If you have ever seen or heard skilled organ improvisers creating real music on the spot, you were most likely dazzled by their seemingly supernatural abilities. After such an encounter many people have a strong desire to start learning improvisation themselves. Before teaching yourself the art of organ improvisation, it is crucial that you understand these 7 benefits that improvisation can give to the organist.
1) You can learn to create your own music like composers do. It is very satisfying to be able to compose music. Since improvisation is composition on the spot, you will learn all the tools needed to compose your own music.
2) You will develop the ability to think musically. Since every composition consists of various elements of music (melody, rhythm, harmony, and many others), by creating your own music it will be possible for you to recognize these elements in other compositions which leads to musical thinking.
3) By teaching yourself organ improvisation you will develop creativity. All of us were very created in our childhood but through the years this ability often diminishes because of various reasons. Since improvisation is an inherently creative process, it will greatly enhance your creative capabilities.
4) Improvisation can help you to become a complete musician. The art of improvisation involves also mastering such areas as organ technique, registration, repertoire, piano technique, ear training, music theory, figured bass, harmony, musical form, counterpoint, fugue, music composition and others. Therefore, your musical education will be complete.
5) Improvisation will enhance your worship playing. If you are a church organist, the ability to improvise will be a great help to your service playing. There are plenty of opportunities to improvise during liturgical services and organist who has acquired this skill has many advantages than the organist who never tried to improvise.
6) Listeners love improvisations during recitals. If you have listened to the performance of a good improviser, you know how audience appreciates the organists who can improvise. The listeners are simply in awe of such abilities and skills to create music on the spot which sounds like a real composed and written-out composition.
7) Improvisation can propel your organ playing technique to the next level. In order to excel in improvisation you must also gradually develop the technical ability to express your musical ideas. In other words, you have to be able to play fluently all the different technical details, like scales, modes, arpeggios, and chords of all kinds. Therefore, a skilled improviser is fully equipped technically to play even the most advanced organ music effortlessly with precision and clarity.
Have you ever tried to create your own music on the organ? Although the art of improvisation might be very complex to fully master it, the basics are quite simple. You will be surprised at how easy it is to start learning to improvise. The best way to proceed is to get a good organ improvisation textbook and start making your music today.
If you are interested in learning to improvise in the style of J.S.Bach, I highly recommend „Bach and the Art of Improvisation“ by Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra. The approach that she uses in her book is rather unique among other books on improvisation. It is not only a textbook with exercises but much more than that. The students who will be studying this book will acquire comprehensive knowledge about various 18th century performance practice aspects, such as articulation, fingering, and pedaling etc.
By the way, do you want to learn to play the King of Instruments - the pipe organ? If so, download my FREE video guide: "How to Master Any Organ Composition" in which I will show you my EXACT steps, techniques, and methods that I use to practice, learn and master any piece of organ music.
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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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Don't have an organ at home?
Download paper manuals and pedals, print them out, cut the white spaces, tape the sheets together and you'll be ready to practice anywhere where is a desk and floor. Make sure you have a higher chair.