Figured that you might be interested in


I find it personally frustrating that people don't understand about organs and I can't figure out how to help them understand. There is no instrument like it, so it's hard to offer comparisons (piano is probably most similar, but doesn't even come close). Part of the reason why Langley needs to do some of this work is because some people decided to cut corners at the start in an attempt to reduce costs. What they saved in the short-term they're now paying for in the long-term.

Dont understand what about organs?

Pretty much everything I guess.
- Why most churches use them.
- Why some churches don't use them.
- Why some churches use other instruments.
- Why most churches don't use other instruments.
- What makes the organ "better" than other instruments.
- Why organs are so expensive, both initially and recurringly.
- Pipe organs versus digital organs.
- How pipe organs work and how each component has an effect on the whole scheme of things.
- The roles of instruments in the church and how to determine when the line has been crossed into performance.
- Why and whether instruments in the church should be improved versus spending the money on something else.

We could probably come up with an even longer list of people's viewpoints on each of these items. Some like organ, some don't. Some like piano, some don't. Some prefer one over the other, some don't care either way. Some want other instruments entirely, some are opposed. Some can tell the difference between different types of pianos, some can't. Some can tell the difference between pipe organs and digital organs, some can't.

There was a really good article in Reformed Music Journal a few years ago that addressed many of the above points. Not sure if I still have it though.

Would be interesting to share that article if you can find it. Alternately, I nominate you to write an essay on this.

Well, I found one article from that journal. I somehow suspect that it's not the one that you're looking for though, although it deals with a fairly similar topic.

Not the article I was thinking of, but an interesting history lesson surrounded by a lot of extraneous fluff. The article I'm thinking of was very much to-the-point and applicable to modern day.

As for writing an essay, I wouldn't want to without the article, and if I can find the article I won't really need to.

What did you think was fluffy?

The whole thing pretty much. Lots of words but not much is being said. Maybe I'm just biased against the author.

I had a bit of a hard time following from the author's introductory statements to the conclusion. It seemed like there was a lot of anti-organ stuff, and then all of a sudden magically organs are good again.

From what I gathered, people were opposed to organs for some reason, until something changed and then everybody changed their minds. I couldn't figure out what the issue was or what exactly changed.

then everybody changed their minds

Not everyone... just the CanRC and those around it (aren't there some churches - from Scotland I think - that the CanRC considers sister churches that sing without accompaniment?). I personally would prefer singing without accompaniment over with organ alongside.

Yes, singing a cappella is always better than singing with a poor organist who plays too slow or with no vigour. Most of the Genevan tunes were meant to be played much faster than they are in many of our churches. Then we wonder why people hate them.

Free Church of Scotland sings without accompaniment.

To each his own, but I hate singing without accompaniment because almost always the wrong starting note is picked.

That's why in many Free Churches they have a precentor and/or a pitch pipe.

You're right, it was very interesting reading! Thanks for sharing the links or I would probably never have seen it.