Question for women or skirted organists
  • JesJes
    Posts: 317
    Okay, minor first world type of problem.
    But when I go to other churches I end up sitting on the bench and slide off it faster than a ride at Disney world.
    At this point my solution to maintain skirted modesty and still be practical is to wear something under my skirt such as leggings or jeans or bicycle shorts and I add grippies to them. (The little plastic bits you find on the bottom of toddler's socks)
    I sew a couple of patches of those socks to the thigh part of the under skirt garment and it solves the slipping but looks ridiculous as you flick the skirt out behind you like a tail of a tailcoat before you play.

    Anybody else had some better ideas?

    I've noticed some priests who wear the cassock have complained of similar problems.
    Why even make benches to sit on that angle anyway?
    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,168
    I think your solution is great. I suppose you could carry something like this with you: https://www.amazon.com/Non-Skid-Cabinet-Shelves-Non-Slip-12-Inch/dp/B00IXYIWC8 and put it on the bench before you sit down? I always play in *gasp* slacks. The flowiness of a skirt causes sight issues and I don't have time to bother with my wardrobe. On many levels my outfits are extremely practical.

    I've never had this problem. I've never sat on an angled bench. Wouldn't this be a problem in pants too?
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 402
    I think that sounds like a decent solution.

    I'm no organist, but were I in your situation, I think it would give me the excuse to wear a very long (or at least mid-calf), and flowy skirt, indeed! (Picturing "White Christmas" -type dresses.)

    If you have a favorite black skirt, or such, which you could just always wear a different blouse with, you could always add a layer/tails to it, and only flip that part back, while the regular layer has some non-skiddiness sewn onto it. Just an idea.

    Would it be easier to, instead, find a seat cushion -however thin- to bring along and put non-slip fabric / grips on the bottom side (facing the bench) of it?
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 132
    I'm in Scotland. I don't know any kilted organists, but will try to find one and ask what his solution is....
  • If I wear a skirt, I make sure it's at least calf length or shorter, but not shorter than the knee. In general, I dislike wearing skirts and dresses while playing organ. If it's too long, I end up having to hike the thing up to my knees so it doesn't obstruct the pedals. I like your idea though...
  • JesJes
    Posts: 317
    Yes I have a solution for long skirts too. Wear bike shorts underneath and then tuck the front of your skirt into the shorts, looks stupid but means you can play Mendelssohn etc.
    in this time of wachet auf playing this technique is handy and then when you get up to sing or conduct you just untuck as you get off the stool.
    Also works with robes.

    Also if people can stomach target (I understand that target over there is a little more political than our target in Aus) go to the workout gear area where the weights are and there are small mats. They are $2 in Aus so must be like $1 US or something. It can also double as your kneeling mat in the loft!
  • JesJes
    Posts: 317
    @canadash believe it or not less of a problem with pants. Some pants are a problem like silky ones.
    I like wearing old lady skirts which tend to be silky materials or wool. I have nearly no problems with the wool however I wear stockings and that creates havoc.
  • On the piano I fine using a double sticky side tape will hold me down, it does not work on organ : do not try if you want not a sticky bum/if you want a sticky bum : try.

    Happy presence and good Christ-Mass cheer,
    Ph
  • Why even make benches to sit on that angle anyway?

    American organ consoles usually cause less of a falling/sliding forward feeling as the pedals are further under the keyboards than typical European consoles. American organists tend to slouch on the bench, hunched over while European consoles cause organists to sit more erect.

    The solution is not gluing one's derriere to the bench, as this restricts pedaling which requires shifting left and right.

    Instead, one needs to spend time adjusting the bench to the exact distance to the point where you are balanced. If you cannot find such a place, then possibly the bench may need lowered or raised on blocks so that you can feel as one with the instrument.

    Wedged piano benches help eliminate wrist problems, but fail as organ benches as they will cause this sliding off. Possibly the organ is on a slanted floor? Try bring a level in and test to see if the bench is level AND if the top of the organ console is level.

    There should be a partnership of the arms poised to play and the hip bones on the bench and a vertical balance with the feet free - off the expression pedals and pedals.

    Here is a link to the suggested measurements of the AGO console.
  • What is a wedged organ bench?
    A slanting one?
    I've never encountered either.
    Both would seem to be impossibly awkward.

    Blocks to alter the height are needful.
    Better yet are those benches which can be cranked to the precise height required.

    Noel is right about slouching.
    This is one of the worst enemies of proper balance and weight distribution for authoritative playing - also one that requires repeated attention by students. How one sits is of almost equal importance to proper finger posture.
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,168
    Better yet are those benches which can be cranked to the precise height required.


    We really need one of these at our parish. We have a good eight inch height difference between the three people who play the organ. We use blocks, but they are not very accurate.

    Though, it looks like we have had this conversation before: http://forum.musicasacra.com/forum/discussion/3446/organ-benches/p1 and there is no way my priest will spend $1200 on a bench... so blocks it is!
  • JesJes
    Posts: 317
    Well, the organ build starts on Monday and I've requested a new bench!!!! Yippeee!
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Ben Yanke
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 7,979
    and there is no way my priest will spend $1200 on a bench... so blocks it is!


    Where did you find a bench for $1200? I spent $3400. for an adjustable bench last summer, and was told that is the going rate.

    Skirted organists? Try the Diane Bish solution, sparkly pants and glittery shoes. LOL.
    Thanked by 1canadash
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,288
    That (sparkly pants and glittery shoes) is not Diane that is Cameron.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 7,979
    That (sparkly pants and glittery shoes) is not Diane that is Cameron.


    Her shoes are pretty glittery, but Cameron is far worse than Virgil Fox ever dreamed of being.
  • JesJes
    Posts: 317
    I just buy the materials and build things myself.
    The priest was happy to fund the materials needed.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW CHGiffen
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,205
    worse than Virgil Fox ever dreamed of being.
    Dared, maybe, but who among us can claim to know Virgil's dreams?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 7,979
    Dared, maybe, but who among us can claim to know Virgil's dreams?


    No one can, and might not want to.
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 132
    Jeanne Demessieux's shoes in this picture of her (at the organ of the Madeleine in Paris) were not glittery, but I wonder how she managed to play in them

    image<img
    Thanked by 1Jes
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,168
    Oh, I have a feeling this was a posed shot. The music stand is down; she is looking up and over the console; it's all rather artificial in my opinion. I love her hair though!
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,288
    She is imitating one of those Bach technique things .. toes only.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 7,979
    She was a fine organist, that is certain. I have some recordings she made.
  • JesJes
    Posts: 317
    To think, I play in explorer socks. No matter how hot it gets.
    Thanked by 1Viola
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 132
    Me too. It doesn't look anything like as elegant.
    Mind you, it never gets very hot here, so not a problem, in fact it keeps one's feet warm.

    Which brings me back to kilted organists (see earlier post); I asked organists who have been known sometimes to wear the kilt if they ever wear it while playing. The answer was unanimously no; too draughty.