Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Stoning of the Organist

I got this in an email forward and couldn't resist:

Corinth, he and certain disciples came upon a
mob that was stoning an organist. 2 And Paul
said unto them, "What then hath he done unto thee that his
head should be bruised?" 3 And the people cried with one
voice, "He hath played too loud. 4 Yea, in the singing of
psalms, he maketh our heads to ring as if they were beaten
with hammers. 5 Behold, he sitteth up high in the loft, and
mighty are the pipes and mighty is the noise thereof, and tho'
there be few of us below, he nonetheless playeth with all the
stops, the Assyrian trumpet stop and the stop of the ram's horn
and the stop that soundeth like the sawing of stone, and we
cannot hear the words that cometh out of our own mouths.
6 He always tosseth in the variations that confuse us mightily
and playeth loud and discordant and always in a militant
tempo, so that we have not time to breathe as we sing. 7 Lo,
he is a plague upon the faith and should be chastised. 8 Paul,
hearing this, had himself picked up a small stone, and was about
to cast it, but he set it down and bade the organist come forward.
9 He was a narrow man, pale of complexion, dry, flaking thin of
hair. 10 And Paul said unto him, "Why hath thou so abused thy
brethren?" 11 And the organist replied, "I could not hear them
singing from where I sat, and therefore played the louder so
as to enourage them." 12 And Paul turned round to the mob
and said loudly, "Let him who has never played an organ cast
the first stone." 13 And they cast stones for awhile until their
arms were tired and Paul bade the organist repent and he did.
14 And Paul said unto him, "Thou shalt take up the flute and
play it for thirty days, to cleanse thy spirit." 15 And afterward,
they returned to Corinth and sang psalms unaccompanied and
then had coffee and were refreshed in the faith.

The Stoning of the Organist


Blogger Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...

That sounds about right. The more I practice piano accompaniment of Matins and Vespers, the more I appreciate an organist with real talent (as opposed to my own meager sweat talent.

At least a piano won't let you play too loud without some force feedback to one's fingers. :)

11:40 PM  
Blogger Erik Salzwedel said...

Thank you for posting this. I remember hearing it on Prairie Home but could not find. My dad is the best kind of organist, leading and encouraging the congregational singing without covering or showing off.

6:11 PM  

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