Things organists do that drive you....crazy.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,658
    I have reached the age where I know my voice is not what it once was. I let other people cantor and no longer try to do it myself. I stick to conducting and playing.
  • Do the organists really have to play the last verse of every hymn at fff???
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,658
    Do the organists really have to play the last verse of every hymn at fff???


    Depends on the hymn and where it is placed in the mass. Offertory hymns I don't do, so in my case they don't matter. Communion hymns should be a bit meditative and those are played on softer stops. Some hymns for entrance and recessional are hymns that lend themselves to a strong last verse. Besides the pastor loves it when I crank up the organ.

    Also depends on the season. The trumpets are retired for Advent and Lent to fit the more somber nature of the seasons. I know, I know, Advent is just the pre-Christmas shopping and party season today, but it SHOULD have a penitential character.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,137
    "Advent is just the pre-Christmas shopping and party season today, but it SHOULD have a penitential character."

    The fff is deeply penitential.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW ryand
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,658
    Nah, I will forego the sfz for Advent. I don't even play postludes during Advent or Lent. I think one of the worst things the western church did was do away with the fasting and penance that once were associated with Advent. Modern minds don't seem to understand the joy and hope present in such preparation for a holy event.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,169
    Do organists really have to play the last verse of every hymn fff???
    It's a rule, but as always there are exceptions: in "Lord of all hopefulness" for example it's obligatory to start with a rooster crow (break/noon/eve/end of the day) and end ppp.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW Gavin
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,659
    You should ALWAYS end Lord of All Hopefulness with full reeds, mixtures, and whatever outrageous pedal stop you have available.

    NOBODY CAN SLEEP ON MY WATCH.

    Purple bold.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
    Veni Veni Emanuel without sfz final verse? Is outrage!
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,457
    May we continue with: "What everyone else in the church does to annoy the organist?" Or maybe that is a separate post?
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
    Everything.

    YMMV
    Thanked by 2Gavin tomboysuze
  • It is unfortunate that some organists, especially in the Catholic church, can be seen to go out of their way to be noticed/obnoxious...could it be due to the lack of attention that they receive, in comparison to those who serve Protestant services? In monitoring FB and other gathering places, young male organists are especially at blame for this. Can't see to recall one female organist whining and ranting....interesting. But obviously, women are smarter.
    Thanked by 1canadash
  • I haven't encountered that many annoying organists in the Catholic church. I have, however, ran into very annoying pianists. Yes, as in playing the piano. Synthesiser, to be accurate. Bloody 70's era college chapels...
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,658
    young male organists are especially at blame for this.


    Boys are boys. They drive cars too fast, stay up too late, push their bodies beyond reasonable limits, and play powerful instruments too loudly. Were you expecting them to be girls? LOL.
  • t's a rule, but as always there are exceptions: in "Lord of all hopefulness" for example it's obligatory to start with a rooster crow (break/noon/eve/end of the day) and end ppp.


    Then I guess at Christmas, I'll just have to blast out louder on my trombone!
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,241
    Awhile ago I started to call auditions "voice checks".
  • 1. organists who refuse to take my tempo when I'm directing (so far that's all but one)
    2. organists who creatively infuse jazz chords into what was supposed to be a sparse, ethereal accompaniment for congregational chant
    3. one lovely man/organist in particular that finishes every single hymn with the equivalent of a loud chordal 'growl' - I don't know what he's doing but he won't stop doing it.
    4. organists who insist on telling me stories about their lovers during mass while I'm trying to pray.... whispering loudly in the choir loft....and refusing to stop even after observing the uncomfortable grimace on my face....
    5. organists who play as if we're at a baseball game despite my constant reminders to use sustained technique....and then smile when I give up because they have gone into full polka mode......
    Thanked by 3canadash CHGiffen Liam
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,124
    Forgive me tomboysuze but are these people really organists? None of that is acceptable, at least, to this organist.
    Thanked by 1JSHerman
  • Tomboysuze, I think I can explain a bit about no. 3. What it sounds like he's doing is trying to simulate a 32' "resultant" tone in the pedals by playing the root of the chord along with the 5th above. Organists are sometimes shown this 'technique' on organs which lack 32' stops. It might lend an interesting sound on the soft pedal stops, and then only occasionally.
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,658
    Maybe that organist is just trying to drown out the singing. Been there, had to do that. LOL.