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Mander Organs


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About mjgrieveson

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  1. Organists with hearing problems

    Most hearing aids are designed to help hear speech- the 'music'programmes seldom make very much difference apart from increasing bandwidth here and there, although it is a useful extra feature sometimes in addition to a 'loop'setting. It is very likely that the consultant was on the right lines when stating that when a hearing aid amplifies the frequencies where hearing is impaired it disrupts the adaptation that has taken place in the brain (probably over the course of a decade). The audiologist then faces the difficult task of trying to adjust the aids to a level that feels acceptable to the wearer, but does not 'agree' with the level of gain prescribed in the fitting software. In most cases the environmental adaptation in the higher-end instruments cope with indoors vs outdoors, compression in noisy surroundings etc, but organ playing is usually rather niche and perhaps the best that can be hoped for is an additional, quieter 'adaptation manager'that is sometimes put onto aids for new users. Others prefer to remove the aids completely. Hearing losses vary so much that one person's experience will not necessarily be much help to another.
  2. I came across this ebook when searching around the topic and wondered if anyone had read it? If so, I'd be very interested to hear any views, opinions etc concerning the subject or the book. It doesn't appear to have any reviews. The Alexander Technique is often recommended as a way of preventing/alleviating stress injuries brought about by the frequently unnatural postures that musicians adopt when playing (or singing), often for some hours at a time. I have read accounts on here and elsewhere of problems with damaged tendons, back pain, shoulder and neck discomfort and so on. Do forum contributors have any thoughts on this subject? http://www.amazon.com/Alexander-Technique-TRICEPS-Approach-Organ-ebook/dp/B00AUHWTU2
  3. Did Handel Play Your Organ?

    How interesting; I hadn't realised how widespread this boast was. A few weeks ago I attended Morning Prayer at St Mary the Virgin, Long Preston and over coffee I remarked what a pity it was that the organ was out of action. The kindly church warden assured me that it was only shrouded in plastic sheeting whilst the windows were undergoing some sort of restoration. "We understand it was once played by a famous composer but we can't remember who - we just know it began with aitch." I suppose it could have been Howells or Holst (all manner of things are attributed to Haille Selassie but although he got around a bit, I've not heard that he dabbled on the organ) but my feeling is they meant Handel. I hope none of the regulars are reading this thread; they might not bother removing the plastic sheeting!
  4. Warm-ups for organists?

    I would like to add another vote in favour of Pilates exercises for general well-being, particularly where an aching back is concerned. The movements are very helpful for improving flexibility, core strength and posture; a session will usually relieve physical niggles and leave one feeling relaxed and strong. I found I grew an inch taller in middle age after taking it up! I'm less sure if it is practical as a pre-practice warm-up, though. Probably better done afterwards. As a means of improving the use of the body in playing an instrument I'm thinking of attending (as an observer) a course led by Nelly Ben-Or in January. This is geared to applying the principles of the Alexander Technique to playing the piano. It may have some application to playing the organ (I hope so!) although I'm sure other contributors are correct in remarking that the peculiarity of the posture adopted at the organ, and the relative insecurity of the feet will have a bearing on the associated discomfort.
  5. North German Organ, Gothenburg.

    I believe I did just this in an exam recently, apparently without penalty; I'm sure Buxtehude would forgive me, especially as I didn't have access to the Gothenburg instrument.
  6. North German Organ, Gothenburg.

    Probably not the most intelligent observation this, but how on earth can anyone play this (admittedly beautiful) instrument without an assistant to manage the stops? I envisage much recourse to Post-It stickers.
  7. Remembrance Services

    Well hello there. Small world, which rather illustrates my point as far as this is concerned. Events are going on all year, of course, but tomorrow is especially significant which is why I can't understand the apparently haphazard nature of it's observance nationally. Why we have to go the whole hog when the huge city centre church with infinitely better resources is not ( at least, not according to it's website) is a mystery to me. All the notion of the local councillors, it seems, so we have to host the thing. The rest you know. Arrangements were still being changed as late as last Wednesday. After the national anthem I shall close proceedings with the Adagio for Strings organ transcription and hope it's appropriate. If it's not, I'll blame those in charge for not giving me more notice. I wish we had a choir!
  8. Remembrance Services

    As there has been no mention on here of such things I thought I would enquire. Is anyone taking part/ playing at one of these events tomorrow and if so, what has guided your preparation? It seems strange that such a memorable event has had so little said about it among musicians; I can't be the only one twiddling my thumbs waiting for kick-off tomorrow evening and hoping for the best (I wasn't given much notice) in view of all the Civic Digs who will (please, God NOT) attend. I asked a similar question elsewhere and the response was patchy; am wondering how widespread these services are, across the country?
  9. Who did you study with...re-visited

    One would almost think the instruments were WMDs the way the discussion has developed. (Massively off-topic, incidentally) I can understand the temptation to have huge resources in the RAH, RFH etc but in a place of worship it sounds more like a menace. Having said that, I have incurred the 'row' word when engaged with my proper business practising voluntaries- this from a handyman who probably thought he was being witty but nevertheless considered any noise but those he generated with his spanner to be superfluous.
  10. Who did you study with...re-visited

    The system wouldn't allow me to 'Like' this post so I shall do it the long-winded way.
  11. Who did you study with...re-visited

    It's really nice to hear of a young person being able to pursue an interest in the instrument, and for the resources being made available to enable lessons to happen. If an organ association doesn't encourage their participation, then it must indeed be a very strange one. For the older aspirant, although courses are available through the RSCM etc, they do rather stretch the budget and take up several days. I appreciate they can only occur in a place where there is a tutor (or tutors) available but in all the years I have been trying to raise my game, I haven't managed to justify the outlay required for an intensive short course. Had I been a lot younger, there would have been bursaries galore. I did take advantage of one through the RSCM where they paid about half the cost of a limited number of lessons and this was most useful. It is important to catch people when they are ready to learn, whatever their age, as long as they are serious about it.
  12. Who did you study with...re-visited

    I certainly didn't post seriously, which is why I only expended a couple of sentences over it. The gist being that illustrious beginnings can still lead to an indifferent outcome. Perhaps I would be a better organist now had I started earlier, but frankly, I wasn't interested; I was more into 3" platform boots and passing for 18 to get into the disco. The organ will still flourish if people come to it in middle age without worrying if they are too old to bother.
  13. Who did you study with...re-visited

    I'm sure they would distance themselves from me whether it be for organ playing OR composition.
  14. Who did you study with...re-visited

    Surprised that I can trace my lineage back through Howells to CV Stanford with organ, and back to Schumann for piano. As with homeopathy, I suspect the influence becomes increasingly dilute as the generations pass so there remains but little of the original genius.
  15. Late brides

    Worst one recently was 30 mins late, but that now pales in comparison with some of the stories I read here. No policies in place regarding lateness as far as I know but this is quite a busy place and they are firmly told at the booking that there will be another wedding probably 1 hour after theirs so don't dawdle or you will go away unmarried. Hasn't happened during my tenure, though. The 30 minute tardy bride cheesed me off particularly because they had been granted a concessionary Sunday wedding and I'd had enough by then. Can't dig in my heels too much because I was 20 minutes late for my own. (I've spent a long time on the organ bench atoning for my sin).