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Turning my legs from very low to very high

Playing or learning the organ, hints, tips and tricks, registrations, techniques, fingerings, ...

Turning my legs from very low to very high

Postby sesquialtera » Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:12 pm

... or turning my legs from left to right side of the pedalboard.
Hello all.
How do you manage to quickly go from the left side of the pedalboard to the right side while playing ?
(or from right to left ? )
I'm trying to learn JSB prelude & fugue in g minor BWV 535.
http://imslp.org/wiki/Prelude_and_Fugue ... bastian%29
(but I've already encountered this problem in other pieces ... )
In the fugue, bar 55, page 118, third line, in the pedal part, there is a two octaves jump from low D to high D, so I have to quickly turn both of my legs from side to side, but my hands are on the keyboard, so I can't catch the bench to do this. I'm sure the wrong way is to press the keys very hard and tense my fingers to push on them and lift my ass and turn my body...
Do I need to put some oil on the bench ? :P
Can you give me an advice, please ? Thank you in advance.
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Re: Turning my legs from very low to very high

Postby josq » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:00 pm

To my knowledge, non-legato pedal playing is often perfectly acceptable for Bach's music, so you may play all high notes with your right foot only. Toes only seems to be the rule for Bach's music.
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Re: Turning my legs from very low to very high

Postby engrssc » Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:11 pm

Oil on the bench is a large no - no. Some well meaning (I think) church cleaners a while back thought the console (including the bench) needed some wax. WOW. That was a mistrake. :o :mrgreen: :roll:

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Turning my legs from very low to very high

Postby sesquialtera » Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:24 pm

Thank you for your replies.

@Josq : I fully agree for the non legato, it is far more beautiful,
but toes-only* seems more difficult ... anyway, I'll try the begining of this pedal line with the right foot only.

(toes only seems to be the rule ? Who can be sure Bach did'nt use his heels ? )

@engrssc : this could be great for playing "glissandi" ...
"What was that sound ? Did you play a new modern piece with strong cluster chords ? "
" No, I've just fallen from the bench !" :wink:
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Re: Turning my legs from very low to very high

Postby josq » Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:48 pm

Haha that would be a glisssssando in a double sense...

Sesquialtera: do you mean it is hard to reach the highest pedal tones anyway, in that case maybe the organ bench is a bit too high?

I don't know if there is baroque literature about pedalling technique, probably there is?
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Re: Turning my legs from very low to very high

Postby CWEB » Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:45 pm

It's one of the more awkward aspects of organ technique. And just when you've got it, a change of console or even trousers puts a spoke in the wheel!

There isn't a single straight answer - it's quite an individual thing. But a few general thoughts....

Getting the correct bench position and posture is prerequisite.

Doing a full 'twist again' is a last resort - as you've realised it is almost impossible to execute without grasping hold of something solid. Instead consider yourself a lever, working around a pivot which is your two arse bones (excuse my French). If you want your feet to go right and forward, then your upper body must go left and backwards to maintain balance. If you also shift the weight onto your left buttock you will get a degree of rotation of the legs without that awkward twisting movement. Afterwards you can easily restore normal posture by simply bringing everything back to a neutral position.

I think it also good at these moments to remember you have more time than you think. Bach does nothing by accident, and at these moments a degree of rhetorical pause or breath often makes musical sense as well as being technically convenient.

I don't think using heels will help much in this particular instance, but I wouldn't rule it out for the sake of it. I seem to think there is at least one account suggesting Bach did use heels in his pedalling. I stand ready to be corrected. Either way, Bach was an innovator and I find it inconceivable that the great man would insist on toes only technique on a modern pedal board regardless of circumstances.
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