Friday, 15 May 2009

As if you need an introduction

I suppose you do.

This, my reader, retaining the obvious Dickensian period breaking-of-fourth-wall, is a blog that has minimal connection with bloody pompous literature.

Instead it's ME on organs, or 'orgel' as Theo keeps reminding me to write instead.

For Christ's sake if we're really going to trace organs back to their primitive forms then we shouldn't be using German after all, but perhaps ancient Greek.

But who cares about that.

Hello and my name's Jonathan Yip. Currently 17, an age widely regarded as an ambiguous inconvenience bridging the sexual excitement brought by 16 and the boorish civil duties of 18. As you may well have guessed this blog is going to fill your heads with the subject: organs.

I'm of course referring to pipe organs. I for one am not interested at all in the dispiriting, and if not slightly amusing due to its failings, Hammond organs of electrical imitation.

I might as well clarify here that this blog started quite in a rush as I charged headlong into a sudden fad in my boarding house. I believe it's Hill who started on sports and Hilton's doing life (Life?! How desparingly dull do you have to be to write a blog on Life?!) and so by the urging adrenaline a blog was born.

And now after much babbling on rather irrelevent things let's move on to actual orgel-stuff.

Quite interestingly I've started learning the organ as an instrument for only 9 months. Yes, 9 months. I may think therefore I could legitimately look down on you because in 9 months I've finished Grade 8 with an oh-so-shiny Distinction and I'm moving on to county competitions.

But I won't look down on you, perhaps due to the sole reason that doing so might kill off my audience - or as they say here, view count.

Speaking of soles, the next blog entry would very much likely be something about organ and shoes. But until next time and the potential lurings of feet-fetishism, we'll stay on basics.

One of the most alluring traits of the pipe organ is its versatility. The main things that attracted me to 'transfer' from piano to organ is that I realised my hands are not enough in playing the contrapunctual music of Bach's gang. On the organ one of the most distinguished feats is that the musician plays not only with his hands, but also with his feet. And whilst you might think a drummer could well play a cymble with his left hand and a bass drum with one of his feet, an organist actually plays melodic lines, of ten independently, with his left and right hands and his feet.

That, my reader, is what brought me to this instrument. In some way we can say that playing the organ is like dancing: after all your feet are moving on the 'pedalboard' (the keyboard that your feet play) as if dancing in some exotic steps. What is interesting is that it is your dance that makes the music, instead of the music guiding your dance.

Or is it the other way round? After all you're reading the music and playing the notes with your feet. So it's actually the music guiding your feet.

Circular reasoning aside, I think I'll stop now. We'll soon delve more into the technicalities of the organ... perhaps making a collaboration of 'Dummies' Guide to the Pipe Organ'. Rest assured the blog will also be infested with inrecognisable rantings and sayings that only me in the world would think is witty.

Let's make a list of possible future topics: Names of organ stops, the construction of an organ, how does the thing work, discussions on organ repertoire, organ as an instrument in today's musical world, jokes on the baldness of preachers, interesting encounters in organ lofts, and how to not be a prick that continuously irritates organists by repeating a set of organ-related vocabulary without actually know them, and so on and so forth.

Meanwhile, ta-ta. This entry is brought to you by the courtesy of a blue plastic cable, which has transmitted this to you without a single complaint.

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