PipeChat Digest #930 - Friday, June 18, 1999
Re: hymn-playing, etc.
  by "Mark Checkley" <xcs53@dial.pipex.com>
Re: Drinking and driving the organ
  by "Mark Harris" <M.Harris@Admin.lon.ac.uk>

(back) Subject: Re: hymn-playing, etc. From: "Mark Checkley" <xcs53@dial.pipex.com> Date: Fri, 18 Jun 1999 08:48:23 +0100   I am an ORDINARY "amateur" Organist.   I play for Services in Church, very much in the "traditional" genre.   I am not too bad at that, because I make up with experience and liturgical knowledge (as well as, I hope, a little Christian sincerity) what I lack in technical expertise.   No-one is ever likely to ask me to give a recital, and I wouldn't know how to put one together if they did.   I have "taught" about a dozen young, keyboard- literate individuals, over the past decade, to be able to do what I do.   I suggest that this sort of profile covers well over 95% of people who play the pipe organ.   Mark Checkley. -----Original Message----- From: Bud/burgie <budchris@earthlink.net> To: PipeChat <pipechat@pipechat.org> Date: Friday, June 18, 1999 02:09 Subject: Re: hymn-playing, etc.     > > >Bud Clark wrote: > >> >Hymn playing should be the FIRST thing taught in organ lessons, and = it's >> >usually the LAST (or not at all). > >Robert Horton wrote: > >> By "the first thing taught in organ lessons", I seriously hope that >> you mean that it's the first thing done within a lesson hour, not that = a >> hymn is the first organ music a new student ever touches. There are sooooo >> many "unwritten" subtleties involved in hymn-playing that it is simply >> disastrous to try and throw a hymn at a new student while they're still >> trying to get hands and feet moving together. > >That's PRECISELY what I mean. What's the difference between a hymn and a Bach >chorale? Not much, except style. Even Fenner Douglass found it useful to teach >voice-leading from the 1940 Hymnal. I teach beginning literature at the same >time, to be sure, but there's ALWAYS a hymn. > >> If, however, that is what you're trying to say, I really have = to >> disagree with you on this one. While the church might own the organs, = it >> does NOT own the organ students. > >No, but it also owns the JOBS. I know it's somewhat fashionable to be >anti-church on these lists, but there simply aren't enough theatre organ and >teaching jobs to go around, and the concert organist has gone the way of the >dodo, for good or for ill. > >> The organ is a musical instrument, just >> like the trombone and the violin. Students need to learn how to play >> first, and then service playing is added to that. > >Nope. It wasn't thus in days of yore ... we learned our theory and our >sight-singing and everything ELSE from hymns and Gregorian chants, thanks to a >devout Roman Catholic theory professor. > >Service-playing isn't an add-on; 99.99 percent of all organists will do their >playing in church. A concert organist who can't play hymns and/or the liturgy >is worse than useless in church (and many can't). And, I might add, that >distinction is a relatively recent one. Franck, Tournemire, Langlais, Dupre, >Noble, Willan, Heiller, Marchal, etc. etc. etc. were CHURCH organists who also >composed and concertized, not the other way around. Dupre played two = Masses the >Sunday he died. > >> >> Simply put, you've got to be a musician before you can be = called to >> be a church musician, we all know what happens otherwise. > >Don't see the distinction ... I've ALWAYS been both, from the beginning. = I >think it's the attempt to SEPARATE it that causes the problem. Oberlin = had NO >service-playing courses; Cincinnati had one. Dr. Roberta Gary is one of = my most >favorite people, and a crackerjack teacher, but she was quite content to >practice, give lessons, and play recitals. I nearly fell over when she = told me >she'd started assisting her husband at the High Holy Day services at the Temple >... she hasn't had a church job in forever (grin). > >And NEITHER required ANY choral conducting for organ majors ... no church >history, no liturgy, no Bible, no hymnology, no orchestration classes either. >Just secondary piano or harpsichord. And THAT, friends and neighbors, = does NOT >produce competent professional CHURCH organists. > >Cheers, > >Bud > > >"Pipe Up and Be Heard!" >PipeChat: A discussion List for pipe/digital organs & related topics >HOMEPAGE : http://www.pipechat.org >List: mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org >Administration: mailto:admin@pipechat.org >Subscribe/Unsubscribe: mailto:requests@pipechat.org >    
(back) Subject: Re: Drinking and driving the organ From: "Mark Harris" <M.Harris@Admin.lon.ac.uk> Date: Fri, 18 Jun 1999 09:57:20 GMT   Richard Schneider wrote:   > Actually, one instrument we did, as a spoof, we put on an extraneous > coupler called: "BOURBON TO ORGANIST 8'"   On the same theme, what about these stops: [Unda] Maris Gold Sound Whistle Choir Porter Broad Wood   For those not in the know, these are all real ales brewed in Britain (in Manchester, West Wales, Shropshire and West Sussex respectively). There ought to be an ale called Open Wood, of course, but, alas, I don't think = there is.   Mark Harris