Here is what I played for yesterday's church service as a prelude. In the above score, you can see the soprano and the bass parts written in. I also supplied the alto and the tenor parts and the bass part was played by the pedals.
This prelude is an interesting harmonization and modulation exercise. I wanted to modulate from F major to F# minor which is a very distant key to F major.
So I had to include a couple of intermediate keys: Bb minor (harmonic Subdominant of F major) and Db major (harmonic Dominant of F# minor changed enharmonically from C# major).
Then of course I had to go back to F major through these intermediate keys in the opposite direction.
Here is the full tonal plan:
Here is the PDF file for printing. Try to supply the missing middle parts yourself and avoid parallel fifths and octaves. I used only root position chords and chords in the first inversion. You can also add a little more dissonant four-note chords whenever you see a possibility.
After you are done, post your time to comments.
Practice this hymn setting of "I Come, O Savior, to Thy Table" on the organ with pedals. The feet will play the tenor part on a 8' stop. The left hand takes the bass with the 16' stop as the basis. The right hand will play the soprano and the alto with the stops at the 8' level.
Intermediate students: transpose this exercise to F major.
Advanced students: transpose it to E major.
Feel free to add more stops to your registration but keep in mind the pitch level for each part.
Here is the PDF file for printing and the MIDI file for listening.
Try to insist on achieving a fluency 3 times in a row with this hymn setting.
After you are done practicing, post your time to comments.
Anyone who is searching for information about how to play the organ should be aware of The New LDS Organist and OrganTutor Organ 101 - training resources which Dr. Don Cook from Brigham Young Young University (BYU) has produced.
The New LDS Organist is a free program which has 12 audio based lessons with PDF supplements. This course is designed to help pianists adapt their skills to the organ as soon as possible. It is also available on iTunes as a podcast.
OrganTutor Organ 101 (paid) is a well-designed computer tutorial and a workbook. It has 62 lessons for the pianist on the basics of classical or traditional sacred organ playing.
I hope you will check out these 2 programs for yourself.
Practice these 4 canon exercises on your instrument in a slow tempo.
Play these 3 dispositions of each exercise:
1. Right hand and left hand together
2. Right hand and pedals together
3. Left hand and pedals together
Here is the PDF file for printing and a MIDI file for listening.
After you are done with your practice, post your time to comments.
Listen to these 10 elements of music: 2 tetrachords, 1 scale, 1 mode, 2 intervals, 2 3-note chords, and 2 4-note chords (10 items total).
As you are listening to them, label each element with a specific term. Here is the answer key.
After you are done, post the number of your correct answers to comments.
P.S. I have created this exercise using a free online music notation program Noteflight which you also may find useful.
Today we will write a counterpoint for two voices based on the hymn tune "Oh, Worship the King". In this score you can see the hymn tune in the lower part and in the upper part there are numbers. They mean the intervals above the melody and the key is G major.
Intervals above 8 (10 and 12) are the compound intervals. 10 is a major or minor tenth (a third plus an octave) and 12 is a perfect twelfth (a perfect fifth plus an octave).
The rhythm of this counterpoint will be in 8th notes. That's what we call a 2nd species counterpoint. Notice that the intervals are all consonances (1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, and 12) because in the 2nd species no dissonant intervals (tritones, 2nds, 7ths etc.) are allowed.
In measure 7 there is a 6 with #. This means that we have a cadence in the key of D major here and we need a second sharp - that's C#.
Complete this exercise with pencil. Here is the PDF file for printing. Afterwords play it on your instrument to see if you like what you have created.
Post your time to comments when you are done.
Play this melody a few times with your right hand. The key is Bb major. This will be your question. Then repeat it but starting on a different scale degree of the Bb major scale and finishing on the tonic note. This will be your transposed answer.
Feel free to start on any of the scale degree of this scale: C, D, Eb, F, G, and A.
Always keep the interval relationships between the notes the same as in the question. As you are doing that, you will discover that some versions will sound better than the others.
Later harmonize the question and your favorite answer in 4 parts (SATB) on the instrument in a very slow tempo. The chords should only change twice per measure (on beats 1 and 4).
Here is the PDF file for printing. Try to achieve 3 correct repetitions in a row with each step of this exercise.
After you are done, post your time to comments.
Today, during the music theory class, I taught the whole tone mode for my 9th grade students. This is the mode which doesn't have any half steps, for example C-D-E-F#-G#-A#-C.
One of the assignments was to write a single voice melody in this mode. The form of the composition had to be ternary:
Everybody in class completed their assignment (my example was the melodic solo line you can see in the above illustration) but after the class during intermission I thought I would expand it a little and arrange it for the organ.
The above picture represents the end result. The composition could have become longer (with the present piece as just Part I of the longer work - Part II could be written in some other mode) but I had to stop writing for today.
Here is the MIDI file if you want to listen to it and the PDF file for printing. Feel free to further experiment with it, expand it, practice, and play it if you find it useful.
Practice this 4 part hymn setting on the organ with pedals. Note that the alto part is assigned to the feet and should be played on the 4' stop. Left hand plays the bass and the tenor; the soprano is played by the right hand on a different manual.
If you find it hard to sight-read it without mistakes, practice each part separately first, then combinations of two parts and three parts before putting everything together.
It is best to play every step and combination 3 times in a row correctly and fluently without hitting the wrong notes or making rhythmical hesitations.
Since this is the hymn from the 19th century, try to play everything legato except the repeated notes and notes leading to unisons (in the left hand) which should be shortened exactly by an eighth-note value.
Here is the file for listening and for printing.
After you complete the exercise, post your time to comments.
Label each of the 10 items as a half step (H) or a whole step (W). Here is the answer key.
A half step is the smallest distance between the notes. A whole step consists of 2 half steps.
Post the number of correct answers to comments.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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