A Grand Machine

Discover Something New Every Day: The Challenge

Today I played a beautiful organ in Corbin, Ky. It’s not a pipe organ, and many organ purists would discount the instrument on that fact alone. But it’s a pretty fancy electronic organ that sounds nearly as good as the real thing, and in some ways it is much more versatile than a pipe organ. While playing today, I began to think about what I love about playing the organ:

the vibrations and rumbles that occur in the sanctuary, like the angels are on their way

the windy flush of flutes, which, when registered just right, sounds like birds in deep woods

the rush I feel when my feet and fingers and muscles coordinate and cooperate (this rarely happens, but this morning it did, and I was grateful for all my past music lessons and music teachers)

the gorgeous and exotic names of the keyboards and the stops: swell, positiv, great, celeste, diapason, aeolina, bombarde, nazard, principal, dulciana, tierce, cornopean

the complex and secret knowledge organists have about a mysterious and grand machine; surely this is akin to what magicians must share?

For the Wordle version of this post, go here. (It’s so cool.)


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