Organ method for adult beginner
  • Any good [historical] organ methods or graded repertoire that doesn't require proficiency or any experience on piano? What methods were used before the piano came along? Not interested in piano in the very least, but I do have classical experience on other instruments. Would preferably like something from a Catholic with music from the Renaissance or Baroque, and fingerings are a must. I am curious to know, your help would be very much appreciated.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,838
    I always recommend the Flor Peeters Little Organ Book. He uses Catholic hymns and develops them from simple melody to more complex arrangements. he gives some good but simple methods to learn pedals. It's like $13 on Amazon so not a big investment.
    Thanked by 2Kathy CHGiffen
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,838
    Another thing you might look at is the Montreal Organ Book. French Baroque for manuals, although you can add parts for pedal. Simple, short pieces that are lovely. Available online for free.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,451
    Ditto on Little Organ Book. Real music from the start, even though it's simple.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,648
    Obviously our advice has to depend on whether your "experience on other instruments" is on clavichord or tromba marina, and on whether you live far from teachers. Have you searched the archives yet? Among the previous threads are Organ self-study for those with a strong musical background and Query re the most recommendable postgrad method for organists.
  • I was reared on Gleason, one of the better methods.
    I noticed earlier this week that Oxford now has a new organ method - I would definitely look into that.
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 646
    The sacredmusic library has beginner organist source music. Perhaps it's not what you're looking for but it's a good resource.
  • When I took lessons for a while, I got a lot out of the late David Sanger's Play the Organ: A Beginner's Tutor. I just worked at my own pace, not moving on until I felt solid on one set of exercises. I simultaneously worked on the Durufle Epiphany prelude (I hear the chuckles out there) and got pretty good at the bits that didn't involve pedal. Pretty short bits, though. :) It was motivating, though, to work out some of a "real" piece that I love. I did better with one of Willan's chant-based preludes. I was invited to play during the time when our actual organist went downstairs and up to the altar rail for Communion; it started as a composed piece, but when it went off the rails, I improvised, and it wasn't too terrible (just mildly awful). The most important thing I learned was that real organists have three brains...or that years of piano builds up critical muscle memory that I didn't have and would need gobs of time to build up. May you have a better time of it!
  • Thank you all so much for your help. I guess what I was really looking for was a Suzuki-type anthology with beginner pieces (preferably Baroque/Classical) which could serve for prelude or Mass music and are already FINGERED. I guess I could just purchase the Suzuki books but I was interested in learning graded repertoire that would serve the double purpose of being performed in church. Honestly if any of you all have AMB, JS Bach, Frescobaldi, Purcell or any Catholic composers' pieces that you have fingered for students I would be more than happy to pay you for it! My experience is on string instruments, hence my need for fingerings.
  • I have the Gleason (requires previous piano study), Little Organ Book and Stainer. I will go ahead and check the ones you all have listed.
  • LarsLars
    Posts: 92
    I recently finished "Oxford organ method", I have nothing to compare it to as its my first book, but its decent, I have a classical piano education, so I was just looking to develop organ touch and pedal technique. Its probably not what the OP is looking for though, as it doesn't have graded repertoire and there are no fingering suggestions almost at all. Floor Peters book would be better imo(which I am currently studying).

    Albert Riemenschneider edition of "Das Orgel-Büchlein, BWV 599-644" has decent fingering:,_BWV_599_%E2%80%93_644_(ed._Riemenschneider).pdf

    Liber Organi has some fingering:

    most books, like 98% of them do not have fingering though.

    edit, the links I posted are linking back to the forum for some reason, I dont know whats going on....
  • Nisi
    Posts: 128
    Here is a new book, presented by the AGO this past Monday.
  • The above AGO blessed book is The New Oxford Organ Method
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,239
    Lars - I recall that the forum software has problems automatically recognising a link with brackets in it, and some other characters such as space. I get round that by typing a word such as here, highlighting it and turning it into a url, which gives <a href="here">here</a> and then changing the one between the quotes into the url you want, leaving the quotes. so it looks like <a href="http://My Link">here</a>
    Thanked by 1Lars
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,838
    Roger Davis, "The Organist's Manual..." was in use at the organ dept. where I received my masters. I had already been corrupted by Gleason, so I didn't pay much attention to the Davis, other than noting it was expensive.