Organs & Organists: Their Inside Stories - All you (n)ever wanted to know

Organs & Organists: Their Inside Stories - All you (n)ever wanted to know

Jenny Setchell

ISBN: 978-3-928412-21-6 (Musikverlag Dr J Butz, Book)


Number of pages: 416 pages
© 2017 Jenny Setchell
Country of manufacture: NZ
Sent to a reviewer on 22 October 2019

Foreward by Christopher Herrick

PRELUDE - In the beginning:
First, find your organist
Organist habitats
How to recognise an organist
A pianist is an organist? Nah. Nope. Nein. Nada.

PART ONE - A rough pictorial guide to pipe organs

Façades and Cases:
At first glance

Size does matter
Up close and personal
Metal, bottles, bamboo, stone, wood, or glass, anyone?
The case for cases
Taking wing
Shy, or bold as brass?
A carvery of lollipops

- Keyboards: jaws of the crocodile
- How far can you go?
- The In-betweeners
Below the belt
- Pedalboards
Stops that start
- What's in a stop name?
- Just for fun
Playing Aids
- Couplers
- Expression Pedals
- Other feats for the feet
- Sequencers
Other console gizmos
- The bottom line
- Organists in harness & other quirks
- A tale of organists: how high or low can you go?

The mechanical marvel inside:
What happens, roughly?
The organ is a human being too
Two town happ organs
- Christchurch - Rieger - 1997
- Auckland - Klais - 2010

PART TWO - Martin Setchell - On the road with a free-range concert organist

Organist on the loose:
Kitchen sink, plus plug
Hunting organs
Getting in: the key to it all
Mountaineering gear optional
The pedal-pushers
A case of mistaken identity
How long do you need?
Time, time, and more time, gentlemen, please!
'I can see you're not busy'
So you think you're going to practise?
In sickness and in health
Four Rehearsal rules for the Organ
What could possibly go wrong? Go wrong? Go wro ...
Post-concert - things audiences say

PART THREE - Adrian Marple - Organist at your service

The daily organ grinder:
A 'real-life diploma' for organists
My daughter's getting married and she wants the 'Staccato'
Will no-one rid me of this meddlesome priest?
Why organists prefer lofts
Can you hear me at the back?
Can you play for our Messiah?

PART FOUR - Life aloft as seen through the eyes of other organists - and their helpers

Life aloft around the world:
Multitaskers extraordinaire
Hallmarks of a real organist
Hitches when getting hitched
Kitsch Kristmas Wedding
Confession time
Oh dear, you're a woman
Those naughty little hidden tunes
Look Ma - no hands!
Technical Glitches
Wishful thinking
Notice the notices
Dependable Deps
Making it all up - improvisation
Who lives inside your organ?
Look what I just found?
Sordid tales from the keyboards
The journey of Organicus Grindus
Organists versus almost everything
One good turn
Builders and other organ caregivers

On the plus side:
Glorious spin-offs
The poignancy of pipes
Introducing children to organs
Moments of serendipity

Links to terms used
Keys to montages
- Up close and personal
- The carver's art, run riot
- Cherubs and angels
- Miscellaneous pedals
Thirsting for more? - Recommended Reading
Permissions and Illustrations
Photographic note

Unlock the secret world of organs and organists - you're in for a big surprise.

Colossal or tiny. Deafening or barely audible. Centuries-old or built yesterday. Famous or insignificant - and that's only the musicians. Every organ and organist is unique, but they're all fascinating, sometimes exotic, and often shrouded in mystery. Until now ...

What really goes on behind these beautiful organ façades? Are those the only pipes? Why are there so many keyboards? Why do organists play using their feet? What happens when organs go wrong? What happens if organists get locked in a building overnight? What should they do when their organ catches fire? And why did the Archdeacon of Winchester get stuck in a pipe?

Join Jenny Setchell as she unravels these and many other mysteries of the 'King of Instruments'. Lively cartoons by Al Nisbet and more than 450 exquisite photos help unveil the secrets of this 'wondrous machine' and those who play it. The ups and downs of international concert organist Martin Setchell are mercilessly exposed, while dozens of other musicians worldwide (including popular blogger Adrian Marple) confess their most embarrassing, infuriating, hilarious or uplifting times with anecdotes that will make you howl with laughter or gasp in disbelief at what they get up to behind the scenes.

Whether you are fascinated by the instrument, the music, or are just curious, Organs & Organists: Their Inside Stories is a compelling and fascinating peek into a hidden world.

Jenny Setchell is the author of Organ-isms: Anecdotes from the World of the King of Instruments and Looking Up at Organs and Ceilings.