PipeChat Digest #5042 - Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Trying a pipe organ in South East Kansas
  by "Jarle Fagerheim" <jarle_fagerheim@yahoo.co.uk>
Re: Philosophy of organ learning (was Re: Organ Pieces) MY FINAL COMMENT 
  by <Gfc234@aol.com>
Re: Jarle and Gregory's practice techniques
  by "John Foss" <harkat@kat.forthnet.gr>
Re: Carpeting vs tile
  by <RMB10@aol.com>
Re: Philosophy of organ learning
  by <RMB10@aol.com>
Re: Home organs
  by "David Scribner" <david@blackiris.com>
Home Organs
  by "Keith Zimmerman" <kwzimmerman@alltel.net>
Re: Eddie Layton, Yankee Stadium organs?
  by "Paul Smith" <kipsmith@getgoin.net>
music programming in light of South-Asian tragedy
  by "Robert Lind" <lindr@core.com>
Stadium organs
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
RE: Jarle and Gregory's practice techniques
  by "TheShieling" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz>
Re: Stadium organs
  by "jch" <opus1100@catoe.org>
RE: Eddie Layton, Yankee Stadium organist passes
  by "Andy Lawrence" <andy@ablorgans.com>

(back) Subject: Trying a pipe organ in South East Kansas From: "Jarle Fagerheim" <jarle_fagerheim@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2004 12:24:44 +0100   Chatters,   A young organist in South East Kansas only has access to Hammonds, but is a great pipe organ fan and eagerly wants to try one. Are there any listmembers who can help him out, or get him in touch with the right = people?   Mark Ledford pianoguy_1988@yahoo.com   Jarle http://jarle.moo.no  
(back) Subject: Re: Philosophy of organ learning (was Re: Organ Pieces) MY FINAL COMMENT ON THIS TOPIC From: <Gfc234@aol.com> Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2004 06:51:16 EST     In a message dated 12/29/04 3:26:30 AM, will.light@btinternet.com writes:     > I learned my pedal technique, such as it is, from a wonderful book = called > "The Science of Organ Pedaling" by Ellingford and Mears. All of the = pedal > exercises were pedal passages from various standard repertoire pieces. = This > not only got the various techniques across, but led to the eerie but > satisfying feeling, when learning a new piece, of suddenly finding ones > hands groping for the right fingering in a new piece whilst one's feet > tripped lightly through a passage "they" already knew! > > Will Light >     Dear PipeChatters-   Before this goes on and on-I should like to say that I enjoyed a brief correspondence with Dominic before I put my suggestions on the list. He = has been playing the pia no for 10 years. Therefore--he needs to get his feet working-and needs to learn proper manual technique. Dominic stated = that he wanted to learn Bach--well----you don't move to the organ from the piano-press = tutti -and flop all over the console for HOURS on end -trying to sight read the = F major --hoping to hit the right notes. You give yourself the tools to do = it right-I am convinced that a young man with 10 years piano playing under = his belt, and the passion to play the organ, is mature enough to realize this.   My parents are both professional musicians. I entered Northern Illinois University at the age of 18, in the fall of 1999 as a jazz piano major. = My previous experience was classical piano study, jazz organ study (and = steady gigs), and jazz drumming (gigging as well). In the jazz degree program was the requirement that students take one semester of classical lessons. So, in = the second semester of my freshman year, because of my mother's suggestion-I = signed up for secondary organ-but was blessed to have been assigned to the = primary teacher and given hour long lessons. At the end of that semester, I was encouraged to switch majors by my organ teacher--and I took his advice. = I too used to practice on full organ, and fast- all the time-accomplishing FAR less = than I could have-My teacher kept kicking my butt, and in 3.5 years I was = playing music that people play after 10 years of organ study, and was accepted = into the graduate program at Northwestern University, with a scholarship.   I am no saint, and to this very day-STILL have to discipline myself to practice effectively. Now that I am 23, and have had a masters degree = for six months- I FINALLY feel like I have BEGUN to learn how to practice. The = proof is that I can learn pieces 10 times faster and better than I could four years =   ago. I wish I could get back those countless WASTED hours. I can't = imagine how much better I would be today had I taken care of business from day = one. Live and learn, I guess.   In addition to having a church job-I have about 20 private = students--Being on the teacher side of the student/teacher relationship is eye opening. = You can spot a kid that didn't practice within 5 seconds. You also realize that = had he spent TEN lousy minutes a day working that tough passage of music, = instead of relentlessly banging through it from beginning to end, hoping that it would magically fix itself, that he wouldn't be sitting there, lying to = you, and squriming for notes-but that he would just play the music, gain some = ground, and take all of that saved time to go play with his friends!!!   In order to accomplish results and gain mastery-you must make a conscious, =   methodical, and whole hearted effort to do so-otherwise-you are counting = on luck-and are going to lose more than you win,   In other words--yes--playing music is a passion and love-but it is also =   work-a job-a way of life. As professional organists, or organ = students--WE ARE ACCOUNTABLE to teachers, congregations, and audiences. We must earn = good grades, we must inspire congregations,we must become artists, and WE MUST = PAY OUR RENT. When you have a pile of music to learn for Sunday, and a = limited amound of time to learn it in, the only way to get the job done is to = break it up into small sections-and to work carefully, fixing problems, every day = until Sunday comes around.   Yes-this harsh concept may turn weak people away from music-but the ones = it captures along the way- are the ones who TRULY develop a love and understanding of the nature of music, and are ultimately successful.   So again-my best advice-which comes from my own experience of wasting hundreds of hours fooling around with full organ and sightreading-is to = practice hard--to get your work done--then to have fun playing loud and fast--but = only after you have met your small and attainable practice goal.   I still stand 110 percent behind the book Organ Tecnhnique Modern and = Early by George Ritchie and George Stauffer. It is the FINEST available. = Find a university teacher to help you. Practice slowly and carefully, and with = love- enjoy the beauty and simplicity of a 4' stop, and the graceful feeling of = a key going down and coming up under your finger. These simple things are BEAUTIFUL -they are art.   Focus on the beauty of small details-and always shoot for excellence in = every motion-short term mediocrity is surely the pathway to long term failure.   An organist presses and releases a single note in a 5 voice fugue, a = painter makes a tiny line on a vast canvas , a chef adds a pinch of salt to a = recipe-a carpenter puts a single nail in a building...   In great works of art, thought, respect, love, and dedication is = present, in unmeasurable quantities, In each minute effort that goes into making = the final product.     Food for thought- gfc       Gregory Ceurvorst 1921 Sherman Ave. #GS Evanston, IL 60201 847.332.2788 home/fax 708.243.2549 mobile gfc234@aol.com gfc234@nextel.blackberry.net  
(back) Subject: Re: Jarle and Gregory's practice techniques From: "John Foss" <harkat@kat.forthnet.gr> Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2004 13:36:50 +0200   Dear list,   I posted this yesterday but it seemed to get caught by a spam blocker. I don't know why!   I have just been reading Jarle and Gregory's discussion on practice techniques. When I was Jarle's age I used to do what he does - just play through anything that caught my fancy. I used to - and still do - love playing the organ. There is something magical about the sound. I was then invited to give an organ recital - I hadn't really learned many pieces thoroughly, as my teacher at school only turned up about twice in = the two years I was learning the organ. Maybe I was a difficult pupil! = However, faced with the prospect of playing a recital I put a programme together - = I think this was in 1961 - and played it to a friend of mine at St Mary Magdalene's, Paddington on the large Compton organ where I was to give the recital. He suggested I had a couple of lessons - there wasn't time for = much more - so I went to John Fear at All Soul's, Langham Place. John was very patient and went through the programme, which, incidentally, included the Franck Choral No 3 in A minor, S S Wesley's Air and Gavotte - he suggested that a Gavotte was not a frenzied Gallop, C S Lang's "Tuba Tune" and ended with the piece Jarle sent me last week, the St Anne Fugue. It was quite a success, somewhat to my surprise - I took the advice given and stopped and thought before starting each piece, and the Church has a wonderful = acoustic which I am sure covered up a multitude of sins. Eventually Norman Johnson came to a recital I gave at St Vedast, Foster Lane, in the City f London. Afterwards looked at me in some amazement and said - it must be your looks, John! I wasn't much more than 20 at the = time, and I had built up quite a following in the city, and so the church was = well filled! After this I took some lessons with Norman - there are one or two other members on the list who have studied with him - and they will know what a demanding, but quite outstanding teacher he is. He taught me the basics of technique - minimum movement, rhythmic accuracy, and so on - and he gave me a few exercises, including the scale of D major on the pedals = to demonstrate the importance of control and position, concentrating on the attack and release - the basis of rhythm on an organ. I then spent 3 years with Ralph Downes at the Royal College of Music. Now, he didn't overemphasise exercises, but he did expect me to be able to play all the major and minor scales and also recommended the Dupre Methode d'Orgue, as well as giving me some exercises for the pedals. This is perhaps rather a long way of saying that there is a happy medium. Much of the technique you acquire is to be found in the music you play. = Take a difficult passage in what you are learning and go through it thoroughly. Make sure your feet and fingers go down together, and, for example, that = the triplets and quavers are accurately placed in 2 against 3. It requires = self discipline - never my strongest point - but if you do put in the work you should get a strong sense of satisfaction out of your achievment. I think music can be enjoyed at three main levels - the physical thrill of the sound, the emotional response to the music and a sense of intellectual satisfaction. I hope this doesn't sound too pompous - this feeling of profound achievement only comes after a lot of work - but the emotional satisfaction at this intellectual level transcends the primary pleasure. = And you do go through stages of frustration. I am a bit like Jarle in that I like to open the organ up and produce a glorious sound - and it is a sort = of reward for labour done, but there is some wonderful soft music, too! I = also think that some exercises are desirable. Try and start the day by = practising on the piano - my current piece is Beethoven's D major Sonata Op 10 No 3, which, in common with all Beethoven's Sonatas has plenty of scales and arpeggios. They don't seem really seem like exercises, but they are. I = then go through the pedal exercises Downes taught me on the organ - they only take 5 minutes - and then I work through whatever happens to be on the programme, trying to apply the collected wisdom of my teachers, but each = of you should have some systematic approach. I am never very satisfied with = my performances - I'm always trying to improve them - but just occasionally I get a glimpse of what heaven might be like! I also find that I can concentrate better if I plan today what I am going to do tomorrow. This doesn't work for everybody - and some people learn faster than others. = When the children I teach have a problem - usually either with rhythm or hand position - I try and write an exercise for them based on the piece they = are playing. This usually seems to work - they want to improve and can see = that it helps. So, don't overdo the exercises, but don't scorn them either! John Foss http://www.organsandorganistsonline.com/      
(back) Subject: Re: Carpeting vs tile From: <RMB10@aol.com> Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2004 07:22:06 EST   >We're going through this now. 13 years ago before I came, the church >powers put down new carpeting over 1/2" jute pad. For the last 5 years, >it's looked awful. It's been re-stretched twice, can't be stretched any >more. > >Replacing the carpet will cost @ $6,000 (or @$2/sq ft) installed. >Replacing with porcelain ceramic with a non-slip surface (what Monty >needs) will cost @ $15,600 (or @$5.00/ sq ft). The tile will last for 50 >years, or until Jesus returns, whichever comes first. New carpet would >look great for 3 years, pretty good for 5 more years, then look >gawd-awful for 4-6 more or until someone got the gumption to get it >re-done; then repeat the same process in another 8 to 15 years.   I wish that more clergy and church boards would have the sense to see = this! It was decided from the outset that we were going to have some sort of polished granite or marble flooring in the sanctuary--tile was ruled out, = only because of the possibility of having to replace it if it ever got chipped = or cracked. In a cathedral sized room, they just didn't want to have to deal = with it. In meeting with the acousitician, he agreed that the stone floor would be great and that the minor bit of carpet as an aisle runner wouldn't be a = detriment, given the fact that we would be having hard surfaces in so many places, = and even that the choir seating area was being designed to be a "shell" to = help project.   It is refreshing to see a pastor who actually cares about the acoustical = and musical results in his church building. Beyond being aural, it's a visual =   expression of beauty. A church building shouldn't look shoddy, and unfortunately, too many times, one with old carpet just looks tired and = worn out because the the carpet is worn thin and it's rippled and dirty. I say, "rip it = up!"   Monty Bennett  
(back) Subject: Re: Philosophy of organ learning From: <RMB10@aol.com> Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2004 07:53:32 EST   Dupre practiced scales on the piano for hours a day BEFORE he ever touched =   the organ. He made his students follow this same method. Then they did = slow methodical practice--this is how they were able to plow through major = works with the greatest of ease. Several of my teachers were students of Dupre and other French organists of that school. They all followed suit with that = style of teaching. While I don't (and didn't) follow the letter of the law, with = hours of piano practice before I sat down at the organ, I did learn that slow methodical practice after some warm up did benefit me. When I was a kid, = it enabled me to learn gobs of music quickly and easily. In High School, I = was working on pieces that Bachelor's students learned. In college, it let me work through music at a much faster speed and at a higher level, and I worked = on Graduate level pieces. Slow, methodical practice is necessary to learn works well = and get them under your fingers...it's been established for centuries. Just going in, playing through a piece, and playing it again, and again, = and again only makes you cement your mistakes.   Playing on full organ is fun--it's exciting--but only a few stops are = needed to learn notes. That way you can actually HEAR the notes being played. = The use of one's hearing is one of the best tools an organist has, but unfortunately, too many organists don't bother to listen to what they are = doing, and just barrel on through, slopping through the music. When playing "fast and = furious on full organ" you don't hear--can't hear, really--the mistakes that are being made. That is why slow, methodical practice is a necessity on a = couple of flutes or principals. Yes, I will attest that it is boring, BUT, the = results are worth it. I can pull out pieces I learned 10 or 12 years ago and = haven't played for 7 or 8 years, and all that needs to be done is a little = polishing up. Those pieces still are in my muscle memory of my fingers because I = have them so solidly learned.   Virgil Fox would spend hours going over a measure or two until he had it = just perfect. Other performers do the same thing. Why should anyone else = strive for less than perfection? It seems that more and more mediocrity is the mark that people look to = meet. Whats wrong with trying to exceed that point?   Take it slowly and steadily, on a couple of stops and strive for note accuracy--the pieces will be learned in a much quicker time.   Monty Bennett  
(back) Subject: Re: Home organs From: "David Scribner" <david@blackiris.com> Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2004 07:18:38 -0600   >Dear List, > > I have been toying with the idea of making a web site devoted to >the residence organ, especially those that are built by their >owners. I do not have a residence organ myself, but if any of you >do, and would like some web space devoted to your organ, your >thoughts about your organ, or a link to your site, feel free to >e-mail them to me for posting > > The URL for the web site will be: > ><http://www.pipesupport.net>www.pipesupport.net > > > Best Regards, > > Nathan >   Nathan   Why reinvent the wheel?? There is another list hosted by PipeChat for those with residence pipe organs. http://www.diyapason.pipechat.org   David  
(back) Subject: Home Organs From: "Keith Zimmerman" <kwzimmerman@alltel.net> Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2004 09:00:32 -0500   Nathan, and list,   You might check out a site already dedicated to the Home Organs: = http://www.diyapason.pipechat.org/=20   I believe it's owned by the same guys who own this list, and it = functions much the same way.   It took me a little while to catch on to the misspelling of diapason. = This list is for those who are building - or dreaming of building - = their own home pipe organs. The site contains websites for some of the = folks who have organs of their own.   I would like to see a list that lists ALL home pipe organs - whether = they were pieced together by hobbyists or purchased from a builder. I = realize one will never get ALL, since many people are private. I have = stumbled upon a few sites in which individuals have displayed their home = organs - purchased as well as assembled.   Sincerely, Keith
(back) Subject: Re: Eddie Layton, Yankee Stadium organs? From: "Paul Smith" <kipsmith@getgoin.net> Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2004 08:37:17 -0600       Up into the last century the American definition of "stadium" would have included its being outdoors, which would have differentiated it from a convention hall or auditorium (which the Atlantic City building is). Nowadays, with domed stadiums ("stadia" feels more elegant there!), and = even stadiums with retractable roofs, it is hard to agree on the distinction between a convention hall, which is really an enclosed space, and a = stadium, which is really an outdoor space (even if it has a roof of some sort). The =   Yankees only started having an "organ" in their outdoor stadium in the 1950s, when Hammonds and massive amplification were possible. There have been very few pipe organs in outdoor venues ( see http://members.aol.com/theorganst/Page1.html and http://members.aol.com/pipewheezr/spreckles.html) and those few were in = very mild climates. If there were real pipe organs in sports stadiums, please tell us about them. = Kip Smith in MO PS - There is real progress on getting the state of New Jersey to commit = to a restoration of the Convention Hall organ, which is owned by the state = (see http://www.acchos.org/html/news.html).     ----- Original Message ----- From: "TheShieling" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz> To: "'PipeChat'" <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2004 1:50 AM Subject: RE: Eddie Layton, Yankee Stadium organist passes     > >>This brings me to a question I've always had but always forget to ask... > what is the history of stadium organs? Did they ever use pipe organs? > >>From a NZer - what do you mean by a stadium? > > In your own country, the Chicago and Atlantic City stadiums both had > organs > at one time, now only the Atl.City one remains, and that barely (if at > all) > playable. > > Ross > > > ****************************************************************** > "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 > List-Subscribe: <mailto:pipechat-on@pipechat.org> > List-Digest: <mailto:pipechat-digest@pipechat.org> > List-Unsubscribe: <mailto:pipechat-off@pipechat.org> > > >      
(back) Subject: music programming in light of South-Asian tragedy From: "Robert Lind" <lindr@core.com> Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2004 08:38:25 -0600   1. As to this coming Sunday: Is anyone playing special organ music, = singing a special anthem, or singing any hymns that relate to the earthquake and resulting tsunamis in South Asia? If not this Sunday, perhaps next Sunday? Any special services planned?   2. I'm thinking of writing an organ work to the memory of those who died = in this tragedy. In this fast-changing world, are we likely to forget and to move on so quickly that such a piece has little relevance? I wrote some organ pieces as a result of 9/11/2001, but by the time they were published (one just released in October 2004), I wonder if the impetus and emotion behind them are now somehow but a distant memory and a nice gesture.   Robert Lind    
(back) Subject: Stadium organs From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2004 06:49:56 -0800 (PST)   Hello,   I hope someone is going to mention the Barton organ at Chicago Stadium.   I know nothing about it, other than the fact it went up in flames and only the console survived. I do, however, have an old mono recording of it.   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK         __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Meet the all-new My Yahoo! - Try it today! http://my.yahoo.com    
(back) Subject: RE: Jarle and Gregory's practice techniques From: "TheShieling" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz> Date: Thu, 30 Dec 2004 03:54:38 +1300   >Eventually Norman Johnson came to a recital I gave at St Vedast, Foster Lane, in the City f London.   Ah yes, my good friend George Sanders, when working for Hill Norman & = Beard, rebuilt this organ after WWII. George came to NZ permanently in 1961 and I buried him last year, aged about 83 (forgotten exactly). The organ sloped slightly, and there was no way of straightening it, so there had to be = (for some reason or other) a small windtrunk right across the gallery rail from one side to the other of the showcase. This had been put in many years before WWII, but George left it in place as it worked and was largely invisible. He reckoned the organ made a good sound.   Ross    
(back) Subject: Re: Stadium organs From: "jch" <opus1100@catoe.org> Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2004 09:02:05 -0600   At 08:49 AM 12/29/04, you wrote: > hope someone is going to mention the Barton organ at >Chicago Stadium. > >I know nothing about it, other than the fact it went >up in flames and only the console survived   This is a sad situation. The organ would have survived had not the staff organist convinced the stadium owners to nix plans to move the organ to the new building. Seems the man was more comfortable playing a Hammond X-66 than a 6 manual Barton pipe organ. A brief history of the organ with pictures can be found =   of the CATOE ORGAN PAGE. www.catoe.org There was a serious attempt to save this organ and the new owners had = placed it in storage while trying to find it a new permanent home. It was destroyed in a warehouse fire in Phoenix AZ along with a 3/12 Barton and a 3/15 Wurlitzer. These organs where also in storage while the owners looked for a suitable location for an = installation. The staff organist at the United Center is now rewarded with an organ (toaster) that many consider of the worse stadium installations in the county. instead of being = featured at the big Barton in full view of the arena he is relegated to a remote closet where he can watch = the action on TV monitors. The organ speakers are also located in a remote room with microphones to pump the sound through the arena's PA system. 9 The former stadium console now control's Phil Maloof's Barton from Kansas City in his music room in Las Vegas, Paul Roberts made a recording of this organ which is nice, but doesn't sound like the original stadium beast.   jch      
(back) Subject: RE: Eddie Layton, Yankee Stadium organist passes From: "Andy Lawrence" <andy@ablorgans.com> Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2004 10:41:55 -0500   I guess stadium has a fuzzy definition... I was specifically talking about =   sports stadiums, like baseball and hockey. Andy   On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 20:50:42 +1300, TheShieling wrote > >This brings me to a question I've always had but always forget to = ask... > what is the history of stadium organs? Did they ever use pipe organs? > > >From a NZer - what do you mean by a stadium? > > In your own country, the Chicago and Atlantic City stadiums both had > organs at one time, now only the Atl.City one remains, and that > barely (if at all) playable. > > Ross >   A.B.Lawrence Pipe Organ Service PO Box 111 Burlington, VT 05402 (802)578-3936 Visit our website at www.ablorgans.com