Archive for June, 2012

My Organ

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I have a little digital organ that runs through software on my computer.

The midi keyboard is an M-Audio 4 octave keystation. I designed and made the desk.

The software I use is called Hauptwerk. A basic free edition of this is available at Hauptwerk.com. You have to connect a keyboard to load it. You need a computer with at least 2 gig ram, better with 4 or more gig. The software comes with a 2 manual English Cathedral organ. Obviously I can only play one manual at a time. There are quite a few other digital organs available free of charge. I also have a steam calliope, and a 2 manual harpsichord.

The better your speakers, the better the sound. If you have good quality head phones, it will sound very good, too, but I don’t like wearing them very much.

You may have to do some experimenting to get it set up properly; the main issue is that your computer and your keyboard have to talk to each other.

This is set-up is the simplest I can think of. But you can use Hauptwerk to set up a complete organ, if you are prepared to shell out money. You can buy manuals and a pedal board designed specifically for use with Hauptwerk. You can also set it up with touch-sensitive screens for stops. Then you can buy the digital capture of at least 150 pipe organs.

You can explore the possibilities at a number of web sites, for example http://www.midiworks.ca/

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Religious Music

There is so much music available on the internet, it seems like an embarrassment of riches. Here are some suggestions.

If you go to musicareligiosa.nl you will go to a web page that has two streams.

http://musicareligiosa.nl/defaultOrgel.aspx plays only organ music.

http://musicareligiosa.nl/ plays religious, Christian choral music. There are no interruptions for commercials and there are no comments, so even though this comes from the Netherlands, there is no language barrier to enjoying these sites. Each piece is identified, composer and performer, etc.

Priory records, http://www.prioryrecords.co.uk/ has an internet radio that plays both organ and choral music, by and large from the Anglican tradition.

Dutch organist Sietze de Vries has an excellent web site with organ music, both by other composers and improvisations of his own. http://www.sietzedevries.nl/

Youtube has music by many organists. Look for them, for example Cameron Carpenter, Virgil Fox, Feike Asma, Duo Majoya and many more. If you search for any of them, youtube will provide many additional links, too. If you look for the Finnish organist Kalevi Kiviniemi, you will find links to quite a few additional Finnish organist, etc.

There is a lot of music for organ with other instruments. A youtube video I think is truly wonderful, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRb8dv-8ioI this is meant as an expression of spirituality, Suphi, I would think. This Canto Ostinato has been done on piano, and so on.

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EPL.Ca

If you have a card for the Edmonton Public Library, you can access a great deal of music. This will likely work for many other libraries as well.

When you reach the library web site, look for the digital content, and then go to the digital music link. From this you can go to the Sony Library, from which you can download 3 files each week. You can also go to the Naxos link, and listen to any of thousands of CDs.

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