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Hand-operated Devices For Moving Swell Shades


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#61 MusingMuso

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Posted 09 September 2015 - 10:42 PM

Anyway, if we just have roll-player attachments installed, it frees the hands up for all sorts of other things.

What fun we could have in the happy-clappy age!   :)



#62 Colin Pykett

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Posted 10 September 2015 - 07:00 AM

No-one has mentoned the crescendo at the beginning of the Reubke Sonata on the 94th Psalm, where there is a crescendo while both feet are occupied.


MM

 

That's a very good point, and it identifies a rationale for some of the unusual devices mentioned in this thread, especially those in which the swell shutters can be moved by parts of the anatomy other than the feet or hands.  There are countless other instances where such a facility would be useful.  Sometimes I have wondered whether these inconvenient hairpins were merely inserted by the editor or publisher simply because they looked nice.  But now I realise that these works were intended to be performed on instruments equipped with gadgets such as those described here.

 

(Sorry MM, I'm not trying to score a cheap point!  Like you, I do wonder how we are expected to render crescendi and diminuendi in cases such as that you described).

 

CEP



#63 Barry Jordan

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Posted 10 September 2015 - 07:17 AM

No-one has mentoned the crescendo at the beginning of the Reubke Sonata on the 94th Psalm, where there is a crescendo while both feet are occupied.

Going back year and years, I vaguely recall the late Stephen Bicknell mentioning a device on certain German instruments, where a hitch down pedal kept the swell box shut, but a weight closed the box when the hitch down pedal was moved. I seem to recall that the speed of the opening was controlled by a knob, which presumably controlled some sort of friction clutch.

Don't quote me, but it sound plausible.

 

 

MM

Well, Merseburg cathedral does have a draw-stop which opens the swell (labelled "crescendo"). On the other hand, it induces a crescendo from pianissimo to perhaps mezzo-piano at best, as there is really nothing much in the box, so that I do believe that a good part of that famous crescendo was achieved by the (four) registrants who went about their duties there. Ladegast built a pneumatic crescendo - which added the stops of the organ at a fixed speed at the touch of a pedal (Schwerin, Vienna Musikverein) or a button in the key-cheek (Tallin - then "Reval") - for the first time in Schwerin in 1871, but as Reubke died in 1858 this is not particularly relevant.

For those who read German the following description might be interesting:

Weit bequemer und ohne die schon oft sehr beschäftigten Füße dazu nöthig zu haben, läßt sich das Crescendo und Decrescendo so bewirken:
k) Niederdrücken der Tritte 1-7 und Ankoppeln der Manuale durch Schieber 2 und 7. [= Öffnen aller Sperrventile, Koppeln III/I und II/I]
l) Anziehen der Stimmen 33 und 47 [= III. Man. Flauto dolce 8', Pedal Gedackt 16']
m) Spielen im ersten Manual. Durch einen Fingerdruck auf Schieber 5 wird sofort das Crescendo beginnen und ein Druck auf 6 dasselbe hemmen.
n) Mit einem Druck auf 4 beginnt das Decrescendo und 3 hemmt dasselbe.
Zu beobachten ist hierbei, daß, wenn 4 wirken soll, ein Druck auf 6, und wenn 5 wirken soll, ein Druck auf 3 vorausgegangen sein muß. [d.h. vor dem Beginn des Decrescendos muß das Crescendo gestoppt sein, und vor Beginn des Crescendos muß das Decrescendo gestoppt sein]
Ein Nichtbeachten oder falsches Behandeln hat keine anderen Folgen als ein Versagen der Wirkung; überhaupt machen die hier angebrachten bisher ungewöhnlichen Einrichtungen den eigentlichen Orgel-Mechanismus keineswegs complicirter, sondern sind etwas für sich Bestehendes.

This comes from Ladegast's own set of registration instructions for the organ in Reval. The full text can be found here:

http://www.walcker-s..._Reval_1879.pdf


Barry Jordan

#64 Colin Pykett

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Posted 10 September 2015 - 07:42 AM

Anyway, if we just have roll-player attachments installed, it frees the hands up for all sorts of other things.

What fun we could have in the happy-clappy age!   :)

 

 

Indeed.  I'm visiting Blenheim Palace shortly and have asked them if I can play the Willis organ (still complete with roll player I presume) in the Long Library.  It's in a bit of a parlous state and they are seeking an awful lot of money to fix it.  However, small pieces of publicity like this can only help their cause.  So I'll let you know ...  (Look, no hands).

 

CEP



#65 Colin Pykett

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 11:35 AM

 

Indeed.  I'm visiting Blenheim Palace shortly and have asked them if I can play the Willis organ (still complete with roll player I presume) in the Long Library.  It's in a bit of a parlous state and they are seeking an awful lot of money to fix it.  However, small pieces of publicity like this can only help their cause.  So I'll let you know ...  (Look, no hands).

 

CEP

 

Well, I've been to Blenheim Palace but could not play the Willis organ because the Long Library is absolutely full of scaffolding - a veritable forest of the stuff - to do with an art exhibition they are laying on.  Not only could I not play the organ, but it could not even be seen because of the density of the scaffolding.  It's not my business, but it would seem to be an appalling safety hazard to me.  I can't imagine what would happen if a fire broke out in there.  It would be next to impossible to get fire crews and their gear in I should have thought.  In that eventuality nobody would ever play that organ again ...

 

Sorry to have led the thread away from devices for operating swell shades, but thought this might be of interest.

 

CEP






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