Organ / Keyboard Particularities

thank you fratveno! as usual, your knowledge astounds me! If I didn’t know you to be a private user in Norway I’d think you were part of the Dorico team half of the time!

Example of one hand playing on two staves (or I should say manuals):

Oh Cam… While it was grotesque sounding, at one point he was playing on all 4 manuals. The best man at my wedding frequently does the same type of finagling. Sometimes two voices on the same stave are sufficient with stems in opposite directions although I’m still waiting (along with all the Liszstians) for added staves for clarity.

He should try playing one hand on two staves on a theater (cinema) organ with “double touch.” Eight parts all with independent tone colours, if you can manage it with both hands at the same time :wink:

Plus another four parts on the pedals - two with each foot…

He does have double touch on his touring organ and dual zones on his pedalboard too, although, tbh, in his case he ends up trying to do too much.

Technique to spare. But to what end? How many notes can I play at once seemed to be the guiding principle.
It seemed frenetic and the music suffered. What ever happened to less is more?

I suppose Carpenter might calm down a bit one day and start using his technical skills for making music. But it hasn’t happened yet IMO.

Still, if he gives a few kids the idea that “a pipe organ” is not something in a church that is only played (slowly and badly) by your grandmother, he might be sowing some seeds for the future.

I’ve never met an organist who as “100% sane and normal” - anybody sane and normal wouldn’t choose the organ as their instrument!

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“I’ve never met…”
Hmmm. I’ll have to do a spot of self reflection. I didn’t think I was less than sane…but now that I think about it…

What’s the difference between an organist and a terrorist?

Sometimes, you can have a successful negotiation with a terrorist.

I think the key word here would be “sometimes”.

Unlike the (possibly apocryphal but entirely believable) story of a cathedral organist who was almost sacked following a disagreement with the powers that be, but finally was retained - and marked the occasion the following Sunday by playing an improvisation on “Fixed in his everlasting seat, Great Dagon rules the world in state” from Handel’s “Samson” as the closing voluntary.

Clever and relatively safe since most wouldn’t get it.

There’s a famous story about Langlais (or Litaize; can’t remember now). He was improvising the prelude and the priest decided he had had enough and started the collect and an annoyed Langlais threw on the chamades and played for a few more minutes just to remind the poor priest who was really in charge!

I’d probably be with the priest.

Idea for future: I really do think that organ and pedals staves deserved their own vertical positioning values, as a dedicated group. Most of the time the vertical positioning of the pedal staff to the manuals should remain constant. The LH/RH staves may need to widen or narrow, depending upon notes, but the pedal should remain pretty constant (unless there are extensive upper notes required). And this vertical positioning may well be different than other single (or grouped) staves on the page.

The manuals and pedals should always be treated as their own “group” and positioned on the page accordingly (without widening the space between the manuals and pedals). Put any extra space between systems, not between those staves. IMHO.

I couldn’t agree more. The justification settings get really odd since the pedal line does not get grouped with the manuals. (Or at least it didn’t the last time I worked on an organ score, pre-recent maintenance update.)

And to take it one step further, I’d love it if it was possible to have separate values for preferred spacing between the manual staves and the pedal stave relative to the manuals. Often in organ music the pedal line is closer to the left-hand stave than the manual staves are to each other. Global values that could be set independently would be a lovely inclusion.

I would love these options, too.

Publishers often have their own standard spacing house rules for manual and pedal staves.

For me it’s a “must have” to be able to set the preferred spacing between these staves.


I followed these steps in 1.2 correctly (I think) with an existing score and I only get sound from about written-bottom-of-treble-clef-F and down, and it’s transposed down an octave to boot. Is there anything I can do to correct this? For what it’s worth, I also get the same sort of octave transposition problem with Sonatina Choir (another whitelisted VST 2 plugin), though at least Sonatina Choir seems to play all the notes…