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Mander Organs

OwenTurner

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  1. On John's point "university colleges - hold back on the strong upper work so as not to deafen the younger ones"... I think that this has to be balanced against the musical maturity and restraint of the player. Personally, I was way too loud and quickly up the choruses to screaming mixture (and also sometimes trying to emulate some of the recorded Hurford mutation registrations, eg 8 + larigot with not much in between) in my late teens in university days, and I hear that as fairly common in younger players when out of earshot of teacher! My similar aged student audience, if interested at all, was similarly keen on loud and sonic thrill too. An idealistic, through ridiculous, extrapolation of this dialogue is that the expected audience, organ consultant, voicer and player all need to be similar ages!
  2. Picking up on John Robinson's (‎20‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 08:42) point: "Perhaps they might look at a typical organ recital audience and think, "Yes, we should go for the 60+ option"! (I'm only half-joking.)" I wonder whether the customary glance down the nave once a service has started, to decide how hard to thump the hymns, should include a rough age scan as well as just quantity to give consideration of using brighter choruses for play throughs. Also giving the incumbent (+20 yr older than me) 8+4, or an 8 with strong partials, for a chanting note might be fairer than a box muffled 8, or even to ask the chap's opinion on a few options.
  3. I’m getting a lot from this dialogue and I find Colin’s article http://www.pykett.org.uk/arhlandob.htm fascinating. I am also conscious that most contributors to this chain have real hearing challenges where I’m interested in something more vain. Obviously the loss of hearing of speech is much more life fundamental than my concerns about my “hifi” audio capabilities. But then, I have spent quite some time selecting, and money on hifi at times. I am reliably informed by my wife that any conversational problems I have are to do with listening not hearing... The comparison with eyesight is telling. I need one pair of glasses to survive - recognise people, see where I’m going, drive, etc. My other two pairs are minority use. I unrealistically hypothesise that I ought to have different hearing assistance or settings for different ensembles; perhaps a string quartet set, a classical orchestra set, a Bruckner set, a baroque organ set, an octopod set. I guess the technology is not on my wavelength yet (apologies - couldn’t resist an acoustics joke).
  4. In my mid forties, around the time it became apparent I needed a different optical prescription for reading, I noticed a change in my hearing, such that the alto / tenor compass became a lot more prominent. Before I was convinced of the change, I’d checked out the tweeters on the hifi and asked whether a couple of organs I’d been away from a while had had their mixtures tamed. I have had a couple of hearing tests but I echo that these were uninterested in anything but the natural spoken voice frequencies, which I’d guess vary by less than two octaves, a small fraction of the audible compass. Both audio testers were uninterested in me discussing musical pitch or Hz frequencies. I have been mulling over two thoughts, the first in line with the previous post about correction, though perhaps more interesting to this forum how the ageing process of human hearing affects the musician; whether composer, orchestrator, performer or instrument technician. In the case of organ voicers or those deciding on pipe scaling, especially volume progressions through the compass, what were they hearing when they’d finished? - the shrill and exciting sharp mixtures I loved in my immature twenties or the more restrained balanced sounds, of the same pipes, in my late forties?!
  5. I do vividly remember my first listen to Hurford Bach recordings in about 84 whilst doing "O" level music. Took the whole organ audio experience into a world of chiff, mutation and nuance I'd not previously encountered. Stunning and powerful beyond words.
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