PipeChat Digest #4840 - Tuesday, October 19, 2004
 
Economy of motion and technique (very long!)
  by "Stephen Roberts" <sroberts01@snet.net>
Re: Nilson Pedal Technique
  by <OMusic@aol.com>
Re: Nilson Pedal Technique
  by "Frances Meyers" <jack-fran1@cox.net>
Re: Flor Peeters and Pedal Technique
  by <OMusic@aol.com>
Re: Michael 1 and 2
  by "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net>
Re: Michael 1 and 2
  by "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net>
Re: Economy of motion and technique - I wonder?
  by "Harry Grove" <musicman@cottagemusic.co.uk>
RE: wicks solo division
  by "Michael David" <michaelandmaggy@earthlink.net>
Re: Subject: Re: Largest repertoire?
  by "Russ Greene" <rggreene2@shaw.ca>
Grape Juice and Organs for Weddings
  by "First Christian Church of Casey, Illinois" <kzrev@rr1.net>
Re: Grape Juice and Organs for Weddings
  by "Randolph Runyon" <runyonr@muohio.edu>
RE: wicks solo division
  by "David Scribner" <david@blackiris.com>
Re: Grape Juice and Organs for Weddings
  by "F. Richard Burt" <effarbee@verizon.net>
 

(back) Subject: Economy of motion and technique (very long!) From: "Stephen Roberts" <sroberts01@snet.net> Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 08:00:24 -0700 (PDT)   Dear List, Tim (Octaaf@charter.net) wrote about historic organs in Europe and listed = organs in France among them. Tim then made the following statement: "The = precept of "Economy of Motion" is NOT an option on these organs." This is = rubbish. The kind of technique that until recently was taught as the = standard approach in American conservatories was directly derived from the = Franco-Belgian school of organ technique, as established by Lemmens, and = further developed by his pupils, notably Widor, Guilmant, and Gigout. The = latter three men were the organ professors at the Conservatoire between = the death of Franck and Dupre's appointment in the mid-1920's. All of = these distinguished performers played flat, straight pedalboards on = instruments with mechanical and Barker lever action. Dupre' continued to = teach the same principles that Widor and Guilmant had taught to him, and = his pupil, Rolande Falcinelli, continued the tradition until her = retirement some few years ago. The method books of Lemmens and Dupre' actually contain very little = commentary. They depended very much on the teacher, who was supposed to = be trained in the same school. It was up to the teacher to provide the = verbal explanations, and to observe the student carefully to correct the = slightest variance from this approach. If you wish to get an idea of what = this kind of training was like, you should read pp. 55-81 of Rollin = Smith's book, <Louis Vierne: Organist of Notre Dame Cathedral>. Those = pages are the beginning of the chapter entitled "Widor's Class" and are = taken directly from the memoirs of Louis Vierne, <Mes Souvenirs>. = Vierne quotes Widor, and also provides commentary of his own. I shall = quote from that material to provide a refutation of what Tim had written. On page 69, Vierne says "To correct our technical imperfections he began = by showing us the proper position of the body at the keyboard, forbidding = us not only ridiculous gestures, useless as well as unaesthetic, but also = all useless motions, no matter how slight." Vierne then quotes these = famous words from Widor: "All unjustified movement is harmful because it is a waste of time time = and strength. Before deciding that a movement is inevitable its = usefulness must have been ascertained during the period of slow = practice..." That passage is well known to most of you, and I will not = quote the rest of it. This attitude toward the technique of playing a = keyboard instrument was derived directly from CPE Bach, who in turn says = that he learned everything from his father. On page of 43 in the Mitchell = translation of the CPE Bach essay, we read the following: "If [the performer] understands the correct principles of fingering and = has not acquired the habit of making unnecessary gestures, he will play = the most difficult things in such a manner that the motion of his hands = will be barely noticeable; moreover, everything will sound as if presented = no obstacles to him." Compare that to the remainder of the passage from Widor: after the = statement above, Widor goes on to say that if one follows his advice = "...you will play every virtuoso piece in its exact tempo without = difficulty." Vierne tells us that CPE Bach was one of the composers who = was discussed in Widor's class. It is a certainty that Widor had read = every word of CPE Bach's <Versuch>, and his technical approach was = completely congruent to it in most important respects. But what of pedal technique, the topic that provoked this discussion in = the first place? Widor again articulates the principles of good pedal = technique: "Never attack the key with a flat foot, but with the inner edge = of the sole. Keep the feet in constant contact with the edge of the two = black keys, never playing the white notes near the back of the pedal = except in substituting feet or crossing. Attack the black notes on the = extreme front edge to facilitate, if necessary, sliding onto a white one. = Never attack the keys perpendicularly or stomp on them...but slide along = lightly over the smallest possible distance to avoid unneccessary noise." = This is exactly the kind of technique that is described in the Gleason = <Method of Organ Playing> which has been the most commonly used and = influential method book in the USA for the past 50 years or more. Lemmens and Dupre' do not provide any description of the system of = measuring intervals that Gleason advocates. But where did that system = originate? Once again, Vierne quotes Widor and provides the answer: "The organist has fourteen fingers: ten on his hands, and four on his = feet. Here is the only rational way to develop the supplementary hand = represented by the two feet: generally, the knees, heels, and toes must be = touching. Then, the greatest stretch of the toes--knees heels = together--gives a fifth. The greatest stretch of the legs--knees = together--gives an octave. As soon as the foot stops playing, it should = immediately rejoin the one that is playing, in the normal position; to = avoid all imperfect movement." Now the next sentence provides the clincher. I know that using capital = letters is the equivalent of shouting to some people, but I want to = emphasize three words very strongly. Widor now pronounces the infamous = words: "With the pedals, as with the manuals, ECONOMY OF MOVEMENT must determine = the choice of pedaling. This means that when presented with several = possibilities, one must choose the one that requires the least motion." So there you have it. Those principles of pedal technique come from = Widor, and they were no doubt taught to him by Lemmens. Neither man ever = played a concave, radiating pedalboard that I'm aware of, and certainly = not an AGO standard one. Vierne also says on page 91 that Widor remained = "motionless in the center of the bench..." I was trained in these principles by Mildred Andrews, who had studied with = Dupre'. Miss Andrews' teachers had been pupils of Guilmant, Widor, and = Vierne. What I learned from her 35 years ago was in exact agreement with = everything that Vierne writes. I remember thinking when I read Vierne's = words in Rollin Smith's book for the first time, "It's as if Miss Andrews = were standing there speaking to me when I was her student so long ago." I discussed this kind of training with Daniel Roth last year. Daniel told = me that it was exactly what he had learned from Rolande Falcinelli, who = was Dupre's chosen successor at the Conservatoire. I can also tell you that I myself have played all sorts of historic = instruments on four continents. These principles, with some adaptations = for each situation, work well. One can't use the interval system of = measuring very well on an early French classical pedalboard, but it still = works on the pedals of the Wender, Silbermann, and Hildebrandt organs that = Bach knew. On the other hand, if one keeps one's feet in contact with the = keys at all times, and slides over the keys rather than lifting them, as = Widor advocates, one quickly develops a sense of relationship and spatial = reference on any pedalboard of any kind. That allows the player to adapt = very quickly to those old organs and to play very accurately, even if one = cannot use the heels at all. I've tried it at Houdan (which has its = original French classic pedalboard), and old organs in Austria, Germany, = and Italy. It works. Some will say, "Well, Bach didn't play that way." Or did he? How do we = know? The fact is that we don't. The earliest pedal markings we have are = in Tobias Krebs score of J.S. Bach's Orgelbuechlein chorale, "In Dir ist = Freude". Those markings only indicate left and right. We don't have any = description of how Bach taught his pupils to play the pedals, though the = method books of Bach's pupils and those of his school of playing do = describe extensive use of the heel. Johann Samuel Petri (1767 and 1782) = is the first to include complete pedalings indicating use of both toes and = heels. He uses heels a great deal, especially in scale playing. He also = describes playing four note chords with the feet, which obviously require = heels. People were just the same then as now. There aren't any paintings = of three or four legged people before 1800, nor after 1800 for that = matter. Significantly, Petri studied with none other than Wilhelm = Friedemann Bach. Since there is not one single pedal indication before those two sources I just mentioned, there is not one = single solitary shred of evidence for the idea that Bach played with an = all toes technique. If there is, I challenge anyone to provide it. The = descriptions of pedal technique up until the beginning of the 19th. = century by Petri, Knecht, and Kittel don't describe the interval system of = measuring, however. But that doesn't necessarily prove that it wasn't = used or taught: Lemmens and Dupre' don't describe it in their method books = either, but they most certainly used it. The fact is that we simply do = not know how organists before 1767 pedaled anything. To discuss this subject in any real detail would require a thick book, not = a posting on this forum. But I can say that all of the writings I have = read on keyboard technique, beginning with the Fundamentbuch of Hans = Buchner and continuing down to the present day, have been in remarkable = agreement about the idea of economy of motion. This is a time honored = principle of good keyboard and organ playing, not some modern American = innovation. Stephen Roberts Western CT State University, Danbury, CT        
(back) Subject: Re: Nilson Pedal Technique From: <OMusic@aol.com> Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 11:03:50 EDT   The title is: A SYSTEM OF TECHNICAL STUDIES IN PEDAL PLAYING FOR THE = ORGAN by L. Nilson, Translated from the Swedish by J. E. Barkworth, M.A. & Mus. Bac., Oxon Published by G. Schirmer, Inc. New York. When I purched it the Price was $1.50. The Copyright is 1904, as the Authorized Edition, by G. Schirmer, = Inc. There is a footnote that says, "This edition is not to be sold outside of = the United States and Great Britain and her colonies." It was printed in the = U. S. A. The dedication page says: "To Mr. Oscar Bolander, Teacher at the Royal Academy of Music, Stockholm. This work is dedicated by his friend, THE = AUTHOR." As somehow I acquired three copies, I kept this copy in mint condition, as it = is a first edition of the book. Probably more than you requested, I remain, = Lee  
(back) Subject: Re: Nilson Pedal Technique From: "Frances Meyers" <jack-fran1@cox.net> Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 08:05:05 -0700   "A System of Technical Studies in Pedal Playing for the Organ" by L. = Nilson translated from the Swedish by J. E. Barkworth Publ by G. Schirmer, Inc.     ----- Original Message ----- From: "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com> To: "'PipeChat'" <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 2004 4:55 AM Subject: RE: Nilson Pedal Technique     > For those who are wishing to order, can anyone give the proper name of > the book? Is it as titled above or no? > > Glenda Sutton > gksjd85@direcway.com > (who does not have a copy here to provide that info) > > > > > > ****************************************************************** > "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: Re: Flor Peeters and Pedal Technique From: <OMusic@aol.com> Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 11:09:06 EDT   I agree that the Flor Peeters is a good book for those not planning to go = on to a conservatory. It is also good for pianists who want to just learn = enough to be able to play the organ when the organist is gone, or to take a = position as organist for the first time. It is a straight forward method. I have used it with those just starting piano but who also wanted to learn the = organ at the same time, as well as those with a good background in piano, but = wanted to know basic techniques of the organ. Lee  
(back) Subject: Re: Michael 1 and 2 From: "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net> Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 11:11:14 -0400   On 10/18/04 11:02 PM, "Randolph Runyon" <runyonr@muohio.edu> wrote:   > Are there other instances, I wonder, of the same name given to two = tunes?   Most definitely, Randy. Can't come up with an example at the moment.   Alan    
(back) Subject: Re: Michael 1 and 2 From: "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net> Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 11:15:11 -0400   On 10/19/04 6:24 AM, "Charles Peery" <cepeery@earthlink.net> wrote:   > So, in the case of Michael having two tunes now we have a tune with two = names. > (Say that five times fast.)   Oh, I think THAT is FAR more common than the reverse.   Alan    
(back) Subject: Re: Economy of motion and technique - I wonder? From: "Harry Grove" <musicman@cottagemusic.co.uk> Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 16:44:58 +0100   I love letters containing quotes like "It is rubbish" ..... how = stimulating to "the little grey cells".   The views expressed by the 'old' masters (and are we only to restrict = ourselves to copying others - it might have worked for them, but does = that necessarily mean that it is appropriate for us ?) in the [snips] = below (and thank you for taking the time and effort to include them - I = haven't got the time or energy to go looking for them) would seem to = indicate that we should all be performing in like-manner to Sir Adrian = Bolt's conducting style.   Does this mean that all post and contemporary conductors have got it = wrong, as well?   That all the movement which we now see on the concert stage should be = avoided? (OK, some of the contemporary German violinists sway in the = manner of the Supremes and the Ronettes of yore - but then, they look = good doing it)!   Well, if it gets in the way of you performing to your best, then = obviously it should be avoided BUT, if it doesn't, and it is your = natural style, then 'Vive La Differance'.   We're in the business of making sound - although some of us also need to = look interesting (I'm not one such) - but it's the sound that counts.   Once-upon-a-time, I was in the business of training people to 'look = good' - to interview to their best and to give corporate presentations. = I used video re-play; initially at x1 - with sound, so that they saw = what their audience saw, with the opportunity to criticise content; then = replayed progressively at x2, x4, x8, when all quirks, foibles, = mannerisms and faults manifest themselves - the delivery content now = being unintelligible. All shrugs, twitches, blinks, head-shakes, fiddling, nose-picking (!) = and rocking forwards and backwards become self-evident - and a source of = group-humour - which rapidly becomes the motivating force behind getting = rid of the same.   Now, I wonder what I look like when I'm playing. How do you look ?   Harry Grove [a.k.a. a musicman holding a mirror to your soul]   -------------------------------------------------------------------------= -------   ----- Original Message -----=20 From: Stephen Roberts=20 To: PipeChat=20 Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 2004 4:00 PM Subject: Economy of motion and technique (very long!)     "To correct our technical imperfections he began by showing us the = proper position of the body at the keyboard, forbidding us not only = ridiculous gestures, useless as well as unaesthetic, but also all = useless motions, no matter how slight."=20 & "All unjustified movement is harmful because it is a waste of time = time and strength. Before deciding that a movement is inevitable its = usefulness must have been ascertained during the period of slow = practice..."
(back) Subject: RE: wicks solo division From: "Michael David" <michaelandmaggy@earthlink.net> Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 10:53:02 -0500   It appears that the seller is Berghaus who is either re-building or replacing the rather substantial Wicks that was reputedly voiced by,,, = help me out here, an Englishman who did work for Wicks in the first third of = the 20th century,,,,   Michael - who should have looked at Berghaus' web site before responding       -----Original Message----- From: pipechat@pipechat.org [mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org]On Behalf Of Tim Bovard Sent: Friday, October 15, 2004 7:39 PM To: PipeChat Subject: Re: wicks solo division     Most of the rest of the organ is also for sale -- check "seller's other auctions".   What an odd way to try to sell an (incomplete already, admittedly) instrument.   Anyone in Chicago know 'the rest of the story'...?? ;-)   --Tim   At 06:42 PM 10/15/2004, you wrote: >if anybody's interested, there's a wicks solo division on ebay -- auction >#3755034205. > >need an english horn? :O      
(back) Subject: Re: Subject: Re: Largest repertoire? From: "Russ Greene" <rggreene2@shaw.ca> Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 11:28:17 -0500   CBC-FM in Canada present great classical music programs and many live recitals from all over the country, including the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra series from my home town of Winnipeg. Worth a listen.   Russ Greene       On Oct 16, 2004, at 10:19 PM, hunts@senet.com.au wrote:   > There may be other great classical stations out there around the world > similar to ABC Classic and Radio 3 that aren't so subject to the whims > and vagaries of ratings....??    
(back) Subject: Grape Juice and Organs for Weddings From: "First Christian Church of Casey, Illinois" <kzrev@rr1.net> Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 11:57:23 -0500   Randy........I have seen a number of serious articles analyzing Greek texts and "proving" that Jesus used grape juice and not wine at the Last Supper. For most of us, it doesn't matter much one way or the other. I'm from a grape juice tradition, and, frankly, I prefer it just because there are so many alcohol problems in our culture.   As for the rest of the "system," it falls into place once you understand the starting points and the way it is laid out--i.e., if you don't have a clear New Testament command or example, then you don't do it in public worship--------things such as microphones and hymnbooks and pews, etc. are classified as "aids" to worship, not "elements" of worship. Thus, it is okay to sing around a piano or organ at home, because that is not the gathered church assembled for worship. It is okay to use a pitchpipe to get a starting pitch. And, in rare cases, an organ might be brought in for a wedding--more typically, if a bride insists on instrumental music, the wedding is held at another church--or, and I find this laughable, an organ (or record player) will be set up OUTSIDE the building by an open window! No, I'm not kidding!   I'm not arguing for the position, but I do understand where they are coming from. It is a sincere and exceedingly devout attempt to be Biblical in all that they do--while we may disagree with where they come out, we ought to applaud their desire. And it is not some tiny backwater sect--there are over a million members, over 10,000 congregations, and a number of respectable institutions, including Pepperdine University, which is probably the best known.   And, btw, if you have an opportunity to attend one of their larger congregations where they are skilled in their four-part a cappella hymn singing, you are in for a wonderful treat. The hymns--mostly the standard evangelical hymn tradition--are absolutely beautifully and strongly song!   Dennis Steckley   "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."--Dr. Seuss        
(back) Subject: Re: Grape Juice and Organs for Weddings From: "Randolph Runyon" <runyonr@muohio.edu> Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 13:31:39 -0400   Hi, Dennis. I'm sure they sing wonderfully! I must go hear them some day. As for the wine-grape juice controversy, it depends on your definition of "serious." Perhaps you only mean that they _claim_ to be serious. I notice you put "proving' in quotes! ;-) Who in history ever used grape juice in church before the nineteenth century? The Methodists only began = to use grape juice at the end of the 19th century; grape juice was first pasteurized in 1869, by Mr. Welch. Grape juice in church is culturally conditioned, a product of the 19th century temperance movement. I'm from = a grape-juice tradition, too, but that doesn't mean I don't laugh when I = look at such an article (which I have done). Of course, it looks as if the use of the organ in religious services, and not just its non-use, is culturally conditioned as well. Why do those well-intentioned people worship the New Testament as if = it were an idol? Haven't they ever heard of the Ten Commandments?     Randy Runyon Music Director Zion Lutheran Church Hamilton, Ohio runyonr@muohio.edu         on 10/19/04 12:57 PM, First Christian Church of Casey, Illinois at kzrev@rr1.net wrote:   > Randy........I have seen a number of serious articles analyzing Greek > texts and "proving" that Jesus used grape juice and not wine at the Last > Supper. For most of us, it doesn't matter much one way or the other. > I'm from a grape juice tradition, and, frankly, I prefer it just because > there are so many alcohol problems in our culture. > > As for the rest of the "system," it falls into place once you understand > the starting points and the way it is laid out--i.e., if you don't have > a clear New Testament command or example, then you don't do it in public > worship--------things such as microphones and hymnbooks and pews, etc. > are classified as "aids" to worship, not "elements" of worship. Thus, > it is okay to sing around a piano or organ at home, because that is not > the gathered church assembled for worship. It is okay to use a > pitchpipe to get a starting pitch. And, in rare cases, an organ might > be brought in for a wedding--more typically, if a bride insists on > instrumental music, the wedding is held at another church--or, and I > find this laughable, an organ (or record player) will be set up OUTSIDE > the building by an open window! No, I'm not kidding! > > I'm not arguing for the position, but I do understand where they are > coming from. It is a sincere and exceedingly devout attempt to be > Biblical in all that they do--while we may disagree with where they come > out, we ought to applaud their desire. And it is not some tiny > backwater sect--there are over a million members, over 10,000 > congregations, and a number of respectable institutions, including > Pepperdine University, which is probably the best known. > > And, btw, if you have an opportunity to attend one of their larger > congregations where they are skilled in their four-part a cappella hymn > singing, you are in for a wonderful treat. The hymns--mostly the > standard evangelical hymn tradition--are absolutely beautifully and > strongly song! > > Dennis Steckley > > "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."--Dr. Seuss > > > > > ****************************************************************** > "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: RE: wicks solo division From: "David Scribner" <david@blackiris.com> Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 12:34:44 -0500   At 10:53 AM -0500 10/19/04, Michael David wrote: >It appears that the seller is Berghaus who is either re-building or >replacing the rather substantial Wicks that was reputedly voiced by,,, = help >me out here, an Englishman who did work for Wicks in the first third of = the >20th century,,,,   The WICKS dates from 1958, well after the time that Henry Vincent Willis worked with the WICKS Company from c. 1935 to 1942. As i remember from playing it many, many years ago the tonal ideas were based on the large WICKS from 1950 at St. Ita Church in Chicago which was based on the St. Mary's Cathedral (?) in Peoria, IL.   David  
(back) Subject: Re: Grape Juice and Organs for Weddings From: "F. Richard Burt" <effarbee@verizon.net> Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 11:42:14 -0600   Hello, Randy, et al:     ----- Original Message ----- From: "Randolph Runyon" <runyonr@muohio.edu> To: "PipeChat" <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 2004 11:31 AM Subject: Re: Grape Juice and Organs for Weddings     > Who in history ever used grape juice in church before the > nineteenth century? The Methodists only began to use > grape juice at the end of the 19th century; grape juice was first > pasteurized in 1869, by Mr. Welch. Grape juice in church is culturally > conditioned, a product of the 19th century temperance movement.   * * *   > Why do those well-intentioned people worship the New Testament > as if it were an idol?   Do you mean, ". . . as in Bibliolitry? I have experienced this in my own life. I think that we get our priorities out of line when we rank our devotion to the Bible above our commitment to God, Himself. AND, that opens a huge topic for discussion among us who depend on following certain rules about what we play, when, how, and why. <grins>   > Haven't they ever heard of the Ten Commandments?   Many have, but don't have a clue to the other 639 (or so) "commandments" that the Scribes of Jewish heritage wrote to explain all of the behaviors subjugated by the original Ten Commandments. Again, those are a lot of rules. <grins>   F. Richard Burt     ..