Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for Organ

I've had a love/hate relationship with the organ.  Mostly on the "hate" side. And when I'm talking about "organ," I'm talking about one of these beastly things.

Ok, it's not quite complicated as it looks.  Let me give you a tour.  This is a very nice organ.  It has four keyboards.  Most only have 2 known as a swell and a great.  The buttons on the left and right sides let you control what pipes you are using which creates different sounds.  The little buttons around the keyboards and around the pedal keyboard are presets which lets to pre-program which pipes you are going to use and are very handy when the composer makes you suddenly switch in the middle on the song.  The black pedals that are dead center are volume controls.

This organ is a little more normal looking.

I was a pianist before I played organ.  We'll talk about that tomorrow.

I started organ after 8th grade.  I continued learning through high school but never really did any playing.  The biggest switch between organ and piano is that you are suddenly doing three lines of music at the same time.  It looks something like this:

The top staff is the right hand, the middle is the left hand and the bottom is for the feet.  This one's a little odd, normally it's a treble clef and two bass clefs.  Many times you are playing each hand on a different keyboard.  This is especially nice if you have the accompaniment in one hand it lets you do the melody with a crisp solo pipe.  I guess I should mention that there are different kinds of pipe in the organ: flutes, reeds, strings and principals.  As you learn the instrument, you learn how to mix them.

I have special shoes for playing organ.  I think they cost me $80 (which is a lot when you're in high school, I'd like to point out).  There was no extra cost for getting a color other than black....so I got gold.  Hee hee.

As you can see, the sole is suede for extra grip on the pedals and there's a heel for jumping thirds

Actually, I quit organ.  I got mad when my organ prof in college gave me a B- even though I was working my butt off so I quit.  And I didn't play for a year.  And then Fairview Lutheran Church needed an organist for Christmas Eve.  My friend Mark asked me if I would play.  I reminded him that I'd quit.  He told me that 30 or 40 people had turned them down.  I said ok, but I need the music well in advance.  So I played for them after 2 weeks of getting used to playing again.  And they asked me back that summer.  And I ended up joining the church and being their regular organist.  But I don't play so much anymore.  My church doesn't need me at the moment and it's hard with two little kids running around.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so impressed that you play the organ. I play the piano, but never had the chance to learn the organ. Like you, I quit playing when my children were little, because they kept wanting to join me at the church piano. Thanks for sharing your life adventures with the A-to-Z Challenge!


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