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Selected Content from the Organ & Choir Department

Content is listed chronologically in the order originally published by "The Etude".
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    The Reed Organ. - May, 1895

    BY M. F. FREED. Let this be a plea for the despised reed organ; not to make it appear to be that which it is not, but simply to give it credit for that which it is. Do you ask,... Read More

    American Versus European Pipe Organs - January, 1900

    EDITED BY EVERETT E. TRUETTE.    Mr. Clarence Eddy, in an interview with a representative of "Music," has expressed his convictions, in comparing American and European organs, in a clear and convincing manner. As his extended experience of the... Read More

    The Organ Contest at Kipley's Corners - February, 1900

    BY FRANK B. MELVILLE. The melodeon which for so many years had rendered feeble, but faithful, service to the church at Kipley's Corners was about worn out; and the church had voted to buy a large cabinet organ. The selection... Read More

    For Beginners In Pedal Playing. - March, 1900

    It is the compass and capacity of the pedal section of an organ which give the instrument dignity and cause it to be unapproachable by any other musical instrument. In this respect even a grand symphony orchestra is always lacking, compared with the deep and pervading bass of the organ. In legitimate organ music, the pedal part has its own distinct voice, independent of the manual parts. Read More

    "Dont's" For Organists. - March, 1900

    Don't slide back and forth  on the seat when playing a pedal passage. To easily reach the extreme notes of the pedal board, turn the body slightly toward those notes. Don't go through any contortions of the body when about... Read More

    Mixtures. - March, 1900

    Mr. Paul Moller, who died recently, was organist and choir-master of Stora Raby Church, in the south of Sweden, for seventy-two years, during which time he never missed a service or took a holiday. He was a member of a family which had held the position for the past two hundred years. Read More

    A Few Easter Anthems Old and New. - March, 1900

    Barnby, "Break Forth into Joy" (Novello).Shelley, "The Resurrection" (Schirmer).Tours, "God hath Appointed a Day" (Novello).Faure, "See now the Altar Garlanded" (Schirmer).Stainer, "Awake Thou that Sleepest" (Novello).Truette, "Awake, Awake, 'tis Easter Morn" (Ditson).Schnecker, "How Calm and Beautiful" (Stevens).Foster, "When the Sabbath... Read More

    More Organ Music in the Church Service. - March, 1900

    Probably no one but the church organist himself fully realizes the difficulties under which he plies his art. The average Protestant church service makes no provision for undisturbed organ playing per se, and thus loses a powerful aid in deepening... Read More

    Finger Exercises for Organists. - March, 1900

    There are no finger exercises so beneficial to an organist as those of Kullak in his "The Art of Touch," and it is doubtful if Kullak could have devised any exercises which would have suited the needs of organists better than these, if, he had been an organist himself and had been thinking only of organists. Read More

    The Organ Lacks Audible Accent. - March, 1900

    The one point which differentiates the organ from all other instruments is that it has no accent, no power of emphasis. Its tone is dead. True, it can be swelled and diminished, but its swell is not like the crescendo... Read More

    The Playing of Hymns. - March, 1900

    In accompanying congregational hymns three things are expected from the organ, viz.: the melody, the rhythm, and a proper support for the singing. If the organist will give special attention to these three points he will seldom have poor congregational singing. Read More

    Mixtures. - July, 1900

    The female organist of a Utica church has eloped and married a fourteen-year-old boy who pumped the organ. The affair has taken the wind out of the choir. Read More

    DON'TS. - July, 1900

    Don't make so much noise in using the combination pedals. Such a racket does not add to the beauty of the music, even if it seems to indicate its "immense difficulty." Don't keep the right foot on the swell-pedal all... Read More

    Phrasing. - July, 1900

    Phrasing is as necessary on the organ as on the pianoforte, and, unfortunately, the student is often without any trustworthy guide in this respect, for in much of our best organ music the phrasing is not clear, and often wrong.... Read More

    Close the Swell. - July, 1900

    Vacations are in order; many churches are closed, and a large number of organs which have been used weekly, and frequently daily, will remain silent for the next two months. Most organists are careful to leave the swell open during... Read More

    Congregational Singing. - July, 1900

    Many have been the attempts and numerous the failures to introduce congregational singing in our churches. The desire to have the congregation do the singing arises, sometimes, from a conviction that it most agrees with the idea of public worship,... Read More

    In the Organ Loft - July, 1900

    Read More

    Questions and Answers. - April, 1901

    Mrs. H. D. F. asks if it is advisable to have a pedal-piano for organ-practice when one cannot practice at the church on account of the cold weather. A pedal-piano (if a good one) is a useful adjunct to any... Read More

    Mixtures. - April, 1901

    Mr. Edwin H. Lemare, organist of St. Margaret’s, Westminster, London, gave a recital at St. Bartholomew’s Church, New York, the last of February, playing several of his own transcriptions and original compositions, besides Bach’s “D- minor Toccata and Fugue.”  ... Read More

    Press Notices. - April, 1901

    When the reporters of the suburban daily and weekly papers attempt to “write up” an organ-recital they sometimes exhibit a greater knowledge of prize-fighting than of music, and oftentimes produce an account of the recital which is both ludicrous and... Read More

    Easter Music. - April, 1901

    Coombs, “At the Rising of the Sun” (Schirmer). Bartlett, “The Day of Resurrection” (Schirmer). Burdett, “Ye Sons and Daughters of the King” (Schirmer). Coombs, “Christ is Risen from the Dead” (Schirmer). Shackley, “The Light of Life” (Schmidt). Schnecker, “Come, See... Read More

    Qualifications of Church Singers. - April, 1901

    There seems to be something cruel and un-Christian in these "don'ts," but they are based upon existing conditions. As long as it is the custom to place the choir right in front of the congregation these "don'ts" will hold good. The congregation do not like to look upon that which is not comely, and it matters not how beautiful a voice a singer may be blessed with, the congregation must not be shocked by the sight of anything unpleasant. Read More

    Three Great Organists. (With Personal Reminiscences.) III. W. T. Best. - April, 1901

     William Thomas Best was the son of a solicitor of Carlisle, England, in which town he was born, August 13, 1826, and where for fourteen years he lived. In those days the old Cathedral was the center of musical life... Read More

    Mixtures. - July, 1901

    Mr. Richard Redhead, composer of the well-known hymn-tune “Rock of Ages,” as well as other music for the Anglican Church, died recently. He was bora at Harrow, England, March 1, 1820, and at an early age was one of the... Read More

    The Church As A Musical Educator. - July, 1901

    Should not the church become the fountain-head of good music, as it once was? Why, then, permit the light and trivial, the commonplace and trashy to have a place on our church programs? Why should not every church, every choir,... Read More

    New Church Music. - July, 1901

    Marston, “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand” (Schmidt). Contralto solo and quartet (or chorus). Eyer, “Sweet is the Light of Sabbath Eve” (Schmidt). Short hymn-anthem for soprano and quartet. Marston, “While the Days Are Going By" (Schmidt). Mezzosoprano (or contralto)... Read More

    Celebrated Organists. IV. Rink. - July, 1901

    Johann Christian Heinrich Rink was born at Elgersburg, in Saxe-Gotha, February 18, 1770. He studied under Kittel at Erfurt, and thus received excellent training, as Kittel was one of the best pupils of J. S. Bach. Read More

    An Organist's Repertoire. - July, 1901

    This is the time of the year when every organist should look over his repertoire and make plans for next season. As the present season draws to a close and the various duties of an organist are diminished to the lowest point, he or she can profitably "take account of stock," as it were. Read More

    Organ-Registration. - July, 1901

    I shall not attempt an exhaustive treatment of my subject, but shall only discuss, first, the art of registrating a pipe-organ in connection with congregational hymn-singing, and, second, as an accompaniment for a mixed quartet choir. I feel sure that the devout organist cannot give too much thought to these two branches of his work, for? it is just here that he has the opportunity to make the organ, what it ought always to be, the inspiration and support of true worship. Read More

    Anent Female Organists - September, 1901

    The fact of the matter is, that short limbs are better than long ones to manipulate the movable and melodic trestle-work that forms the floor of the organ-bench. Read More

    The Necessity of Harmony and Counterpoint to Women Who Are Organists. - September, 1901

    It may be true that women do not grasp the higher forms of theoretical study, but it remains yet to be proved that they cannot do so. The chances are that, when they become thoroughly awakened to the importance of serious study in this direction, they will set to work and master it just as they have mastered law, medicine, and other subjects for which they were formerly considered totally unfit. Read More

    Women As Organ-Students. - September, 1901

    Some years ago it was unusual for a woman to study the organ. The difficult fingering, the heavy pedaling, the complicated stops were wisely deemed obstacles which ought to deter a girl from attempting it. Her physique was not equal to the strain. Read More

    Woman as Choir-Director. - September, 1901

    It is sometimes said that men do not wish to take instruction from a woman. It has been my experience that the men have shown a spirit of chivalry and a desire to produce a perfect ensemble that was just the reverse of this. Read More

    Women as Organists. - September, 1901

    A large four-manual concert-organ is a masculine instrument, not because it has a pedal keyboard, but because its treatment must range from the most delicate and sympathetic to the boldest, grandest, and most majestic, requiring the widest angle lens in producing its tonal pictures and demanding the same combination of gentleness, firmness, boldness, and an instantaneous grasping of situations which is necessary in driving four spirited horses through the crowded city streets. Read More

    Women as Concert-Organists. - September, 1901

    Of the many hundreds of women who officiate as church-organists throughout the length and breadth of this country, there are very few, indeed, who have ventured into the field as concert-organists. In fact, they might almost be counted on the fingers of one hand. This hesitancy on the part of women organists to enter the more exacting concert-field is due to a number of reasons. Read More

    Mixtures. - November, 1901

    The tragic death of President McKinley caused a universal revival of two familiar hymns which were special favorites with the late president. These tunes, by spontaneous and universal consent, were sung in most of the Protestant churches of the whole... Read More

    A Self-playing Organ. - November, 1901

    In a Kennebec church, Sunday week, says the Lewiston Journal, new minister—that is, one who was being given a try—had about as much trouble as usually falls to the lot of one poor candidate. He arrived early at the church... Read More

    Choir-singers and Salaries. - November, 1901

    The tendency for the past few years in the majority of churches has been to economize on salaries paid church-singers. A short time ago a position in a New York choir was considered a sinecure, and the high salaries paid... Read More

    Sunday-school Hymn-tunes. - November, 1901

    I have often heard it said that the United States is very backward in taking hold of good music, and the reason given has usually been the newness of the country, followed by the prediction that, with greater age, this... Read More

    Registration. - November, 1901

    The selection of suitable stops with which to render an organ-composition deserves more than passing notice, and many compositions which seem uninteresting would prove quite effective if more attention were given to the choice of stops. The following suggestions are... Read More

    Gustav Merkel. - November, 1901

    Gustav Merkel, who was one of the peers among the composers of organ-music in Germany, was born at Oberoderwitz, Saxony, in 1827. His youthful days were not specially eventful, his musical studies being directed by Julius Otto and the celebrated... Read More

    Mixtures. - December, 1901

    The official bulletin of the American Guild of Or­ganists, combined with the Church-Music Review, published by Novello, Ewer & Co., has made its initial bow to the public and is to be commended to every member of the Guild as... Read More

    A "Canon." - December, 1901

    We all desire co-operation and equal interest between organists and music commit­tees, all working together for the good of the church. A few committees understand the requirements of good music; but there are many who do not. I breathe a... Read More

    New Christmas Anthems. - December, 1901

    "Behold, I Bring You Good Tidings" (Owen). (Short soprano solo with quartet or chorus.) "Glory to God" (Lynes). (Alto solo and chorus.) "Angels from the Realms of Glory" (Lansing). (Solo and quartet.) "The Singing Hosts of Heaven" (Marston). (So­prano solo... Read More

    Frederic Archer. - December, 1901

    Frederic Archer, the well-known organist of Carnegie Hall, Pittsburgh, Pa., died Octo­ber 22d, from cancer of the stomach at the age of sixty-three. He was born in Oxford, England, June 16, 1838, where he received a liberal education. He was... Read More

    Mr. Edwin H. Lemare. - December, 1901

    This well-known London organist has been giving a series of organ-recitals in various cities of the eastern part of the United States, and extending as far west as Chicago. New York, Boston, Brooklyn, Worcester, Springfield, Hartford, Detroit, and Rochester were... Read More

    The Organ Prelude and Postlude. - December, 1901

    Dr. Waldo Selden Pratt, Professor of Music and Hymnology in Hartford Theological Seminary, has just issued, through the house of Fleming H. Revell Company, of New York, a small volume entitled "Musical Ministries in the Church," which should be in... Read More

    Mixtures. - February, 1902

    It is a well-known fact that cats are fond of pipe-organs. The writer well remembers a choir-rehearsal in a certain church which has a two-manual organ with tracker action. In the midst of the rehearsal one of the pedal notes began to sound of its own accord, and nothing that the organist could do would stop it. Read More

    A Personal View of Rheinberger. - February, 1902

    As one would expect, Rheinberger's idea of the greatest in organ-music is Bach, given with broad and noble delivery. Read More

    Popular Hymn-Tunes. - February, 1902

    It is quite possible for any melody to become popular by force of reiteration; that is to say, any succession of notes within reasonable compass will, in course of time, be tolerated, then liked, and eventually become 'popular.' Read More

    About The Choir-Boy. - February, 1902

    How do choir-duties affect his general life? They make the boy self-reliant. His powers of observation and concentration are developed. A certain action must be performed at a certain time in a certain way. It may not be done a little before or a little after, but it must be done at exactly the right moment; otherwise it is wrong, and the boy immediately realizes by the results that it is wrong. Read More

    Church-Cantatas. - February, 1902

    A score or more of years ago a form of the cantata was somewhat popular, but as most of the music, while simple in character and within the grasp of the choirs of the day, was more or less inane and devoid of interest to the average musician, the popularity of these cantatas was of short duration. Read More

    Organ-Programs. - February, 1902

    That type of music represented by Batiste and Wely has become almost obsolete, and it is a good sign that the works of Guilmant, Franck, Widor, Tombelle, and others of this class have so completely crowded it out, for there is much that is beautiful, original, and serious in design in the works of these later writers, while the former, though in a certain way effective, and sometimes original, could scarcely claim the attributes of beauty or seriousness. Read More

    Uniformity of Organ-Pedals. - February, 1902

    The entire meeting was given up to the discussion of the pedal-board, and the majority of those present were in favor of straight and parallel pedals. Another meeting will be held soon in which the matter will be again discussed and plans formulated for the adoption of a standard. Read More

    Methods of Organ-Blowing. - February, 1902

    Human power, as applied by the means of the ordinary bellows-handle, is used under conditions singularly wasteful. If the muscular power of a man is to be fully available, it can only be when pulling horizontally, as in rowing, and then he must have firm back- and foot- rests. Read More

    Mixtures. - May, 1902

    Mr. L. T. Downs, who has been  an active organist for sixty-two years, retired from his late position as organist of the Church of Epiphany, Providence, R. I., last February. Mr. Downs was born in Water- bury, Conn., in 1824,... Read More

    Questions and Answers. - May, 1902

    J. C. W.—1. Mascagni was born in Leghorn, December 7, 1863. 2. Wagner is pronounced as if spelled Vahg'ner, with the accent on the first syllable. 3. The pronunciation of Haendel is difficult to indi­cate with letters. If you pronounce the... Read More

    The Organist as a Colorist. - May, 1902

    Education in musical color is left generally to the haphazard process of unconscious tuition. So far as the general public is concerned, the brass band, the theater or­chestra, and the pipe-organ offer the usual means by which the people absorb... Read More

    Tuning Reeds. - May, 1902

    A correspondent asks for information on the above sub­ject, saying: “Owing to the severe cold to which some of our organs are subject, where churches are not heated during the week, when the reeds are always more or less out... Read More

    The Influence of Frescobaldi. - May, 1902

    Girolamo Frescobaldi, who was a skilled harpsichord-player, was born in Ferrara, a small Italian city about twenty-eight miles north of Bologna, in 1587. When but a boy he possessed a remarkable voice, and frequently wandered from town to town singing,... Read More

    Mixtures. - August, 1902

    A four-manual organ having 65 speaking stops has recently been placed in the Grace Church, Chicago, by the Kimball Organ Company. The great organ contains 15 stops, the swell organ 17 stops, the choir organ 11 stops, the solo organ 6 stops, the echo organ 4 stops, and the pedal organ 10 stops. The organ contains 27 combination pistons. The opening recital was given by Mr. Harrison M. Wild, of Chicago. Read More

    Proper Shoes For Organ-Pedaling. - August, 1902

    Occasionally one meets an organist who prefers a low shoe, and I once met an organist (?) who "could not play" unless he wore his patent-leather slippers. The objection to slippers and an objection to low shoes, though less in the case of the latter, is that they slip at the heal. Read More

    Organ-Fugues. - August, 1902

    Methinks that organists are not really aware of their responsibilities and their true position in relation to the public. The possibilities arising out of influences exerted by them might be immense, and material assistance rendered toward bringing about a better and thorough understanding of all that pertains to our "divine art." Read More

    General Notions Upon Organ-Stops. - August, 1902

    From an etymological point of view it is, however, quite easy to account for the word "stop." Until about the middle of the fifteenth century each key in an organ controlled a certain pre-arranged number of pipes; in fact, the organ was simply a huge "mixture," sometimes having forty or fifty ranks. When means were devised by which the player could stop certain ranks from sounding, thus isolating others he wished to use alone, a new era dawned in the annals of organ-building. Read More

    Unaccompanied Singing. - August, 1902

    Chorus singing, with a strong, rich organ support, is inspiring and effective; but if heard in much the same amount, power, and with about the same character, throughout an entire service and Sunday after Sunday, interest is lost. We cannot appreciate the value of music which never varies. We want contrast. Read More

    De La Tombelle. - August, 1902

    Fernand de la Tombelle's compositions include several suites and other orchestral pieces, chamber-music (quartets and trios for strings or for piano and strings), choral scenes, sets of songs, and numerous organ-compositions, including two sonatas. Read More

    Mixtures. - September, 1902

    Carl Piutti, one of the best-known organists and composers of organ-music in Germany, died recently in Leipzig, where he had been organist of St. Thomas' Church for more than twenty-five years. He was an instructor in the Conservatorium and had... Read More

    Purchasing Church-Organs - September, 1902

    George Whitefield Andrews has the following article in the Chicago Advance relative to the purchase of pipe-organs:We cannot commend the custom of buying an instrument without expert counsel where it is possible to obtain it. This need not involve expense.... Read More

    Senza Pedale - September, 1902

    The occasional use of the organ, without pedals, has been touched upon in this department. This matter is of considerable importance. All works on organ-playing—and, in particular, on organ accompaniment—give many practical and useful suggestions in this direction, which appear,... Read More

    A Chinese Organ - September, 1902

    The cut below represents  a Chinese organ, or cheng. The pipes are generally twenty-four in number, and are made of bamboo. They are inserted in the gourd of a calabash, which serves as a windchest. Each of these pipes is... Read More

    Women as Organists. - September, 1902

    Women have yet to make a decisive mark in the world as organists. Despite the rapid strides they have made with regard to other instruments, comparatively few can play the organ really well. By this I do not mean the... Read More

    Theodore Dubois - September, 1902

    Theodore Dubois was born in Rosnay, Maine, August 24, 1837. He entered the Paris Conservatory at the age of 16, studying under Marmontel, Benoist, Bazin, and Ambroise Thomas, graduating in 1861 as "Prix de Rome" with the cantata Atala, after... Read More

    Mixtures. - May, 1903

    The new organ in Berkeley  Temple, a fair-sized four-manual organ, built by the Hutchings-Votey Company, was inaugurated by Mr. Edwin H. Lemare the last of March. The instrument has a small, but very effective, echo organ placed at the other... Read More

    Questions & Answers. - May, 1903

    We do not see any reason for or any advantage gained by holding two adjacent pedals in playing hymns. The custom, if such it may be called in certain localities, is contrary to the rules of acoustics or of the science of music, and produces a disturbance in the vibrations which neither adds power to the accompaniment nor assists the congregation in any way. Read More

    Too Much of the Organ Inclosed in the Swell-Box. - May, 1903

    The late Hilborne L. Roosevelt, who was unquestionably progressive, originated the pernicious custom of inclosing all the great organ except the Diapasons, to the utter destruction of the true character of that manual. He rightly felt the need of greater crescendo effect, but he went the wrong way to get it. This quickly extended to the entire organ. Read More

    Rules For An American Organist. - May, 1903

    The following set of rules attributed to this country are copied from an English magazine to show how we learn our peculiarities from the magazines of other countries Read More

    Organ Standardization. - May, 1903

    It may be interesting to the readers of The Etude to read the recommendations of Mr. Thomas Elliston, of England, which are modifications of the old recommendations of the Royal College of Organists issued in 1881, and which appeared in a recent issue of the London Musical Opinion: Read More

    Organ Descriptions. - May, 1903

    The following description (?) of the new organ in Symphony Hall, Boston, which appeared in a well-known musical magazine soon after its completion, shows to what extent one can wander away from the required information in giving descriptions of things about which the writer evidently knows nothing Read More

    Our Substitute - May, 1903

    1 By kind permission of G. P. Putnam & Sons.... Read More

    New Organ in Brown University - August, 1903

    The accompanying cut represents the new organ in Sayles Memorial Hall, Brown University, Providence, R. I., the gift of Mr. Lucian Sharpe, of the class of 1903. The instrument was formally opened June 16th by a recital given by Chevalier... Read More

    The Organist and the Congregation - August, 1903

    It is well to remind the organist now and then that he is the servant of the congregation. The attitude of aloofness that some organists bear toward the congregation is not compatible with the "reasonable service" they should render it. The organist is at his post, primarily, to assist the congregation in its worship. It follows, then, that he must understand the kind of worship that his particular congregation wishes to offer. He ought to be enough of a liturgist to know the significance of this and that point of the service, the lesson of the day and of the season, and the other numerous de tempore variations that occur in the course of the church year. Read More

    Anthems to Suit American Congregations - August, 1903

    We have noticed in the columns of this department several pleas for more  variety and interest in the programs of organ recitals. Organists will do well to heed these suggestions and apply them not only to their recital programs, but... Read More

    Mixtures. - October, 1903

    Sir George Grove, the eminent English musician, had a very high opinion of professional organists, and thought that their influence in elevating music was as great as that of any class of professional musicians. A number of years ago, at... Read More

    Questions and Answers. - October, 1903

    J. L. P. — 1. In a choir of twelve, consisting of four sopranos, three altos, two tenors, and three basses, facing the congregation, with the organist's back to the choir and congregation, with space for five to stand abreast,... Read More

    Is Secular Music Sacred? - October, 1903

    This was the title of an address delivered by the Rev. E. Husband, incumbent of St. Michael's, Folkstone, at his one hundred and nineteenth monthly "Sunday Afternoons for the People," on the 6th ult. Mr. Husband prefaced his remarks by... Read More

    Organizing a Volunteer Choir. - October, 1903

    The easiest way--and it is usually easy enough--to set about organizing a volunteer chorus is to appeal to the young people, not ignoring, of course, such older folk as show any inclination to come in. The young folks are full of energy, looking for new experiences, and will hail with delight any new means of diversion. Just as quickly will they drop out, when the novelty has worn off, unless the director sees to it that the interest is kept alive. Even so a number will be sure to desert sooner or later, but, with a good handful as a nucleus, the choir ought to be a success. Read More

    Specifications of Small Organs. - October, 1903

    In procuring a new organ the value of a well-balanced specification cannot be overestimated. While it is true that the voicing of each stop plays an important part in the final result, the selection of the stops at the outset... Read More

    Women As Organ Builders - November, 1903

    The lack of technical training for girls was once more exemplified to me when I had the pleasure lately of calling on Miss Wedlake to see her beautiful work in organ building, writes Mrs. Greenwood, in The Queen. It is really sad, when one realizes the enormous number of female workers who overcrowd certain professions, to discover how close shut is the door to so many which are indisputably within the range of the physical strength and capabilities of the average woman. Read More

    The Eben D. Jordan Organ in the New England Conservatory of Music - November, 1903

    A new organ, the gift of Mr. Eben D. Jordan, was opened in the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, the latter part of September. This instrument was built by the Hutchings-Votey Organ Company, and contains fifty speaking stops, fifteen... Read More

    Enlarged Organ. Eliot Church, Newton, Mass. - December, 1903

    The echo organ, which is placed in a special gallery with accommodations for twelve singers, is the largest in New England and contains twelve stops, all but two being placed in a swell-box. The open diapason is outside on a separate chest to give greater power for antiphonal effects, and the carillons are on top of the swell-box, thus giving the effect of chimes in the tower. The only connection between the main organ and the echo organ is the cable 240 feet long, containing 400 wires, and the nine-inch iron conductor which conveys the wind from the feeders to the reservoir of the echo organ. Read More

    Mixtures - March, 1904

    Those who have watched with interest the progress of music in England during the last five and twenty years are sure to have noticed the great strides that church music has made in that period. Recalling the slovenly, slipshod... Read More

    Questions And Answers (Organ & Choir) - March, 1904

    J. H. A.—1. What stops are suitable to accompany tenors or basses in solo work as well as chorus work? Ditto, sopranos and altos.   Answer: For the high voices (soprano and tenor) in solo work, we would suggest for... Read More

    The Resources of the Modern Organ.--I - March, 1904

    [We take pleasure in bringing to the attention of the readers of The Etude the following selections from an article contributed to La Revue Musicale, of Paris, by Mons. Eugen de Bricqueville, a well-known composer, and a musician who has... Read More

    Extracts From The European Diary Of The Late Eugene Thayer, Mus. Doc. (Concluded.) - March, 1904

    Memories of Moscheles. "January 13, 1886. I arrived in Leipzig this afternoon, and at five o'clock I went to see Moscheles who kept me until late, playing much to me. Although he is now seventy-one years old, he looks no older than forty... Read More

    Mixtures. - October, 1904

    The late Dr. E. J. Hopkins was of opinion that there are various puzzling points to the thoughtful player in connection with Mendelssohn's "absolutely unsurpassed" organ sonatas. The chords written low in the bass, as found in the Finale of the First and the Allegro of the Fifth Sonatas, he thought that Mendelssohn would never have written if the "heavy doubles" of our organs had existed in his day. Read More

    New Style of Specification. - October, 1904

    Two-thirds of the cost goes in action and wind chests, and sometimes, with 4-manual organs, three-quarters. So that, of $10,000, say, only $2500 goes into pipes. Read More

    A Word About Salaries - October, 1904

    There is not the slightest question that the tendency in the salaries of church musicians (in and about New York City at least) has, for fully a decade, been steadily downward. There are various reasons, but two stand out most prominently. Read More

    Wanted a "Te Deum." - October, 1904

    The "Te Deum" as I have met it maunders and whines to the last degree in all sorts and styles of wandering fancies wholly meaningless and not significant even as ornamental adjuncts to a dignified work. Read More

    A Choirmaster's Qualifications. - October, 1904

    The, following is a copy of an advertisement which appears in the current number of the Cerddor, the Welsh musical magazine. Read More

    Organist and Choirmaster. - October, 1904

    How does an organist become an expert choirmaster? Dr. Gerrit Smith, in a paper read at the New York State Music Teachers' Convention in Troy, the past summer, and printed in the Musical Leader and Concertgoer, replies as follows:-- Read More

    The Opening Voluntary - July, 1905

    There has been a great awakening, during the last few years, in everything pertaining to worship-music. Various religious bodies have taken steps looking to the betterment of musical conditions in our churches, and at least one great organization, the American... Read More

    The Organ Versus the Orchestra - July, 1906

    It is a gross error to suggest, as is so often done, that the organ is an imitation of the orchestra. Read More

    Questions and Answers. - July, 1906

    The Dulciana was invented by Snetzler about the middle of the eighteenth century, and was of a very soft diapason tone. Since that time the stop has been variously modified, according to the fancy of individual builders, and in a few cases has been made with a string tone of the character of a Salicional. Read More

    Improvisation. - July, 1906

    Those who have listened to the improvisations of such men as Guilmant, Lemare, etc., will remember the progressive interest in their efforts and the evident design (none the less preconcerted because instantaneous) in their workings. The facility of such players is, of course, to a considerable extent a natural gift; but it also implies both a thorough acquaintance with all artificial forms and a constant practice in applying them readily. Read More

    Expression in Choir Singing. - July, 1906

    We should have far better choral singing if each singer could bring himself to believe and practice this truth:--That the only expression which is really effective is that which is shown by every single voice, and that it is the bounden duty of every choral singer to notice and perform every mark of expression given in the music. Read More

    The Church Organist and His Duties. - July, 1906

    What are the characteristics of the good church organist? It seems to me that the first one is sympathy with a religious service. I do not mean by this that the organist must be a communicant of the church where he plays, or indeed of any church, but I do say that he must be a man whose life and habits of thought are such as to make him sympathize with the purpose of religious service. Read More

    Organists and Nervousness. - August, 1909

    How much delicious music is lost to the world through nervousness, how much of a musician's intimate feelings remain unexpressed, their existence quite unsuspected by that grim ogre, the public! A writer, a composer or a painter can work in... Read More

    Playing With Precision. - August, 1909

    With the organ, as in the orchestra, precision must rule; the perfect ensemble of feet and hands is absolutely necessary, whether in attacking or leaving the keyboard. All notes placed in the same perpendicular by the composer must be made... Read More

    Wedding Music. - August, 1909

    The custom of playing and singing the "Lohengrin" music at church weddings is an American one. It is unknown in Europe, where people would be scandalized at the mere idea of such a thing. It arose in this country among... Read More

    Individuality in Accompanying. - August, 1909

    An accompanist should never be too assertive. At the same time, especially with nervous or uncertain soloists, some "lead" or encouragement is often required. An experienced musician will know exactly what to do. In the case of amateur accompanists, however,... Read More

    Rhythmical Organists. - August, 1909

    BY CLIFFORD DEMAREST. A serious fault in organ playing is quite prevalent. Having frequent opportunity of hearing organists perform, it has been forced upon me that the performance often possesses a deficiency which destroys the enjoyment to a listener. The... Read More

    The Choir Director and His Work. - August, 1909

    BY CLIFFORD DEMAREST.  This is not a new theme; in treating it many points must necessarily seem hackneyed; yet we all need suggestions for our work, and even in going over old ground sometimes a new way will appear which... Read More

    The Organ, Yesterday and To-Day - October, 1911

    By the Distinguished French Master,CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS. [Editor's Note.—This article, which appears here for the first time in the English language, will give organists another opportunity to wonder at the versatility of the distinguished French composer who seems to be equally... Read More

    Real Service That Leads To Success. - November, 1911

    No good is ever accomplished by talking of another's faults or by gossiping of another's difficulties; much better is it to set an example yourself of what ought to be. Read More

    Modern Organs and Organ Music. - November, 1911

    It is said that "Back to Bach" is his musical motto; but the idea of such retrogression is paradoxical, as a mere glance at Reger's works shows us that he has written many progressions that Bach never would have written, in spite of the unfounded and easily disproved assertion of some that Bach forestalled everything possible of accomplishment in modern music. Read More

    Mendelssohn As Organ Composer. - November, 1911

    When referring to Mendelssohn's works, the man in the street probably thinks of "Elijah" or of "The Hymn of Praise," neither of which are really typical of Mendelssohn's genius. Now, it is quite certain that, great and charming though Mendelssohn's vocal polyphony is, his true greatness and native genius was in a totally different direction--viz., in his organ works. Read More

    The Organ Not An Orchestra. - November, 1911

    It is not uncommon for some musicians to make comparisons between the pipe-organ and orchestra, chiefly on account of the organ's wealth of tone color. But while the organist has at his disposal stops which are almost identical with, or at least strongly resemble, the principal orchestral instruments, yet, taken as a whole, the organ and orchestra are vastly different. Read More

    "Giving Out" the Tune. - September, 1912

    The main essential of all "playing over" is that it should be done clearly and at the speed at which the singing is to go. There should always be sufficient tone to penetrate to every corner of the building. Beyond that, the amount of tone and the general character of the "giving out" should be in keeping with the hymn about to be sung. Read More

    The Light That Failed. - September, 1912

    I suffered a hair-raising experience several years ago when I was organist of a church in a large town in the Midlands, the name of which--for obvious reasons--I will omit. Read More

    Common Sense at the Organ. - September, 1912

    This article will not interest the organist who has specialized, studied with some eminent organist and holds one of the largest organs in his town or city, at a salary of $800 or $1,000 a year up. It is written for the all-round musician who has taken up the organ as supplementary work, who plays as well as he can, on, let us say, a two-manual organ in the "average" church, for the sum of probably $3 to $5 a service. Read More

    An Organ Recital Extraordinary. - September, 1912

    The London Orchestra tells a story of an organ recital at Exeter Hall, London, given when the organ was new, by Johann Schneider, of Dresden. Read More

    George Washbourn Morgan. - September, 1912

    One of the pioneer concert organists of America was George Washbourn Morgan, who was born at Gloucester, England, in 1822, played in church in his native town at 8 years of age, and came to America in 1853. Read More

    Does the Modern Organ Touch Interfere With the Piano Touch? - September, 1912

    This article, which appeared originally in the English Musical Opinion, is from the foremost English organist of our time. The distinctions he draws between the touch on the old and the new organs will be most interesting to our organ readers, and only that part of Mr. Lemare's lengthy article is presented here. Read More

    Department for Organists - November, 1918

    In truth the organist in church has a threefold personality. He is a musician and therefore must play correctly; he is an officer of the church and must play religiously; he will fail in his duties if he be not a bit of a psychologist. Let him answer three questions. Do I conform to the high standards of my profession? Is the music I select and style of playing I affect in church secular? Do I consider the reactions from my performances? Read More

    The Spirit of France in Organ Study - December, 1918

    The three visits of Alexandre Guilmant to this country did much for the advancement of organ music. The present tourneƩ of Joseph Bonnet is demonstrating above all, that the American people like the best in music, and are interested in what has been written for the instrument much more than what has been transcribed for it. Mr. Bonnet proves that there is ample in the repertoire for the organ for all purposes including church and recital use, and right he is. Read More

    The Beginnings of Instruction in Organ Playing - July, 1920

    By George Henry Howard   There are few organ teachers, if any, who would not agree with the writer in declining to allow a student to begin organ lessons unless the prospective organ pupil had previously had at least... Read More

    Music in Our Churches - Charles Galloway - August, 1925

    Much of the music sung in many of our churches to-day is cheap and tawdry; it is musical rubbish; light, sentimental, undignified, if not sacrilegious; a meaningless conglomeration of distorted and undeveloped melodies, very often the imaginations of musical lunatics, the like of whom Florian doubtless had in mind when he wrote, "Everyone to his own trade; then would the cows be well cared for." Read More

    The Organ in Oratorio - September, 1925

    The matter of playing oratorio work on the organ, especially the better known parts of Handel's "Messiah," usually performed at the Easter and Christmas seasons, is an occasion on which one may hear some very fine organ playing, or the reverse. The differences between a first-class orchestral accompaniment and what is frequently heard on the organ as a substitute, is too evident to any critical listener to need further comment, other than to offer some suggestions which may prove helpful. Read More

    The Organist Goes Visiting - September, 1925

    Sooner or later every organist is called upon to play an instrument with which he is not familiar. Even if he does not desire to do substitute work, the weddings of his friends make this call upon him, to say nothing of the audition that precedes the obtaining of a new position. Read More

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