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Mander Organs

David Pinnegar

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Everything posted by David Pinnegar

  1. The new software from Modartt is bringing piano enthusiasts into the world of the organ https://www.modartt.com/ and it was a matter of delight if not surprise to find that one of the contestants at the Nice International Piano Competition (link below goes straight to his performance) So availability of keyboards at home really can be an inspiration to young people even without more conventional ways in. On the Modartt forum an amusing consequence of bringing Organ software to Piano simulation software users is that the question has been asked "Why don't they provide
  2. Stanley - upon reading your ramblings perhaps more than just I might suggest that you come out of retirement. Your perceptions are spot on. For me the magic of Christianity is the book that was thrown away - the Gospel of Thomas. It's so incomprehensible that I've suspected Buddhist origins, and in its incomprehensibility are golden nuggets. Your writings about the mirror suggest familiarity with the torture of Dionysus and perhaps there's reason in your emergence from retirement to do something new. "What did the Master tell you?" asked the others. "Well if I told you", answered Thomas,
  3. The Tascam DR40 is a great stand alone no nonsense recorder with all the necessary functions to record straight out of the box. For me, fiddling with computers in a live situation isn't my scene. Significant improvement can be had by using external mics but capacitor mics needing phantom power are a pain. They drain batteries faster . . . But if that isn't a concern, there are details of upgrading BM800 cheap mics on Youtube, inserting three components to smooth the low level amplifier stage, and a larger capsule can improve these mics at very low cost. Recently in my tuning work and
  4. Some years ago I foresaw a precipitous collapse of appreciation of organ music and in common with encouragement of other areas of classical music put on organ recitals at Hammerwood Park, East Grinstead. We have at the house one of the instruments formerly at Addington Palace, although this really wasn't extensive enough to bring the repertoire to life. We also have a one manual chamber organ which has been explored with a degree of interest But exciting organ repertoire there is and so I put together a 5 manual organ laboratory capable of representing German, French and
  5. This debate was extending into the piano tuning realm with a friend today in response to comments on that it sounds like equal temperament. And this is the Schubert Impromptu in Ab which should be the very worst of keys in one of the classical unequal "well temperaments". So the point is that if tuned sympathetically to the instrument Kellner can be used in the place of pure Equal Temperament without damage to the music. At some stage I might put together the Priere a Notre Dame played on my organ sound-laboratory in Kellner and in ET as certainly when as a teenager I pl
  6. That link is fascinating. The above is my experience with tuning pianos, both the Bosendorfer on which we did a specific test, and at Nice with orchestra, and again as reported by the organist experiencing the Cranliegh instrument before and after retuning into ET. Sweeter, louder . . . Best wishes David P
  7. With respect it's actually a misconception that fretted instruments had to be tuned to ET. At the Musée de la Palais Lascaris in Nice there is a phenomenal collection of historic musical instruments which are very much well worth the visit. Up until the end of the 19th century quite a few instruments had gut string for frets . . . so as to be adjustable. I've been working on the mathematics of the influences of the 9th harmonic in piano tone and resonance. Whilst not entirely thought out and so apologies for errors of exactitude, many temperaments and especially those with 7 or 8 perfect
  8. The experience of the orchestra playing at the Nice International Piano Competition accompanying concertos was that ,members of the orchestra came up to me in pleasant surprise saying that it was the first time they'd played with piano and found the piano and the orchestra playing at the same pitch. And the pianists liked the sound. So I believe there to be substance in your assertion. And never throughout the varied repertoire of that concert was the unequal tuning at all unpleasant no matter which key was in use. At the other end of the musical spectrum with saxophone -
  9. Apologies for raising an old thread - but in the lack of responses on the thread concerning Mander's use of unequal temperament the Cranleigh organ is important - as are others that Manders have built using Kellner, Young or other mild unequal temperament. In recent years I have given focus to piano tuning and developed an implementation of unequal temperament, Kellner, which is capable of universal application on all pianos. It's been a privilege to have been able to study a number of historic instruments from the Colt Collection and formerly Finchcocks, and these have given me an insigh
  10. Thanks for the mention of Rasch - https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329726980_Does_'Well-Tempered'_Mean_'Equal-Tempered' . I can understand your frustration in what appears to be endless "writing on anything under the sun", but it's all linked. Academic discipline requires isolation of factors to identify causes and effects. It's in that spirit that I believe much can be pinned upon the tuning and especially the piano, and thereby the lack of satisfaction found in performances of Bach on the modern piano. The lack of reward given to the performer in the sound of equal tempered
  11. It's not about HIP. It's that if someone plays Mendelssohn as if playing Prokofiev the player doesn't understand music. One has to remember that it's often said that Bach can sound good on anything. But it's a matter of singing. Singing is where so much music came from. On the piano musicians have to understand how to sing and how to make that sound. Unfortunately many musicians don't. I used to think that every note on a Steinway was an interruption to the music, and suspect that perhaps half the objection to piano performance with which we find sympathy here is on account of just
  12. By being tuned as an organ, I mean by the system of tuning. My "High Definition" tuning uses Kellner (or some instruments can take Kirnberger III quite happily) providing 7 perfect fifths in the scale and for the most part is tuned by relationships of fundamental frequencies rather than harmonics, and then achieves resonance of bass notes with scale notes. In contrast most piano tuners get out of tune inharmonic harmonics to coincide and stretch the octave as a result. The result I'm sorry to say is that music skates around on the surface of an inharmonic instrument more like a gamelan a
  13. With regard to Bach on Harpsichord, even the Harpsichord can sing in ways in which modern pianists don't understand and in addition complex harpsichords which are able to bring more variation to the music are expensive to maintain and as a result I suspect rather out of fashion in much modern performance. Alexandra Kremakova is a performer I like a lot - and is a piece where the tuning gives us landmarks to add interest to the sound. Modern tuning may well be why the music has become boring for so many. Here she is playing Dowland on piano https://youtu.be
  14. The week before last I tuned the pianos for the Nice International Piano Competition. Many candidates played Bach . . . on the piano and at least I was tuning the piano well for Bach, making it less intolerable. But I can't stand general Bach piano playing. Staccato with no singing, not understanding how even a harpsichord can sing, and as for that Canadian woman whose name I can never remember . . . who I heard playing Mendelssohn as if it was Prokofiev. . . . The final concert was rather fun. Of course you can't have a piano accompanied by an orchestra in unequal temperament. What
  15. I read today someone writing saying they've had enough of Facebook. In recent years Facebook has taken over special interest groups and in particular organ communities, causing fragmentation rather than real communication, and wasting resources of experience and talent in a lot of noise, unsearchable in cases where any wisdom is expressed. Where academic subjects are discussed, in regard for instance to scaling or temperament, detail and experience is paramount and the writings of knowledgeable authorities gold dust important for enthusiasms of the future. It's for this reason that t
  16. How really WONDERFUL! It's such a really creative and unique design that it should inspire through being just so . . . unexpected. It would be great to organise a visit perhaps from the Crawley and Horsham District Organists' Association if perhaps you might welcome visitors. I've been saying to priests for a long time that a good instrument and good music can be an attraction which can get people back into churches. There are a steady trudge of instruments towards Ebay and I fear that not all will experience the happy ending to their former story that this organ has. Best
  17. On https://www.organmatters.com/index.php/topic,2247.msg10095/topicseen.html#msg10095 there is news of an instrument near Aberdeen which needs rescue or will at least be a source of parts. Best wishes David P
  18. This certainly does look like the Christmas Tree model and, whatever the tonal qualities, should be preserved as a matter of the design being so very unique. Best wishes David P
  19. On ebay is a wonderful little instrument well worth preserving - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Henry-Willis-Junior-Development-Organ/273897600962 - an extension organ with a most extraordinarily adventurous and exciting pipe rack . . . Best wishes David P
  20. Yes - Colin - spot on as always and most valuable examples. I came to a similar conclusion and demonstrated this with Bach's 48 last year doing a lecture about the Colour of Tuning in Mozart's time - and of course likewise apologies for using electronic simulation. Here we demonstrated examples of the very worst keys. What's rather interesting is Schubart's description of D major, the key of trumpet fanfares and which we find Bach writing in his D major Prelude in Book II of the 48, indicating Bach aligning his use of keys with the documented effects to be expected i
  21. Such experiences are the reason why unequal temperaments have had a bad press. There is a spectrum of unequal temperaments and of course the most extreme are there to be used for very specific purposes and with intention as I have with the musicological explorations with the 1802 Stodart piano. Certainly Kellner can be used universally on both historic and modern pianos but where I've heard an organ in Vallotti or Young, I haven't been obviously conscious that it's not Equal, as for me the flavour is not enough. But it's there and people report very good experiences with pianos tuned so. One o
  22. John - you're spot on about Kellner and this is why I'm really curious about the success of Manders in building instruments in Kellner and the reaction thereto. The conversion of the Cranleigh instrument to equal temperament was a travesty and a significant loss to the musical world. It's for this reason I'd love to know where there are others. Zimblestern - I come from both sides of the fence. When I was a boy I rebuilt an organ in my parents' house and we knocked down four walls and ceilings to fit it in. Then came the challenge of tuning it. These were the early years of BIOS and the e
  23. Hmm . . . as a musician the tonality of the instrument might just possibly be a matter of interest. I've actually had this debate in the piano world, being bludgeoned over the head by equal temperamentalists who swear that ET was used exclusively from the time of Montal, but it's the tonality of the instrument that wins the day when heard and experienced by musicians now offered a choice on how their Steinway, Bechstein or Bosendorfer can sound. It's nothing to do with HIPP but the limitation or enlargement of tone colour that throwing the scale off the mechanical contrivance of the twelf
  24. Hmm. I understand the issue leaves some cold and seems only theoretical, but the way in which the scale notes interact with the harmonics of the instrument has a great bearing on what the instrument sounds like, its tonality in its acoustic. This is why I have included here the examples from St Maximin. It also affects, limiting or broadening the tonal structure of stops that an organ builder can include in the instrument. Yes - one can fake it but it's not the same. Best wishes David P
  25. The interesting thing about Kellner as chosen by Mander is that the very "worst" thirds aren't very much more unacceptable than equal temperament thirds. Organs are a particular specie of instrument with continuous tone and exact mathematical relationship of interlocking tuning, as well also as an inability to vary the sound. That's why arguably those with valid objections to unequal temperaments on the organ have a point that becomes very real and especially when the temperament becomes more extreme possibly this being as far as this instrument might be taken, perhaps eve
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