Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast

Conversations about all things organ playing. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene talk with experts from the organ world - concert and church organists, improvisers, educators, composers, organ builders, musicologists and other people who help shape the future of our profession.

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SOPP663: My ultimate dream in regard to organ playing would be to gain the technical facility and coordination necessary to perform the masterworks of the Baroque repertoire


This question was sent by Daniel, and he writes,

Hello Vidas,
My ultimate dream in regard to organ playing would be to gain the technical facility and coordination necessary to perform the masterworks of the Baroque repertoire (e.g., BWV 582, HWV 432, the entirety of BWV 1080).
Beyond that would be to gain the ability to improvise/think contrapuntally.
The three areas that are impeding these goals would be detailed as:

  • Development & understanding of physical technique/coordination.I come from a piano/composition background, and have a well-developed hand technique, but encounter difficulty cultivating the coordination between limbs, while maintaining a balanced position. I have also studied the literature available regarding coordinate technique, such as the writings of Abby Whiteside and the work of Dorothy Taubman/Edna Golandsky, and have been trying to apply these principles to organ technique, which has been a process of  gradual integration. There are other methods of body re-education such as Feldenkrais or Alexander Technique, which may indirectly facilitate techniques that may be worth studying as well.
  • Audiation:I am also very interested in the concept of audiation, aural skills, or "mental hearing" and have studied the available literature as well (partimenti, thoroughbass, the pedagogy of Nadia Boulanger). The concept of understanding the music at a deeper level and eventually being able to "think contrapuntally" must certainly translate into greater musical capabilities. I am still experimenting with and researching different methods to cultivate this ability. Sight singing appears to be a great adjunct to this skill. There are those who can purportedly just read the sheet music and hear it in their head without the aid of an external instrument as well.
  • Fingering principles/Sight Reading:Prior to beginning organ, I have achieved a level of proficiency on the piano, and the fingering principles do not intuitively apply to the organ repertoire. This in turn hinders my ability to sight read. I am new to the repertoire, but am still trying to discern basic principles for good fingering choices.

I can expound on any of the items listed, if further detail if needed.
Thank you again and best regards,
~Daniel


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 2021-09-15  12m