Ever wondered how language and organ improvisation are related? It turns out they have much in common.
The smallest element in a language is a letter. Put several letters together and you can get a syllable. Two or more syllables often form a word. A few words connect to a phrase. A few phrases make up a sentence. If you put a few sentences together, you get a paragraph. A few paragraphs can make up an essay. A few essays form a chapter. A few chapters can make up a book.
In organ improvisation, the smallest unit is of course a note. Putting several notes together makes a motive. Two or more motives form a phrase. A few phrases make up a sentence. If you put a few sentences together, you get a period. A few periods can make up a simple form. A few simple forms can make up a compound form. A few compound forms make up a large-scale form. A few large-scale forms will make up a multi-movement composition.
Isn't this the way we learn to use a language?
One way to improvise on the organ is to tell a story through musical language. But first, you have to learn to connect notes into motives, invent phrases, sentences, periods, simple forms, compound forms, large-scale forms and multi-movement pieces.
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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.