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John Robinson

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About John Robinson

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 03/08/52

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    A missionary from Yorkshire to the primitive people of Lancashire
  • Interests
    Organ design

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  1. Celestes

    How about if the two ranks were to be placed together, yet their mouths facing away from each other?
  2. Beauvais Cathedral

    I found this reference to that (unique) stop on this site: https://list.uiowa.edu/scripts/wa.exe?A2=piporg-L;8d4a4bec.9912A The Pedale Dermogloste 8' in the Danion-Gonzales at Beauvais Cathedral is one of many stops in that organ retained from the original 1827 organ by Cosyn. It's an 8' reed stop of the Basson type, with leathered shallots; hence the name, derived from Greek, meaning something like "skin/tongue". Its original pitch was 12', as the Pedale went to low FF. But in 1922 the Pedale was rebuilt to standard C compass and the low 7 notes disappeared, making this an 8' stop. Normally French nomenclature is pretty straightfoward and unfanciful, but this organ was an exception: it also had a fifth manual of three free-reed stops expressive via variable wind-pressure: Conoclyte, Terpomele, and Euphone. (Source: Berna, Jacques, Les grandes orgues de la cathedrale Saint-Pierre de Beavais, 1530-1979, Cahiers et Memoires de l'Orgue, no. 25, 1981/I)
  3. Spanish nuns fined for restoring their organ

    Yes, I can appreciate that. I wasn't aware that the Spanish had the same system of state ownership of all churches as does France. Presumably, the state wasn't about to refurbish the organ (and I understand that there are many historical organs in Spain that are in need of restoration) so perhaps they could have taken the sisters' work as a gift and thanked them! Yes, you are right. There does need to be some provision in place to prevent damage to organs by those who are not capable of the work and in that respect we are lucky. Hopefully, the work done on the Spanish organ was done properly.
  4. Spanish nuns fined for restoring their organ

    My opinion is that it rather depends on how well the organ was repaired. Assuming that the instrument was repaired in a professional and conservative fashion, I wonder whether this is just another case of rampant bureaucracy, typical of what we British are especially good at!
  5. Norman & Beard Question

    Yes, I'm sure he could. However, it can be looked at very simply. Pull out an 8' Diapason, then add another (if your have one!) and see how little difference it makes to volume. Start with the 8' Diapason again, then add a 4' Principal. Adding the octave makes far more difference. That, of course, is the whole thing about organs based on Baroque principles, where power is obtained by adding different pitches. As for the history, I suspect that it may have started, as already intimated, by having 8' Diapasons in both east and west fronts of organs positioned in the traditional place, on the screen. Or perhaps not?
  6. Norman & Beard Question

    Yes, indeed. Duplication of ranks to increase power was certainly not uncommon in those days, but ten 4' Principals above four 8' diapasons? This is why I suggested a possible mistake. And, yes, at York there was an East Great and a West Great at that time (Elliott and Hill) which was said to be ineffective, so that could account for the number of duplicated stops although the disparity between 8' and 4' principal-toned stops is still very strange. As it happened, Hill later made improvements: http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N03909 which led to a much more logical specification. However, the problem of producing adequate sound in both chancel and nave still remained, which is why Hill built a separate nave organ. This has now gone, of course, and I think the building is still crying out for another nave organ. It has been talked about for some time but nothing has materialised. Money, I suppose!
  7. Hunt the Tierce

    Sorry, too late! My apologies; I hadn't seen this thread.
  8. Norman & Beard Question

    Then there's this: http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N03908 the veracity of which I seriously doubt! Who would include four Open Diapasons on the Great along with no less than TEN Principals?
  9. Swell Boxes

    I don't know whether this has been done before, but could it be sound absorbent material on the backs of the shutters? Of course, even when fully open that must still have some sound attenuating property.
  10. Swell Boxes

    Ha! Exactly what I suggested! I do have that volume, although I didn't read that passage - honest!
  11. No new posts??

    In response to Damian's very interesting post, I should have thought that an additional wind trunk (of limited dimensions) could be run from the Swell box to the area in which the blower(s) takes its wind. This would not be a tight fit at the blower, though, as the rarefaction of air inside a closed Swell box caused by the blower sucking in air would have a similar adverse effect on the speech of the pipes. I'm afraid I have no evidence of such a thing, though; it is no more than an idea!
  12. Canterbury Cathedral & Manchester Cathedral, New organs

    That's an excellent idea, as I'm sure many people seem to believe that only the pipes they can see actually exist. Getting back to Manchester, that reminded me of the 32' wood and reed in that cathedral which are situated in a side aisle and to which I naturally gravitated. What I found rather surprising was that visitors can approach those pipes unhindered and can easily reach the tuning springs of the reed! It only takes an inquisitive visitor to wonder 'what are these strange pieces of wire?' and 'I wonder what happens when I push this one up and down?' And, no, I resisted the temptation!
  13. Canterbury Cathedral & Manchester Cathedral, New organs

    I went to see (and hear) the new Manchester Cathedral organ this morning, accompanied by the long-suffering wife. I was quite impressed. I have to say that I found the organ rather 'in your face' although, to be fair, we were sitting on the front row in order to have a good view of the pulsator organum. Certainly, it is not without power although, on the other hand, I didn't hear any really quiet sounds that I should imagine would be important during certain services and even recitals. I don't think we had the opportunity to hear the Solo organ either, at least not on its own. We did, however hear the Choir organ (on the other side of the organ - we were in the nave) which, surprisingly, came through very clearly. One slightly amusing comment, or at least I thought so, came from a lady sitting near to us at the front. Prior to the performance I mentioned to her that in our location I wondered whether the organ might be a little too loud (it was). Her response was, "I suppose it depends on where the loudspeakers are". I suppose, though, that ought to be expected these days with so many 'cheap alternative' toasters around, although it occurred to me to wonder what she thought the purpose was of the large organ case dominating the whole cathedral.
  14. Music desks

    I'm surprised that all music desks are not routinely made adjustable with regard to tilt. It would solve a lot of problems, apparently. Just my four penn'orth!
  15. Canterbury Cathedral & Manchester Cathedral, New organs

    My wife and I shall be listening to it 'in person' on 14th October at 11am.