Organ The King of Instruments
Play music! It can shape your entire life.
Really. I am quite a living proof of that. My passion is called organ. I can play organ. Maybe a little bit unusual instrument, right? Listen, I want to tell you a story. A story of me musical instrument I love. A story of great music, great people and a really great musical instrument more complex than any other.
Prepare yourselves, the journey begins right now!
Photo taken by Adrian Pingstone in April 2005 and released to the public domain.
Chapter 1 : Tough piano lessons
Image: Flickr by zaui licensed under the terms of the cc-by-sa-2.0.
Every story starts somewhere. My story doesn't need to seem like a fairy-tale, but let's start like a classic. Once upon time, there was a boy. That boy was me, obviously. And that boy was very young, also. It just started - his 6th year on this planet. He was quite lucky, because his parents signed him up for piano lessons...
Ok. I could continue year by year, but since I want you to actually read the whole story, I will have to shorten it a little bit. You know, it is sometimes very funny for a child to learn playing such a complex instrument like piano. And sometimes not so much. There were times, well, when I really wanted to give up. But my parents helped me to stay with it. So after almost 8 years of playing piano I was able to move to other instrument which changed my life. Pipe Organ.
Children and Music
Do you think every child should learn to play some instrument?
Chaper 2: Getting to know each other
Â© Copyright Rob Farrow and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence
When you play the piano for several years and you are about to move to play organ, your first idea may be somewhat foggy. I definitely thought it is just like piano, only bigger. Much bigger.
Of course it is not that easy at all. First thing you need to learn is the fact, that you not only play using your hands, but also using your legs. It can be very difficult at first. I never knew which leg and hand is which. I was supposed to play right hand and instead I used left leg etc.
Also using your whole body to play an instrument can be very exhausting. Best organ players can easily lose like 2 kilograms ( around 4 pounds) of body weight during one concert.
I have never been any virtuoso and never played such hard pieces. I play mostly for fun. It is quite a great way of relaxation, playing organ and just improvising is almost like a meditation for me.
So, you can listen to a short organ improvisation I recorded and than I will tell you something about secrets inside the box in the next chapter.
My very own organ improvisation
There you can find some short organ improvisation which I have recorded just for you. It is certainly nothing extra, as I have said already I play mainly for fun. If you are interested and you enjoy it please like this lens and also youtube video. I plan to add some new improvisations on the regular basis if there will be people who can enjoy it and encourage me.
So enjoy and share with your friends!
Chapter 3: Time to be curious - Ever imagined how big and complex must be pipe organ?
This image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, by MadMAster
Pipe organ is rightfully called the king of instruments. It is hard to find any other instrument with such a huge complexity, size and of course unfortunately price.
Let's start with that complexity. Average church organ can have about 3000 pipes. That means it is similar to having 3000 people using flutes, trumpets and other instruments at your command. Those pipes also need a lot of air to make sound. Now it is provided by electric ventilators, but in the good old days there had to be dozen people pumping air into that monster. I will not bother you with detail description of it's "guts" today, but I plan some lens purely on the topic of the function of organ and their history in the near future. So stay tuned for that!
About the price. I am very lucky because I leave in country full of beautiful historical monuments. That means there is also a lot of churches full of old nice expansive instruments. If some of them would be build as brand new nowadays, it could easily cost millions US Dollars (speaking about the largest and most complex) Small pipe organ can cost something about 200k. Fortunately there are also available electronic versions which very well simulate the sound of real pipe organ and cost much less.
Chapter 4: Falling in love with organ music
Choral prelude "Der Tag der ist so freudenreich", JS Bach, first page, public domain
I decided to write this article not only to tell you a little bit about myself and my passion, but also to share it with you. I will present you five pieces of organ music, which I think are absolutely brilliant.
Organ is so flexible instrument. You can play 300 years old music on it and also very modern one. Hope you will enjoy my selection.
I tried to select five compositions from all branches of organ music. Hope you will enjoy my selection.
The first one is notoriously famous toccata and fugue D minor by Johann Sebastian Bach. This baroque artist is like impersonation of the term organ music.
The second one was composed by modern Czech composer Petr Eben. I love the way he is playing with dissonant music.
Very dramatic music by French composer of the 19th century
Wedding classics by Felix Mendelsohn Bartholdy. I actually really love this one!
Other monumental piece composed by Louis Vierne
Really. I would love to hear from you. Found any mistake on the page? What is your experience with music? What do you think about organ music?