Physiology of Organ Playing

Carole Terry

Tuesday, June 21, 8 AM
Grand Ballroom B

Organ students must learn to play many different styles and types of instruments in the course of their studies, as well as to encompass 800 years of musical literature. In the past decades many organ pedagogues have endorsed separate keyboard techniques for their pupils: one for music before 1750, another for music written since. However, no matter which period or style of repertoire is played, there are basic principals of movement that are invariant. An understanding of human anatomical and biomechanical principles can help to fit the demands of different instruments and repertoires.

This presentation will include a discussion of how muscles are involved with specific keyboard movements and how musical gestures are created using the body. I will discuss how to assess the demands of a particular instrument, how to train muscles for specific tasks, and how to practice more effectively.

Carole Terry is Professor of Organ and Harpsichord at the University of Washington School of Music. She has performed throughout the United States, in Europe and the Far East, and is especially admired for her performance and recordings of German Romantic music, in addition to her research into the physiology of keyboard playing. She has appeared at festivals, conferences and academies in Manila, Lübeck, Oundle, Calgary and Montreal and has been a juror at major competitions in Japan Russia, Canada and the U.S.A.