nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘Evening Chimes

playing the parlour organ

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Within my grandfather’s house were rooms we were not allowed to enter, except under very special circumstances.  One of these was the parlour.

My ‘need’ to practice the piano allowed me access to this sanctum.  For each day of our vacation, I was allowed to practice on the old pump organ.  The organ belonged to my grandmother and my Dad could remember sitting on her lap while she played.

I was not an eager player and spent a lot of time testing the effect of the various ‘stops’ on the organ.  These were white knobs with mysterious black words printed on each.  When you pulled a stop, various connections were created to make the organ sound a certain way.  Now for a memory I am not sure is true or only something I imagined – one of the stops, if pulled, would make the keys play an octave below where I was playing.  They moved of their own accord and made me feel I was playing a duet with a ghostly partner!

One of the songs I chose to play on the organ was Evening Chimes.  It was an easy song and made a good impression.

'Evening Chimes', Michael Aaron Piano Course - Grade One. Mills Music Inc., New York. 1945.

Since I knew Evening Chimes by heart, my eyes could wander over the embellishments of the Victorian-aged organ as I was playing.  Its designs included flowers, leaves, exclamation marks, serpent-like creatures and four stylised figures of an octopus!  This last I could ascribe to a childish imagination, but since my sister now has my grandmother’s parlour organ,  I can verify the existence of those odd oceanic figures on the front of the organ!

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Vox Angelica 8 Fţ

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practice required

repeated bars and D.C. al fine

the E flat I could never

remember, stretch that little

finger, make it behave, do

tricky slurs and grace notes

~

to coax these from the organ

was like pounding on felt

and my feet

unused to pumping

supplied inappropriate pace

~

so I played Evening Chimes, folk song

over and over

rang church bells

imitated angels, impressed

my pious grandfather

and demonstrated piano prowess

~

© Jane Tims 2011

Written by jane tims

April 13, 2012 at 7:01 am

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