Method

The Method section of this website is intended to help someone who is not familiar with the task of accompanying a choir from a pipe organ. It contains necessary elements for elementary choral accompaniment at the organ. As such, it is intended to be viewed as a pedagogical method for those who are at a beginning or early intermediate level of organ performance and choral accompaniment. I am not addressing either separate discipline from the very beginning; rather, I include elements that overlap between the disciplines of choral accompaniment and organ performance. Therefore, I assume that the reader will have some previous organ and choral experience, including general musical knowledge.

I consider all of the concepts here preparatory work that should be thought through, planned for, and rehearsed prior to any sort of public rehearsal or performance. This section may be thought of as how to prepare the ingredients for a recipe. The ingredients of an organ and choral performance are visible: you need an organ, a choir, some shared music, a performance space, and a conductor to keep the ingredients together. A lot of work needs to happen before those elements come together, however. The fundamental responsibilities of the accompanist are addressed here: the organ, the organ and choral music, and the organist’s relationship with the conductor.