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Contrabombarde

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  1. The"box" is at its simplest merely a MIDI to USB converter cable such as Roland/Edirol UM1 costing around £20. A cheap laptop should allow you to play Grand Orgue or j-organ freeware or Hauptwerk if you want to pay for better sound. Plug keyboard into laptop via MIDI to USB adaptor, configure the software and away you go. For a multikeyboard professional setup you would want something fancier though. I once literally had to do it on the fly when our church's electronic organ conked out in the afternoon of the Nine Lessons and Carols, installing HW onto a spare laptop and plugging the chur
  2. Off the floor can be whatever you want and depends on the thickness or height of the pedalboard - by definition a straight flat will be lower than the edges of a concave radiating. I assume you meant between top of middle D on lowest keyboard to top of middle D on pedalboard (middle D of the one being directly over middle D of the other). Some of the history books give a figure of 29 1/2 inches which even with my short legs feels way too crunched up. I settled for 30 inches or 76cm. But the beauty of designing and building your own organ is that you can design it around your body. I
  3. I expect most of us could only dream at the thought of a home practice pipe organ. I know very few people who have done that and I do wonder about the logistics - not just the upfront cost (especially if new) but the cost of transporting and assembly if you every moved house, not to mention whether you would need to strengthen your floor to take the weight, or soundproof the house to avoid upsetting your neighbours. Then of course there's the maintenance. Small redundant church organs are quite plentiful - for instance on the BIOS website - but tend to be much taller than the typical living ro
  4. I think this might have been what you were referring to - left hand and pedals on the organ and right hand on the cornet! I love starting the Nine Lessons and Carols with this beautiful Krebs chorale prelude but fortunately have always been able to enlist a trumpeter. This is quite quite special: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpMX7O7aJtg
  5. Does anyone know of an equivalent Android facial recognition app that could turn pages? I've completely moved away from paper scores now. For recitals I use a 13 inch Hanspree tablet and Bluetooth foot pedal page turner (around £50 on Amazon) that is just beautiful. It works flawlessly and allows my page turner to click from a couple of metres away forwards or backwards. Its battery lasts around 50 hours of playtime before needing a recharge. It avoids the need to physically touch the screen, which very rarely can result in in disaster if you accidentally swipe the piece away or cause it
  6. My only experience with the Manchester Bridgewater Marcussen was in a stand off between Wayne Marshall and a full orchestra playing the Jongen Symphonie Concertante. I certainly didn't get the impression the organ was struggling to keep its head above water, despite the organ seemingly having a reputation for being on the softer side. I preferred it to the Birmingham Klais sound which is very confident but I find a little brash.
  7. There have been many invaluable discussions over the nearly fifteen years that I have been a regular contributor. I don't know how feasible it is to "lift and shift" the contents across to another (preferably free) website or to to merge them with an existing site (I am also on Organ Matters and contribute, albeit less frequently though mostly because this forum seems to be busier). I would personally be willing to pay a contribution for one off costs and if a Mod wants to gather interest in members I am happy to be approached. It would be a travesty to lose the knowledge shared over the
  8. I would have to echo my personal sadness here too. I doubt I will ever be counted amongst the rare numbers of people privileged enough to be able to sign the contract for a new or even rebuilt or restored pipe organ, much of my early wonder at the instrument came about through exposure to the work of Manders, including the organs of Adlington Hall, St Paul's Cathedral and Birmingham Town Hall. I used to joke that I hoped someone had kept the blueprints for St Ignatius Loyola since the first thing I would do if I ever won the Euromillions would be to order an exact copy for myself. I hope and e
  9. In view of the Government's announcement today that with immediate effect people are urged to wear face coverings in all enclosed spaces including churches, and that this will become mandatory from next weekend, it's good to see that one organ is already taking this seriously. (Disclaimer - no-one is seriously recommending the use of masks on organ pipes as protection against coronavirus but I couldn't resist sharing the image. COVID-19 is a serious global health problem that we all need to work together and support one another on.)
  10. Some photographs of the damage from the Diocesan website here. Choir organ seems intact minus what appears to have been its detached console: Remains of main organ: Authorities said to be investigating arson as fires broke out in three separate locations including both organs and a church volunteer who was responsible for locking up is reportedly being investigated.
  11. Guidance in England issued this week is perhaps more helpful here: "You are advised only to play musical instruments that are not blown into. Organs can be played for faith practices, as well as general maintenance, but should be cleaned thoroughly before and after use." The emphasis being a reminder that surfaces that are touched by potentially contaminated hands can lead to others becoming infected. Organs are of course complicated in that respect and whoever advised them to be thoroughly cleaned before and after use must appreciate that means all keys, stops (including the back of
  12. I've been asked if I can draw attention to this one manual and pedal Renn circa 1840 and featured in the Organ Magazine May 2018: https://www.ibo.co.uk/resources/pre-owned/detail.php?refNo=637 It's in a private home now and I understand the owner is seeking its relocation.
  13. Some good news at last - Government guidance issued last Friday now states that organists are now permitted to go into churches to practice the organ (provided we maintain appropriate social distancing and comply with all the other precautions). Obviously that means no page turners or registrants and still no lessons unless taught remotely via Zoom or Skype etc. Furthermore it has to be assumed that hard surfaces such as keys, stops and pistons could potentially be contaminated by someone who was playing whilst infectious, and remain so for possibly 72 hours. So if other people are hoping to
  14. Not sure about the logic of having a swimming pool on the roof but there is certainly precedent for baptismal pools at ground level. I once got into a spot of bother at a large evangelical Anglican church where I'd been asked to accompany a service as the regular organist was away that Sunday. Arriving moments before the start of the service due to delays on the Underground I was confronted by a large organ at the front of the church and lots of wires, plugs, sockets and switches in the vicinity of the organ but no obvious blower switch. By this point the vicar had come to the front of th
  15. Oh do be more ambitious! Three manuals? Check. 16 foot pedal? Check. May I present this example: https://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N01165 I played it many moons ago on an organ crawl and most impressive it was, not least for being able to pack an eight stop three manual into a case seemingly no bigger than many two manual 8482 practice instruments. Or even more ambitious, https://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N04526 More ambitious still, and with a resultant 32 foot in the pedals, https://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N04594#PhotoSection
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