As I am a bit handicapped at the moment (broken wrist, torn knee ligaments) I am on the lookout for organ music that can be played with one hand and one foot. It turns out that there is no music at all specifically written for one hand and one foot. At least not that I have been able to find. So I decided to create something myself. And that became a Lamento for one hand and one foot (read about it here).

When I had finished that piece, an new idea arose: could I write a Trio for one hand and one foot? That would sound as if it were a Trio played with two hands and two feet? In organ music a Trio is a piece of music where one organ player mimics an ensemble of three musicians playing one piece of music. Imagine for example an ensemble of a violin player, a flute player and a basso continuo. As an organist you could play the violin part with one hand, the flute part with the other hand and the basso continuo part with the feet. With different registrations for each part and with careful articulation and phrasing an organist can create the illusion that indeed three different people are playing together.

Can the same effect be done with just one hand and one foot? As inspiration I listened to the music of Georg Andreas Sorge. Sorge wrote 11 Trios that are widely used in organ playing education. And he wrote a lot of choral preludes in a Trio like style. I borrowed two bars from Sorge’s prelude “Ein Lämlein geht“:

And build my trio around that fragment.

The main idea of the first half Trio is some music of my own invention:

In the second half of the Trio the bass line of this main idea is inverted to create some music with a strong link to the first halve of the piece.

I had to keep both upper voices within a none from each other to be able to play them with one hand. And the bass voice does not use too many notes, to keep it playable with one foot. This part could actually also be played with the left hand and a suitable registrion of 16-feet stops. Hence the title: you can play it with two hands or with one hand and one foot.

The recording was done with the Hauptwerk software and the sampleset, made by Sonus Paradisi, of the Schittger organ in the St. Martini-kerk, Groningen (

pdf_iconTrio (for two limbs)




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