Imagine: the organ plays but nobody comes to listen by Roland Eberlein

by Roland Eberlein | Het ORGEL | Year 102 | (2006) | Issue 3

Roland Eberlein Imagine: the organ plays but nobody comes to listen
Het ORGEL 102 (2006), nr. 3, 12-23 [summary]

Over the last decades, interest in organs and organ music has been declining. The average age of the public which visits organ concerts has been rising considerably. If we take no measures to interest young people in the world of the organ, it is possible that in about twenty years the organ will be played but nobody will come to listen. It will then make no difference whether the organ is used in a religious context or for a secular purpose.

To give organ culture a future, we have to investigate why young people are not interested in organs and organ concerts. Based on his statistical research, Eberlein claims that the main reasons for this lack of interest are the structure of organ music, lack of familiarity with the repertoire, and the ecclesiastical conception of the organ among its potential audience.

That is why all possible efforts must be made to present the organ as a secular instrument too, e.g. by setting up projects in primary schools. Furthermore, it will be necessary to add new organ works to the repertoire, in which traditional organ music is enriched by elements of modern popular music.