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Shocking how little the organ can be valued in church...

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Dogstar View Post
    I'm not wanting to start a theological argument here as I realize we share different religious backgrounds.. That said I am wondering if in these days we are seeing the great falling away prophecied before the Lord's return. So many of the other signs seem to be in place. Mt 24, Luke 21, 2nd Tim 3 etc. I should probably leave it there
    Better not starting it, no. So I won't reply either

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    • #17
      On a FB thread this week, an organist at an isolated, rural location offered a "rant" (her words) on a typical small-town situation, where she has volunteered for several years, but forced to play on a decaying, too-small electronic organ. The kicker was when the church council decided to make things easy and purchase a $10,000 electronic piano. They told her that if she wanted an organ, there was a button marked 'organ' on the planned purchased instrument. For all that is good in the world, how can we continue with attitudes like this?
      Allen, circa 2006

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      • #18
        Well, I'm not religious myself, but I would think that the message is more important than the medium. Shouldn't you be thankfull for what you get, however small?

        You know, when I read this thread again, then it surprises me how much the feeling of "I'm right and the others are wrong" is thriving here. Like in a previous post about when the people would like to sing a particular song and the reaction of "you cannot do this in church". WHY NOT? In the 16-th century people just strolled around in church, walking their dog, doing business (making money!). Some later famous composers/organists even wrote secular works to be performed in church! Bach himself playing improvisations on folksongs. Shouldn't church organists come of their high horse?

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        • #19
          Sorry if this seems even a little bit arrogant. I sure didn't intend to come across that way. I'm just flabbergasted that this church spent so much money on high-tech gadgets such as video screens, but reserved absolutely NOTHING to buy so much as a decent used organ and piano for the sanctuary. And the pitiful gift instruments they took in are pretty sad -- the piano probably hasn't been tuned in 40 years (way below pitch, and didn't hold well at all when I tried to tune it up a bit), and the "organ" is a little entertainment device meant for playing pop songs with one-finger chords and automatic rhythm.

          It may not matter much to them. As I said, their music is something wholly different from what I am used to in church, and the players didn't seem concerned about the tuning issue. I just have to wonder what it sounds like on Sundays with the guitar players joining in with the piano and organ already mismatched in tuning. The organist probably plays with heavy vibrato, which of course obscures the tuning problems to some extent, and doesn't even attempt to be heard prominently over the din of the piano and guitars.

          And they are booming in attendance while many of us are in steady decline. (They said they'd have me back in a couple months to retune the piano. I surely hope I can do something for it by then.)
          John
          ----------
          *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

          https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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          • #20
            I would think an Hammond A100 series organ would be most appropriate for this small baptist church. They could use the internal speakers (no vibrato) for high anthem hymn sounds and add a Leslie speaker later for more of their gospel sounds (stamps/Baxter). Still though, 2500-3K
            Allen 5300-DK, Hammond A-105, Conn Custom 905-DK

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            • #21
              I think one of the limiting factors of the church is that while it does support people in many ways, it also forces you to make sacrifices. All religions do this, but we're getting to the point where most people don't want that. And then there's the even bigger problem that the entire thing is based on a 2000 year old book that nobody can agree on. Does god love you all or does he selectively hate homosexuals? should you wear mixed fabrics? Like, I read the bible once, and it's got Douglas Adams levels of weird stuff in it, and that's what Christianity, Judaism and Islam are based on. And then there's the fact that there are other ways to do things now. You don't have to go to the church ball to meet new people since Tinder has been invented. Why go to Japan as a missionary when you can just go there yourself. The things that Christianity and the church stand for can and will be stood for without having to be faithful to a deity. But religion will always be around, it'll just evolve. In a couple of millennia people will most probably be talking about the Church and Christianity the same way we talk about the Zeus, Saturn, Isis and the rest.

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              • #22
                We are in the last days as Jesus said. This is the 'great falling away' period before He returns for His church. Worship is a 'vertical' thing. It is to honor God. Too much 'Worship' music nowadays is 'horizontally' aimed.. it's music not directed expressly TO god but ABOUT God. The Lord enjoys both, however, when music is ONLY aimed at us, that defeats the purpose of Worship. Jesus told us that we the believers are the church.. and not the building. A building is just a meeting place. The 1st. century Believers would meet in homes and just about anywhere. Churches that no longer honor God by teaching and preaching the full counsel on God by the Bible are churches that will fail. Christianity is not s religion.. it is a Relationship with Almighty God. It is a living relationship.

                Ok.. I will always be a fan of the King of instruments! The organ. I'm presently at a very small Baptist church that is becoming vibrant due to the teaching from the Bible. The music is a mix of typical Baptist Hymns and some 'tamed-down' Contemporary music. There is a digital piano. - No Organ. There also are drums, a bass elec. guitar, and two other elec. guitars.

                When I moved here, I had hoped for a bit more lively music scenario. I accepted Jesus during the Jesus Movement/Charismatic Movement in the early 70's. Back then, the joy was palpable - as well as amazing and uplifting anointed worship.
                I personally have been called of God to minister in music. I play the organ as my 1st. and foremost instrument followed by the piano and many others.

                The Bible does tell us to sing a new song unto the Lord. This signifies that God - The Creator - loves when His children create new songs and such for Him [and us to enjoy!]. Worship music needs to honor the Lord.
                I enjoy Hymns, Classical, and some newer music [not rock].

                Back in Bach's day, secular music was not what it is today. Back then, ALL of Bach's music honored God.. Secular music was just performed outside of the church building. Nowadays, secular music is equated to 'anything goes'.. and generally frowned upon for it's ungodly nature and intent. [just a side note].

                Well, I learned that the overall bashing of organs and organ music is a sign of the times eschatologically speaking. I've even heard of a pastor who told folks that if you find an organ, DESTROY it. That summed up for me the way the times are going.
                I'm SO thankful that we here in the Forum are passionate about organs! I will be forever!

                So, back to my present situation. I play the organ. I have 8 organs! I love organs. Organs are AWESOME! I was saddened when the previous pastor of my church here told me he doesn't care for them. It was just that his Christian music experience never included them.. only pianos. He allowed me a few times to bring my organ to church.. and folks mostly enjoyed it. Pastor was mostly non-plus-ed. He didn't hate them.. they just didn't do anything for him.
                I've always yearned for a church that had ANY organ. I actually played the organ in every church I attended.. except this present one. They also have a set music team. I was not allowed to be a part, except once a year when I can play at the 'Singspiration'.

                Until the church body has a reigniting of Passion in their hearts for Christ, and the leaders as well.. a church will grow cold.. and could 'die'. This passion comes about by earnestly praying and asking the Holy Spirit to kindle the flames of a heart.
                I know the Lord is coming soon. I pray all the time for folks everywhere so that they would be ready. Music is a wonderful catalyst for the movement of the Holy Spirit!
                Music originated in Heaven! I've read the posts here, and I am praying for everyone. I'm honored to do so.

                Yes, it is extremely sad to see the organ fall by the wayside. It hurts me quite a bit. Yet, I will continue to not only be passionate about them, but encourage others to be so as well.

                Years ago in high school, I had a good friend who enjoyed classical music as much as myself. I asked him if he liked organ music. His reply was that 'Organ music just reminds me of horror movies, funeral homes and ice skating rinks."
                heh, I love a challenge! I invited him to a Virgil Fox concert. At the end of the final piece [Bach's Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor].. along with the brilliant light displays.. I asked Jim when it was over [there was a 10 minute standing ovation!!] what he thought.. He looked at me, smiled and said: "I'm HOOKED!!" [YES!!!].. Mission accomplished! (^_^)

                Well, I better stop here I guess.. I tend to get long-winded.. [and I haven't had my coffee yet! LOL]...
                Lowrey MX2 (NT400x)
                Thomas Floridian Classic -- aka Wersi Rondo Classic
                Kimball K800 'Fascination' Theater Organ
                Conn 650 - Type 1 with Conn Pipes - Model #145
                Baldwin Cinema 2 (214-DR)
                Wersi Spectra DX 700 CD - LiveStyle, Memory Tower
                Wersi Beta DX400 TS - (with AMS)
                Wersi Delta DX 500 - (with AMS)
                Wersi Pegasus Keyboard!
                MOOG Eterwave Standard Theremin & MOOG Werkstatt
                Roland GAIA SH-01 Virtual Analog Synthesizer
                Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano!

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                • #23
                  Apologies

                  Originally posted by Havoc View Post
                  Well, I'm not religious myself, but I would think that the message is more important than the medium. Shouldn't you be thankfull for what you get, however small?

                  You know, when I read this thread again, then it surprises me how much the feeling of "I'm right and the others are wrong" is thriving here. Like in a previous post about when the people would like to sing a particular song and the reaction of "you cannot do this in church". WHY NOT? In the 16-th century people just strolled around in church, walking their dog, doing business (making money!). Some later famous composers/organists even wrote secular works to be performed in church! Bach himself playing improvisations on folksongs. Shouldn't church organists come of their high horse?
                  My apologies if I sounded aloof in my previous post. I realize that we all differ in our appreciation and preference in kinds of music performed in a worship service. For many years I had fun playing for more contemporary services using a limited number of chords, keys and harmony on the organ. However, because I always heard more music in my head, I became dissatisfied and began serious organ studies playing a more complex or polyphonic style. I eventually moved to a more formal church using traditional hymns. My uncle had taught me basic guitar chords in the key of "G" when I was a young teenager and he got me to join him playing for church. He always enjoyed playing these same chords his entire life and was very satisfied with the sound. Probably in a lot of ways he saved himself some headaches and dissatisfactions which often come with learning other styles of music; sometimes it's a "blessing and a curse" type of thing. It's just that a guitar dominated worship service does not work for me any more. My preference is a decent sounding organ leading the congregation playing all four voices of a hymn: SATB.
                  Last edited by lcid; 10-17-2018, 11:20 AM.
                  Lloyd

                  Happily retired organist/pianist from the Church of the Brethren...Allen ADC-4300-DK.
                  Home...Wurlitzer (ES) Orgatron Series 20 Serial #11608 (retrofitted with MIDI and VPO-Hauptwerk) with Leslie 44W (shorty).
                  Hammond BC Serial #5070 with Leslie 31A (tallboy) tone cabinet
                  A.L. Swan antique pump organ (C.1852) Cherry Valley NY
                  Member of the Lutheran Church (LCMS): traditional worship. Cleveland Clinic Spiritual Care volunteer with the chaplain's office.

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                  • #24
                    Encounters like the one I had (which started this thread in the first place) serve to jolt me awake sometimes and remind me that we don't all think alike on a lot of subjects, not the least of which is music in our worship!

                    While it seemed quite shocking to me to see such a wretched "organ" in such abominable condition on the chancel of a brand new sanctuary, juxtaposed with a huge video screen in the foyer and more of them in the youth department, and a plethora of microphones and such -- as I have said, these folks obviously have a different concept of church music altogether from mine.

                    Not everybody likes the same genre of music. I have friends who are crazy over certain country performers and will pay big money to see them in person, or who flock to hear contemporary Christian performers. Personally, I don't feel drawn to either, but then some of my friends wouldn't walk across the street to attend a symphony concert or attend a worship service in a vast Anglican cathedral. And I'm not more spiritual than they are either. I just have different tastes in music.

                    Ultimately, we all have to find our place. For me, I feel God's presence and pleasure when I play hymns on a nice organ for people to sing traditional hymns and gospel songs. Some people seem to feel God's presence at a Christian rock concert. And the folks at the above-mentioned church may feel God's presence when a bunch of them get on the stage and "jam" on some Stamps-Baxter even if they're out of tune with one another. They don't focus on the quality of the music-making so much as the quality of the joy they are experiencing.

                    Anyway, I'm rambling as usual. I mainly feel sorry for the little ladies who have to play these instruments, if indeed it matters to them either.
                    John
                    ----------
                    *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

                    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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                    • #25
                      I saw this lil' poem and had to post.......
                      Attached Files
                      Allen 5300-DK, Hammond A-105, Conn Custom 905-DK

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                      • #26
                        Love the poem!
                        Attached Files

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                        • #27
                          We have just had a new roof on our church after flooding costing many thousands, I think if I asked them to replace a digital piano at the moment they would keel over. It took a huge amount of effort to raise the money but we got to the target in the end and the roof is on. The building is also used by other organisations in our community so we are now back in business. Happy days.
                          HAMMOND XE200 Special Edition

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                          • #28
                            I understand that situation completely. Often it is a struggle just to keep a roof over our heads, literally! My grievance with this church though was in the total lack of thought about an organ or piano. They replaced an old ramshackle structure that probably needed burning with a gorgeous modern brick church with all the latest conveniences and doo-dads, but didn't spend one dollar on the organ or piano. Just accepted these lousy tossers. And then acted like it was killing them to pay us for tuning them and getting them half-way ready to play!
                            John
                            ----------
                            *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

                            https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Perhaps we need some relevant updates to the stops on our church instruments:

                              Click image for larger version

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                              Larry is my name; Allen is an organ brand. Allen RMWTHEA.3 with RMI Electra-Piano; Allen 423-C+Gyro; Britson Opus OEM38; Saville Series IV Opus 209; Steinway AR Duo-Art, Mills Violano Virtuoso with MIDI; Hammond 9812H with roll player; Gulbransen Rialto; Roland E-200; Mason&Hamlin AR Ampico piano, Allen ADC-5300-D with MIDI.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Suhndog View Post
                                Back in Bach's day, secular music was not what it is today. Back then, ALL of Bach's music honored God.. Secular music was just performed outside of the church building.
                                Citation needed....

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