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Repertoire for Single Manual with Pedals

Started by ChrisH, May 28, 2017, 04:11:33 PM

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Faced with a single manual pipe organ 8,8,84,4,2 + 16 pedal and two recycled pianists to cover services.  They are getting to grips with registration and organ fingering and now need encouragement to progress.  Would welcome suggestions for accesible and not too difficult pieces for use as voluntaries, which will encourage them to start to use the pedals.  Also suitable manuals only pieces as so much of the early English music requires a second manual (trumpet voluntaries, cornet voluntaries etc).


Much of C.H. Trevor's books - published by Oxford.  The Old English Organ Music for Manuals can mostly be managed on a one-manual.  Bach's Eight Short P&Fs also a good start.

David Pinnegar

Many French, Italian and Maltese instruments of the 18th century are single manual so looking at Couperin and contempories might be the answer.

What these instruments lacked in tonal variations was made up by key, key changes in colour tuning. So it might be an idea to get the instrument tuned in Kellner, Kirnberger or Werkmeister temperaments. This opens up a wide variety of tonal colour beyond that which stops provide.

Best wishes

David P



There is plenty of manuals only stuff out there - and also plenty that can be managed - perhaps with some juggling - on 1mp organs - including (if the voicing works) some 2 manual pieces with the melody in the treble.  Some of the Bach Orgelbuchlein pieces come to mind - and a few (and other solo/accompaniment pieces) will work with the melody up an octave.  If there's a good mucis shop in your area, I'd suggest a visit and a good look at their stock.  I hesitate to make specific suggestions as I'm pretty sure much of the music I have, bought many years ago, will now be long out of print.

Every Blessing



A friend of mine, a concert organist from Latvia, used to play French Romantic repertoire on one-manual and pedal organs in a few Somerset village churches.  Lots of quick registration changed, and sometimes a bit of judicious re-arrangement, and it worked.  I heard her play the Franck Chorale No 3, Widor Toccata and Vierne Carillon de Westminster along with major Bach works in Luccombe church on Exmoor and in Sampford Brett on the Quantocks.  Some of the audience were amazed when they saw what little resources she was using to so great effect.

Nazard Celeste

The sky's the limit. Raid piano and harmonium lit -- also harp, guitar etc.