ain't baroque! :||
Don't Fix It

“Let him who has never played an organ cast the first stone”

I am sad.

I am sad because I have this habit of finding great stuff for a topic mentioned on the blog AFTER I’ve mentioned it on the blog. The other day I found a fantastic music gift, and it’s January. I simply do not have the patience to wait till next November to share it with you. So consider this a Valentine’s Day present suggestion, assuming that what you’re trying to communicate is “we share a wonky sense of humor” (good!) or possibly “I am extremely unromantic” (also good if you’re spurning, I guess).

You might be familiar with the below, as I understand it has made the viral email rounds and shown up on a variety of musical message boards and the like. It is by the unparalleled humorist and soothing-voiced radio host, Garrison Keillor.


1 And it came to pass, when Paul was at Corinth, he and certain disciples came upon amob 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 encourage 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.

Funny, right? I know I giggle every time. But it gets better — you can now put it on your wall!

Great for organists, skeptical pianists, and my dad, in case you need a present for him, too. Your purchase supports NPR, or as one of my arts management professors used to call it, “Communist talk radio.”

And that’s the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all of the children are above average. Holla!

About Jenn

Despite being the former digital marketing intern at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Jenn German does not like Mozart. Beethoven could've totally beaten him up. Also she has an arts management graduate degree from American University, but this changes nothing.


2 thoughts on ““Let him who has never played an organ cast the first stone”

  1. The crescendo pedals are so delicate!
    I prefer the 32′ stop, which, will not necessarily being loud, nevertheless rumbles the congregation’s innards and gives everyone a matching vibrato. Gotta find that human vibration frequency.

    Posted by Matthew Roy | January 22, 2011, 1:10 pm

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