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Thread: Pedal trills?

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso rojo's Avatar
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    Pedal trills?

    Ok, just a question I thought I`d throw out here. Does one ever have to do trills with the foot pedals? And how would one go about doing that?
    ''Music, I feel, should be emotional first and intellectual second.'' - Maurice Ravel
    ''The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.'' - Michael Jackson


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    Rear Admiral Appassionata
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    Yes - I use both feet, but no matter how much I might practice these - They still sound clumsy to my ear...

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    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster
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    Yes, it's possible and it's done with both feets (toes). I think it works best to do them ad lib, then I mean don't count the trills out - specially for long trills like in the "wedge" fugue if I remember correctly.

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    Recruit, Pianissimo
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    There are a number of pedal trills in Max Reger's 'Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme' that lend themselves to playing with the left foot only, as the right foot is busy operating swell pedals or crescendo pedals.

    Bach's 'Toccata' BWV 564 requires some short trills, as well as containing three written out 7 note, minor 3rd trills.

    I found that trilling without stopping until my legs relaxed (as much as possible) then stopping and trying a short trill while keeping the same level of relaxation was helpful in preparing for trilling in pieces. It is also very useful to listen carefully to ensure that the trill is not so fast that pipes don't have a chance to speak.
    Last edited by DMac; Apr-26-2007 at 04:16.

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso rojo's Avatar
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    K, thanks guys.

    Gosh, hard to imagine doing a long trill with one`s feet! And how does one trill with only one foot? It can`t be a very fast trill, I guess; going from one pedal to the other with the same foot...
    ''Music, I feel, should be emotional first and intellectual second.'' - Maurice Ravel
    ''The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.'' - Michael Jackson


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    Ensign, Principal Simon Jansfort's Avatar
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    Probablt be using the heel don't you think? I don't know, I haven't gotten that far yet, but if you can with you're fingers it's just a matter of practise to be able to do it with your feet.
    http://www.jansfort.com - A work in progress.
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    Both in danish

  7. #7
    Midshipman, Forte
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEB View Post
    Yes - I use both feet, but no matter how much I might practice these - They still sound clumsy to my ear...
    One thing to make sure is that your legs are relaxed while perfoming them, and that you don't trill faster than you can control it - one is tempted to simply letting the feet trill as fast as possible, but first of all it sounds very muddy in the low register, secondly it's not very musical, and thirdly, it tires out the legs very fast. Slow, controlled trills is the way to go!

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    Thanks Tom.

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Hmmm, fast trill with one foot ... it would have to be toe/heel - that would take lots of practice to perfect, not to mention superb ankle control.

    The Ellsasser arrangement of The Lost Chord has a one measure pedal trill in the last bars of the piece of D & C# ... the tendency is to trill too fast, but as Tom & DMac have pointed out, slower is better, and I quite agree with that .

    Bach has good amounts of trills and mordents for sure.

    Not only trills, but chords for the feet, too ... 4 note chords at that, too. In the organ piece Variations de Concert of Joseph Bonnet, there is a Cadenza for the pedalboard alone !! I have to grip the bench with both hands when playing that part.
    Kh ~~.
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  10. #10
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso rojo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krummhorn View Post
    Hmmm, fast trill with one foot ...that would take ... superb ankle control.
    Yeah, that`s what I would figure...

    Bach has good amounts of trills and mordents for sure.
    Actually, when this question occurred to me, a Bach piece I once learned (and have since forgotten ) came to mind. Prelude No.16 from his WTC, where the trills stretch for the entire bar. (And yes, I learned the fugue as well. )

    Not only trills, but chords for the feet, too ... 4 note chords at that, too. In the organ piece Variations de Concert of Joseph Bonnet, there is a Cadenza for the pedalboard alone !! I have to grip the bench with both hands when playing that part.
    Sounds pretty crazy; would love to see/hear that! I assume the chords are broken, somehow. Or some of the notes are close enough together that thery are playable at the same time by the foot/feet.

    Thanks for the info, everyone.

    Here`s a related question: What is, or who does the fastest trill (with the feet/foot) that you have ever heard? What piece and/or what artist?
    ''Music, I feel, should be emotional first and intellectual second.'' - Maurice Ravel
    ''The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.'' - Michael Jackson


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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    On pedal chords:
    Quote Originally Posted by rojo View Post
    ... would love to see/hear that! I assume the chords are broken, somehow. Or some of the notes are close enough together that thery are playable at the same time by the foot/feet.

    Here`s a related question: What is, or who does the fastest trill (with the feet/foot) that you have ever heard? What piece and/or what artist?
    Here's a little video of a piece for pedals. Don't know who is playing and the audio is not too good (the 'clacking' seems to be the tracker mechanical action). Half way through, there are block chords being played, and just before the end, there is a trill, and the piece ends with a D minor chord.
    + YouTube Video
    ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


    Notice the heels on the organ shoes ... interesting Those must be 1-1/2" - mine are 3/4" What do the rest of the organists here use?
    Last edited by Krummhorn; Apr-27-2007 at 00:13.
    Kh ~~.
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  12. #12
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso rojo's Avatar
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    Now that is cool. A great view of how it`s done; and not at all how I pictured it. I didn`t know the 'white keys' were so long. And the touch is obviously so light. The trill is actually much faster than I imagined possible. I see the heel of the shoe is an important element, for chords etc.. Great example, Kh. Thanks.
    ''Music, I feel, should be emotional first and intellectual second.'' - Maurice Ravel
    ''The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.'' - Michael Jackson


  13. #13
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    Interesting topic. I too would site the Bach Toccata, Adagio & Fugue - the long pedal solo in the Toccata has a couple of trills and written out ornaments which aren't that difficult using alternating feet (toes of course).

    Reger's Introduction & Passacaglia in d min has a variation with some rather serious pedal trills, but again they're manageable with alternating feet.

    I'm certain that others here have played the finale of Langlais' Hommage a Frescobaldi - plenty of four note chords to keep the feet happy (or not) in that one! I've often had requests about dancing lessons after performing it. Speaking of which, I actually do use dancing shoes for playing.

    Matt
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

  14. #14
    Rear Admiral Appassionata
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    Quote Originally Posted by rojo View Post
    Now that is cool. A great view of how it`s done; and not at all how I pictured it. I didn`t know the 'white keys' were so long. And the touch is obviously so light. The trill is actually much faster than I imagined possible. I see the heel of the shoe is an important element, for chords etc.. Great example, Kh. Thanks.
    I've never seen a view like that before and it's a real eye opener. Very cool indeed!

    If you do a search of the net, there's a few places selling organ shoes and they all seem to have about 1 1/2 inch heels. I had wondered why they were so, now I know.

  15. #15
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    Shoes links

    I was wrong - they are 1 1/4 inch heels from these sources.

    Here's some links.

    US customers/sizes.

    http://www.organmastershoes.com

    and one for UK sizing.

    http://www.allegro.co.uk/organmaster-shoes-c-559.html

    Sorry - I wouldn't know where to look for European sizing...

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