Preludes and Postludes suitable for good pianist starting pipe organ lessons?
  • WillWilkin
    Posts: 27
    My 18 year old son is excited about learning to play church pipe organ. His 10 years of piano lessons (and music theory study through the ABRSM Book 6) and his inherent musical gifts will be a strong starting point for this next stage of his musical studies.

    In broad outline, his immediate plan is to request access to the beautiful pipe organ at our parish (where we now sing together in the choir) for daily practice and, depending on the teacher, also for lessons. That request will be made jointly to the Pastor and the Music Director. He intends to find a teacher soon and has had an excellent 3-hour first lesson by a Dean of a local chapter of the American Guild of Organists, who is too busy until 2019 but can help us find another teacher.

    As a mid-term goal, he wants organ lessons to give him not just technique and proficiency in the manuals and pedals, but also to learn a repertoire suitable as preludes and postludes to the weekly mass. That would give him opportunities to begin playing at various local churches, to gain experience and confidence, and also make professional and personal connections with the musicians and pastors in the area.

    A more long-term goal will be to also play the hymns and other liturgical music suitable for the mass, first aspiring to be a substitute organist locally and eventually to become the organist and/or music director at a local church.

    I want to buy him some sheet music that will be accessible to his level (now or soon), and suitable for preludes and postludes at mass. Here is my short list of works under consideration, I welcome any advice about this list or any other sheet music that would benefit him:

    1) Pachelbel: Organ Works (Dover Music for Organ)

    2) Buxtehude: Organ Works (Dover Music for Organ)

    3) The Liturgical Organist, Vol 1: Easy Compositions -- Preludes/Interludes/Postludes for Pipe or Reed Organ with Hammond Registrations by Carlo Rossini

    4) The Practical Organist: 50 Short Works for Church Services (Dover Music for Organ) by Alexandre Guilmant

    5) Gregorian chant themes in organ music before 1750: Les themes gregoriens dans la musique d'orgue des origines a 1750, Claude Gay, Published by GIA Publications (1996) ISBN 10: 0941050769 ISBN 13: 9780941050760

    Thanks MUCH for any advice, --Will.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,612
    Although they are not difficult, you might like the works of John Stanley, 1713-1789. English but true to the organs of his day, lacking pedals, although pedal lines can be added at will. Much of his work is free on IMSLP. I think Kevin Mayhew's books also have some of his works. Mayhew publishes collections from Germany, France, also "50 Baroque Fillers for Organ." There is a second volume labelled "50 More Baroque Fillers for Organ. "
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 912
    Oxford University Press publishes some excellent series for church organists Here are two I've found most useful:

    - Oxford Service Music for Organ - 2 series (manuals only and manuals + pedal) each in 3 volumes of ascending difficulty
    - Seasonal Chorale Preludes - also 2 series (manuals only and manuals + pedal) in 2 volumes each

    OUP also publishes anthologies for Christmas, Lent and Easter, and weddings, for both manuals only and manual + pedals.

    You'll find that these are quite a bit more expensive than volumes from Dover and elsewhere, but the excellent selection and editing, high-quality engraving, and sturdy bindings make it a good investment. You can sometimes find the older volumes used online.
  • Jean Langlais has two volumes that your son might consider.
    The pieces in them are excellent studies and vary between easy to moderate.
    Some are with pedals and some without.
    One is called 'Ten Pieces', and the other is called Huit pieces modales.

    They would be good introductions to one of the XXth century's most important organists.

    Also, in addition to all the excellent repertory suggested above (especially the Oxford publications), consider the works of the baroque Francois Couperin, Nicolas de Grigny, etc., and the Italian Frescobaldi. These are all sans pedal and would certainly be within the means of a good student who has studied piano for ten years and is reasonably proficient.
    Thanked by 2canadash MarkS
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,002
    Stanley, Greene, Dandrieu, D'Aquin, Frescobaldi, Sweelinck, Bach--J.S. And C.P.E., Franck, Titelouze, Pachelbel, Buxtehude, all wrote music for manuals only or with limited pedal that are suitable for church use as preludes and postludes that are within the reach of a beginner, especially one with extensive piano experience. And it is "real music" that will be part of the repertoire for a whole career as an organist.
  • Precisely so he can learn how organ and piano are different instruments and require distinct approaches, I recommend the works of Johannes Peyer. Preludes and Fugues are short enough to be serviceable.

    Thanked by 2canadash MarkS
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,234
    @CGZ -- do you have any recommendations for how to acquire some of Peyer's music? I seem to remember you recommending his work before, but I haven't been able to come up with much when searching for it.
  • Irishtenor,

    I "inherited" my scores from a friend.

    There's no ISBN on the score, so far as I can see, but the edition is

    Musikverlag Alfred Coppenrath Altoetting in a collection called Sueddeutsche Orgelmeister des Barock

    Try this:
    Thanked by 1irishtenor
  • Try Clérambault's Premier Livre d'Orgue. The Suite du Deuxième Ton is in the list of repertoire for RCM Grade X organ, but it's quite easy and very useful for preludes and the last movement for a postlude.
  • Caleferink
    Posts: 389
    You might also look at Vierne's "24 Pieces en Style Libre." It's published in two books (the edition I have is that of Kalmus/Masters)They can be played entirely on manuals and/or with the pedal as indicated once he feels ready to do that.
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • PolskaPiano
    Posts: 220
    My organ teaches started me with these. He wouldn't let me move on to another piece until I mastered the technique in the first. The next piece after this is Praeludium Nr. 6 by Bach (g minor) which is not attached. I do believe all these piecese are public domain.
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,576
    Domenico Zipoli (1688-1726)'Intavolatura_per_Organo_e_Cimbalo,_Op.1_(Zipoli,_Domenico)

    There are Suites in these keys: D minor, C major, F major, E minor, G minor.
    For Prelude use the Verses.
    For Postlude use the Canzona.
    No teacher required for the occasional pedal.

    A different registration for each Verse and Canzona will make them more interesting
    and encourage exploring and discovering the resources of your instrument.
    See ..
    Simone Stella
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,576

    In this section a series of works for organ is offered mainly for novice organists and beginners, most of them for manuals, although there are some that include the pedal.

    The present works do not all have the same degree of difficulty, but there are simple pieces and others of medium difficulty, excluding in principle virtuosic works and pieces of great difficulty. Maybe over time you can include some.

    I believe that with this, a great service can be provided to the people who collaborate in the parishes and ecclesial communities, who sometimes do not have easy access to written and thought-out scores for the organ and for religious functions.
    Thanked by 1mmeladirectress
  • WillWilkin
    Posts: 27
    MUCH thanks to all who have so far shared of your knowledge and experience! I make careful study of all contributions to this discussion and will soon compose a more thoughtful reply, but I say this much now to show all your comments are being read with high interest and much gratitude.
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,044
    I couldn't find it yesterday, but I thought that Noel Jones had posted a link to a series of online courses that are just what you are looking for. I'll check again tonight and see if I can find a link to them.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,777
    Liber Organi

    ten books of the most FANTASTIC organ music of all time, (mostly without pedals) but you can easily play the bass line with peds.

    Mostly all I ever play these days.

    direct link

    UPDATE: (had to use html to make the link happen)

  • Sacred Music LIbrary

    It's a three book package: The Catholic Parish Organist about halfway down the page.

    There are also free downloads of organ music at the Facebook group:

    The Catholic Organist's Page

    [Thanks for mentioning this, bhcordova, it's very kind and appreciated.]
    Thanked by 1janetgorbitz
  • CGM
    Posts: 557
    here's a direct link to the Liber Organi
    Thanked by 1francis
  • what a great thread. thank you all.
  • Paul F. Ford
    Posts: 825
    And there is always Flor Peeters Little Organ Book
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CGM
    Posts: 557
    Another nice collection of relatively simple music is the Ariadne Musica of Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer (JKF Fischer), free on IMSLP here.
  • CGM
    Posts: 557
    Pachelbel's organ music is also available for free on IMSLP, here. It appears that the Dover edition has been scanned and uploaded twice.
    Thanked by 2francis PolskaPiano
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,777
    Pachelbel... highly unknown or at least under rated for his excellent counterpoint.
    Thanked by 1PolskaPiano
  • WillWilkin
    Posts: 27
    Again thanks MUCH to all who shared suggestions and insights in this discussion. Mixing the advice here with my budget limitations and intuition on my son's abilities and tastes, here is the list of organ music I have purchased for him (in anticipation of gaining access to our parish pipe organ for practice and perhaps for lessons depending on the teacher's location):

    1) Oxford Service Music for Organ: Manuals Only, Book 1 by Anne Marsden Thomas, 9780193372634 $12.30 USD

    2) Oxford Service Music for Organ: Manuals and Pedals, Book 1: Book 1 by Anne Marsden Thomas, 9780193372665 $13.30 USD

    3) Oxford Service Music for Organ: Manuals and Pedals, Book 2: Book 2 by Anne Marsden Thomas, 9780193372672 $13.94 USD

    4) The Oxford Book of Christmas Organ Music by C. H. Trevor, Robert Gower, 9780193751248 $23.74 USD

    5) Old English Organ Music for Manuals Book 2 by C. H. Trevor, 9780193758254 $13.52 USD

    6) Oxford Bach Books for Organ: Manuals and Pedals, Book 1: Grades 4-5 by Johann Sebastian Bach, Anne Marsden Thomas, 9780193386709 $13.15 USD

    7) Oxford Book of Christmas Organ Music for Manuals by Robert Gower, 9780193517677 $14.78 USD

    8) The Oxford Book of Lent and Easter Organ Music for Manuals by Robert Gower, 9780193517646 $14.89 USD

    Meanwhile I saved the link to this discussion thread for future reference. THANKS!!!
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • You can't go wrong with Oxford.
    I've yet to see an inferior music bearing the Oxonian imprint.
    We will pray for your son, that his dreams are fulfilled.
    Thanked by 1WillWilkin