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Symphonic Organ Registration: “Tricking” the Ear

July 7 @ 8:00 am - 8:45 am

Executing seamless crescendos and diminuendos is one of the principal challenges an organist faces in symphonic repertoire. The fundamental problem with this technique is that it is antithetical to one of the main aspects of the organ: the unambiguous nature of the instrument. Stops are either on or off, pipes are either speaking or silent, and keys are either depressed or not. To subtly affect dynamic change with stop changes, one must find ways to deceive the ear and conceal additions and subtractions. This workshop will be devoted to demonstrating the tricks and techniques that go into this style of organ playing, including:

  • Use of the expressive divisions and swell boxes
  • The order in which one adds or subtracts stops
  • Using range, contour, meter, and texture to mask stop changes
  • Console management: pistons and manual changes
  • The differences between fast and slow crescendos/diminuendos



July 7
8:00 am - 8:45 am
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Plymouth Church United Church of Christ
1217 6th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101 United States
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(206) 622-4865
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