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How good at organ do you have to be in order to play at Mass
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Author:  ingenting [ Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:23 am ]
Post subject:  How good at organ do you have to be in order to play at Mass

How good at organ do you have to be in order to play at Mass?
Let's say a parish don't have a professional organist on a certain Sunday. Could an amateur accompany some hymns? Today we had not organ accompaniment at church and I thought: what if I had practiced eg the kyriale used at Mass or maybe at least the entrance hymn then I could have played.
I really disslike the idea that only professional organist should play at Mass. I mean, sometimes we have no professional organist and then an amateur could play. People seem to disslike this. The Church of Sweden has started to let amateurs play when a professional is hard to find.
If we can have guitar Masses then amateur organists should be allowed at church when no professional organist can ve found.

Author:  Mrs. Timmy [ Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How good at organ do you have to be in order to play at

I haven’t read the entire CCC, but I’m pretty confident that there’s nothing in Canon Law that says regarding organists “If you don’t pay, they can’t play.”

By the same token, I’m sure any celebrant would be hesitant to put just anyone at the organ on short notice, not only to prevent possible damage to a very expensive musical instrument, but also to circumvent mass distraction caused by a well meaning amateur organist whose desire to be helpful is greater than their actual abilities. I can’t blame a priest for erring on the side of caution in such a situation.

Author:  Notnew [ Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How good at organ do you have to be in order to play at

Our organist now teaches at a (large) local college, so when he is to be gone he arranges for someone to be there.
However - in the past - we have a parishioner who came in on Wed evenings (and perhaps at other times too) to practice
all of the music for the weekend Masses. And perhaps she still does - I don't know.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How good at organ do you have to be in order to play at

I would rather sing unaccompanied than have a poor organist play (and I say that as someone who played organ for several years in seminary but probably shouldn't have).

Author:  ingenting [ Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How good at organ do you have to be in order to play at

Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
I would rather sing unaccompanied than have a poor organist play (and I say that as someone who played organ for several years in seminary but probably shouldn't have).

Are you saying that you rather have just a well-trained cantor than an amateur organist?
Cause I have heard people who have pitch problems leading a hymn. Ot just sounds doesnt work.

And why do people say that an amaeteur organist is a bad organist? What do we amateur organists do that is so bad? Please explain as I dont understand. I dont see myself as a person who cant play even one hymn correctly. It is not hard to play a simple entrance hymn.
What is the problem?

Author:  Mrs. Timmy [ Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How good at organ do you have to be in order to play at

No one has insinuated that amateurs are, by definition, bad. But the terminology used throughout this thread is based on your own OP. The hypothetical situation you presented was the unexpected unavailability if a parish’s professional organist and the choice between no accompaniment and an amateur of unknown ability. Father has already provided the choice he’d make, and I for one have no reason or desire to debate him on it.

If the skill level of the amateur was known to be of sufficient level, the answers you received may have been different. That’s not for me to say. But again, folks around here tend to err on the side of caution, especially when it comes to the celebration of the Mass.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How good at organ do you have to be in order to play at

There were other seminarians, also amateurs, who played much better than I could.

I have no problem with an amateur who gets most of the notes right. But some people think they're good but sound as if they're playing with gloves on. (I was better than that, mostly.) That level of ineptitude is a problem.

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