The organist seated at the king of instruments with thousands of pipes rising all around him, his hands busy at the manuals and his feet patrolling the pedalboard, is a symbol of musical self-sufficiency yielding musical possibilities beyond that of any other mode of solo performance. In this book, David Yearsley presents an interpretation of the significance of the oldest and richest of European instruments, by investigating the German origins of the uniquely independent use of the feet in organ playing. Delving into a range of musical, literary and visual sources, Bach's Feet demonstrates the cultural importance of this physically demanding mode of music-making, from the blind German organists of the fifteenth century, through the central contribution of Bach's music and legacy, to the newly-pedaling organists of the British Empire and the sinister visions of Nazi propagandists.
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