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  • Required Registration Settings

    What church or religion dictates to the organist what registration they are allowed to use for services? I found a YouTube video that was a pipe organ instructional video and it talked about the presets and memory levels that you are allowed to use and which the district has approved. There is no information in the video description that indicates what church, religion, or district it would be for.

  • #2
    Most likely Mormons.

    The following comment is NOT because they are Mormons, but rather because the organist has no artistic freedom.

    SIGH!

    Angels and ministers of grace defend us! --Hamlet

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    • #3
      It takes all kinds... or, as my late grandmother used to say, there are people who brake when going uphill
      Regarding your question, I have not yet met a congregation where rules for registration had been set and followed by the organist, but I can imagine that in some areas, this might be possible.

      I went to church with my parents last week, and I know the organ well because it was the organ I had my first lesson on, and I would've never chosen the registration the young organist used, but the congregation didn't seem to mind, so... He studies at music college and in my time, suitable registration was part of the lessons, especially in combination with liturgical information, but maybe this has changed or he just didn't care.

      At my church, I once tried to not use a certain stop to accompany the singing, and people were so confused that they didn't sing at all. So maybe that's some kind of "dictating which stops to use"

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      • #4
        Originally posted by steverose View Post
        What church or religion dictates to the organist what registration they are allowed to use for services? I found a YouTube video that was a pipe organ instructional video and it talked about the presets and memory levels that you are allowed to use and which the district has approved. There is no information in the video description that indicates what church, religion, or district it would be for.
        Can you post the link to the Youtube video? I must say find this very strange. Talk about controlling!

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        • #5
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pr34rttb_co

          Here it is. I noticed on the second listen that she introduces herself as Sister. I just found it strange, must be all the churches have the same organ setup, same ranks etc.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by steverose View Post
            I noticed on the second listen that she introduces herself as Sister. I just found it strange, must be all the churches have the same organ setup, same ranks etc.
            Steve,

            That is correct. The LDS orders Allen Organs to their specifications, and even provides suggested registrations for their organists to use. I don't think it is so much controlling as it realism. Most churches are not fortunate enough to have a trained organist, and the person playing has no clue what to do with the stops. Having a standardized setup allows organists to travel from church to church, and provide the best possible music with the least amount of distraction possible.

            I'm not sure, but I think perhaps the organist for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir may possibly have the qualifications to advise concerning the registrations pianorganists can use in their churches. Though the video is not any of the Tabernacle's organists, I'm sure qualified people advised--perhaps even the "Sister" recording the video.

            Michael
            Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
            • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
            • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
            • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

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            • #7
              Nice of the 'sister' to help, but.... does she really know what she's talking about?

              -- Pistons are referred to as "tracks." (Interesting note: according to her terminology, she's actually playing an "8-track organ"!!)
              -- @2'20" - Manuals are referred to as "levels".
              -- Re: Swell Shoe - @ 3'20" "You won't get as dramatic a change as on a regular organ". (What on earth is a 'regular' organ?)
              -- Plays in bare feet.
              -- 4'20" "Settings for Hymn singing". You can only use Track 1 for hymn-singing. (mandated narrow-mindedness)
              -- Judging by the stop tabs, the Swell Voix Celeste (or comparable) is down, even for fuller registrations.
              -- It's hard to imagine that that specific organ and that specific stoplist would be mandated for an entire denomination. At least that's what seems to be suggested.

              While this may be helpful for the beginner - offering suggestions but also setting limits to prevent unfortunate registrations - beginners should still be taught proper names for things.

              At least, she has a solid sense of rhythm and the lines are musically played.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by regeron View Post
                Nice of the 'sister' to help, but.... does she really know what she's talking about?
                Regeron,

                I didn't watch the video because I was not in a secure network. Therefore, I was unaware of what you observed.

                Folks, Regeron makes some excellent observations! Just like the "Internet experts" people see in Winkipedia or various other websites (like Ask.com), one needs to consider the source. For a professional organist, the observations Regeron made are dead giveaways to the viewer that the person isn't an "expert" in any stretch of the imagination. Keep in mind, there is a true difference between ignorance in its original definition, vs. not knowing what one doesn't know, and knowing enough to know the difference.

                An organist who is truly ignorant (traditional definition) of the proper terms may simply not know and call the manuals "solo" & "accompaniment" (theatre & home organ terms), thumb pistons "presets" (only true if they're pre-set at the factory), calling toe studs "kickers," calling the Swell pedals the Crescendo Pedal because it makes it louder, etc. That said (s)he may actually know what they do without knowing the proper terminology. Nevertheless, (s)he may have some good information to share.

                On the other hand, there are those self-professed experts who can truly mix people up.

                Things to look for when doing anything related to organ (purchasing, watching tutorials, listening to advice) are:
                • Nomenclature--Does the person actually know the proper names for organ parts and musical terms.
                • Exaggeration--This organ would have cost $1 Million when new....
                • Technique--For example, stating the melody is always played on the top keyboard (patently false--the reverse is often true).
                • Stating "Facts"--An extension of the previous bullet-point, but also making statements of "fact" about relationships to pipe organs or other instruments, technique, or nomenclature that are totally non-existent. For example, the Montre stop is French for a "showy" stop.
                • The words Never & Always.
                Feel free to add to this list, but these are some of the caution signs to look for.

                Thank you, Regeron, for summing up the video so well.

                Michael

                P.S. Iowa--that explains it! I think I'll give Iowa a try.
                Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

                Comment


                • #9
                  I checked the video again. The presenter's name is Sister Brooke Kahl.

                  When I googled that name, there were references to the Church of Christ in the USA, and the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) (english = Church of Christ) which originated in the Philippines and was registered in 1914.

                  Kahl's twitter account shows: Beloit College graduate. Music and Media Studies. INC. Just trying to help people around the world.

                  She studies (studied) organ with Max Yount at Beloit College. Beloit College is in Wisconsin, USA.

                  I know that LDS churches will specify a certain type of organ for congregational use (I think there are various models recommended depending on the size of the congregation or building) but those are usually smaller electronics. This looks to be a middle-aged, moderate-sized, 2-manual pipe organ with an electronic upgrade for the memory system. It does NOT look like something that could be proscribed for churches the same way the LDS does, so I find the "required registration" idea a bit hard to follow. It just wouldn't be practical.

                  Kahl's studies seem to focus on music and media and so her video fits perfectly with her interests. Hopefully, as she increases her knowledge of the organ and her playing/registering skills, she can replace the current video with a better one.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by regeron View Post
                    Nice of the 'sister' to help, but.... does she really know what she's talking about?

                    -- Pistons are referred to as "tracks." (Interesting note: according to her terminology, she's actually playing an "8-track organ"!!)
                    -- @2'20" - Manuals are referred to as "levels".
                    -- Re: Swell Shoe - @ 3'20" "You won't get as dramatic a change as on a regular organ". (What on earth is a 'regular' organ?)
                    -- Plays in bare feet.
                    -- 4'20" "Settings for Hymn singing". You can only use Track 1 for hymn-singing. (mandated narrow-mindedness)
                    -- Judging by the stop tabs, the Swell Voix Celeste (or comparable) is down, even for fuller registrations.
                    -- It's hard to imagine that that specific organ and that specific stoplist would be mandated for an entire denomination. At least that's what seems to be suggested.

                    While this may be helpful for the beginner - offering suggestions but also setting limits to prevent unfortunate registrations - beginners should still be taught proper names for things.

                    At least, she has a solid sense of rhythm and the lines are musically played.
                    The young woman in the video is Sister Brooke Kahl, who studied organ at Beloit College in Wisconsin and graduated in 2015. She is a member of the Iglesia Ni Christo (INC), which was founded in the Philippines and now has churches in Europe and North.

                    The INC considers that all other Christian communities to be heretical. For all compulsory worship services (twice a week), local pastors receive a "sermon outline" from the Church's "executive minister" and local sermons must be based on the outlines.
                    -----------------
                    Johannus Opus 1100 (ca. 1990)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      She gives me the creeps every time she says "approved at the district." Wonder where they get identically configured pipe organs from?

                      On edit: Anyone recognize the hymn she played? It sounded like "Jesus Walked that Lonesome Valley" to me...
                      -- I'm Lamar -- Allen TC-4 Classic project, 1899 Kimball project
                      -- 5 melodicas, Rodgers W5000, RD300NX, Juno DS-61/88, FA-06 - Conn 643 - Hammond M3 - Hauptwerk
                      -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Interesting thread, for more than one reason. What we call "Church of Christ" in the southern USA is a denomination most widely known for their strict prohibition of organs, pianos, guitars, and all other "mechanical devices" in the worship service. (I'm pretty sure they make exceptions for PA systems and air conditioning, possibly even projectors and screens.) The only type of music considered appropriate in the church is unaccompanied vocal music. To their credit, these folks are awfully good at singing mostly the standard hymn repertoire in excellent SATB style.

                        Obviously this is not the "Church of Christ" to which this sister belongs. So this is a new one to me.

                        And you can be sure if this were a Mormon video, it would be GOOD and the nomenclature would be precise. Whatever else one may think about the Mormons, they have marvelous taste in music and they do a great job of promoting the organ wherever they plant their congregations. As has been pointed out, they buy organs in bulk from Allen, Johannus, and some other builders, with specified sizes installed in new buildings. The local organ dealers don't get much money for doing the installs, but it does provide them with a little extra business, and gets new organs out into the community regularly.

                        And the LDS music personnel in Salt Lake City do a pretty good job of making sure that the local congregations have decent music and presentable organ playing, even though most of the organists are rank amateurs. Music specialists who cover a certain territory advise and teach the local organists, and what they are allowed to play in the services is supervised to some extent.

                        And the registrations for the set portions of the service, such as hymn-singing, are normally not left to chance either. Most of the Allen organs that I have installed in LDS chapels over the years had an interesting dual-purpose preset system. There would be one whole bank of PRESET registrations which could not be changed by the organist (unless he or she had some inside knowledge of the organ's works), and these registrations were supposed to be used for the hymns. To give the organist at least some creative freedom, there would be a second bank of changeable presets. Of course the newer organs (my experience in this regard was way back in the 80's) may well have a large number of preset banks, with some of them changeable and some not.

                        But whatever kind of church this "sister" represents, I doubt that the music is anywhere near the quality of LDS churches. Too bad that a person is being looked to for guidance who doesn't really know what she's talking about.
                        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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                        • #13
                          After watching the whole video, I feel I may have been a little harsh on the young lady. For one thing, she is certainly a pretty girl with a sweet face and a winning personality! While I might have some serious issues with the denomination she represents, perhaps she is doing her best to raise the level of musicality in the various congregations. Heavy-handed "district" specifies the organ registrations that are allowed, even to the point of forbidding the crescendo pedal on hymns, and I have to wonder what "intermission" hymns are. But all in all she plays quite well with style and flourish and sensitivity.

                          Yes, you have to wonder at all the questions raised in this thread -- why no shoes? Do these congregations all have the same identical pipe organ? And why call the pistons "tracks" and the manuals "levels?" Anyway, it's a curious video, but it probably is helpful to the folks who are playing in those churches, wherever they are. And maybe, if it is a cult-like church, some of them will eventually leave and find places to play in more typical churches where they will be surprised at the freedom to hand register the stops!
                          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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