A Transcription for Solo Organ: Symphony on a Hymn Tune, Op. 53, by Virgil Thomson
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SubjectThomson, Virgil, 1896-1989. Symphonies, no. 1; arranged
Organ music, Arranged
Symphonies (Organ), Arranged
The primary purpose of this study is to provide a transcription for solo organ of Virgil Thomson's Symphony on a Hymn Tune. The study is two-fold: first, to explore the early life and career of Thomson with a focused view on how his organ and composition studies influenced the composition of Symphony on a Hymn Tune; and second, to present an original transcription of the work in a performing score for solo organ. In addition to the final score, the study provides an analytical overview along with a description of methodology used to create the transcription, and a discussion of issues encountered by the performing organist in playing the transcription. Discussions encompass organ registration, tempi, manual suggestions, articulation, phrase markings, and dynamic expression. Musical examples both from the author's transcription and Virgil Thomson's organ works are included as necessary. Two appendices are included. Appendix 1 presents the specifications for the Aeolian Skinner organ of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, on which the transcription was originally performed. Appendix 2 itemizes the registration lists used for the original performance of the organ transcription.