softer (on a digital organ it works like a volume knob on a stereo). If you are playing baroque music, just set that pedal to a position that sounds OK, and leave it there for the duration of that specific composition.

Until you know how to play notes with your feet, it is best to avoid playing the pedal clavier altogether. Some organs - especially electronic ones - may have a feature called "auto pedal" or "bass coupler" which allows your left pinky to play the Pedal bass notes automatically. If so, you are in luck!

Playing legato is done by switching fingers or keeping one hand (or feet) on the keys while moving the other hand from one manual to another.

Pianos have damper pedals; organs rely on the room's natural reverberation - you have to hope for a lot of reverberation! Lacking that you have to play ultra legato, using lots of finger substitutions. Some people call it "crawling over the keys".

It is important to remember that not only is it important to attack each chord cleanly, on an organ the release must be executed just as cleanly.

Speaking of reverb, digital organs usually have a feature that lets you add an amount of 'fake' reverb. That is what the 'cathedral' button is probably for.

The two (or more) manual keyboards allow you to have two different volume levels - you can contrast dynamics in a hurry, just by changing keyboards.

Keboards: the Great is the #1 keyboard - usually for hymn singing, playing loud stuff. The secondary keyboard is usually called the Swell; it almost always has its own expression pedal (as mentioned before) to "swell" the sound. A third keyboard is often called the "Choir", often times it has the softest stops and is good for accompanying (though the Swell can do that equally well).

Pitch: Most stops will have numbers on them, such as 16' 8' 4' 2' etc. This indicates the pitch of the stop, with 8' being the "normal" pitch (in other words, middle C sounds like middle C on a piano). If you draw a 4' stop, it sounds an octave higher. It is important to always have an 8' stop drawn on each manual - this serves as the correct pitch foundation. To give more clarity, add higher pitches (4', 2'). For more body add more 8' stops; for more weight, add a 16' (suboctave) stop in the manuals.

While manuals are always centered on 8' (unison) pitch, the pedals are at their unison at 16' pitch. You probably won't use pedal, but it is good to know this just in case...

Most organs have thumb pistons (and maybe also toe pistons) - these are numbered presets located under each keyboard which change whole groups of stops instantly. I don't recommend that you program these (you wouldn't know how to do that anyway) but you can still use them. While holding down a chord, press these buttons one after the other. When you get an idea of the different sounds that are already set on each piston, just write that number into your music if you want "that" sound to happen at a certain spot in the music.

The caveat is that you have to remember what keyboard you are supposed to be playing, when you hit the piston! \:D Also, it would be nice if the organist who last programmed the pistons left you with some nice, useable combinations.

Be aware that the pistons in the middle of each keyboard (known as 'divisionals') will change only the pistons for that keyboard. Other pistons grouped off to the side are known as 'generals', and they change the stops for the entire organ. Play with them until you get an idea of what they do.

Oh yes, there is almost always a "cancel" piston to the far right of the bottom keyboard. It usually says "0" or "Cancel" or "Gen Can". It is a good habit to make sure to cancel stops at the end of each piece. \:\)

There is often another device called a "register crescendo", or "crescendo pedal". It usually is the rightmost of the large tilting pedals on most organs. It adds stops one at a time when you push it forward; closing the pedal has the opposite effect. Try it - that may come in handy too.

As with the cancel piston, make sure[/b] you have closed the Crescendo Pedal if you have used it. You will avoid giving yourself (or the next organist) a nasty surprise if you forget and leave it in the "loud" position!

Hope this helps - good luck.
_________________________
Grotrian 225
S&S Hamburg-C
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#703398 - 09/29/06 08:33 PM Re: 1st time organist
whippen boy Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 3886
Loc: San Francisco
If you found any of that interesting and would like to learn a lot more, James H. Cook has a very useful website which will be of use to you. Check out the section called "The Organ and How It Works".
_________________________
Grotrian 225
S&S Hamburg-C
M&H "A" at home

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#703399 - 09/29/06 10:31 PM Re: 1st time organist
newbiehere Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/10/06
Posts: 8
whippenboy,

you gave a lot of really good information in a very condensed and easy-to-understand format. first of all, you have committed quite a feat in doing this! \:D second, thank you for taking the time to respond. lastly, you sound like you have a lot of organ-playing experience. i'll take up your idea and ask the regular organist to show me the specifics of this organ, but your answers to some of my questions saved me from making myself feel stupid in front of her. i know what the crescendo pedal is. as i was playing, i was looking for what i thought was the swell. well, as i continued to tilt this pedal, all the stop tabs begin to light up as horns and trumpets began playing, and soon my music was vibrating so much in front of my eyes, i couldn't even follow along! i knew that wasn't the right pedal. now i know to look for the middle one. that pedal coupler thing sounds really interesting to me, as i love the sound of deep contrabass on the organ. that sounds like it would be the answer to my prayers! as far as resonance, the church is very poorly built as far as accoustics go. there is no resonnace, and i will also play around with the cathedral dial. one last question: what is an organ 'rank?' and how do you know how many ranks are on an organ?

thanks again for your help. \:\)

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#703400 - 09/29/06 11:17 PM Re: 1st time organist
chrysler imperial Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/01/06
Posts: 15
Loc: texas
1. make sure the pedal stops are off if you're not going to play them or be careful not to accidentally put a foot on one during a prayer or something.
2. practice singing the hymns to get an idea of the best tempo and phrasing. a small congregation will want to go somewhat faster than a larger one.
3. remember that whatever happens you are the best organist they could get.
4. have fun.

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#703401 - 09/29/06 11:43 PM Re: 1st time organist
LisztAddict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/05
Posts: 2896
Loc: Florida
newbiehere - whippen boy is a professional organist, take his advices.

In addition to #2 of chrysler's post, get your hands/fingers off the keyboard at the end of each phrase. You want a clear break so people can catch up with their breath.

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#703402 - 09/30/06 12:50 AM Re: 1st time organist
whippen boy Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 3886
Loc: San Francisco
I'm re-reading this from home now... have some more thoughts.

It occurred to me that the regular organist may re-program those pistons when you least expect it! So rather than relying solely on pistons, here are three options:

1. Register only by hand (which is tricky when you need to change stops in a hurry)

2. Use the Crescendo Pedal only. You have to be careful to crescendo to just the right volume each time you use it, and you should try not to make the stop additions/subtractions too obvious (mainly increase/decrease between verses of a hymn). Using the Crescendo Pedal as the sole registration device is really frowned upon by organists - but since you are really under the gun I give you my permission to use it.

3. Discuss the pistons with the organist - see if she plans on changing any of them. If not, it is safe to use them.

Since there IS an organist - definitely spend some time with her - maybe you could pay her to teach you a lesson or two (or more).

So... what is a rank of pipes? What is a stop?

A stop is generally considered to be the control you see at the console. It might have one rank of pipes associated with it, although if it is a compound stop (usually notated with a roman numeral) it will have more than one rank.

A typical rank in an American organ will have 61 pipes (if it is a manual stop) or 32 pipes (if it is a pedal stop). There are exceptions but I won't overwhelm you. ;\)

So when you see a Trumpet stop, its rank should have 61 pipes; an Oboe 61 pipes, a Flute 61 pipes, etc.

The easiest way to count the number of ranks in an organ is to count the number of stops, then count the number of additional ranks in all the compound stops.

The number is likely to be lower however, due to unification and duplexing of stops. But I promised I wouldn't overwhelm you! :p Let's just say it takes some deeper understanding to be able to count ranks properly. In the meantime, ask the organist! They should know how many ranks their instrument has. Of course, if it is an entirely digital or electronic organ it won't have any ranks or pipes! Owners of such instruments often say they have the 'equivalent' of x number of ranks, or they have x number of stops.

A bit of trivia - organists in the U.S. tend to count ranks; in Europe they tend to count stops.

On the topic of hymns, chrysler imperial gave you some good advice - make sure you breathe with the congregation whenever there is a period or semicolon in the text. You can also lift when you see commas in the text (though you don't want to overdo it). Try singing along when you practice.

Have fun!
_________________________
Grotrian 225
S&S Hamburg-C
M&H "A" at home

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#703403 - 10/01/06 08:46 AM Re: 1st time organist
newbiehere Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/10/06
Posts: 8
thank you all for your input. i'll report back about how the performance goes. i have a feeling it will be just fine. \:\)

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#703404 - 10/01/06 12:41 PM Re: 1st time organist
newbiehere Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/10/06
Posts: 8
hi again. not trying to bug you guys, but i have more specifics on the organ.

the stop tabs are organized into 4 groups. from left to right: accessories, pedal, great, and swell. the pedal great and swell have all the pretty normal stops that you mentioned: 8', 4', 2'. there were also mixtures called "IV - V" and "III-IV." what do those roman numerals mean? there were also stops like 2 2/3 and 2 1/2. what are those fractions there for? do they play a fraction of an octave, like a third or a fifth?

as far as accessories, this is the list. i don't understand the first three. do they control which manuals/pedals are functional. perhaps the last one is that pedal/manual coupler you mentioned. also what does tremulant great mean?

1. great to swell
2. pedal to great
3. pedal to swell
4. tremulant great
5. choir
6. manual bass

there are also thumb pistions with numbers (for programming, like you mentioned) and with dynamic markings. they go pp, p, mf, f, ff, and t. does t mean tutti, and if it does, what does tutti mean?

thanks for all the help.
-newbiehere

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#703405 - 10/02/06 04:05 PM Re: 1st time organist
newbiehere Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/10/06
Posts: 8
bump

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#703406 - 10/02/06 06:50 PM Re: 1st time organist
ipgrunt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 419
Loc: Western US
Newbie,

I'll jump in and answer...

Yes, the fractions give you fifths and thirds. They are generally used to add color in solos, but be careful as they can sound funny with highly chromatic music and never used them when playing rich chords.

The list you've made above, ie. 1.) great to swell, etc. are known as couplers that couple one "organ" to another. The Great to Swell coupler adds the Great stops on the Swell manual, allowing you to play both sets of pipes with these keys. Your 2. Pedal to Great, allows you to play the pedal stops on the Great (if you've Cancelled the Great before using the coupler, or simply adds those sounds to your Great stops, making the sound fuller).

The thumb pistons you mention are used for incrementally adding principal stops to the manual, making it progresively louder (which is the only way you make a Great organ play louder--adding more ranks of pipes).

Tutti means Everybody -- all the stops. I would imagine the organist uses this button if he/she looks out and spots anyone in the congregation sleeping during the offeratory anthem.

Do yourself a favor and spend a few hours some evening before you play the service and get used to the feel of the organ, and learn where things are. If you can get the organist to show you a few things, so much the better.

Keep it simple and you'll be fine.
_________________________
-- ipgrunt
Amateur pianist, Son of a Pro

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#703407 - 10/02/06 07:52 PM Re: 1st time organist
LisztAddict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/05
Posts: 2896
Loc: Florida
Tremulant = tremolo effect. Try it and you know what it is. This is not often used during church services.

Great = lower manual/keyboard
Swell = upper manual/keyboard

Great to swell = coupler that couples the sound from the great register/group to be played on the upper manual. For example, if you turn on a stop in the Great group and no stop in the Swell group is on, activate the Great to Swell coupler, then play either the Great or the Swell manual, you still get exactly the same sound.

Pedal to great = coupler that couples the sound from the pedal register/group to be played on the lower manual.

Well, you get the idea.

I can't remember what choir and manual bass are for. Tutti means everybody/full orchestra/all stops are on/very loud.

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#703408 - 10/31/06 08:39 PM Re: 1st time organist
U S A P T Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 1645
Loc: An Indiana University
Thought I'd put up a post to keep the thread alive. Excellent stuff on here. Good advice.
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#703409 - 11/03/06 12:11 PM Re: 1st time organist
caperflutist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/26/06
Posts: 124
Loc: Cape Breton
The only choir I am familiar with is the lowest manual of a three manual organ.
_________________________
Ya lyublyu ruskuyu muzyku

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#703410 - 11/03/06 12:14 PM Re: 1st time organist
caperflutist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/26/06
Posts: 124
Loc: Cape Breton
oh, you shoudl check out the organ forum
http://organforum.com/forums/default.aspx
_________________________
Ya lyublyu ruskuyu muzyku

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#703411 - 11/03/06 03:27 PM Re: 1st time organist
Elkhound Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/31/06
Posts: 11
Loc: Charleston WV
 Quote:
Originally posted by LisztAddict:


Great = lower manual/keyboard
Swell = upper manual/keyboard [/b]
If there are three keyboards, the Great will be the MIDDLE keyboard. It has the loudest stops and often the most.

The Swell keyboard connects to pipes that are inside a box with something like a set of Venetian blinds on one side. Using the Swell Pedal (it looks not unlike a car's accellerator), one can open and close the blinds, thereby varying the volume. There will usually be another 'accellerator' called the 'crescendo', which will gradually add stops.

The Choir organ generally controls soft, expressive stops.

These are the Anglo-American names. If your organ was built in the French style, the keyboards will be called the 'Grande Orgue'(Great), 'Espressife' (Swell), and the 'Positif' (Choir). If it is German-style, they will be called the Prinzipale, Hauptwerk, and Rukpositiv. (Those are the three most common styles. If you have a Dutch, Italian, or Spanish style organ, you're on your own.)

There is a little book put out by (I think) the Abingdon Press called "But What Do I Do With My Feet?: A Pianist's Guide to the Organ."

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#703412 - 11/03/06 04:51 PM Re: 1st time organist
caperflutist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/26/06
Posts: 124
Loc: Cape Breton
On the organ at my church, the Positif is the swell (only two manuals).

Not all organs have enclosed pipes. My organ is open so it does not have a swell pedal, while the one I take lessons on has choir, great and swell manuals and has sweel and choir boxes
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Ya lyublyu ruskuyu muzyku

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#703413 - 11/06/06 01:21 PM Re: 1st time organist
Elkhound Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/31/06
Posts: 11
Loc: Charleston WV
 Quote:
Originally posted by caperflutist:
On the organ at my church, the Positif is the swell (only two manuals).

Not all organs have enclosed pipes. My organ is open so it does not have a swell pedal, while the one I take lessons on has choir, great and swell manuals and has sweel and choir boxes [/b]
Perhaps I got the two French terms mixed up. And, of course, not all have enclosed pipes--I was just talking in general.

If there are more than three manuals, well, there are several options. Sometimes a manual will controld a division that is at the other end of the room from the main organ; this is called the 'antiphonal.' Sometimes there will be a 'solo' manual with strong, individualized stops good for bringing out a melody. The largest number of manuals I've ever seen 'in the flesh' was five, although I'm told that there are instruments with more than that.

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#703414 - 11/06/06 03:46 PM Re: 1st time organist
whippen boy Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 3886
Loc: San Francisco
Oops - I forgot about this thread and was 'asleep at the wheel' when newbiehere asked more questions. SORRY newbie! Folks gave some very good answers however.

Though this post goes well beyond the basics, I thought I might as well list some more information for anyone who may be interested... To clarifiy keyboard names:

US/English
Great/Choir/Swell. Sometimes the Choir is called "Chaire" in the U.K.

French
Grand-orgue/Positif/Récit (a.k.a.: Récit expressif)

German
Hauptwerk/Positiv/Schwellwerk

The reason I list them: you may find these names on any instrument in the US! North American builders have a tradition of eclecticism, so it is not unusual to find a bit of a stylistic hodge-podge with stop names and division names.

There has already been some good info on division names - here's some additional info:

Solo: mainly for soloistic melodies; may have some very loud stops; almost always under expression (with its own expression shoe).

Echo: very soft stops; may be located in a remote place, like the ceiling!

Celestial: this is rather rare, but may be similar to the Echo, with stops in the ceiling.

Antiphonal: located at the opposite end of the building.

Bombarde: A French-inspired division containing very loud reeds; also the name of a reed stop.

Rückpositiv: a "postive" organ located behind the organist (usually on the gallery rail).

Brustwerk, Brustpositiv: A diminuitive division usually located right above the keyboard.

There are many other terms found in German organs, perhaps not as easy to associate to an Anglo/American equivalent: Oberwerk, Kronpositiv, etc.

The German terms often have Dutch equivalents, sometimes found in the U.S. Of course, any country has its own version of these names, but they are less found outside of their own country.

For brevity sake (ha! :rolleyes: ) I won't go into Italian or Iberian organs. ;\) Though I should mention the occasionally found term "Trompeteria", which is a division with many trumpets. Some are mounted horizontally, or "en chamade".

You might find a division called "Fanfare", which is similar.

As has been mentioned, couplers allow the organist to play all of these things simultaneously!

Keyboard order is important: in Anglo/American organs it is almost always Choir (bottom), Great (middle), Swell (top). If there is a manual IV it is usually a Solo/Echo or Antiphonal.

In continental Europe the Romantic/Symphonic organbuilding tradition places the Great on the bottom. The literature written for this tradition is so important that many modern organs are being built with a "manual transfer" that allows manuals I and II to be switched. You might have the Great in the middle to play Bach, and then switch the Great to be on the bottom if you play Franck or Duruflé (whose literature sometimes requires thumbing down from the Récit to the Positif).

In a two manual organ, the Great will invariably be on the bottom. However, I've encountered some tracker (mechanical action) organs with a Rückpositiv on the bottom manual. When in doubt, your main manual will be the one from which you can play all other divisions (via couplers).

By the way, an organ may have more divisions than keyboards; if you notice a stop called "Echo on Swell" or "Antiphonal on Great" for example, those divisions are said to be "Floating".

Now on to a few other topics mentioned...

The Tremulant (Tremolo, Trémolo, Tremblant, etc.) is best used for single melodies in the right hand. It is most effective with a flute or quiet reed (oboe). You can also combine pitches such as 8,4,2 2/3, 2, 1 3/5 and use that with tremolo to nice effect. That series of pitches comprises an ancient stop called "Cornet", sometimes listed on its own, single stop. You might also use 8, 2 2/3, 1 3/5, or 8, 4, 2 2/3. It is lots of fun to experiment.

Any stop with a fractional number is known as a mutation stop. Mutations are part of the harmonic series, and serve to either strengthen the fundamental pitch or more often, to color it. In the previous paragraph I listed most of these you're likely to encounter. Another interesting one is found at 1 1/3', often called larigot if it is a flute.

Speaking of larigots, the names of stops have very interesting histories, going back as far as the 1400's in some cases. It is worth researching! \:\)

Stops with roman numerals are known as compound stops. These are divided into two sorts, Mixtures and Cornets. The roman numeral indicates how many ranks, or pipes are sounding when you play a single note. Mixtures most often have unison and quint sounding ranks. Their function is very interesting, and is unique to the organ:

In the bass, a mixture has high pitches to clarify the low note and give it pitch definition. A low chord played on an 8' stop sounds like mud, unless a mixture is drawn.

In the middle of the keyboard, a mixture gives fullness and complexity to the texture. It gives an organ the illusion of being much louder than it really is.

In the treble a mixture plays lower pitches, which give gravity to high notes and keep them from sounding screechy.

The way that a mixture accomplishes all this is to "break back" as it ascends the scale. If you draw a mixture stop alone, then play an ascending chromatic scale, you will discern how it breaks back, almost like a car shifting gears.

Mixtures are quite helpful when playing hymns and accompanying congregational singing. Cornets are not used to accompany singing - they are better for solo melodies or for strengthening chorus reeds (trumpets, bombardes, tubas) in the treble.

It sounds like newbiehere was in luck with those preset pistons (graduated in volume), and especially with the "manual bass". That last feature was invented specifically for pianists without pedal skills!

One last comment: there is a special effect stop known as a "Celeste"; (not to be confused with the "Celesta", which is a percussion stop in the organ similar to its orchestral equivalent). The Celeste is usually paired with a similar stop and is usually a string-toned stop (Gamba, Salicional, Gemshorn, Viola, etc.). The idea is to draw the string stop with its celeste partner. The string stop is in tune and the Celeste is typically tuned sharp. Together, they create a mysterious floating quality useful for meditative music - especially slow, chordal music. The character of the string stops and the amount of "celesting" will determine if the effect is tranquil or more energized.

One of the few "no-nos" of organ playing: do not use a celeste in fuller combinations. Once you reach mezzo-forte, the celestes should be off (as should probably be the string stops too).

Unless you are playing a Wurlitzer, the tremolos should be off too. \:D

OK, enough for now...
_________________________
Grotrian 225
S&S Hamburg-C
M&H "A" at home

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#703415 - 11/06/06 08:29 PM Re: 1st time organist
caperflutist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/26/06
Posts: 124
Loc: Cape Breton
I hate tremelo. The organist at my church does everything with organ that annoys me. Rides the cresc pedal, tremolo (all the time), positif to great 16' (cheat!)and when he does do pedal, he just plays with one foot in the lowest octave and just root of chord and same stops for everything except when he decides to experiment with the mutation stops, usually on a hymn with big chords (ugh).

Also, whenever he hears me practicing he asks when the funeral is going to happen he is very unfamiliar with "classical" music and thinks all Bach is funeral music and since I play a lot of bach P&Fs, chorale preludes, etc, then it is perpetual funeral!)
_________________________
Ya lyublyu ruskuyu muzyku

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#703416 - 11/08/06 04:06 PM Re: 1st time organist
Elkhound Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/31/06
Posts: 11
Loc: Charleston WV
There is a book for pianists starting to play the organ called "But What Do I Do with My Feet"; it is available on Amazon. I have found it quite useful.

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#703417 - 11/17/06 03:43 AM Re: 1st time organist
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8825
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
Originally posted by whippen boy:
A 32' stop is almost always found in the pedal...
Quite true, though a casual check of organ specs turned up a Kontrafagott on the Swell at the AS in the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, MA.

Have you ever seen a soubasse32 anywhere but in the pedal division?

Cheers!
_________________________
Jason

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#703418 - 11/17/06 01:36 PM Re: 1st time organist
whippen boy Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 3886
Loc: San Francisco
Yes, Aeolian-Skinner had a couple huge installations with 32' manual stops - others that come to mind: Riverside Church, Mormon Tabernacle.

A good number of organs have a 32' manual stop, but it is still a rarity. One organ I perform on has a 32' Prestant on the Great - it is needed for playing the French repertoire, as the organ has no subcouplers.

Here is a fairly exhaustive list:
http://www.ondamar.demon.co.uk/lists/32.htm

According to the list, Narbonne Cathedral has a manual Soubasse 32'.

In French organbuilding, the term "Soubasse" is understood to mean a Pedal stop; the more accepted term for a stopped (stoppered) 32' manual stop is 'Bourdon'.
_________________________
Grotrian 225
S&S Hamburg-C
M&H "A" at home

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#703419 - 11/17/06 09:02 PM Re: 1st time organist
Jessica T. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 41
Loc: St. Petersburg, FL, US
Hi Whippinboy, thank you so very much for taking so much time to explain these particulars in such detail. I am myself a novice organist that learned quickly how to play the pedalboard, and I understand the particulars of registration, but haven't mastered the art of it yet. I found your posts very interesting and insightful!
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Regards,
Jessica

http://www.myspace.com/33304014

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#703420 - 11/18/06 12:56 PM Re: 1st time organist
whippen boy Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 3886
Loc: San Francisco
_________________________
Grotrian 225
S&S Hamburg-C
M&H "A" at home

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#703421 - 11/18/06 12:57 PM Re: 1st time organist
whippen boy Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 3886
Loc: San Francisco
Hmm, this was one of those dreaded double posts.

So, I've gone back to edit it and to turn it into a commercial. ;\)

Learning how to play the organ is a GOOD THING. It is a very interesting instrument, with a wonderful repertoire and a long fascinating history.
_________________________
Grotrian 225
S&S Hamburg-C
M&H "A" at home

Top
#703422 - 11/18/06 12:57 PM Re: 1st time organist
whippen boy Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 3886
Loc: San Francisco
Oh dear, a dreaded TRIPLE POST.

Well, I'll turn it into a question for newbiehere (who started this thread).

So newbiehere, how did it go?

\:\)
_________________________
Grotrian 225
S&S Hamburg-C
M&H "A" at home

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#703423 - 11/18/06 01:39 PM Re: 1st time organist
LisztAddict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/05
Posts: 2896
Loc: Florida
I hope newbie didn't accidentally get up from the bench without turning off all pedal stops \:D

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