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Member Since 24 Apr 2007
Offline Last Active Mar 18 2017 07:14 PM

Topics I've Started

How many pipe organs in the world - in total?

07 October 2016 - 05:58 PM

How many pipe organs in the world - in total? 

If you count everything, from one manual upwards, but only those that are working, what do you think the ball-park figure might be? I have tried asking this elusive question of a number of organ specialists, as well as trying to nail the sum by doing some totting up of various databases and I'm still not convinced I am getting anywhere near the right number. Possibly the most accurate comment comes from the wonderful, and indefatigable Martin Doering of die-orgelseite.de:

"According to several sources there must be about 120,000 pipe organs in the whole world. Probably about 30% of them are in a poor condition or not playable anymore because there is no money to repair / restore them".


Can anyone add their considered two pennyworth? 

Horseshoe pedal couplers? - how on earth do they work?

13 June 2016 - 08:17 PM

Just curious as to how these horseshoe pedals work - are they like the French spoon couplers? The example I am thinking of is in St Andrew's, Hingham, in Norfolk...

Page turners - ancient and modern!

26 May 2016 - 09:52 PM

A friend of mine uses an iPad (I think it's an iPad rather than a notebook) to read his music from in concerts, while his accomplice sits near the console - perhaps the front pew or a chair in a loft - and turns the page for him remotely using some sort of connection - Bluetooth, WiFi etc. Brave man, I thought, and have wondered whether he ever had problems with system/battery/interference etc. I will be asking him, of course.

But that also lead me to muse on the world of page turners - old style and new style. Being one such, I KNOW there are a wealth of tales out there, both from the point of view of performer and turner. Anyone care to share their tales (anonymity assured) for my book? Some have already run in Organ-isms but there must be as many diverse stories as there are players. And turners...


EDIT: Arghghgh! Sod's Law! I just posted this then found the topic Sheet Music and Tablets - sorry for any duplication. But I am still fascinated to hear your stories... :-)

What do people ask you about organs?

18 May 2016 - 06:59 PM

 Anyone care to share what you get asked about or comments you get when strangers come up to the organ console? ( Or wherever they talk to you about the organ).

I've had some screamingly funny questions and comments from those who don't have a clue, but if time (or not playing a recessional!) I did try to answer them and help pass on some passion and information; you never know, that question may one day be something THEY answer! A frequent one is "Why is there more than one keyboard?"  - and "Where do you turn up the volume?"  Anyone got any other little gems for me? Send me a private message or email me if you prefer.

Oh, pipes are also fair game and organ music in general. I will enjoy anything anyone cares to contribute! 

(Of course am hoping to get some little vignettes for that book...)  :)

Have fun... and thank you in advance!

Strange notices, signs, or tuning book comments?

10 May 2016 - 06:17 AM

Hi everyone - after a long absence, I'm back, as usual looking for something. Who has seen funny signs of notices in the organ loft, on the console, or in the church or venue which has struck them as odd or amusing? Better still, if you have taken a picture and would be prepared to let me use it in my sequel to "Organ-isms: Anecdotes from the World of the King of Instruments" I'll love you forever, give or take a few years. As an example, I remember there was simply a picture of a duck over the exit from the loft at ST Paul's in London (When Mander were cleaning/restoring it some years back). I was so busy figuring it out I hit my head on the low lintel.... 

I have a few photos, including one in German (which will be translated) but would love a lot more as I know they are out there. Anyone?

Thanks as always for any titbits you can toss my way,