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Making Music on the Organ Paperback – 4 Oct 1990

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; New Ed edition (4 Oct. 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198162073
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198162070
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 1.1 x 15.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 820,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A book of great wisdom, culture, and positive common sense. (Musical Times)

The author's own curiosity and liveliness make for an unusually stimulating book, which can be read profitably by non-organists with an interest in keyboard music, especially that of the High Baroque ... essential reading for anyone seriously interested in organ music (Early Music)

Within the confines of this comparatively small book there is to be found in every chapter more commonsense per page than is usual in many a larger volume covering the same ground ... I can unhesitatingly recommend this book as one of the most perceptive to have been published in recent years. (The Organ)

About the Author

Peter Hurford is an organist, teacher, and founder of the International Organ Festival at St. Albans.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
THE nature of music and its effect upon the spirit has inspired numerous essays, poems, analogies, and comments throughout the ages. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. V. Clarke VINE VOICE on 16 Jan. 2004
Format: Paperback
Peter Hurford, the renowned concert performer and recording artist, has written a short but superbly crafted account of organ playing that should be read by all organists. Every aspect of a sound technique is discussed, including posture, finger and pedal technique and hints on suitable clothing and footwear, all well illustrated. There's also a fascinating and succinct history of the organ, details of how organs are constructed and how they function and an excellent introduction to several important schools of organ music. Hurford is renowned for his complete Bach recording, and accordingly a chapter is devoted to the interpretation of Bach's organ music. This book does not pretend to be a complete account of how to approach any individual piece of organ music, but it provides a solid foundation that will surely encourage musical and thoughtful, perceptive playing. Warmly recommended.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By on 25 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
Well presented and accessible guide to a wide range of aspects of organ playing and performance. Incredibly useful for anyone learning to organ, whether beginner or more advanced.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely essential for any organist 28 Nov. 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a short yet intelligent and inspiring guide to organ music, with 'user-friendly' introduction to the building of the organ, performance practice and interpretation issues, and special focus on the music of JS Bach. Insights from one of the leading organists in the world Peter Hurford provide interesting personal perspectives. A must on any organist's bookshelf.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Some fascinating insights, but inconsistent 25 Jun. 2010
By R. J. Stove - Published on
Format: Paperback
Peter Hurford could hardly fail to write a fascinating book on his chosen instrument, at which he has excelled for decades. To anybody who has heard his performances (either live or on CD) of baroque compositions in particular, it will be unsurprising to discover how well he analyzes the works of Bach and Couperin. No organist should fail to study his comments on those men.

Nevertheless the volume as a whole is less convincing than it could and should have been. It gives the impression of disparate essays having been put together, rather than that of an organic whole. One sometimes wonders what audience the author intended. Very early on there occurs an unexplained reference to Guillaume-Gabriel Nivers (1632?-1714), whose name not one organist in 100 and not one non-organist in 10,000 will recognize. Clearly, then, this is not a production for the tyro. Yet a non-tyro would find much of the material familiar already. And one can only regret that Hurford, like almost all Anglo organists before the 1990s, is so impatient with postromantic organ music even in its French manifestations, let alone in its German (Reger is mentioned only fleetingly; neither J. G. Rheinberger nor Sigfrid Karg-Elert is mentioned at all). At least Hindemith's three organ sonatas receive the praise they deserve.

Like an exceptional curate's egg, then, this is admirable in parts. Would that it were more consistent.
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