November 26, 2009
Mozart called it the king of the instruments, Schumann recommended to learn to play it to achieve more understanding about the power of music, most of the great composers played and wrote works for it. What makes the organ being so extremely apart of all other musical instruments and containing at the same time the power of expression of all these together?
At this point we could not fail to mention the great master Johann Sebastian Bach, who plays the leading role in the music history as an organist of unlimited abilities and as a supreme composer of works for all styles and musical forms. Bach set the fundament of harmonic, chromatic and highly developed contrapuntal structure in all kind of composition. Bach’s prolific attitude toward a great artistic expression led him to improve existing musical forms, creating an innovative way of composing through unfatiguing exploration of original patterns and models. His virtuosity as an organist and improviser definitely influenced his composing style.
The magnificent sound of the organ offers a great variety of harmonic structures, particularly when the use of the pipes through wind reproduces different timbres and volume. Another characteristic of the organ is given by the manuals and the pedalboard. The player is using them separated or in combination with each other, depending on the requirements of the music score.
But the inherent polyphony, which is produced by the pipes sounding simultaneously, can be considered as the real nature of the organ.
The richness of that polyphonic timbre should be the source of inspiration for the study at the piano. We cannot forget that the piano has a close relationship to the organ, even though reduced to one keyboard and three pedals which are only working in direct connection with the sound. But the harmonic structure and the tone extension of our instrument allow us to be able to imitate the organ sound, not only by taking care of a specific touch technique as tenuto and legato but also developing a polyphonic playing.
Play Bach, listen to the organ, and your piano playing will be improving to a higher level.