PipeChat Digest #1619 - Monday, October 16, 2000
 
Re: Service Playing & TREMULANTS
  by "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net>
Re: Service Playing
  by <toelz@cetlink.net>
Re: Service Playing
  by <ORGANUT@aol.com>
Re: Service Playing & TREMULANTS
  by <ScottFop@aol.com>
Re: Service Playing
  by <Innkawgneeto@webtv.net>
Re: Service Playing
  by "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net>
Re: Service Playing vs. Public Performance
  by "Bob Elms" <elmsr@albanyis.com.au>
Re: Service Playing
  by <Cremona502@cs.com>
Re: Service Playing
  by <Cremona502@cs.com>
Re: Service Playing
  by <Innkawgneeto@webtv.net>
Re: Service Playing vs. Public Performance
  by "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net>
Re: Service Playing
  by "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net>
Re: Service Playing
  by "OJ" <owenj@bigpond.com>
 


(back) Subject: Re: Service Playing & TREMULANTS From: "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net> Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2000 14:15:54   At 02:12 PM 10/15/2000 EDT, you wrote: >Thanks for the tip. We have a Hammond B3 with twin 122 Leslie tone cabinets >in sound chambers.<snip>   Ah...an evangelical for sure. First thing to do would be to get the Leslies OUT of the chambers, if you want that really big Hammond/Leslie sound. Having them IN chambers will give them a more sedate, organ-like quality. The "chorale" speed of the 100-series Leslies is a must in evangelical/gospel settings, but since you are blessed with TWO 122s, you might want to experiment with unplugging the slow motor on one of the bottom rotors, and check out the change in effect on "chorale".   Some players (actually, many) don't even use the lower rotor stack at all, and unplug them both, using the trademark upper rotor for the vibrato effect. It should be noted that the lower rotors in Leslies don't really provide any "vibrato" effect at all, which is caused by Doppler effect. All they really do is provide amplitude modulation, the acoustomechanical equivalent of Hammond's "chorus" effect. Note that if you unplug the slow motor on the bass rotor of a two-speed Leslie, you'll loose the "braking" effect of the slow motor, and the lower rotor will "spin down" from = tremolo speed rather slowly.   Each gospel player has their own "formula". Suffice it to say that you've got over $2000 worth of Leslies there! Five years ago, I could've bought = a 122 in fairly good shape for $100...no more!   >(Baptist) (:><snip>   Southern, no doubt.   DeserTBoB  
(back) Subject: Re: Service Playing From: <toelz@cetlink.net> Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2000 18:02:16 -0400   At 10:11 AM 10/15/2000 EDT, you wrote: >In a message dated 10/15/2000 7:47:28 AM Central Daylight Time,=20 >toelz@cetlink.net writes: > >Thanks for such an informative article. I am new at the art of service=20 >playing, need to be given some guidelines to go by. What is appropriate= and=20 >inappropriate music for services? I would like to know if it is ok to use= =20 >tremulant while accompanying congregational singing. I think the tremulant= =20 >makes the organ sing and sound warmer. Does the trem sound mess up someones= =20 >ability to find and stay on pitch? > >Later, >Phil L. I will do my opinions on appropriate music in a separate post later. I will just say now that I think virtually any QUALITY music that sounds good on the organ is appropriate, depending on the liturgical (or secular) season. On the Sunday nearest Valentines Day, I traditionally play a Jesse Crawford love song for the Offertory, and the parishioners love it--and this in a formal Episcopal service! But on the tremulant, I will comment now. I personally don't use the tremulant in hymn accompaniments. But if you play in an Evangelical church or one with a contemporary service, I don't really see the harm in using it. You're right--the tremulant does add warmth to the sound. For instance, today during Communion, I played one of the Brahms Lieder--"Ich w=FCsst' ich doch den Weg"--I played the melody on the Trumpet (swell shades closed), with the accompaniment on Bourdon 8 and 4. When the melody repeated, I added the Tremulant. Last Sunday for the prelude I played "Chorale with Interludes" by Palmer--at the end when the Chorale is repeated in the style of a hymn with basically full organ, I used the Tremulant for that section only, after coupling the Swell Trumpet to the Great at 16, 8, and 4. Some purists may scoff, but the parishioners loved it. If you are fortunate enough to have separate Tremulants for the Swell and Great or a separate Flute Tremulant, try this--In hymn accompaniments, couple the 4 and 2 Flute from the Swell to the Great and add the Swell Tremulant (or Flute Tremulant)--it gives a wonderful shimmering effect and will not hamper the pitch because it does not affect the Principal chorus. Also try this--For the melody line of a piece, use the Swell 8 Flute plus Swell 16, 4, and Unison Off. Add the Tremulant. Beautiful! Or you can do the same thing with a Swell String, or a Swell Celeste--this combination is also effective with slow chords. Or for slow chords, try the Swell String or Celeste plus Tremulant plus Swell 16--again, a beautiful sound. Another sound that is effective with the Tremulant is Flutes 8 and 1 1/3. I would say, finally, to LISTEN to what sounds come from the organ, and trust your own judgement most of all, rather than what someone else tells you! What is "appropriate" is not what organ purists think, it is what best helps the parishioners in their worship of God. =20    
(back) Subject: Re: Service Playing From: <ORGANUT@aol.com> Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2000 19:04:46 EDT   In a message dated 10/15/2000 5:06:41 PM Central Daylight Time, toelz@cetlink.net writes:   << I would say, finally, to LISTEN to what sounds come from the organ, and trust your own judgement most of = all, rather than what someone else tells you! What is "appropriate" is not = what organ purists think, it is what best helps the parishioners in their worship of God. >>   The people in my congregation, love to hear the organ go from a majestic straight sound to full tremulant with the 16' 5 1/3' and 4' pitches = drawn. Some hymns are written in a fashion which lends them well to chromatic glissandos and open harmony in certain phrases. These are strictly = methods used primarily for theatre organ arrangements, but the congregation seems = to love it. I use this only for some prelude selections and maybe special music. I have found that the congregation is usually talking and hyped up =   before the prelude music starts. If I start playing something soft and somber, it takes a while for them to quieten down. However, if I play something upbeat and loud as a starter and then progress to the quieter = more somber hymns, they calm down quite rapidly. I swore I would never play for church services, but a power higher = than me must have decided I was! So, here I am. Once I started doing it, I = have to admit that I rather enjoy it. I would also be interested in knowing = what some of the more experienced organist do to get the congregation in the proper worshipful mood by the time the pastor moves to the lecturn.   Later, Phil L.  
(back) Subject: Re: Service Playing & TREMULANTS From: <ScottFop@aol.com> Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2000 20:28:22 EDT   In a message dated 10/15/00 5:18:20 PM Eastern Daylight Time, desertbob@rglobal.net writes:   << >At the Shrine we have a piston set with all celestes and tremulants, voxes, >strings, celestes et all, and all coupled to the Great at 16, 8 and 4. = We >call it "full slush."<snip> Yes, an syrup pours forth from the grilles whenever it's selected! LOL! Such combinations can be emotionally VERY powerful, but I certainly wouldn't want to count on singers to come in "on pitch" with it playing!! >>   Well for gosh sakes, they AREN'T theatre organ trems, but my GOSH what = SLUSH when that combination plays! It literally just rolls around that big = barn!   SF  
(back) Subject: Re: Service Playing From: <Innkawgneeto@webtv.net> Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2000 20:40:26 -0400 (EDT)   You say churches are looking for persons who are gifted in service playing. Oh yeah?   You say that the organist pool is very small. And yet, I don't find that churches, on the whole, look for truly qualified church musicians.   Perhaps I soundeth cynical, Guilty!!   Churches are crying because they cannot seem to find good musicians. And yet, when good musicians apply, these same churches RARELY even send a "not interested" letter.   Things are different now a days, getting jobs, keeping jobs, doing the job.   Churches shouldn't even advertise, because they don't seem to want good applicants.   Sorry to be so blunt, and this after a delightful day at my church. But, I'm venting, and the original post seems to have been an escape valve for me.   Peace to you all from the delightful Jersey Shore.   Neil B    
(back) Subject: Re: Service Playing From: "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net> Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2000 17:57:39   At 08:40 PM 10/15/2000 -0400, you wrote: >You say that the organist pool is very small. And yet, I don't find >that churches, on the whole, look for truly qualified church musicians. > >Perhaps I soundeth cynical, Guilty!!<snip>   Guilty as charged! Actually, what they want is Virgil Fox on $400/month with no benefits, pension or anything. THAT'S the problem! Of course, = the AGO hasn't done any good in this regard at all, and most probably never will...shame on them.   DeserTBoB  
(back) Subject: Re: Service Playing vs. Public Performance From: "Bob Elms" <elmsr@albanyis.com.au> Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 10:26:59 +0800   Bob, you have a remarkable penchant for generalising on a number of topics = with no effort made at backing your statements up with some cold facts. You = are also letting your prejudices show, which is bad.   Bob Scarborough wrote:   > The problem, for both the organ and its performers, is exactly what's > stated here. The organ is a captive of "the church", an institution in > slow decline, and one, whether one likes it or not, divorced from the > realities of everyday life.   Now how can you back that up? The church in this country at least is the = major care agency apart from the Government. My church has the largest workforce = in the nation, larger than the Big Australian (BHP), and the majority of its = workers are caring for those in need - sick. aged, poor, disadvantaged. How then can = it be "divorced from the realities of everyday life"? I think its members may = have learnt more about "everyday life" than a comfortable middle class citizen = in a country such as yours and mine, Bob. And is it in "decline" ? Not sure = about that either. Maybe it is in some western countries, but the stories coming from Africa, Korea, and China would raise some doubts on the accuracy of your claim..Your statement in general, however, is not only absolute rubbish = but, like my reply, is well and truly off topic.   The organ a "captive of the church"? Well seeing that the church was the = main agency responsible for developing the organ that would not be surprising = if it were to be true. However with the restoration of large instruments world = wide in secular buildings and the building of major new instruments in buildings = other than churches, I doubt whether that statement of yours would be true = either.. Time you got out of the desert and took a trip abroad Bob. It might widen = your horizons and allow you to speak with more authority. You might also = consider the fact that not only organ music but the whole field of classical music was fostered mainly by the churches and the aristocracy for many centuries. = The aristocracy were not open to the public, so the public performance of = classical music and the education of the masses was left to the churches. Be = thankful Bob, not critical.     > Shut away in a space only used by the public > on a weekly basis, the instrument loses its legitimacy in the world of > music in general, and becomes, as I've said many times, a "church > appliance".   Not really true either. Many churches in this country are used extensively = for concert work and not only organ music, and why not? Acoustically they are = better than many of the so-called concert venues provided by local authorities. = The organ used in the way we use it is far from being merely a "church = appliance".   > Although I find the initial posting on service playing (one of my least > favorite activities) to be quite accurate and most useful, I also find = that > it is a prescription for killing off the instrument for public = performance > when taken on a musical basis alone.   Some of our church organists are among the best organists in the country = and I know of many people who attend certain churches mainly for the pleasure of hearing the organist and the choir). The organist can help swell the = congregation and once a person attends the church it is up to the clergy and the = eldership of the church whether that can be made a permanent thing. The organ and the = music can be a powerful tool for evangelism. I have many people thank me for the = music I play both in my own church and in an RC Church where the hymns sung are absolutely appalling to my mind. To say that service playing is a = prescription for killing off the instrument for public performance is absolute twaddle. = It could be, but then you are generalising again. Putting everything into the = same basket with no regard for accuracy.   > Of course, most dreary church organs > would be hard pressed to provide the range of tonality and excitement > necessary for recital or concert work, and a clear delineation must be = made > between the two. The current "fad" of TrackerMania in various concert > venues across the country is a crucial mistake, anchoring the organ in = the > Baroque and foregoing its possibilities with literature of other eras, = even > though its backers try to stuff "romantic" stops into them here and = there. > Recital and concert playing is quite the antithesis of service playing, = as > are the respective instruments, to be sure. Certainly, one can go > overboard on "razzle-dazzle" (Fox comes to mind immediately), but = suffice > it to say that, if one applies principles of proper service playing to > recital playing, one will certainly fail.   You are generalising here again. I know of a few "dreary" church organs = but, more to the point, I have heard plenty of dreary church organists. Most organs = can be made to sound good in the hands of a good player. As for tracker organs, = there are many exciting tracker organs being built in many places including = concert halls. They are not Baroque instruments and most can handle any repertoire including the baroque. It is not the fact that they are tracker that is = any limitation, and let's face it, the day of the neo baroque organ that was = good for only one thing is over. Worldwide organs are being "de-neobaroquised" and = brought back to original styles. As far as Fox is concerned if he and his like can = pack a concert hall, who is going to argue against that? Call it razzle dazzle = if you like but it has probably done more to popularise organ music than many a = stuffed shirt playing nothing but baroque or period music in the "traditional" = style. Shades of Lemare and W.T. Best who could get 3000 people into the Sydney = Town Hall to hear them play! Let's have more of them! And we have! Thomas = Heywood, Robert Ampt, Thomas Trotter! They are packing them in. Transcriptions, = romantic music, Bach and more, and the public is going for it. More! Yes! Let's = have more more!   Bob Elms.        
(back) Subject: Re: Service Playing From: <Cremona502@cs.com> Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2000 23:37:39 EDT   Just a couple of things....   It would be nice if you could be specific about some of the literature you =   recommend for preludes and postludes, along with alternative/creative registration ideas.   It might be nice to know who you are! ;-)   Bruce Cremona502@cs.com in the Beagles' Nest with the Baskerbeagles visit the Cornely pack at Howling Acres: Ourworld.cs.com/Brucon502  
(back) Subject: Re: Service Playing From: <Cremona502@cs.com> Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2000 23:41:08 EDT   In a message dated 10/15/00 10:12:11 AM Eastern Daylight Time, ORGANUT@aol.com writes:   << I would like to know if it is ok to use tremulant while accompanying congregational singing. I think the = tremulant makes the organ sing and sound warmer. Does the trem sound mess up = someones ability to find and stay on pitch? >>   Tremulant is much like a zimblestern. A little goes a long way. I would =   say yes for more quiet registrations. On a larger registration it = probably wouldn't make much difference, except that it would become annoying a = little quicker.   I don't think the tremulant affects pitch perception .   Bruce Cremona502@cs.com in the Beagles' Nest with the Baskerbeagles visit the Cornely pack at Howling Acres: Ourworld.cs.com/Brucon502  
(back) Subject: Re: Service Playing From: <Innkawgneeto@webtv.net> Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 00:01:10 -0400 (EDT)   Tremulant, by its nature, is a wavering of the pitch. So, as they say, a little goes an awfully long way.   Certain styles lend themselves to the effect -- I've accompanied certain gospel style hymns (i.e., Gaither's "Something Beautiful") with tremulant.   One usually wouldn't use it for a hymn like "Holy, Holy, Holy" (Nicaea). It's just not stylistic. Alas, that's my opinion.   Neil B    
(back) Subject: Re: Service Playing vs. Public Performance From: "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net> Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2000 23:41:56   At 10:26 AM 10/16/2000 +0800, you wrote: >Now how can you back that up?<snip>   Easily. National Council of Churches reports the AVERAGE decline of its member denominations was 1% in 1999, as stated two months ago in the Los Angeles Times, a trend that's been continuing for some time. I don't know what goes on "down under", nor was that supposed to be part of the = arguement.   >And is it in "decline" ? Not sure about that >either.<snip>   Scroll back above...'tis here in the US!   >Maybe it is in some western countries, but the stories coming from >Africa, Korea, and China would raise some doubts on the accuracy of your >claim.<snip>   Numbers are growing there, simply because they AREN'T growing in the rich countries. My statement accurately covers the US situation. However, numbers are increasing perniciously in "happy-clappy/tilt-up/feel-good" independent churches, most of which view the NCC as "too liberal", and refuse to participate. The Southern Baptists, who refuse to join the National Council of Churches, claims phenomenal growth, but they've been known "stretch" numerical facts as much as they stretch dogma. The RCs = are in decline to a small amount in the US, also, but illegal immigration swells the numbers of parishes in California and Texas...and presents a considerable financial strain in those areas in terms of parochial and diocesan relief.   Your statement in general, however, is not only absolute rubbish but, >like my reply, is well and truly off topic.<snip>   Not at all. BTW...wouldn't you be HAPPIER over on Organchat? You seem so...EDGY...here.   <snipping MUCH driVEL...>   DeserTBoB  
(back) Subject: Re: Service Playing From: "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net> Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2000 23:45:54   At 11:41 PM 10/15/2000 EDT, you wrote: >I don't think the tremulant affects pitch perception .<snip>   Possibly not, in MOST cases of liturgically bent organs with very shallow and slow trems. However, try this little trick sometimes: Get a singer = to "zero in" on pitch while playing a tibia shaken well with typical = Wurlitzer trem...then turn the trem OFF. Bingo, the singer will be FLAT as a pancake, EVERY time! Fortunately, Wurlitzers aren't used for "congregational singing" too often (although they are, here and there!)...save for the theater "sing-a-long".   Following bouncing balls, DeserTBoB  
(back) Subject: Re: Service Playing From: "OJ" <owenj@bigpond.com> Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 19:17:55 +1000   As a trained singer with about 40 years experience and an organist for = just long; IMHO; I abhor the use of trem/vib on the organ when it is used for congregational, choir or solo accompaniment.   It has the effect of being in a cement mixer trying to pitch a note. Talk about migraine headaches after Mass. Its use during a solo, well, as long as it fits the crime it is okay with me.   Cheers Owen ----- Original Message ----- From: <Cremona502@cs.com> To: <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Monday, October 16, 2000 1:41 PM Subject: Re: Service Playing     > In a message dated 10/15/00 10:12:11 AM Eastern Daylight Time, > ORGANUT@aol.com writes: > > << I would like to know if it is ok to use > tremulant while accompanying congregational singing. I think the tremulant > makes the organ sing and sound warmer. Does the trem sound mess up someones > ability to find and stay on pitch? >> > > Tremulant is much like a zimblestern. A little goes a long way. I = would > say yes for more quiet registrations. On a larger registration it probably > wouldn't make much difference, except that it would become annoying a little > quicker. > > I don't think the tremulant affects pitch perception . > > Bruce Cremona502@cs.com > in the Beagles' Nest with the Baskerbeagles > visit the Cornely pack at Howling Acres: Ourworld.cs.com/Brucon502 > > "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 >