Vidas: Hi guys! This is Vidas.
Ausra: And Ausra.
V: Let’s start episode 465 of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast. This question was sent by Fedor, and he writes:
Thanks for your helpful video and advices. I'm not a musician, but have primary music education on piano (7 years of music school). Many years I'm fan of organ music and play something in piano transcriptions. But, at one side, these transcriptions is often so difficult and I should simplify them, whereas in organ scores the musical tissue looks transparent, at second side, transcriptions still don't reflect power of originals, and, at the third side, I always dreamed to study playing on the king of musical instruments.
Finally, I got an opportunity to assemble home midi-system with my Yamaha keyboard (88 keys) and midi pedalboard (Nord pedal Keys 27 keys), and I started to master original organ scores. I should say that it's not easy, but wonderful simultaneously! Due to your and others videos, I mastered correct sitting and simple playing on pedalboard, but it's more difficult for me to combine playing my feet with my arms. So I would like to kindly ask you to tell and show in more details exercises for the development of the pedal technique and methods of quick connections with hands score.
Answering your questions:
1. I would like to learn to play masterpieces of baroque music (Buxtehude, Bach, Bruhns, Clerambault and others),
2. As music is not my profession, the main problem is in free time, but I try to practice regularly. At this time I should navigate on pedalboard as freely as on manual and make quick connections my feet with hands. Also, it would be useful to show the principles of correct legs changing and selection of heel or toe, on examples from Orgelbüchlein or something else.
Thank you again for education.
With my best regards and appreciation,
A: Well let me start to answering Fedor’s question. It seems to me that he enjoys baroque music
A: More than other organ music. So, if he’s really going, you know, to play baroque music, then he really doesn’t need to use heel on the pedalboard.
V: Mm hm.
A: Because in baroque music, actually, baroque technique is to play only with your toes, not your heels. So I guess this might be also something that might help him. And if he plays correctly by using only toes, it might help him to connect his hands and feet, to coordinate his hands and feet. Don’t you think so?
V: Obviously, playing with heels is not necessary for baroque music at all.
A: True. Because if you would play on the baroque instrument, you would see that it’s basically impossible to use your heel.
V: Mm hm. And other people say, Well, I don’t have baroque keyboard or pedalboard in my home, so I don’t need to practice with early techniques.
A: Well, but you need to get a nice baroque articulation if you are playing baroque music.
V: Plus, you never know. If you travel, you might get access to an early instrument.
A: Because, if you try to use modern techniques while using heels, and let’s say playing legato, you will see that on the original instrument, it will just sound simply ridiculous.
V: It’s possible to play on the modern organ with early techniques. But it’s very, very difficult to play on the early organ with modern technique.
V: It doesn’t convert the other way easily.
A: And you know, since it’s hard for Fedor to play feet and hands together, I would suggest for him to work more in the combinations: right hand and pedal, left hand and pedal. Don’t play, don’t start to learn everything together.
V: And even subdivided into 2 voices. The right hand might take 2 voices, and left hand might take 1 voice, and the pedal will take the 4th voice. But if you play right hand with pedals, you already have 3 voices, it might be too much for starters.
A: Well, I think it’s ok if you have well-developed piano technique, then it might.
V: But he said…
A: But he, you know, he finished musical school, 7 years of training.
V: Yes? Many years might have passed since then.
A: Well but you know, if there are 2 voices in your right hand, and you will play them separately, what might happen eventually, you might be learning it to play it with…
V: Incorrect fingering.
A: Incorrect fingering. That’s true. So that’s what I would suggest. Do not subdivide in a single voice.
V: But preludes from Orgelbüchlein for example. If he used our fingering and pedaling, that would work.
A: But still, position of hands would be different. So really, I would play right hand with 2 voices if it has 2 voices.
V: All right, guys. Here we have different opinions, and you can choose which one you like more.
A: Choose mine! I’m usually right.
V: But if you choose mine, I will give you 100 Organduo coins. You don’t know what I’m talking about. Maybe I should explain.
A: Well, maybe not, because when you start to talk about all this cryptocurrency, I believe you should, you know, stick to the organ.
V: All right. But by the way, if you participate in our Secrets of Organ Playing Contest, you can submit your videos to our contest, and as a participant, you can claim our 100 Organduo Coins for each entry.
V: That’s the idea. All right! That’s the help we would like to give to Fedor, and we wish success for him and others who are on the same path. Wonderful! And everybody, please keep sending us your questions. We love helping you grow. And remember, when you practice…
A: Miracles happen.
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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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