"LDS ORGAN PLAYING: From Ivory Keys to Organ Pedals," by Brandon Eden, Cedar Fort, $6.99, 32 pages (nf)
The recently released "LDS Organ Playing: From Ivory Keys to Organ Pedals" is geared toward people who are proficient at hymn playing on the piano and need to transition to the organ in their ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In its 32 pages, author Brandon Eden goes over basic differences between the piano and organ. He points out that although the keyboard looks similar, there are very different challenges facing a pianist when approaching the organ for the first time.
The author uses a question and answer format to discuss common problems facing pianists at the organ, from "There are too many keyboards! What do I do with the extra keyboards?" to "Is it normal to feel like I’m falling off the bench?" Most useful, perhaps, are the suggestions on the use of the bass coupler, which can mimic the sound of the pedals being played for pianists who haven't mastered that most challenging difference between organ and piano — using their feet on the pedal board.
Ten hymn arrangements are included, where Eden has written the bass part as a separate line to make it easier for pianists to quickly see what might be played on the pedals. For each hymn, he has also included a slightly more complex bass part.
While the author discusses organ stops and how to set them into the memory presets, any discussion of which stops might be used is missing. An introduction to organ registration (which combination of stops are set) would have been useful for a pianist.
Also, he mentions the challenge of legato playing on the organ because of the lack of a damper pedal and gives some suggestions, but written examples of finger substitutions to achieve a legato sound would have been welcome.
"LDS Organ Playing" is available both as a print pamphlet and in ebook format.