EXTEMPORE PLAYING - online tutorial

40 Lessons in how to correctly play improvisations.

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106                          Extempore Playing
whole or part of the tune on the organ. This is only a makeshift arrangement. The proper thing is a short introduction, which will suitably prepare for what is to follow. In quite a number of instances in modern hymn-books an introduction has been supplied by the composer himself; in the vast majority of cases where this has not been done the reason is simply that it has not been thought of. In these cases the expert organist may supply the deficiency. The introduction should, as a rule, be quite short, not exceeding the length of one, or perhaps two, lines of the words; and it may be constructed in quite a number of interesting ways.
It will, perhaps, be helpful to take a case, and give practical illustrations; e.g., the well-known chorale called the "Old Hundredth." Here is the orthodox version: *
The first line may be taken as the theme of the intro­duction, with alteration to convert it into organ music. The introductory matter should end on the dominant, or some other chord, not on the tonic. The chief point to notice is that
*In many hymn-books this tune is printed in even notes. The original form is here given, which is much more striking and dignified. It is of interest to observe that this is being restored to use in many churches, and will, it is hoped, soon become generally familiar.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III