Earlier this week, I shared some of my all-time favorite church music collections for piano.
Today, I'm adding to that with a list for organ! These collections are particularly well-suited for new organists, or those of you may not have played for a while and are looking for a way to ease back into all-out, full-pedal-work playing. As someone who's getting back on the bench this year after a few years away, I'm with you!
These are some of my go-to resources right now:
10 Practical Collections for Church Organists
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1. Five Preludes on Familiar Hymns (Hopson)
Accessible writing makes this book a must-have. Five hymn preludes you can pull out and play with little preparation!
2. Baroque Music for Manuals #1 (Wolff)
A great series of books with a wide variety of (Classical) music (with optional pedal). Great for weddings or service music.
3. The Organist
This bi-monthly publication has been around for a while (maybe you'll find a few issues buried in a filing cabinet somewhere!). Every issue includes accessible pieces for preludes, offertories, postludes, and more! I have several hand-me-down issues from the 90s that I pull out again and again.
4. The Keyboardist's Year
This bi-monthly publication ran for only two years (2006-2008), but back issues are still available online. Each issue includes accessible hymn arrangements, harmonizations, and theme and variations, as well as classical pieces. Most of the music included can be played on keyboard or organ, often with little to no pedal.
5. Hymn Trios for the New Organist, Vol. I (Hudson)
Accessible arrangements of favorite hymns in trio-style, with only two pedal notes throughout (one for each foot).
6. Organ Preludes on Favorite Hymns (Jones)
Great arrangements of a nice variety of hymns. I love the titles included in this collection - I'm playing "We're Marching to Zion" as my postlude next week!
7. The Organ Portfolio
A mix of hymn arrangements and original music, this bi-monthly publication is another great resource to have on your shelf.
8. The Organist's Companion
Published by Wayne Leupold, this bi-monthly publication is similar to The Keyboardist's Year with slightly more difficult music and more historical (Classical) pieces.
9. The Parish Organist
This series is a gem. Published in the 50s and 60s, these books (a least a dozen in the whole series!) offer hymn arrangements, chorale preludes, Classical preludes, fugues, voluntaries, and more. They even include registrations! I inherited several of these books years ago and still play from them often.
10. Organ Music for the Church Pianist (Southbridge)
Yes, you read that right. I confess that I don't actually own this book (yet), but it is on my list! It looks like a great collection of service music, ranging from music just for manuals to music with a touch of pedal, plus lots of practical tips and exercises along the way!
What are your favorite organ resources for newbies? Please share!