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Everything posted by Janner

  1. I also remember seeing something similar, and I have to say, I am a little puzzled as to why. Obviously this is the Mander forum, supported by them, and they can of course make whatever stipulations they wish. I also accept the fact that we should respect their wishes. However, I cannot help thinking that the availability of "Home practise organs," which is what this discussion is about, by increasing the oportunities to practise, and making it more convenient, may help some organists to maintain, and even increase, their interest, and improve their skills, for the real thing. It is, after all, in a section designated for "General Discussion." Is it not possible that, by bringing a 'classical organ' into the home, some young offspring's curiosity may be awakened, and eventually set them on the road to becoming a church organist? Surely this is not a bad thing, either for the future of the organ, or the organ builders. There are many threats to the pipe organs in our churches, all of which board members are only too well aware, but in some places at least, a lack of people with the skills to play them must be a strong contributary factor. Realistically, only a tiny few, very fortunate, organists are going to have the means to afford, or accomodate, a pipe organ at home, even a small one, and certainly not one in the Mander league, so I am a little puzzled as to how an occasional discussion like this could be harming Manders, or their business. Now if we were recommending replacing the pipe organs in churches with toasters, then that would be well out of order, but from what I have seen, the members on this board are firmly against that idea, so no worries there. Most of the debate seems to be based around a genuine desire, on the part of commited pipe organists, to improve their practise facilities and hence, presumably, their playing skills. Stopping a discussion like this is not going to drive all toasters out of existence, or prevent those determined to replace their pipe organ with one, from doing so. Of course, Manders may have reasons for seeing things differently, in which case, hopefully, they will explain them to us. Until then, I for one, am finding this discussion both interesting and informative.
  2. Glad that you did. It's one of those inspired pieces of writing that help to make this board so entertaining for the rest of us!
  3. Around my area the custom always was, and still is, that if there is a resident in post, then they are entitled to a fee. However, your point about "how can it be proper to take a fee for work not done?" and 'Daily Rag' exposes, (how did you manage to insert that 'accent'?), is a very good one. This raises a question, is the fee actually for work not done, or for some other less obvious reason? There are other examples; I am thinking of at least two wedding receptions I have attended where the groom provided the champagne, but the hotel still charged 'corkage', ostensibly to cover the 'cost' of removing the corks, but more likely, I suspect, to recover some of the profit they lost in not providing the article. On second thoughts, perhaps that is a little unjust; they did chill the stuff as well! Perhaps our legal expert, if he were still a member, could have enlightened us further on this important aspect of the matter. Another side effect of course is that making a charge anyway could deter people, most likely the 'twice in a lifetime' churchgoers, from shopping around for the 'cheapest quote' as is fashionable in everything else nowadays. Of course it's understandable that organists may wish to play for children, siblings, friends etc. There are perfectly genuine and acceptable reasons for this, but that is quite different to some mercenary or unscrupulous individual building up a nice 'Saturday round' sideline by undercutting the regular fees, to the detriment of the local resident organists. That would be quite unacceptable in my view. Here it makes no difference if there is no formal contract, the custom is contract enough, although obviously if the practice were to be proved illegal, then 'custom' would be no defence. Having said all that, our resident organist has always waved her fee when not playing, although she has always advised friends or relations, when asked to play for them elsewhere, that there may still be a charge.
  4. This makes sense. Surely a concert is given by a number of performers working together, in concert, as defined above? Such a concert may contain items by a 'solo' performer, who is generally referred to as a soloist. My Oxford Dictionary defines "Recital" in several different contexts, the musical one being "instrumental musical performance by, or of the works of, one man." Unfortunately this still seems to leave us with another ambiguity. Does it mean either "instrumental musical performance by one performer," (of works by one or more composers), or "instrumental musical performance of the works of one composer," (possibly by more than one performer), or both? Personally I have always assumed that a recital would be given by a recitalist, (singular), and that a concert would be given by a group, referred to by a collective term such as choir, orchestra, etc. I cannot recall ever hearing a 'concert' equivalent of the singular term recitalist. (I can think of one, but have no desire to inflict it on the members of this board.)
  5. Janner


    Can't comment on the organ, but the appeal appears to be well organized, particularly the 'web' side of things, with some interesting ideas. I shall look more closely at that for a couple of appeals which may be coming up here soon. (Only one concerns an organ, but thankfully there shouldn't be any English v. Continental controversy with that one; simply which English organ builder to use.) Following up the comments in the forum, and their associated replies, makes for some interesting reading.
  6. Would be (seriously) interested to hear more. Maybe a PM if you think it more appropriate? Thanks.
  7. Senior moment combined with typing in haste I'm afraid. Should have been hemispherical; a larger version of an old fashioned bicycle bell. Senior moments seem to occur ever more frequently nowadays.
  8. I remember Douglas Hughes, of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, on a radio programme many years ago using recordings to give an excellent demonstration of how the components of a bell's sound build up and fall after it is struck. If I remember correctly, the strike note lasted only very briefly, disappearing long before the other components. For anyone seriously interested, there is a detailed discussion here: http://www.hibberts.co.uk/index.htm. EDIT: Just realised that the heading of the topic is "Tubular bells." Real tubular and spherical bells sound quite different to church bells of course, and bells cast by the continental foundries, mainly for the carillon market, may have different styles and sounds. The remarks and the link above are concerned primarily with church bells, from an english bell foundry, intended for english style change ringing.
  9. There is also a second box which says "Track this message." If you tick that and all is well, it appears to indicate if and when your message has been read. Logically, it's tempting to think that should be a reliable indicator, but, I wonder....?
  10. As the poster of the suggestion to cover the pins of the plug, I would reply as follows: The situation, as it presented in the original post, was a) The need to switch off immediately (fire risk), NO SWITCH AVAILABLE to do the above, hence the unplugging, and c) Subsequently exposed live pins. Given those three conditions, then once the fire risk was removed, the greatest, indeed the only, remaining IMMEDIATE danger was c. Perhaps I should have made it more clear, but my suggestion would normally be intended to be put into effect IMMEDIATELY after unplugging the device, and BEFORE leaving the site to contact whoever was responsible for the building, in order to persuade them to attend to it AS A MATTER OF URGENCY. The alternative was to reconnect the plug and restore the fire risk, but then of course fires are also highly dangerous, and to paraphrase your comment: "If it kills somebody BY setting fire to the church... etc." Assuming that Gareth didn't know where the main switches were, or couldn't get access to them, and that he wasn't carrying a role of insulating tape in his pocket at the time, or that the person responsible for the building was not within shouting distance with a qualified electrician instantly on call, then clearly options were limited. In those circumstances, I would argue that dealing with the exposed pins by THE BEST AVAILABLE means to render it AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE for the immediate, and I stress, the immediate future, was infinitely better than leaving them exposed, or perhaps you disagree. I would point out that I did use the phrases "If, ....... there really was no other way to turn it off," and "In the absence of a better alternative." It seems to me that a great deal here depends on the original assessment of how high the fire risk was, and that was down to Gareth, who was there at the time. Unfortunately this is where, it seems to me nowadays, anyone using their common sense to deal with a situation as best they can, leaves themselves open to just the the sort of criticism you mention, and which leads to people turning their backs, under the principle of 'it may burn down, but if I don't touch, I can't be blamed.' If something does go wrong, then whatever it was, there is always some expert, who although not there at the time, with the benefit of hindsight is able to criticize whatever action was taken. Of course, as a long, or even medium term solution, your comments are quite correct, but my suggestion was never intended as such, and perhaps I should have stressed that point more. However, in this case the post came after the event, and believing Gareth to be a man of sound common sense and of reasonable to high intelligence, I didn't feel it necessary to go into a blow by blow account.
  11. Yet another instrument for sale at a knock down (literally) price: "That auction site" Item number: 170210942648 I mention the above just in case someone may be interested. However, it has also set me pondering one or two questions. There seems to be a trend developing, of more and more what appear to be perfectly serviceable or repairable church organs appearing on said auction site. Not being an expert on the etiquette and customs of this board, and in deference to our hosts, I am wondering whether they have any views, legal or otherwise, on board members posting such information. I know others have done so before, quite recently, and indeed letting other organists know, just on the slight chance that someone may get a bargain, and another instrument might be find a loving home, seems eminently sensible. But I can't help wondering just how our hosts view the situation, and I would hate to commit a breach of good manners to them. Similarly, are there any distinctions, again legal or otherwise, between posting a link, (http:// etc.), or just 'information' as I have done above. I hope this doesn't seem a silly question; I just felt it would be good to have an 'informed' opinion. On a wider front, has there always been a 'trade' in organs, and 'that site' has become involved simply because it's there now, or is it a sign of the times, that more and more organs are being sold off, apparently cheaply. Personally, I find it disturbing, even sad, that we have reached a stage where seemingly quite reasonable instruments are being offered for just nominal sums, such as 99 pence. I do not suggest that, if available, they shouldn't be offered; I can see that a purchaser might get a real bargain, and if it means that it puts a pipe organ within the reach of a church which has never had one, then of course that is a good thing. It's just sad that these instruments have become so ridiculously under valued, in comparison to the skill and craftsmanship required to build them. I suppose the root of the problem is that this particular craftsmanship is overwhelmingly associated with the church, and that decline in support for that institution is the real cause. Like so much else nowadays, however lofty and desirable the ideal, in the end it all comes down to money. What do others think?
  12. The first one appears to have been withdrawn. Two others there are Item=150235125499 and Item=190213513548
  13. In the event, Gareth, I would say it was fortunate you did what you did. Other considerations aside, if you hadn't investigated, the booby trap plug would still be sitting there, ready to dispatch some unwary soul in the future, and the discovery of that alone is probably worth any brief interruption to the humidifier's performance. All you have to hope is that the person called in to rectify it is not the comedian who fitted it in the first place.
  14. A difficult situation. If, as seems possible, there was a fire risk, and there really was no other way to turn it off, then you probably had no choice but to unplug it. However, given exposed pins on the live side, and in the absence of a better alternative, I would suggest the next move might be to wrap it up in some insulating material, (tie a thick polythene bag over it, or even wind some cellotape around the plug and pins, without touching them of course, if there is nothing better handy), and if possible tape a warning notice to it. Anything to prevent someone grabbing hold of the pins would do, until the appropriate people could be notified.
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