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  • Playing the Organ and Swell and Crescendo Pedal



    Hi! I'm a fan of organ music and sing in a professional choral group. Ideally, I would love to one day play the organ. I have some questions that hopefully some of you all can answer for me.




    1. How long would it take to learn to play the organ? I have choral experience, no piano. Would piano be necessary?




    2. What exactly does the Swell Pedal do and is it the same as or different than the crescendo pedal? If it is different, how so?




    Thank you for any answers that you can provide this inquisitive musician.




    SChoir2006


  • #2
    Re: Playing the Organ and Swell and Crescendo Pedal

    1) I learned organ after 10 years of dealing with a piano. It took me a little over a year to become comfortable playing in front of people, and to begin conquering some fairly difficult works. It all depends on how quickly you absorb what. But, you NEVER stop learning. Even if one has played for 30 years, there is always something to learn from others. As far as piano coming before organ. Honestly, I dont know. I really dont.

    2) The swell pedal opens and closes shades on a swell box. A swell box is a box that contains a group of pipes from the SWELL manual. When you open or shut the shades, the sound gets louder or softer. A crecendo simply adds stops in a pre-set sequence.

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    • #3
      Re: Playing the Organ and Swell and Crescendo Pedal

      I recall always being told that I would have to learn the piano before commencing with the organ - not really sure why. I have always considered the only similarity presentbetween the organ and the piano is that they are keyboard instruments.

      Tim

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      • #4
        Re: Playing the Organ and Swell and Crescendo Pedal



        I'm one of those who firmly believes that a good piano technique is the cornerstone for a good organist - the bare minimum being a thorough knowledge of all major & minor scales and arpeggios.




        I'm always discouraged to note the great number of professional organists who cannot seem to play a piano musically!




        However, this may not be applicable to you if you have no desire to ever play the piano.




        Still, I recommend some piano lessons first.

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        • #5
          Re: Playing the Organ and Swell and Crescendo Pedal

          [quote user="tumult_in_the_praetorium"]I recall always being told that I would have to learn the piano before commencing with the organ - not really sure why. I have always considered the only similarity present between the organ and the piano is that they are keyboard instruments.[/quote]
          Hmmmm... I see where you're going with this, but cannot in good conscious agree. I think an organist really needs to start with the piano- it is really the basis (key word here) of organ technique. I certainly started that way. True, the Liszt Transcendental Etudes (however impressive they are- and I am a fan of Liszt) may not really equip one for the organ technique you are most likely speaking of, yet practise of any Bach on the piano will do wonders... As Busoni (another hero of mine) wrote... "Bach is the foundation of piano playing..." thus backing up my second sentence.

          Busoni is actually worth quoting in full: Bach is the foundation of piano playing. Liszt the summit. [amen!] The two make Beethoven possible. Think about it!

          And BTW, I'm no fan of Virgil Fox (perhaps I'm just a British prig?), but I've read that he had a fabulous piano technique.

          Cheers all!
          Jason

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          • #6
            Re: Playing the Organ and Swell and Crescendo Pedal

            I will add that if you CAN play Liszt's Transcendental Etudesfor piano, his organ works - even the major ones - are a piece of cake! [:D]

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