top of page

Creativity at the organ can take many forms. Follow the links in the text or side tabs to explore some of these.


Using an existing, and often well-known, piece of music and dressing it up in a completely different style and genre can be great fun.  You might like to try and identify various hidden melodies (organ) and 

hidden melodies (piano and other instrumental).


Sometimes, we can present a familiar tune the is obvious, with a different slant. Examples in a distinctly lighter vein can be found in not so hidden melodies.


This also has a real practical use within the liturgy where creativity, particularly of a spontaneous kind can create hymn tune variations.


Within a liturgical or concert setting, or even in exploring one’s creativity with no audience, there might be no obvious pre-existing material.  Some aspects of this are explored in creating from scratch, i.e. from a blank canvas.


There is no shortage of fine organ music in print.  However, here are some of my own scores for organ, some with sound files, that can be downloaded free of charge.  As with all the improvisations, they are all thoroughly  derivative in style, and probably stuffed with bits from other composers...but I hope that you like the tunes!  A small number of vocal scores are also available.  These can be previewed with sound files on the Scoreexchange site. Please get in touch if you would like a PDF copy (free of charge).


There are also miscellaneous improvisations in a variety of styles – for organ and piano.


Churches, cathedrals and chapels can also be fascinating places for their architecture and history.  Here are some slide-show videos,  mostly with accompanying organ sound tracks.  Feel free also to browse

photo albums of organs, churches, and general subjects; (beware there might be the odd train too!)


Finally, it is no bad thing to explore the lighter side.  Indeed, a judicious combination of stops, - particularly soft reeds such a clarinets and vox humanas – plus a suitably fast tremulant can transform your organ into a very different beast!  There are also things for your congregation to dance to...and some essential reading!


However, for those who would like to hear really good organists playing works by really good composers, could I also give a plug for this really superb 4 CD limited edition survey of Edinburgh organs, and with accompanying book: Organs of Edinburgh  (Delphian Records). This is currently going for a special price at Presto Music (offer ends 15th June). All the tracks have previews.


With very best wishes, 

John Riley

bottom of page