Piping Up! Backstage: Tour of Practice Organs w/ Linda Margetts

Piping Up! Backstage: Tour of Practice Organs w/ Linda Margetts

For the full First Anniversary concert of Piping Up!: https://youtu.be/PcIdWhf3y-E
FIVE Organists Perform Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, Final Mvt. on Casavant Frères organ in the chapel of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building: https://youtu.be/uQpZUlYi1H0

Piping Up! host Luke Howard, gets a tour of the Assembly Hall Practice Organs on Temple Square in Salt Lake City from Temple Square Organist Linda Margetts. Additionally Margetts discusses using Bluetooth technology to read her music. Margetts as been performing at the Temple Square organ recitals for just over 40 years. Her first Tabernacle Organ recital was in April of 1981.

For technical exercises, piano practice plays a regular part in the organ routine. Pianos have a heavier touch than the organs we play, so doing some scales and studies on the piano actually helps keep our fingers nimble and strong. And then we move to practicing our repertoire on one of these practice organs.

The organs were installed in the late 1970s and early 80s when the Assembly Hall was remodeled.

The largest practice organ was built by the Austin Organ company of Hartford, Connecticut—the console dates from 1963, and the chests and pipework were redone in 1982. It has 13 stops, 12 ranks, 727 pipes, and an electro-pneumatic key and stop action, similar to the Tabernacle and Conference Center Organs. This organ has a “pedal-borrow” feature that simulates the effect of the Pedal-to-Swell coupler on the Tabernacle and Conference Center organs, which comes in handy especially when we need to play four-hand organ accompaniments for the Choir. The player sitting on the left side of the bench can play the pedal part on one of the manuals with their left hand, since playing the actual pedals is much more difficult when you’re not sitting in the middle of the bench!

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Another practice organ was built by Kenneth Coulter in 1985, the Bach tricentennial year, and was designed specifically to imitate some of the features of German late-baroque organs. It has a mechanical action, low wind pressure, hammered metal pipes, and is not tuned to equal temperament, unlike most modern keyboard instruments. It’s actually tuned in Kirnberger III temperament. With unequal temperament, each of the major and minor keys has its own unique quality and character. That was such an important feature of baroque keyboard music that’s lost entirely with equal temperament. This organ also has the option of pumping the bellows by hand, to get even a little closer to the 18th-century experience.

Next is the Casavant organ which was built in 1979, and it’s also a mechanical action or tracker organ. It has two interchangeable pedal boards—the concave pedal board that’s standard in the United States, and a flat pedal board to imitate the older organs in Europe. This is quite a charming little instrument, with 8 stops, 7 ranks, and 388 pipes.

One question that often comes up in the chat almost every time Linda play on Piping Up! is how she reads her music digitally from a tablet instead of using traditional sheet music. There are two ways to turn the pages. She can simply touch the screen, or she can push a Bluetooth button that she sticks onto the organ console near the thumb pistons. That’s for when her fingers are too busy to reach up and touch the screen itself.

Piping Up! Organ Concerts at Temple Square, First Anniversary Concert, 2021.

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Tag liên quan đến Piping Up! Backstage: Tour of Practice Organs w/ Linda Margetts

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3 Comments on “Piping Up! Backstage: Tour of Practice Organs w/ Linda Margetts”

  1. WONDERFUL video!! Thanks for sharing these things, it is so fun to watch these "behind the scenes" videos! Please never stop!

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