Following Dr Mike’s super article about the Fugue I thought I’d do a small “reply” on the sounds and instruments you see in that video and elsewhere.
In Dr Mike’s article you see a beautiful organ being played beautifully by Marie Claire-Alain. Many of us have our favourite videos of musicians playing and we take for granted the beautiful instruments they play and the wonderful sounds they produce.
Most of us don’t own or have access to organs but we do have computers.
With a little software and a basic midi keyboard you can do so much nowadays. When I first started to learn to play my piano was a second hand upright more suited to ragtime than classical. My only other exposure to musical “machinery” was to our lovely church organ when I was a choirboy.
But now you can reproduce these big organ sounds or piano sounds relatively accurately for a couple of hundred quid. Software instruments now give us the choice of thousands of instruments in thousands of settings (i.e. concert hall, jazz club, etc.)
On Dr Mike’s subject of Bach, no organ peddles required, the software instrument is engineered to give fuller bass sounds in the lower part of the keyboard (which, perhaps another time I could explain, can be split into various regions for different sounds or even different organs or other instruments).
Here’s just 2 examples of sounds that can be produced by a cheap computer and a cheap midi keyboard. (Caveat – videos are poor quality as they are compressed sufficiently to use as email attachments – but the sound survives reasonably well. I also took little care with them and knocked them up in a few minutes, inspired as I was by Dr Mike.)
Here’s the intro to one you all know on this cheap gear I have in the depths of my backroom.
A click of the mouse and you can have a nice piano – one choice out of thousands that sit on my PC.
Anyway – just a little reply to Dr Mike and a nudge to you if you are a lapsed pianist or organist. You only need a few quid and a few hours of practice to be making music again, so get to it!