How to argue organ over piano
  • I'm having a bit of a dilemma dealing with some personalities, and would like to hear some suggestions from others for the following situation of mine.

    I've recently been hired as a music director of a two-church parish. Both have organs and pianos. In the first church, I play half and half between the baby grand piano and organ becuase I haven't yet decided which one is less offensive (the 1960s hammond jazz organ is in terrible condition). The second church has a very decent two-manual Rodgers, and I have been playing exclusively on that one. That church also has an upright piano, but since the Rodgers is fine, I don't even bother touching the piano.

    The pastor and I have had a couple of discussions on music. He is totally OK with Eagles Wings, Schutte, etc., and when I told him that I wanted to return reverence into the liturgy through music, and remove the overly-sentimental popular styled music, he responded by saying that "a little bit of schmaltz is good for the soul," and told me to get used to eagles wings becuase I was bound to play it. In an attempt to appease his desires and still attempt to promote tradition in the parish, I have played Gift of Finest Wheat twice, and I am the Bread of Life once. Eagles Wings, I refuse to do unless forced.

    Today, I got an e-mail from the pastor asking me to play a little bit of piano at the second church. I feel that as it is, I am already going against my consicence enough. At one point, a woman asked me to play Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up" during the liturgy, and I had to contact that Liturgy Director of the diocese to prevent this from happening. Father is a well-intentioned priest, but knows absolutely nothing about the Catholic tradition of sacred music, and has obviously been raised in a parish that lacked it. I also have no support from the congregation, as very few of them know ANYTHING about Catholicism (they didn't know the Salve in English, they don't know what EWTN is, etc.)

    My question is, how should I approach this issue? How should I speak to Father about this? I have read every church document on the matter, but no matter what I reference, Father will either refer to Sing to the Lord, or say that there needs to be some pastoral sensitivity or what not. My main position is that if Organ is the primary instrument of the Church, and you have a decent one, why touch the piano?

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Organ is not the primary instrument of the Church. The human voice is.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,283
    I think the problem is a bit deeper than organ vs. piano.

    At some point pretty soon you're going to need to make a decision about whether peaceful, gainful employment is more or less important to you than the ideals of Roman Catholic Church Music.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • The pastor and I have had a couple of discussions on music. He is totally OK with Eagles Wings, Schutte, etc., and when I told him that I wanted to return reverence into the liturgy through music, and remove the overly-sentimental popular styled music, he responded by saying that "a little bit of schmaltz is good for the soul," and told me to get used to eagles wings becuase I was bound to play it. In an attempt to appease his desires and still attempt to promote tradition in the parish, I have played Gift of Finest Wheat twice, and I am the Bread of Life once. Eagles Wings, I refuse to do unless forced.
    Today, I got an e-mail from the pastor asking me to play a little bit of piano at the second church. I feel that as it is, I am already going against my consicence enough.


    Dear bjford, welcome if you're new to the forum.
    Adam is absolutely spot on- all your answers are within your own words I've excerpted above.
    You spoke your "piece/peace" at your interview and these discussions. He responded with his preferences. You've accepted the "job" without pretense or misunderstanding. Who's signing your paycheck? It really is that simple. But, persuasion and friendly collaboration rather than confrontation ("Why thank you, madam, for the suggestion, I will greatly consider the Groban song for its appropriate use at Mass, God bless you.")
    Regarding your dilemma about organ/piano. Hammonds do suck wind (pun alert) but, with skilled hands can serve to support the voice with appropriate literature. Upright pianos suck because they're just ugly, but if in tune and with a decent tone they can support singing with appropriate literature.
    Whats this "appropriate literature" stuff mean? You have to decide whether OEW is better supported by the dog piano or the dog organ. My personal philosophy is that with sacropop, avoid using the publisher's prescribed accompaniment arrangements if your accompanist is a top notch improviser. Use either the organ or piano to breathe more life into the harmonic foundation underneath the sacropop melodies. If you have another accompanist available, try using both piano and organ on sacropop together. Let one play the assigned arrangement, the other "color" with improvised accompaniment in harmony with the real chordal structure.
    And use stealth and cunning to persuade your pastor/employer and the PIPs of the two churches. Try using the grand piano ala George Winston or Philip Aaberg (Windham Hill new-agey pianists) to accompany a well-known chant such as Adoro te, just to show versatility. Then use just the organ for Bob Hurd's "Ubi caritas." Wean these folks towards chant with imagination and expertise.
    I'm reminded of this by this coming Friday's first reading at Mass: "He said to me, “Take and swallow it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will taste as sweet as honey.” I took the small scroll from the angel’s hand and swallowed it. In my mouth it was like sweet honey, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour." What a revelation!
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    bjford,

    Welcome to the forum!

    In times of difficulty, sadness, and despair, always remember the words of a great Church musician, who gently reminds his pupils that "the life of a Church musician is a life of sacrifice."

    In other words, try not to lose face, even in the face of obstacles and difficulties.

    Also, you might want to listen to the words of Dr. Mahrt who addresses issues like these on SBU, as well as the hour-long interview with Jeffrey Tucker on the SBU DVD.
    Thanked by 1Claire H
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,101
    bjford

    Here is a scripture to repeat to yourself over and over as you carefully stay employed in the RC Church.

    "For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places." Ephesians 6:12
    Thanked by 2Kathy Claire H
  • Thank you all for your responses. Thank you especially Charles-- you have some excellent ideas that I will definitely start applying at the parish.
  • Thank you, bjf, 'cepting that Prof. Mahrt just "scrapped" my thesis to pieces in David's thread! ;-)
    But I'm quite happy to receive any fraternal correction from da Man! I might have to give him a hard time in New Orleans by signing up for his advanced chant series!
  • mahrt
    Posts: 505
    I would look forward to it, Charles!
  • Well, dear Professor, I'm just rejoicing my bride wants to do an intensive! I was kind of hoping to be a tourist, help AOZ with registration/books/stuff, and hang around NOLA. But, when we get there and if there is still room, I will formally register and try to be a "teacher's pet!"
    Thank you for all you do and have done for our church, Doctor Mahrt!
    Charles
  • hartleymartin
    Posts: 1,447
    Tell them that playing old hymns on the organ doesn't attract a licensing fee for copyright.
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,392
    "Wean these folks towards chant with imagination and expertise."

    I think weaning is the key here. Slow and skillful weaning. Consider it a five year project.
    Thanked by 1Claire H
  • TCJ
    Posts: 615
    The first place I worked had a piano, but fortunately none of the pastors ever asked me to use it. I did use it once when the power on the organ went out, but that was just an emergency. None of them said "Hey, I like the piano, why don't you use it more?" I did have a cantor ask me why I didn't use the piano and I told her that I was hired to play the organ. That was that.

    Now, the style of music that could be played is a different story. I've had a couple of pastors inform me that I need to be more diverse and use the modern trendy stuff. The first one asked because he liked all the schmaltz and there wasn't a thing I could do to change his mind. He was convinced that any musician who didn't like a bunch of the modern funeral type music was not taking his job as a "minister" seriously. In situations like that, there's not much that you, as the music director, can do if you wish to hold on to your job for long.

    Another church I had a slightly similar situation, but it was different in that the priest, during the interview, actually agreed with my ideas, though looking back I don't know if he did so because he didn't know much about music and was just deferring to me or because he was just anxious to get someone new to replace the old MD. For awhile he let me do as I pleased, but eventually subtle whisperings in his ear by some other employees got to him and he started believing that music was a reason people were leaving the church, that the music wasn't familiar enough to the people (This is my parish of my entire life, I know better what they know, but he wouldn't believe me!). Again, once the pastor has his mind set on something, there is little that you can do to change his mind, so you either have to go with it or depart. Fortunately, in both cases, I could jump ship because there were other places to go, but now... I think I'm running out of places to run!

    Think about your situation, too. If you have a family to support, packing up and leaving when you don't agree with the pastor may not be the best idea, even if you do have to play Eagle's Wings (for the record, the pastor I now work for agrees with me that that piece is theologically unsound). Of course, if your conscience absolutely tells you that you cannot work under these conditions, then do what you have to do, but I do wonder (not much!) if playing stuff like that is truly wrong in itself. Very poor taste? Yes. Theologically shallow? Yes. Makes your ears bleed? Yes, but you get some years off purgatory!

    And finally, I like the idea of weaning people toward chant. The use of chant is one thing that a pastor cannot argue against (many will, but they shouldn't!), so by all means, wean them onto it. Not guaranteed to work, but who knows... the pastor may actually like it.
    Thanked by 2E_A_Fulhorst Gavin
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,995
    Pianos are percussive, like drums. You don't want drums! Do you?
  • TCJ
    Posts: 615
    Best not go there. They may want 'em!
    Thanked by 3Kathy E_A_Fulhorst JL
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,860
    We have a Roland piano in the loft that was purchased by a former DOM. She was a very good pianist, which I am not, and could use it well. It sits idle now except for an occasional wedding - I don't do weddings, BTW. That piano is not any good in a power failure, but I did use it for a short time while the organ blower was being rebuilt.
  • hartleymartin
    Posts: 1,447
    If they have an Electric Piano, switch to the organ sound just before mass starts so they'll be occupied whilst you are doing it right. :-P
  • donr
    Posts: 940
    I would suggest to the Pastor that you will do some of the schmaltz at one or maybe two of the masses. You would like to keep one as purely sacred music only.
    I would like to suggest that the best choir be at that mass. I am not saying to do a bad job at the others. But the sure beauty of the sacred mass will effect people.

    I have the opposite problem. I am in a liberal parish with all schmaltz. It has taken me years but at least now I am using the communion antiphon and have gotten permission to use the introit starting in Advent. We have added some Latin hymns as communion meditation hymns. I have nothing but good feedback from the congregation and nothing but push back from the choir but it is slowly starting to turn.

    My goal is to turn one mass complete sacred. I will give it another 3 years before that happens.
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,860
    Hartleymartin, the organ sound on the Roland sounds terrible. I did use it once, but never again.
  • doneill
    Posts: 161
    The documents are useful, but because Sacrosanctum concilium clearly allows other instruments than the organ, it is difficult to base your entire argument on that. You might try arguing from a purely musical standpoint. It is correct that the human voice is the principal instrument of the church. The organ is more appropriate than the piano, not just for historical reasons, but also for physical-acoustic principals: the organ is the instrument that most resembles the human voice, and is the most suited for supporting singing, when played in a sensitive manner. Keep in mind that the organ was not originally considered a sacred instrument at all; however, they eventually figured out that it was mighty effective to accompany singers. I would argue that a pipe organ is more suited than an electronic, because a pipe organ actually has wind coursing through its system - like a human voice, it breathes. However, that may be a fight not worth having at this time. If the church is small, a good piano could be effective in some cases (although even a small pipe organ of a few effective ranks would be better). In a large reverberant space, the piano is hopeless in attempting to support singing. A piano contains its own resonating system, so the overtones are a mess, and the sound starts dying immediately after you strike the key. I happen to personally love playing the piano, and listen to it played beautifully, but that doesn't make it a great church instrument. You might give the Snowbird Statement to him to read, too - it deals with these issues, and of the issue of standards in the large picture.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,283
    Depending on the size of the parish (number of people... and thus budget), the size of the building, and the available talent, a good piano makes a fine accompaniment to congregational singing, and is vastly superior to any organ (and sometimes, organist) that can be had.

    So, on the one hand, I'm a little tired of the "piano is never appropriate" refrain.

    But, on the other hand: similar to the "all other things being equal" caveat in SC- the fact that some situations explicitly warrant deviation from the norm/ideal should not be taken as license to abandon it altogether in order to chase one's preferences.

    (This is indicative of the larger issue in Catholic Music. Is it okay the sometimes propers are not used? Sure. In this particular instance, is it okay? Maybe. Is it reasonable that the vast majority of parishes have never heard a proper in their life? We clearly have a problem.)
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,101
    when an organ argues with a piano the organ always wins
  • I am a pianist that is an Organist wannabe. My parish has a synthesizing keyboard, that, while not an organ by any stretch of the imagination, does have some good organ settings that I use quite often. We are in the process of building a new church and we've been promised an organ. I cannot wait and will begin lessons before long in anticipation of our move-in. To me, nothing spells Catholic more beautifully than chanted music and/or organ sounds.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,101
    musicteacher

    don' t bank on a promise
    get an organ committee going NOW
    get a Roland for TEMPORARY use and then plan to get the real deal
    NOWS THE TIME
    plan to do it
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • TCJ
    Posts: 615
    Many years ago, the pastor said that the church would get a new pipe organ after some remodeling. He meant it. The bishop said no even though the parish had the means to get one.

    So, yeah... don't count on one.
  • Scott_WScott_W
    Posts: 451
    "a little bit of schmaltz is good for the soul"

    Wow. Talk about mendacity by understatement. Schubert's Ave Maria is schmaltz. The sacropoop examples you give are beyond schmaltz, they are right out of what B16 called the "cult of the banal"--a force which has swallowed the liturgy and we all live in its belly.

    Sadly, I have no advice for dealing with such people other than prayer and fasting.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I glanced at the original post (and my frankly brilliant response). I might answer differently now:

    How do you argue against your boss for organ over piano?

    Answer: You don't. Don't argue with the boss. Respectfully and clearly give your perspective why one is better, but then DROP IT and follow orders.

    If you don't like the orders, work somewhere where you do.
    Thanked by 1R J Stove
  • "Depending on the size of the parish (number of people... and thus budget), the size of the building, and the available talent, a good piano makes a fine accompaniment to congregational singing, and is vastly superior to any organ (and sometimes, organist) that can be had."

    Adam? What?
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,101
    ditto

    Adam? What?
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I agree with Adam completely. In a small space, less than 20 people, the more intimate sound of the piano is much better suited for worship.

    If you have more than 20 people, I suggest the organ.
  • More suited for a bar.

    Where do we stop? 21 people = must have organ? 19 people = roll the piano back in?

    The piano is a very convincing instrument, able to create lovely sounds when played softly, but they are not sounds of the Catholic church.

    The entire body of music of the Catholic church eschews accompaniment by rhythmic instruments. The melodic lines are rhythmic as the words determine the rhythm. The moment you insert a piano the rhythm comes from the percussive sounds of the piano. If you are unable to lead the singing of 20 or less people with an organ, the problem is the technique of the organist, not the instrument.

    Francis, step up to the plate, I'm afraid that when I hit 4,000 my account will shut down forever!



  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,101
    well, i often accompany 1 person on the organ
    its called an 8' flute or the celeste
    also
    2-20 for daily mass
    the organ (with proper registration) can be just as intimate as any other instrument
    btw... i also play a kawai in our church
    i accompany 500 people with it
    but it is not the insrument of the liturgy

    gavin, you loose credibility with your statement on numbers

    fnj

    we are gathered around the odometer waiting to celebrate your accomplishment
  • marajoymarajoy
    Posts: 781
    ^^^ LOL! (Be sure to start a new thread announcing the fact, so that we all can gain at least one additional post in congratulating you!)
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,283
    1. The first time I ever heard Gregorian Chant in a liturgical setting, it was being accompanied by a piano. A Franciscan monk, incidentally. It was wonderful. Not to mention, for a kid brought up on folk mass (and all the other people at the retreat center, who were all middle-aged liberals) it was possibly the best way to transition into chant.

    2. As I have said several times- some congregations simply cannot afford an organ. Period. What's the alternative, exactly?

    3. Were I in a situation where (2) was the case (oh... I am!) and where there is a mixture of chant, polyphony (a little), choral music, and hymns (oh... that's me too), I would greatly prefer a good piano on hymns and then nothing on the chant and polyphony. Non-polyphonic choral music varies, but I try to do as much unaccompanied music as possible- even hymns when feasible/authentic (for example- early American hymns, I try to do unaccompanied).

    4. Regarding not just instrument availability, but also available talent: I don't play the organ. Wish I did, of course. I only barely play the piano- not well enough that I think I should be accompanying at Mass. So, I need to hire an accompanist. What is the fair market price differential between a GOOD organist and a GOOD pianist? That probably depends on where you are, but I have found pianists much easier to find.

    5. And this one will really annoy the purists: I do a "blended" service. Maybe you think that's a terrible idea, or maybe you think it's fine since I work at an Episcopal parish, but whatever. The point is- I am likely, on any given Sunday, to mix Irish folk with Anglican Chant, to sing a Gospel song followed by Palestrina. Just looking at the last month or so of "Post Communion Meditation" songs, we have sung Taize, David Haas, pop P&W, and Gregorian Chant hymns. The piano (IMveryHO) is the best instrument for jumping styles the way that we do- it ties things together remarkably well and makes the mixture (which COULD sound like a kaleidoscopic cacophony) work together as a decently unified whole. (The consistent use of unaccompanied singing works toward that as well).

    6. Would I take a big awesome organ if I could? Of course. Would I take a beautiful, small tracker-action chapel organ with a leaning toward English Baroque, if it was available? Oh heck yeah!
    But in an argument between a nice piano and a vacuum-tube Hammond salvaged from some funeral parlor? Or between a nice piano and a living-room Lowrey? Or a nice piano at $3-5000 and a barely-passable digital organ at $10,000? Or between an excellent piano player with good taste, and the only organist in the area willing to work for our paltry little stipend?

    There are ideals, and then there is real life.
    If I could work in an ideal parish, I would.
    But... I don't.
  • When I hit 4k, I am taking a break to let Francis catch up and assume the lead postion.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,101
    adam and gavin

    those are all addendums to (your) original argument and do not support the numbers rule
    i play a mixed service

    i use piano
    i use guitar
    i use organ

    i can use any of them to support a congregation of 1-500

    (recenty i began playing guitar and organ pedals for contemporary music)

    still, your pronounement on numbers justifying the piano doesn't hold water
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Smaller congregations sing differently than larger ones. They sing better with piano accompaniment than with organ accompaniment. Either can be effectively used, but in many situations, which exist in the real world, the piano is the superior instrument.

    As Adam stated, all of this is an exception to a plain rule. So I don't get the level of defensiveness exhibited by some in this thread, as though massed forces are seeking to replace fine organs with pianos.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,101
    Gavin said
    Smaller congregations sing differently than larger ones. They sing better with piano accompaniment than with organ accompaniment.

    baloney
    Either can be effectively used, but in many situations, which exist in the real world, the piano is the superior instrument.

    contradiction to your original position and double baloney
    As Adam stated, all of this is an exception to a plain rule. So I don't get the level of defensiveness exhibited by some in this thread, as though massed forces are seeking to replace fine organs with pianos.

    we the "some" are not the least bit defensive. the organ IS THE instrument promoted and endorsed by Mother Church. so on the contrary, YOU are on the defensive side.

    massed forces no. ignorant, uneducated and biased forces yes.
    ...and you are up to post 1,925
    so by my little rule about posting on this forum,
    no mercy
    see thread " * A proposed rule for the group..."

    eg. try accompanying 20 people on a piano in a gothic cathedral (been there, tried that)
  • "They sing better with piano accompaniment than with organ accompaniment."

    No, they sing better with you playing the piano instead of with you playing the organ.


    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,283
    fnj last post is very interesting

    If it were ME in particular, "they" (whoever they are) would sing better with me playing piano than with me playing the organ. And really, they would sing better unaccompanied than with me doing anything at all.

    My last accompanist was an organist, and the only organ we have is a Hammond. (For this hymn, I'll use the vacuum tube stop on the Great, with the vacuum tubes on the swell, and then for the last verse I'll add some more vacuum tubes on the pedal. For the English Baroque prelude, I'll use the vacuum tubes that sound like NAAAAAAAA, and then the French Romantic postlude I'll use the vacuum tubes that like BLEEEEEEEEE.)

    He played very well, but he also played too slow for our space/size. Lucky for him, he recently took a job at a conservative Anglican church with a real, tracker-action pipe organ.

    My new accompanist is a pianist, primarily. Instead of a vacuum-tube organ, he plays a digital piano. Even factoring in the relative qualities of the two faked instruments (vacuum tube organ vs. microchip piano), the new situation is an improvement. Congregational singing of both hymns and service music is VASTLY improved, and will be even better when we manage to get a nice, real piano.

    And that's sort of my point- and Gavin's I imagine (who, I understand, is a fine organist)- in some situations, the piano (or the fake piano) is the best available option. Not the best ideal- just the best thing available.

    And because some of us find ourselves in a situation where that is the case, it is (frankly) disheartening to be told (over and over) that not only is organ preferred/superior (which is obvious), but that the piano is so inferior and so ill suited that it's basically a crime to use it during liturgy and that if we're going to be using piano, we might as well be using conga drums and giant puppets because, you know, it's all in the crapper anyway.

    So, yeah- I'm a little defensive about it.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,101
    adam

    there is no need to be defensive

    the hammond is NOT an organ
    its a synthesizer
    so when you declare something about the organ and you are actually talking about the B3, well there is going to be a huge issue on this forum

    i TOTALLY agree with you!

    A hammond is for jazz and rock. nothing else. i'd take a piano over a hammond in a heartbeat for any liturgy.
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,545
    It's for jazz and rock only?

    Someone didn't read their Wikipedia before posting.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hammond_organ
  • The piano has never been part of the tradition of the Catholic church, nor mainline Protestant churches. Acceptance of the piano grows the further the church moves from liturgical worship.

    The Organ is not pipes / digital / vacuum tubes.

    It is sustained tone that is non-percussive, an instrument that moves wind and that achieves accent, not through increased volume, but through articulation, a breath of air, between notes.

    An accordeon is preferable to a piano when playing at Catholic mass.

    A Hammond organ sat prominently on the main floor of St. Patrick's cathedral, NYC for many ears. There was no pipe organ division down front. A Hammond organ can be set to provide fundamental pitch.

    Many are not aware, I am sure, that finding a piano in a Catholic or almost all Protestant churches in the NE USA was a rare event and even so, many of them in Protestant churches were rolled, in played, and rolled back out to stay in the parish hall until a special occasion called for it.

    The piano was prized for its ability to lead singing in rehearsals, but rehearsals ended up in the church where the organ then assumed it role of accompanying all the singing.

    A choir that had to be accompanied on piano was considered to be second-rate, unable to carry the rhythm of the music in their song, needing a crutch to get by.

    The piano is in the catholic church primarily because it is cheaper than an organ and most trained organists abandon the catholic church for all the reasons were are aware of, and that leaves pianists.
    Thanked by 1Steve Collins
  • Bayan Rules.
  • And for Charles in Cen Ca, banned from singing in Orthodox Russian Churches, the Red Army Chorus finds a new home.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lNFRLrP014
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,283
    I guess I'll start the papier-mâché mix.
  • Not wishing to be on the 'defensive' in this matter (rectitude needs no defense), but: there Are small organs which are quite at home in small churches with small numbers of people. Are my esteemed friends who are advocating pianos in such situations really serious? Might they want to give this a more considered 'second thought'? If I were one in a group of five or twenty or fifty people in a church, I shouldn't think of a piano as anything other than an annoying and odious intrusion. Nor would I sing. Where pianos are used in churches they are there at the behest of those who have zero sense of liturgical ethos, zero cultural intelligence, and a very mistaken notion of what excites people into song. There are organs of every size for every budget which are perfect for any given number of people in any acoustical environment. Pianos are for playing Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms. Further, people are quite capable of singing without any instrument, and it is healthy and admirable for them to do so. If indeed they can't, then a piano is just covering up their poor singing. They aren't singing better at all.
  • I regularly play for masses on this instrument:

    http://www.sydneyorgan.com/Campion.html

    8' Stopped Diapason
    4' Wald Flute
    8' Keraulophon

    All Enclosed.

    With the swell shut and only using the Stopped Diapason I quite readily accompany cantoring of Psalms.

    Depending on how many people I have at mass I may only need to add either the 4' Flute or 8' Keraulophon (often alternating between Hymn verses). If a full congregation of about 70 is present I need all stops out.

    Pianos are not better than organs for accompaniment, especially not for hymn singing. They are also incapable of the long sustained notes that one may desire for drones or pedal-point in music.

    I say this having spent 8 years in a Piano Academy. Even a small electric organ properly set up with good speakers and sensible registration is better than a piano in every church situation. Even a harmonium is preferable!
  • A Keraulophon?
    You Do have a venerable instrument!
  • Regarding the argument of organ vs. piano in a small church of limited means:

    This problem was solved 150 years ago.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmonium

    The same size as an upright piano and a fraction of the price of a Clavinova or Roland if you watch estate auction listings.