March 26th, 2013
For centuries, the world has been blessed with the sound of organ music. Kings and queens appointed composers to write music specifically for the instrument because of its ability to penetrate into people’s hearts and minds. Grandiose places with perfect acoustics were built for the instrument. Choirs were sometimes used to add even more depth to music. Musical numbers could be light and airy or very verbose. People of importance used it to evoke a particular mood within the listeners.
Silent movies utilized the organ to add to Read the rest of this entry »
June 10th, 2012
Music has the power to lessen pain, diminish depression and bring a sense of well-being, according to research on the subject. By taking beginner’s organ lessons, a test group of pain management patients saw a twenty percent decrease in the pain they felt between classes.
Organs have been in existence for over one thousand years, however, the pipe organ was invented during the 14th century. Although several types of organs exist today, none of them can compare to the large pipe organs, which have sound abilities unmatched by any other Read the rest of this entry »
May 30th, 2011
The organ is a keyboard instrument of one or many divisions, each played with its own keys operated either with the hands or feet. The musical organ, when compared to other instruments, is an relatively old instrument in music tradition. The musical organ has always found a place in the Catholic church, coming back in today’s time as a complement to the traditional church choir. The organ is also often used for recital purposes, many people calling the organ an “angelic keyboard” due to its ability to create other worldly sounds.
Today’s pipe organs use wind moving through Read the rest of this entry »
May 17th, 2011
The known history of the organ dates back to ancient Greece, in Alexandria, where an engineer named Ctesibius lived during the third century BC. His goal was to develop a mechanical pipe instrument that required no blowing from the mouth. He is credited with building the earliest musical keyboard, called the “hydraulis” or “water organ”, that operated using a hydraulic system to force air through the organ pipes.
Using his knowledge of compressed air devices, Ctesibius designed a sealed Read the rest of this entry »
May 5th, 2011
Organs have been used for centuries in a variety of music types. They are most recognizable for their use in church music, but have been featured in a variety of other venues as well. Organs provided the mood music for silent films in the early 20th century, are used in ball parks around the country to help rally the fans, and are regularly used in horror films. An organ is similar in appearance to a piano; however mastering an organ can be far more difficult as the player uses both hands and feet to produce the music. An organ solo was even featured on the rock hit, “Ina-Gadda-Da-Vida” by Iron Butterfly.
Organs can provide a full-bodied sound all by themselves but can also be use to accompany either a solo or choir. When recording an organ performance, techniques such as artificial double tracking, or adt for short, can be used to increase the fullness of the sound even further, making a few voices sound like a complete choir with dozens of members.
Organs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, to accommodate the many ways in which this instrument can be used. Whether the organ is a pipe, digital, or pipe-combination, the organ will provide an audience with a unique music experience.
July 19th, 2010
At the time of its early invention in the 3rdnd century B.C., the organ was associated with gladiator fights. Around the 8th century A.D. it became a popular instrument for crafting Western religious music. However, modern musicians have used the organ for a variety of reasons, some of them as surprising as they are compelling.Marcel Dupre was an organist who followed in the Romantic French tradition but added a modern touch of improvisation. Over more than 2000 recitals, he developed impressive five-part-fugues which showed the ability of the organ to captivate modern listeners. Olivier Messiaen was another modern composer who transposed rhythms from Greek and Hindu sources to modern music to make a new and complex sound.The melodramatic atmosphere of soap operas surprisingly made them a perfect fit for the majestic sound of the organ. Read the rest of this entry »
July 19th, 2010
If you’re lucky enough to have access to a real organ, don’t waste your opportunity! Learning how to play the organ can take a while to master, but it takes almost no time to get started feeling your way around simple songs and melodies. Follow the steps below and you’ll find yourself on the way to organ glory.1. Practice on a regular piano or keyboard. Organs can have anywhere from one to seven manuals, or keyboards, which can be quite intimidating if you’ve never touched one before. It’s much easier to learn to read music and practice simple scales on a regular keyboard. You can even find one online if you can’t get an actual one.2. Look into formal lessons. Read the rest of this entry »
July 19th, 2010
It’s obvious that the organ is not a dead instrument, given its popularity in sporting arenas and certain classic songs, but not everyone knows that there are players still carrying on the classical organ tradition. Even in the United States alone, there is a plethora of players regularly working the pumps and astounding audiences. If you get a chance to see one of these players on their way through your town, don’t miss it.
- Guy Whatley was born in Wales in 1975, but got his doctorate at Arizona State University, where he wrote a dissertation on Tudor organ music. He regularly tours with trumpeter Jean-Christophe Dobrzelewski, as well as playing full-time at the Camelback Bible Church in Paradise Valley, AZ. Read the rest of this entry »
July 19th, 2010
As you can see in the post on organ music, organs are now used in a variety of different genres. However, not all organs are created equal, and some organs are better suited to certain sounds than others. This brief introduction will guide you through the three major types: the pipe organ, the reed organ, and the electronic organ.The pipe organ is the oldest variety. It is derived from the Greek hydraulis, a type of organ powered by either a natural water source or a pump which was created in the 3rd century B.C. Around the 6th or 7th century A.D., air bellows replaced the water pump. Other adaptations included the portable organ in the Middle Ages and the first permanent installation at Halberstadt in 1361, by which time the organ was able to create a variety of timbres. Read the rest of this entry »
July 19th, 2010
There are a number of companies out there for anybody looking for a modern fine-quality organ, but there’s only one that can claim the title of oldest organ builder in North America. That would be Casavant Frres (Casavant Brothers) of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, which was founded in 1879. The “brothers” were Joseph-Claver and Samuel-Marie, who worked in their father’s shop before Claver went to France to apprentice with John Abbey. The two brothers toured Europe together, taking in the best of what those shops had to offer, before finally building their factory on the site of their father’s old workshop.The Casavants built their first organ in the following year, a two-manual, 13-stop production which was installed in the Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes in Montreal. This piece was renowned for its professional painting and casework. Tubular action was added in 1909, and 1959 modifications made the piece completely electric. Read the rest of this entry »