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Help! Organ novices need reassurance!

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  • Help! Organ novices need reassurance!

    Hi there,

    We're getting married soon. We've picked some great organ music but when we ran it by our organist she said they couldn't be played on the type of organ that's in the church. Could someone help veryify what they think becasue we're not sure if she's just not being very helpful

    She says it's a manual single keyboard with 3 pipes - does that make sense to anyone? Sorry, we're organ novices :)

    The pieces we want to play are below - are we being too ambitious?:

    Dubois Toccata

    G. Telemann - Trumpet Tune
    David Johnston - Trumpet Tune

    Bach Sinfania Cantata 29

    Bach Prelude in C Major BWV547

    J N Lemmens Fanfare

    Widor Toccata (It's the most beautiful piece of music)

    We really really really want teh widor toccata - is it a really hard peice to play and do we need a concert organist to pull it off!!?

    Thanks so much in advance for yur help

    Al and Rach x

  • #2
    Re: Help! Organ novices need reassurance!

    The real experts have yet to field this one, so I'll attempt to get some things straight.

    First, I suspect that "manual single keyboard with 3 pipes" is not really what the organist said (if it is, then you need a new organist). I'm going to guess that what was said was more like "single manual keyboard with 3 ranks of pipes", which at least makes sense to an organist. That statement would indicate that the instrument has only one keyboard to be played by the hands (a "manual") and that there are only 3 different voice colors available, possibly in several different octaves. There is no indication as to whether or not there are any pedals (a keyboard played with the feet) and it is possible in such a small instrument that there are not any.

    You have chosen some absolutely wonderful organ selections for your wedding and I applaud your taste! However, if the organ is, indeed, as it appears to be by the above description, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to play most of those pieces on that instrument. Do you have the option of moving the wedding to a different church that has a more capable organ? Another option might be to rent an electronic instrument for the occasion (this would disturb the purists here and would probably also be very expensive).

    SB32? KP? MS? Anyone else?



    • #3
      Re: Help! Organ novices need reassurance!

      Al and Rach,

      David is right on the money (single manual--3 ranks/sets of pipes). For the Widor Toccata, Bach Prelude in C, and Lemmens Fanfare, the minimum requirement for an organ would be 2 manuals (2 keyboards with 56 to 61 notes each)--as I'm sure you saw on the videos you watched. They will also require at least 2 octaves of pedals (32 pedals are a plus--2½ octaves). I'm not familiar enough with the other pieces to make an educated comment, but would surmise that the Trumpet Tunes are accompanied by another sound on another keyboard.

      Nice music choices, but finding one organist who can play them all will be difficult (depending on your geographical location).

      Hope this helps.


      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)
      • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos


      • #4
        Re: Help! Organ novices need reassurance!

        Al and Rach,

        First of all, that is a lovely selection of music for your special day. I'm delighted when a couple makes such fine selections.

        Unfortunately, if what the organist has is a single manual with 3 ranks, such a smallinstrument would not be able to handle much of the music you have selected, nor would it be able to do it any justice. You need a far larger organ, as specified by myorgan. So you'll probably have to find another church with a much larger organ, or you could rent a digital three manual organ (I know for a fact that both Allen and Rodgers, for example,will rent an organ to someone), although it could get pricey.

        Best of luck!

        (On a separate note,this thread reminds me of a thread elsewhere in the forum where someone asked something to the effect of the minimum requirements needed for an organ to be able to handle worship, etc. Again, here is a situation where someone would like some beautiful organ music, but cannot because the organ in question is not capable of handling it).


        • #5
          Re: Help! Organ novices need reassurance!

          I can only echo the comments made here. The music selections are magnificent.

          However, if you have your heart set on this music you must change the venue or rent a larger instrument.

          If that is not possible then you should let the organist guide youin makingmusic selections appropriate for the instrument, and appropriate for the organist's capabilities. Most competent organists know their instruments and their repertoire quite well, and will accomodate you in a professional manner.

          Good luck...

          PS: If you don't mind, please let us know how this turns out. [:)]