Welcome to The LDS Organist Blog

The purpose of this blog is to help pianists learn to become true organists. Many individuals believe that if you play the piano you can play the organ, but the instruments differ greatly. While this blog is specifically geared towards members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, much of the information shared can be utilized by all. I hope that the information I share here will help you become an effective organist in your ward, stake, or other congregation.

Feel free to browse and search this blog. It was started in January 2010 and while new posts aren't added very often, this blog contains a wealth of information and is a wonderful resource for all organists. If you're a new reader, you can find the first lesson here: Before We Begin: Acquiring the Essentials. Also, please "like" the corresponding facebook page, which is updated more often. A link is provided on the right sidebar, or you can click here.

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Manual-Only Hymns and Transformations

Have you seen these "emergency preparedness kits" for beginning organists? They were transcribed and edited by trained organists and should be an excellent resource for all Church organists.

Manual-Only Hymns for Organists

Manual-Only Hymns for Organ

This set of transcriptions is intended to help new organists play with confidence and accuracy. In the preface we read that, "This book makes it possible for a person with modest keyboard skills to quickly become proficient in hymn accompaniment, as well as opening the door to continuing improvement in organ playing." The introduction further states, "This collection of simplified hymns is intended only to introduce organ playing to the pianist.... The appendix contains a list of ways to continue training with the help of others or on your own. We strongly encourage LDS organists to magnify their calling by further developing their organ-playing skills."

This edition reduces the number of voices from four to three, with fingerings added to help introduce organ technique. Some instructional information is also included.



Transformations contains easy additions to create simple preludes and postludes. The purpose of this edition is to provide musical material, which, when added to the three-voice hymns shared above converts hymns into simple and beautiful preludes and postludes. These introductions and codas are intended to be played without pedals.

Some registration information is included, as well as suggestions for performance.

If you haven't yet seen or acquired these publications, I highly recommend following the above links. They are free online and can be printed at will. Even accomplished organists may wish to use these arrangements occasionally as a simple prelude and/or postlude, or in addition to other arrangements.

What are your thoughts?


  1. As a struggling pianist called as organist, I was so excited to have this resource. Can't wait to use it! Oh, and I should really thank you for those wonderful organ registrations you gave me a long time ago. I am so sorry I didn't tell you sooner that they were FANTASTIC! I have received so many compliments on how lovely the organ sounds. Plus, it was really good for me to hear these registrations, get used to them, and then be able to build off of them from there. I am truly thankful for all of the time and effort you put into this blog!

  2. Thanks for providing these new resources for us! They are going to be very useful for beginning organists. I'm helping a piano student, who plays the organ in sacrament meeting, set up a prelude/postlude book, these will be perfect to include. He will play the preludes (at a slower tempo) while learning correct organ fingering. The intros and tags are great!

  3. Is there a way to order Transformations and the Manual-only Hymns for Organ in print? It will cost me a small fortune to print those on my little printer.

    1. Perhaps you have found it by now. You can order the books here: http://creativeworks.byu.edu/catalog/ViewItem.aspx?item=SM021