May. 18, 2016
Fraternal Organ Playing, Part I
Until fairly recent times (i.e., before gramophones, radio, and TV) the making of music together was probably the chief way in which people, especially families and other congenial groups, entertained themselves; there wasn't any other way.
Music as a supplement to public worship also has a very long and glorious history.
So it should not be surprising that early in the history of modern fraternal organizations, music began to be used to accompany the work.
When performed reasonably well, the right kind of music adds to the sight and sounds of the experience; it could make a tremendous difference in what kind of impression the work creates among the members and new candidates.
The organist, of course, must be a fraternal member to work in the organization, and the number of organists who hold such memberships has fallen off even more than the general population, since there weren't legions of them to begin with.
Also, many of the old pipe organs which were once installed in lodge rooms or auditoriums, not being used much, have not been maintained and are thus deteriorated, leading to their falling silent or, even worse, being discarded altogether and not replaced because of the cost.
These old, historic instruments, even when they're small, need to be retained and maintained in a fully playable condition for many important reasons, especially this one: good pipe organs will attract and inspire good organists.
(con't in Part II)