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John Pike Mander

Member Since 29 Jul 2004
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 03:43 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Restoration Reports

Yesterday, 11:25 AM

There seems to have been some interest in the restoration reports, so I thought you may like to be directed to the wonderful list of restoration reports on the Goetze and Gwynn website here: http://www.goetzegwynn.co.uk/reports/

In Topic: Tuning mixtures

20 March 2017 - 09:30 AM

I don't think there are many tuners who don't silence the ranks not being tuned, but I have heard of some. As Classic Car Man said, it is easier in the bass and more difficult in the treble. If a mixture is not too badly out of tune, I will do as much as I can without stopping off other ranks, but it is important that at some point in the process you have all ranks going and what you can't (or certainly shouldn't) do is only tune the ranks individually. Doubled ranks do make for problems occasionally and even where ranks are not doubled in the mixture itself, one does get instances where ranks such as the 2ft will fight between the mixture and the Fifteenth, for example.


What is also important and something I do without fail, is to tune mixtures together with the rest of the chorus going as well. That does make tuning the mixture more difficult, but it ensures that the mixture is in tune as it is used, and not simply on its own.

In Topic: Fulham Court

06 November 2016 - 11:18 AM

The organ is not easy to photograph because of the size of the gallery, but with a bit of luck, you may be able to see two pictures here:


https://dl.dropboxus...Culham copy.JPG


https://dl.dropboxus... Organ copy.jpg



In Topic: Fulham Court

05 November 2016 - 05:54 PM

The organ is indeed a product of Mander Organs.


The specification is:


Open Diapason 8

Stopped Diapason 8

Principal 4

Chimney Flute 4

Twelfth 2 2/3

Fifteenth 2

Tierce 1 3/5

Trumpet 8

Pedal Bourdon 16


All the manual stops with exception of the Open Diapason and Principal are divided at middle C. This is  so that much repertoire can be played, which otherwise could not be played, not least, the early English.


The consultant for the project was William McVicvker, who was very helpful in suggesting elements of the organ to increase its versatility. He suggested that the manual stops be split and be extended downwards to include GG and AA, the C# key being split so that both AA and C# could be played, mostly, but not exclusively, that of the early English repertoire. He also suggested that a thunder or drum pedal, cymbalstern and a nightingale be included, not simply for fun, but so that music of the Iberian and German repertoires could be played. The drum pedal plays the lowest 6 notes of the Bourdon 16, adding them from the bottom note progressively. The Nightingale is based on an Italian example, we copied from an Italian organ we partially restored for the Royal Academy of Music. The Cymbalstern is worked by wind and we believe this is the only such Cymbalstern worked by wind ever to have been made in England. The bells were provided by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, being untuned clock bells.


The tour de force was the Bear, which is not worked by clockwork, but  pneumatically. This came about because William mentioned the Ox at Oxenhausen and the client's representative asked if we could provide a bear, because the client's name is Urs, the Swiss-German for bear. My response was that we probably could, although at the time I had no idea how! It is pushed forwards and returned by a piston. In either extreme position (in or out) a wooden Regal with a long thin tongue makes a vaguely bear like sound and you can see a video of this here:  https://www.youtube....h?v=iusa0miwHb0.


The acoustic in the chapel is very favourable. This enables the organ to sound rather larger than it really is. The case was designed by the architect, Craig Hamilton. It was a challenging and interesting project, to say the least.



In Topic: "Handel's" Temperament

23 August 2016 - 04:27 PM

Hi Colin,


I agree completely that the rather vague instructions are open to interpretation in different ways. However, I would incline to think that the reference to the fifths being tuned slightly flat would refer to the ten intervals which are mentioned rather than all twelve, but I would not claim I am right and you are wrong, it is merely an opinion.


The clincher for me is the statement that the thirds should be as out of tune as the fifths, which is sort of what he was saying. That implies a tuning somewhere around a 1/5th or 1/6th comma meantone, where the thirds and fifths do indeed beat at approximately the same speed, which they wouldn't if ALL the fifths were only slightly narrow (flat), one or two would have to be wide to achieve that.


I also agree that the instructions do not necessarily describe meantone. In some instances he does refer to some of the fifths "nearer perfect than the last" or in step "4th Chord" to tune the third 5th "let its bearing be the same as in the last third in the last chord". And in the 5th chord, he asks for the third to be very fine. All this tells me that it is certainly not pure 1/5th or 1/6th comma meantone he is describing, but, exactly as you suggest, something more subtle and probably an irregular tuning, almost certainly in fact.


As an aside, I think the final comment is interesting, where he says "Tune all the rest in Octaves". No checking in 4ths and 5ths, nor in 3rds (which a good tuner does normally).


But above all it is the statement that the thirds should beat about the same as the fifths, which he seems to be suggesting, makes me think that it is some way off ET and to be sure, that cannot be achieved without one or two fifths being wide (sharp). At least, I can't see that it would be possible.


I am sure that the tuning as interpreted by you makes for a good multi-purpose one. I am also certain that tuners didn't work to fixed schemes, but consciously made variations and tweaks they though appropriate. I have done this many times myself, in fact.


For all that, in case you were wondering, I find your thoughts interesting.