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I would not object to having a digitally sampled organ at home; they are much better in sound than pre-digital electronic organs. I tend to think of them, however, as recorded organs. Each key is playing a didital recording of a note from a pipe organ; each stop makes available a certain pipe organ sound recording. We usually don't mind listening to recordings at home. However, when we go to church, we don't like the idea of worshipping God by sitting there and listening to recordings!
"fingering in opening passage of D minor Toccata"
I have tried a number of fingerings for this semiquaver triplet section, but still feel their is another that might be more natural and comfortable.Use of 4th.finger and coordination can be a problem.
"Thank Goodness for Christina Harmon"
I know owners of awesome 5-rank and 8-rank pipe organs, and they do get bored - especially missing reed stops. It's sad when they sneak out to play a larger organ - not to play "big" pieces.
It's a tradeoff - and an economic one.
King of the Nations Christian Fellowship
North Potomac, Maryland
""Monster Still Lives?... OK... Define Monster""
Terry. This is aimed directly at your thoughts. I respect your thoughts. However, if you had guts..... you'd at least type "ass" when you mention where the nose is..... guess you are a PC person. Anyway, here's my deal. If you'd rather play a 50 stop digital.... great! Good for you. Obviously, your skills wouldn't be able to handle the challenge of the boring 4 or 5 rank pipe organ. Give me a 4 or 5 rank pipe organ any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Expense.... give me a break. If a church wants a pipe organ, it's safe to say they'll get one if the right people are involved. I think the technology is of a digital organ is awesome.... but please, don't even try to pass it off as the real deal. Adding a digital stop or 5 to an existing pipe organ is fine.... Walker offers superb addtions..... but if you want to present the real deal, you've got to have the real deal. 4 or 5 ranks included. Since when do we have our noses so far up our ass that we don't appreciate the vast amount of literature that was written to accommodate a 4 or 5 rank organ?..... are you playing Widor every week? Are you that focused on the literature written that needs a 3 or 4 manual organ that you cannot bring yourself to play the pieces written for a 1 or 2 manual organ (pedals or none for that matter)? Get help.
Snotty Pipe Organ Lover
United Pipe Organs Only
Pipe Organ, PA
"Monster Still Lives?... OK... Define Monster"
I've followed the diatribe regarding the "digital organ versus pipes" issue in this blog and find it reeking of despicable hypocrisy, not to mention sickening elitism. If it weren't for your fear of being "politically incorrect" you would probably lash out at "gospel music" musicians for utilizing & preferring Hammond Organs. However, the premise is the same... The overall majority of instrument choices and purchases are made on the basis of 1) Function and 2) Economics, period. Were we all confined to your dubiously safe notion of a microcosmic world where nothing else exists but the music of the North German Baroque period, then I'd say your money thrown at maintaining this web-site would be well spent. No one questions your preferences in other aspects of your life, so who gave you the pedestal to determine what should be the preference in mine? At the current level of digital technology, I'd much rather have and play on a flexible 50-stop digital organ than a BORING 3 or 4 rank pipe organ, which is all I would be able to afford for the same amount of money. My congregation loves it when, at the push of a general combination, I can go from the the full sound of a grand diapason plenum to a full Theatre organ sound just before the last chorus of "How Great Thou Art"! Can't do that on those little retentive pipe boxes. Digital technology will continue to thrive, (and maybe win back some organ fans), as long as it continues to provide feasibility, function and financial advantages. Wake up and smell the coffee...
Oh, sorry didn't notice... Your nose is too far up in the air to smell anything!
Director of Music Ministries
"A Second Hand Pipe Organ wanted"
A brand new church in China is seeking for a second hand pipe organ. It should have 10~20 stops, nice organ case, and in good condition.
Happy Birthday Bach!
"For the organ in india"
It would be a wonderful idea to bring organ music lovers and church organists in India into this club.It is true that we do not have the right climate for organ music in India.
ST LUKE'S CHURCH,PONDICHERRY,INDIA
"Thank Goodness for Christina Harmon"
I received an organ teacher spam e-mail as well. I said I would refer him to a teacher and never heard back. These are pretty obvious. Also watch out for the ones which say "Dear One" or "Dearly Beloved". They usually have a few million for you if you send them everything in your bank account -or something similar.
"Two musical discoveries..."
This week I discovered two musical coincidences involving Bach. The first occured whilst I was watching Schindler's List. There is a scene during the Kristallnacht, when a German officer begins playing at a piano quite rapidly. Two soldiers appear in the doorway, and one inquires "Was ist das? Ist Bach?" Without hesitation, the other replies "Nein, es ist Mozart." Well being the Bach fanatic that I am, I immediately recognized the piece as Bach. With a little review, I found that the piece was indeed the Prelude from the second English Suite in a minor. Did Spielberg throw this in for some cultural commentary, or was it an honest mistake in musical reference?
The second discovery was logical, but strange. I was listening to Arcangelo Corelli and happened upon his fourth "Sonate da Chiesa a tre." The piece is a Vivace in B minor and sounded incredibly familiar. About thirty seconds into it, I realized that the subject was Bach's Fugue in B minor (BWV 579). Bach's fugue is, of course, enormously more elaborate and much longer, but indefnitely uses the same subject. Apparently around 1700 there was a publishing boom, and Corelli's work (as well as many others) spread across Europe. Bach obviously liked this piece enough to write one of his most majestic fugues using it's subject. I find, as I listen to more and more Baroque music, that Bach used melodies of other composers more frequently than one would think. What a compliment! The more I learn about Bach's life, character, and overall musical genius, the more I admire him.
Sam Houston State University
"Beware of Spoof Email for Organ Teachers"
Hi, this isn't really a comment, however, I don't know where else to post it. I received an email, from a "Kevin Carrick," evidently a Spoof email, and most likely my email address was taken from an earlier comment to these pages. It comes from a gentleman with more spelling and grammar errors than I commit. His spelling is U.K. English (not US). Here is what I have been sent, my reply, and the auto responder I received:
kevin carrick <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Hello Organ Teacher,,
I saw your advert page (which I never have had)on the net that you are capable of teaching (Organ
lesson ) in the State ,For my son , he his 17yrs and also just a beginner at
the level., which i will like you to teach him good beacuse i want to
improve and bring out more quality in him as a father to his son .
And more, he is also ready to learn from a quality teacher like you,I will
also like you to brief me some of your Teaching Experience Althrough the
years you serve as teaching . hope you can take care of that ?I will like to
know your teaching
Expericence as well , the mode of payment will be by "Check ".Alrigth.
I will like you to teach him 2 hrs / for 4 weeks lesson , kindly
get back to me with the Total lesson price/ Charges...?
Dear Kevin Carrick,
Thank you for your letter. I am retired from teaching organ. Since you are trying to locate an organ teacher for your son, it would be helpful to know where your son is located in the United States. If he is attending school in the US, it would make more sense to contact a local Music store that sells organs which may have or can refer you to a teacher for beginners.
You are correct in asking what experience and educational background of your son's prospective teacher. Organ teachers by and large are well educated in their profession. Well enough educated to spot a potential Spoof email sent to an email address from an online organ posting.
i will like you to please do a favour for me and for my son by
him for just 2 weeks at your own convenient time as you choose to have
lesson for him i know that you retired from it but just private lesson
Please kindly have my pleading just for good of my son .I will like to
you $700 for the two weeks lesson you teach my son.
So i will want you to provide me with your full details such as Full
name,,,,, Mailling address ,,, both cell number,,, and Phone
,,,, Full Zip code,,,, so that i can give it to my wife to ask his
to send you the U.S certified cashier check for the payment to book
Get back to me as soon as possible.
PLease do a favour for me.
George Steven Foss
"I'm Not Done Yet"
: Dan, thanks for bringing this out into the open about the bad treatment of organists. Itís ironic, because this happens in Christian churches, so why arenít they asking themselves, "WWJD?"
Yes, every organist should insist on a contract at their church, but itís just a start. At the last church where I was treated badly, I had a contract. A "dignity contract" is a wonderful idea, but how would you enforce it? I think every organist should also have a job description separate from the contract. In case they are criticized, they can point out that they were fulfilling the requirements of the job description.
I think organists make convenient scapegoats for criticism from ignorant people who donít really understand all the work that goes into being organists. These people get a sense of power from putting down the "lowly organist." You donít hear of bassoonists or drummers being scorned or rebuked, but maybe if they played in churches, they would be, too!
A colleage told me recently that in the Presbyterian church, all decisions are made by a group of elders called the Session. Nobody, even the pastor, can criticize or fire the organist or another staff member, whether that person is present or not. Also the organist can go to the Session if they have a complaint or problem with another staff member or the pastor. Too bad more churches donít operate this way.
"I'm Not Done Yet"
To have the AGO publicly put something in print of safe work havens for organists and/or AGO certified churches is a wonderful idea! It would be like our own version of the Better Business Bureau. I think there is, however, already a network like this in existence that is under the radar. If there is a church in any AGO jurisdiction that treats organists like dirt, you can bet this church has had a long and sordid history of this behavior, & any AGO member of that region would be able to give anyone who asks, the truth about the church in question - most especially if that institution has been investigated.
I had a church in lower South Carolina investigated by our AGO chapter. I was very surprised this church was not completely backballed. Anyway, this church had already lost the vast majority of its members prior to the AGO investigation, and was in danger of closing down. Don't forget that market forces also play a crucial role in a church's survival. If church members smell a rat, that can simply pull or transfer their membership, & worship at another church in their neighborhood. These same people keep forgetting that we have freedom of religion in the US and people can worship anywhere they darn well please and can readily change churches if their church leadership runs amuck.
In spite of this secret network, having this information in print and/or on the internet will force all churches to truly live out the Gospel.
"I'm Not Done Yet"
Since the AGO is an organization which exists to help organists, maybe they should have a directory for local organists which lists churches with comments from organists who have worked there. If there are a lot of negative comments organists may not want to work at particular churches and this will hurt the church's ability to have a decent music program. If churches know this directory exists they might be more respectful of their organists since they would need to work to maintain a good reputation. This directory to serve as a type of reference for churches.