PORTATIVE ORGAN | Level 3 – Advanced

Organ Performance Practice in the Medieval Clerical Universe

6 sessions - Self-paced | Not available this term

Course Description

The organs played an important role in the West-European religious milieu of the 12th and 13th centuries. As a turn of fate, the organ is one of the instruments for which a significant number of written and depicted documentations about its use, its construction, and its symbology has survived. This enables to rescue and bring back to life music once attributed to the medieval organ.

In this course students will:


Learn about the historical context and symbolic significance of the Organ in the 12th and 13th centuries: iconography, treatises, mentions in historical writings


Expand your repertoire by learning pieces related to the use of the organ and its narrative: chant, sequence, hymn, and clerical dance


Learn techniques for accompanying monody based on medieval descriptions related to the organ: drones and organum


Explore and discuss tools for advanced techniques of performance practice: subtle bellow control, tuning, and expressivity



Not available this term




1 credit ECTS: 360€


English - Spanish


Level 3 / Advanced


No experience with the instrument is required. Student must have basic musical knowledge and be able to read modern music notation.

Access to a portative organ is necessary.


Portative organSession 1 | The Organ in the Medieval Clerical Universe: Context and Sources

Session 2 | The Organ and the Festive Hymns

Session 3 | The Organ and the Clerical Dance

Session 4 | The Organ and the Sequence

Session 5 | The Organ in Christmas and Pentecost

Session 6 | The Organ and St. Cecilia

Teaching Methodology

This course will be comprised of:

    • 6 virtual one-on-one lessons (1 hour each)
    • Recorded introductory lecture or one group live Q&A session (30 min)
    • 6 tutorial videos (10-15 minutes each)
    • Downloadable materials and links to additional resources

Schedules and assignments:

    • The class dates and times will be scheduled with the instructor.
    • There will be some suggested deadlines to submit assignments.
    • The student workload to take the lessons, review the materials and practice is approximately 4.25 hours per session.
    • Students taking the course for credit must complete all assignments and class requirements.

Technical Requirements

    • Broadband Internet connection / WIFI

    • External or internal webcam
    • External or internal microphone
    • Speakers or headphones
    • Possibility of printing downloaded materials
    • Possibility of scanning your assignments
    • Possibility of auto-recording (audio and video)

Enroll Now

Places are limited for each section, so sign up early.

The International Course of Medieval Music Besalú offers singers and instrumentalists the possibility of studying the repertoires of monodic and polyphonic music composed between the 11th and 13th centuries.

With the support of: