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Thread: JS Bach: Toccata & Fuge help

  1. #1
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso methodistgirl's Avatar
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    I would like to know of an easy way to learn Taccata & fugue. I know if
    I can play that piece I have mastered the little vicks organ at my church.

  2. #2
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Hi Judy ...

    Hmmm, practice, practice, practice ... . Seriously, for practice, I always pick some soft stops as the articulation is much clearer as opposed to full organ. Later on, after the notes are learned, then engage the plenum.

    Take it slow at first, hands first, then feet ... taking special care to learn the correct fingering & pedlaing right from the beginning. On this piece, perhaps start with the Fuge. This is the most complex part of the piece and the most challenging. Once you get the manual parts learned, then do the pedal part - alone - My teacher had me clap on the first & third beat of every measure while learning the pedal notes - that method still works for me today.

    I might suggest that your personal practice time start and end with something fairly familiar that you can play well. Ending a rugged practice session on a "good note" (no pun intended) is always great positive reinforcement.

    And btw, practice, practice, practice ... there is no "easy" way to learn a difiicult piece like this. Actually, it takes just as much control, if not more, to play a slow piece in absolute perfection than a really fast paced piece. For an example, check out JS Bach's Come Sweetest Death (Virgil Fox arrangement) sometime. S-L-L-L-O-O-W-W-W-W ... one wrong note in that piece and everybody knows it without any doubts ... .

    How many ranks does the Wicks have at your church?

    Ps: I moved your post into this forum as the subject matter applies better here.
    Last edited by Krummhorn; Aug-15-2007 at 06:20.
    Kh ~~.
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    Amateur musicians practice until they get it right ...
    Pro
    fessional musicians practice until they can't get it wrong ...


  3. #3
    Midshipman, Forte
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    If you haven't studied much or any Bach, I would not suggest starting with the d minor (I assume that is the toccata and fugue you are talking about). If you already play a lot of Bach, then disregard the rest of this paragraph and skip to the next. Building your repertoire is like building a building - you start with the foundation first. The d minor is one of Bach's most easy major works, but even so I would suggest you play the eight little preludes and fugues first. They are a great and time honored introduction to Bach's works.

    Now couple of tricks about learning fugues: Learn it hands alone, then left hand and pedal, then right hand and pedal, and then all three together. Also, practicing with the manuals at a 4' pitch and the pedals at 8' helps the ear to grasp the sounds and articulations more fully.

  4. #4
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso methodistgirl's Avatar
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    Smile play something you know

    To Krummhorn:
    My idea is to play something simular to toccata & fugue like Moonlight
    Sonata by Beethoven the first part or movement. It does almost
    sound like toccata with a slower tempo. I also stick with songs that
    I know. Right now I would love to hear the pipe organ at my church
    play a contemperary praise song called My Life is in you Lord. I've
    heard it played on a syntesizer by listening to a cd. A synthesizer can
    try to sound like the real pipe organ but they don't even compare to
    each other. They have their own sound in my book. A pipe organ is
    more of a classical instrument like a violin. To me a synthesizer is more
    like a fiddle. So try Moonlight Sonata on the pipe organ. I love it!
    judy tooley

  5. #5
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    I've done Moonlight Sonata in an organ concert once ... it doesn't work in my present church as the acoustics are deader than a door-nail ... it's so bad that the sound stops before the keys are released - we are investigating ways to improve the building, but that takes $$, which the church doesn't have. Fortunately, they do have $ for maintaining the organ, so I play a wonderful organ in a dead acoustic room.

    You might try to find Fountain Reverie by Percy Fletcher. It's been out of print for a very long time, but some Universities have it in their music library collections. Even though Fletcher passed on 75 years ago, the music is still copyrighted by his publisher, but hasn't been re-printed for about 40 years or so.

    I've not heard the praise song you mention. Who was it composed by? Or who sings it on the recording?
    Kh ~~.
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    Amateur musicians practice until they get it right ...
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    fessional musicians practice until they can't get it wrong ...


  6. #6
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso methodistgirl's Avatar
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    I don't have to worry about the acoustics. At this big old Methodist church
    the acoustics are perfect. I dropped an ink pen on a wooden floor and the
    sound went all around the sanctuary like the tour guide does at the Morman
    church where they have that big pipe organ. I stood behind the pulpit when
    the place was empty except myself and it sounded real good. There were no
    echos or dead spots there. This part of the Methodist church was built in
    the late roaring 20's. I wished you could see it. The place is huge and
    very beautiful. I even cried when I first saw it.
    judy tooley

  7. #7
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso methodistgirl's Avatar
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    I need help!

    would you happen to have the sheet music to Taccata & fugue? Once
    again I had to learn on the organ what I heard from my computer. The
    Bach songbook that one of the main musicians at my church handed me
    the wrong taccata. I wonder if you can help me? My home town does
    not have a music store except sam goodies and they don't sell sheet
    music here! Years ago this town was full of music stores and now
    all of them except this one is all that is in business.
    judy tooley

  8. #8
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Mat's Avatar
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    Hi Methodistgirl. I actually have sheet music of Toccate and Fugue. So if you're interested...

  9. #9
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso methodistgirl's Avatar
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    Exclamation Well!

    I'm all eyes and ears. Tell me!

  10. #10
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Mat's Avatar
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    Well, I have it in PDF. Seems good to me. If you are still interested I suggest PM. So far I can play toccata, fugue is too much for me. Besides I don't even have access to real pipe organs. I practice on Johhanus electronic organs

  11. #11
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso methodistgirl's Avatar
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    Question Electronic organs

    isn't that kinda like a hammond organ? I played one of those before and
    I have my opinion about them. I never played a johhanus organ. Could
    you put the sheet music on the screen so I can give my printer a workout?
    I would love that.
    Judy tooley

  12. #12
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Mat's Avatar
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    In some way it is. But it's enough to play Bach on it. Ehh, I wish I could play Hammond one day... Anyway, here's something for ya

  13. #13
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso methodistgirl's Avatar
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    Talking thanks

    Thanks a million but I will only be able to print out just one sheet of it until
    sheet. I will have to copy the rest later. I'm broke now! But thanks!
    judy tooley
    Last edited by Krummhorn; Aug-28-2007 at 21:01. Reason: solicitation for funds removed

  14. #14
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso methodistgirl's Avatar
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    Talking fugued!

    I did it! I finally learned at least the first page of Taccata & fugue.
    I sat there for a minute after I got through and clapped at the organ and
    said [We did it!]. I'm still working on the piece though I'm not all of the
    way through. I still have four pages of the sheet music to go. I finally
    figured it out. You said that Taccata was hard when I find it as easy as
    falling off of the organ bench and for sure that's not hard to do! Thank's
    a million you guys for helping me find the music.
    judy tooley

  15. #15
    Seaman, Mezzoforte
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    Glad to see youve found the score, its a great piece to start learning organ on, its the first real organ piece i performed

    for further reference, if u need other scores, look at:
    www.imslp.org

    It has a lot of scores, most of bachs organ works, Mendelssohn's sonatas, etc. not many krebs, but u cant expect everything ..

    Good luck with the piece, i suggest learning the piece with a few bars at a time, and try to skip the center section (with trills and melody in the pedal part) for last, so that by the time u are ready to learn that part, you know the theme back to front.

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