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!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Song: Ave Maris Stella

Today's Sunday song is on a beautiful organ restored by Formentelli and played by Alberto Pinto at Santa Galla church in Rome, Italy. It's an extract from the Hymn "Ave Maris Stella" by Nicolas de Grigny. In particular, it's the second half of the "Dialogue sur les Grands Jeux" with some improvisation.

Pay close attention the keyboards. Do the keys look shorter than modern organs to you? In the past, especially during the baroque era, organ keys were very short which made proper organ technique essential; specifically, curved fingers playing in front of the black keys whenever possible, and no extraneous movement of the arms and wrists. Incidentally, Bach was one of the first organists to begin using thumbs to play the organ--prior to him, thumbs were not used.

The story behind this organ is found here, in Italian. Google Translate let me understand the basics of the story, but not much more: http://www.santagalla.it/index.php?indirizzo=Organo/Storia/storia.php It appears the origin of the organ is unknown. Here is the stop list.

Enjoy!

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