This is the essential book for the organist who would love to improvise but doesn’t at present possess the necessary skills. Christopher Tambling’s approach is systematic, practical and encouraging. It begins with the simple decoration of hymns using cadences, ornaments and modulation and moves on to look at larger structures and freer forms.
There are suggestions for further exploration of Baroque, Classical and Romantic models, with exercises and harmony hints throughout to encourage confidence and creativity.
1 Harmony at the keyboard 1 - a few basic principles
2 Getting started - duos
3 Moving an - trios
4 Improvising over a chord scheure
5 The Baroque Chorale prelude
6 Harmony at the keyboard 2 - suspensions: a survival guide
7 Taking it a step further - other Baroque models
8 The Baroque concerto allegro
9 The passacaglia
10 Harmony at the keyboard 3 - a selection of chromatic chords
11 Taking it a step further still - Classical and Romantic models
12 The French toccata
14 Covering the action
15 Setting the mood - an ä la Garte menu of Starters
16 Modal Improvisation - some different sonorities to explore
17 Sending them out - starting points for further improvisations
18 Final thoughts
Christopher Tambling (b.1964) studied the organ with Malcolm McKelvey at Christ's Hospital, Horsham, Sussex. He went on to gain organ scholarships to Cantebury Cathedral and St Peter's College, Oxford, where he studied with Geoffrey Webber and David Sanger and was Organist of Pusey House. He started his teaching career at Sedbergh School in Cumbria, where he was Organist from 1986 to 1989: he then became Director of Music at Glenalmond College, near Perth in Scotland, also taking on roles of Perth City Organist and Conductor of Perth City Orchestra.