Today we will practice a hymn in four parts "Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty". But this will not be a simple setting because the soprano is placed in the pedal part and should be played with a 4' stop.
The alto and the tenor voices will be played by the right hand with 8' registration and the bass - with the 16' and 8' stops in the left hand.
Note that you can play the pedals one octave lower than it's written with the 2' stop.
If your organ doesn't have these higher-pitched stops, what you can do is to simply play the both hands on one manual and use the manual to pedal coupler for the pedals and use 4' or 2' stop from the manual.
Of course, you can use heavier registration and add more stops to the sound but be always aware of the lowest pitch level that each part should be sounding in.
Practice this hymn setting in a slow tempo until you can play it 3 times correctly in a row. Of course, take advantage of playing solo parts and combinations of 2 and 3 parts a few times before putting everything together.
Here is the PDF file for printing. After you complete this exercise, post your time to comments.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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.