We as organists sometimes are called to play a short interlude or a prelude during a church service. Not always we are prepared to play something from the classical organ repertoire. Besides, it is not always easy to find a piece which suits the theme or character of the service well. That's when improvisation and composition prove very handy.
A short prelude or interlude could have a form of a Binary Exposition which is about 16 measures long. It can be a piece which stands on its own or it can be a part of the larger structure.
Such exposition has the two main elements - a theme and a commentary. A theme is a musical phrase which lends itself for development. A commentary is a different phrase which contrasts somewhat with a theme.
So your Binary Exposition of 16-20 measures might look like this:
1) Theme of 4 measures.
2) Commentary ending on the dominant of 4 measures.
3) Repetition of the theme of 4 measures.
4) Commentary ending on the tonic note of 4 measures.
5) (Optional before 4) Commentary ending on a different note of 4 measures.
Remember, the melody does not have to be in the right hand part - it can easily be placed in the tenor voice and played on a different manual with solo registration. The pedal part is optional.
What to do with the accompaniment? Many things - you can do a simple four-part harmony, add a melodic and rhythmic figure etc. You are only limited by your imagination. If this is the case, look a the pieces of your favorite composers for models.
You can improvise your Binary Exposition on the organ, compose it on the paper or both (preferably). Give it a try today. It's easier than it sounds from this description. Creating your own music is one of the greatest joys musician can have.
By the way, do you want to learn my special powerful techniques which help me to master any piece of organ music up to 10 times faster? If so, download my video Organ Practice Guide.
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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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