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Organ-isms: Stories by organists

Updated on March 26, 2013

Organ-isms: Anecdotes from the World of the King of Instruments

The book about organists, by organists, for everyone!.

More than 120 men and women - from concert artists to Sunday church organists - tell of the trials and triumphs of playing what can be the most difficult instrument in the world. Whimsical, often poignant and frequently funny, these tales prove there is nothing 'organised' or routine about the lives they lead. Fellow organists will rejoice to learn they are not the only ones to have had ciphers at the wrong times or fallen asleep during a service - or worse!

If you want to read more and discover what all the fuss is about, go to or do a google search for ISBN 978-0-473-14286-5.

Latest reviews and comments about "Organ-isms"

From the website Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities (AKA The Ralph Mag - USA)- March, 2009

"Organ-isms can be very funny. The knowledge of the contributors is staggering, though sometimes the language can bamboozle the everyday reader with words like coupler, trumpet 8ft, tabs, swell, trackers, 32ft Diaphone, Tuba Mirabilis and, ach du lieber, Der Fuchsschwanz . . . But it is a feast of musicians and high-class music: Bach, Diabelli, Handel, Max Reger, Thomas Tallis, Orlando Gibbon, and to my surprise, Olivier Messiaen." Read more :

Pipe organ-related links

Feel free to suggest links that would be good here! Thanks!

What's your view?

The Frantic organist (from "Organ-isms"
The Frantic organist (from "Organ-isms"

I like to hear from organists and of course love to hear their funny stories. So how many of you reading this play the organ?

Are you an organist?

See results

Have you read "Organ-isms: Anecdotes from the World of the King of Instruments"? Tell others what you thought (I'm crossing my fingers here that people really have enjoyed it and all the positive comments haven't been people just being nice :-)

The latest anecdotes...

Stories told to me recently

Yesterday a charming elderly man told me of his younger days as an organ tuner. One organist client was a loquacious woman who would chatter for hours. He was at work one day when the woman arrived to practise, so he quickly darted inside the organ to hide. He sat inside while the lady practised - extremely badly - and he tried to avoid the awful noises hammering his ears from every pipe around him. About to be married, he even wrote a note to his best man and passed the time somehow, until the woman left. Looking furtively about, he sneaked out, to peaceful silence once more.

YouTube related organ vids - Bits and bats of oddments loosely (very) connected with the organ

Martin Setchell plays "Cats" by Jean Langlais

Other books about organs, organists, and organ music

Here are some that I have enjoyed over the years...

Guestbook Comments

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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I enjoyed the story about the organ tuner.

    • Churchmouse LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Churchmouse LM 

      7 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks for your lovely comment - yes, that's exactly why the book was written - bingo! :-)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This book sounds like a wonderful opportunity for me to get a humorous glimpse into a world I don't know much about. Great lens!


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