The future of the organ by Anton Vernooij

by Anton Vernooij | Het ORGEL | Year 101 | (2005) | Issue 1

Anton Vernooij The future of the organ
Het ORGEL 101 (2005), nr. 1, 19-25 [summary]

The assumed crisis in today’s organ culture can be approached best by taking the relation between organ, church and liturgy as the point of departure. The organ will only survive if it remains rooted in its maternal basis of church and liturgy. It has its home in the acoustical space of the traditional church; it was given an ineradicable ecclesiastical connotation throughout the ages; its classical repertoire is inspired by religion and liturgy; and the most important stages of its development took place within the domain of the liturgy. An important aspect of the present problem is the modern experience-oriented culture, which influences organists inevitably when they play the organ during a service. Furthermore, the organist has a double function: he or she is not only an independent musician, but a servant of the liturgy as well. This leads to quality criteria of two different kinds. Hence, ecclesiastical music is a specific form of applied art. This point of view underlines the necessity of renewing the curricula of the Schools of Music.