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Your comment regarding 'a cancel facilitates major registration changes on a division' - so do divisional pistons. It is not necessary firstly to cancel all stops on a division in an English instrument, before selecting a new registration. I can, if I wish, change instantly from a solitary flute to the full GO; or, I can change from fonds 16p, 8p and 4p to a Plein Jeu. Again, I can change from all the reeds and cornet to 8p and 4p flutes - all without the need of a divisional cancel. I must confess that I am unable to appreciate what a divisional cancel can do that is so useful. Aside from one short passage in Transports de Joie, I have never wished to cancel an entire department.

 

I would be interested to hear further as to why you find this accessory so useful in improvisation - not because I am being obtuse, simply because I cannot see why an intermediate stage of no stops between one particular registration and another is necessary.

 

The thing is - let's imagine following situation:

I am improvising and in preparation I have filled the, say, six divisionals of a division with, say, 13 stops, with combination I found presumably useful. No I'm playing on other divisions, and while doing that, I decide to have a new registration on that certain division - perhaps a solo mixture :wacko: [never say, it would never make sense...] - and, say, the last registration on that certain division was a 12 stop tutti, so the DIVISIONAL CANCEL would ease removing everything to pull out the single mixture stop afterwards... Many words, but situations like this I could imagine, and have had the problems on organs without divisionals...

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The thing is - let's imagine following situation:

I am improvising and in preparation I have filled the, say, six divisionals of a division with, say, 13 stops, with combination I found presumably useful. No I'm playing on other divisions, and while doing that, I decide to have a new registration on that certain division - perhaps a solo mixture ;) [never say, it would never make sense...] - and, say, the last registration on that certain division was a 12 stop tutti, so the DIVISIONAL CANCEL would ease removing everything to pull out the single mixture stop afterwards... Many words, but situations like this I could imagine, and have had the problems on organs without divisionals...

 

Without wishing to be deliberately awkward, I could achieve a similar effect by pressing GO divisional piston one, pulling out the mixture and pushing in the Rohr Flute - and probably taking barely more than a few tenths of a second longer than by pressing a piston which is, in England, habitually placed where one would normally expect to find the reversible piston for Great to Pedal....

 

I am sorry, but I am still not convinced.

:wacko:

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As to your second question, Germany does not actually have a tradition of accompanied choral music at all, unless ccompanied by orchestra, of course. Or continuo.

 

Cheers

Barry

 

Barry, don't forget the catholics! In my home cathedral in Klagenfurt, Austria (certainly not Germany, but you find liking tradition there), EVERYTHING was accompanied, the vocal parts of the whole bunch of Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Masses, I played the Dvorak D major, the Liszt Missa Choralis, and I played dozens of these masses of the "Caecilianer" (bavarian and bohemian stuff from around 1880 to 1910, neo palestrinian, but sometimes very "pastoral", especially around christmas...), where the organ reduction was the conductor's score at the same time, and depending on the budget, you could engage real violins, clarinets,.... or replace them on the keyboard.

And of course, filling out the gaps produced by missing or failing choir members, was your duty, always with a foot on the swell pedal - if there was any!

Mostly the only way, on those our organs to follow the choir dynamically then, was to work with the number of keys pressed, the texture of the accompaniment (regarding playing in octaves or high or low keyboard range) and to find the best points where to slide with the hands (and not both at the same time) from one manual to the other. So somehow "best Anglican tradition", but SADLY without the appropriate instruments. (Would have worked much better on authentic organs from 1880 to 1910, but already in my youth most of them have disappeared...)

 

 

Without wishing to be deliberately awkward, I could achieve a similar effect by pressing GO divisional piston one, pulling out the mixture and pushing in the Rohr Flute - and probably taking barely more than a few tenths of a second longer than by pressing a piston which is, in England, habitually placed where one would normally expect to find the reversible piston for Great to Pedal....

 

I am sorry, but I am still not convinced.

:wacko:

I agree, on the base that I share the idea of having a palette of dynamics from pp to ff on the pistons...

(and I do in most occasions! ;) )

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I agree, on the base that I share the idea of having a palette of dynamics from pp to ff on the pistons...

(and I do in most occasions! :wacko: )

 

I agree with you here, Kropf.

 

Does your own church instrument have general pistons?* If so, I would be interested to know whether you have one channel which you keep as fairly standard and, if so, what stops are set on each piston. It would, of course, also help to know what the instrument was like - do you have a stop-list to hand, please?

 

On my own church instrument, I have several channels; whilst I use several each service, the main channel has the following on generals:

 

General One:

 

8p flutes on all claviers; Pedal: Bourdon. Swell to Pedal, Swell to Positive, Swell to Great.

 

General Two:

 

Foundations 8p. All unison couplers.

 

General Three:

 

Foundations 16p, 8p, 4p. All unison couplers.

 

General Four:

 

Tutti foundations and mixtures. All unison couplers.

 

General Five:

 

Pedal to mixture and two 16p reeds; Positive fonds 8p, 4p, 2p, Crumhorn; GO to mixture with Quintatön 16p;

Full Swell. All unison couplers.

 

General Six:

 

Tutti reeds, without chamades. All unison couplers.

 

General Seven:

 

Full Pedal; Positive to Cymbal and Crumhorn; full GO; full Swell. All unison couplers.

 

General Eight:

 

Tutti Général (including chamades, octave and sub octave couplers).

 

The general piston settings on the channel which I use for most of the choral accompaniments are quite different.

 

 

 

* Presumably not, if it is a Schnitger....

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I agree with you here, Kropf.

 

Does your own church instrument have general pistons?* If so, I would be interested to know whether you have one channel which you keep as fairly standard and, if so, what stops are set on each piston. It would, of course, also help to know what the instrument was like - do you have a stop-list to hand, please?

On regular duty I do not command any combination system - as I regularly serve on the Neuenfelde Schnitger only!

But in external concerts I do something similar to your crescendo arrangement. I try to have at least a crescendo series at hand, than perhaps some solo registrations or other interesting coulours, depending on the content of the concert, and depending on the Setzer layout. Some offer 0-9 and then layer up/down ("Ebene"), but e.g. on modern Riegers I also found 1-12 and layers A-H or so...

My last Setzer-project was three weeks ago, playing live soundtrack to Fritz Lang's silent movie "Metropolis" - for 114 minutes of music I used only 10 (of 4000...) combinations on the Beckerath of Christuskirche Othmarschen, Hamburg, his first instrument (III/ca. 35, relocated in the church, but dealt with respect) - and it consisted of a nine-stage crescendo and one "wurlitzer"-sound (reeds, tremulant and aliquots) for the night club scenes...

 

Later addition: To the community!

This has gone much too far off topic (originally Worcester), sorry for that - will stop behaving like that... :wacko:

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Except that this is not quite the same, Barry!

 

In 1965, H&H installed a new piston system on the organ of Exeter Cathedral. There were two black panels with a few hundred miniature circular switches, which could be pulled (or pushed) into one of three positions. As you say, R&D (and JWWW - and probably many other builders) provided these piston-setter panels. Walkers (and occasionally R&D) often placed them behind the music desk, which was less than practical if one wished to change combinations during a service.

 

However, I do not regard these in the same category as a system which places three or four switches immediately adjacent to each stop or stop key, simply to operate two or three free combinations. For one thing, I find that such consoles look incredibly messy and for another, it is surely more conveninet to group all the switches on a panel in its own small cupboard beside the console if, of course, there is room.

This I realise; I was attempting to explain that I was aware that German organists did not normally require their instruments to provide for kaleidoscopic changes of registration, 'colour' Psalms or stir the soul of the listener during Stanford's For lo, I raise up - for example. However, the time at which point I had to go to play for a full practice at the Minster was rapidly approaching and so I had little time to think about the details of the post.

 

:wacko:

 

Well, the principle on which they work is identical. Essentially they are duplicate groups of stop controls on another circuit. Of course the little coloured lolly sticks are messy, and nobody builds them any more. But they had the advantage of being easy to set up, easy to see, and, since they were not intended to replace registrants, of being manipulable while actually playing.

 

"Kropf", generally known as "Charly", has a Schnitger organ (yes, Neuenfelde), so, no, it diesn't have a combination system. Although in England it might have, by now.....

;)

Cheers

B

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"Kropf", generally known as "Charly", has a Schnitger organ (yes, Neuenfelde), so, no, it diesn't have a combination system. Although in England it might have, by now.....

Touché! :wacko:

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Although this has all gone somewhat far from the Worcester line it is really very absorbing - rather like the days before we stopped getting postings from Pierre L. in Belgium (we really could do with him back). 'Good to have meaty organological chat rather than some of the more recent stuff....!

 

AJJ

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Now I never thought one mention of divisional cancels would go so far....!!!! In fact there is a use which no-one here seems to have mentioned for these little delights:

 

Imagine playing on a light registration on the Great or Choir, coupled to the Swell and wanting to reduce without having to make what could be an untidy manual swap - perhaps in a final playout of an anthem in a piece with rather thick chords needing both hands to accomplish. It's rather good to be able to make the move simply by canceling the stops on the "home" manual...jolly useful, I'd say...

 

A

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Imagine playing on a light registration on the Great or Choir, coupled to the Swell and wanting to reduce without having to make what could be an untidy manual swap - perhaps in a final playout of an anthem in a piece with rather thick chords needing both hands to accomplish. It's rather good to be able to make the move simply by canceling the stops on the "home" manual...jolly useful, I'd say...

 

One I use rather a lot - it has the added benefit on my own organ that the stops never go off together, so you get a nice subtle decrescendo :wacko: The great is particularly good at that this, the order's not perfect, but if you had, say OD 1 2 3 out, and hit cancel, they go off as 1, 3, 2. (the double never bloody goes off - takes about 5 seconds of continous jabbing at the cancel to get it to go in)

 

Unfortunately using div cancel on the swell is not an option - every time you hit a swell piston you get a flash of Hautboy for the duration of the button press.

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Unfortunately using div cancel on the swell is not an option - every time you hit a swell piston you get a flash of Hautboy for the duration of the button press.
Aha, it sounds like a trapped contact wire - as referred to in my earlier post. This is something the tuner should be able to sort out in a few minutes.

 

JC

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Now I never thought one mention of divisional cancels would go so far....!!!! In fact there is a use which no-one here seems to have mentioned for these little delights:

 

Imagine playing on a light registration on the Great or Choir, coupled to the Swell and wanting to reduce without having to make what could be an untidy manual swap - perhaps in a final playout of an anthem in a piece with rather thick chords needing both hands to accomplish. It's rather good to be able to make the move simply by canceling the stops on the "home" manual...jolly useful, I'd say...

 

A

 

Now with this I can agree, Adrian!

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Guest Psalm 78 v.67
There was also, I believe, a further recording on the RFH organ - was this by Pink Floyd?

Actually was Emerson, Lake and Plamer, or perhaps The Nice. Somewhere I have a copy of this record, but sadly not the means to play it.

 

Emerson Lake & Palmer recorded "Pictures At An Exhibition" around 1970/71 (at a guess) using, I believe the Birmingham Town Hall organ for the "Promenade" as an organ solo...

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Now I never thought one mention of divisional cancels would go so far....!!!!

 

I’ve always thought that a ‘Pedal Stops Off’ would be most useful accessory, particularly when accompanying. I’ve never had regular use of an organ that possessed either a P.S.O. or divisional cancellers. However, at my last church but one, where the organ was well equipped with both divisional and general pistons, I had Pedal piston 1 set to ‘zero’. I’m pretty sure that I used this piston at least once every time that I played the instrument in public.

 

Even for the most accomplished player, it’s surely more convenient to play a verse of a hymn with the pedals rather than without. If one wishes to play without 16’, but include a R.H. solo, being able to temporally disable the pedal stops is quite helpful. Similarly, I have encountered many situations when accompanying from keyboard reductions (particularly the more pianistic ones) where it makes life rather easier if one can play without 16’ for short passages but not have to forgo the use of the pedals.

 

As regard repertoire, having a stop/piston that works rather like an appel in reverse surely has many applications when playing French romantic and post romantic music on an English organ.

 

I would have thought that the usefulness of a Pedal or Great canceller would be much reduced if affected by the combination coupler.

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I would have thought that the usefulness of a Pedal or Great canceller would be much reduced if affected by the combination coupler.

Certainly, in my experience, the combination piston couplers would not work on divisional "0" pistons...

 

A

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In any case, I believe that I am correct in stating that those at Truro are wired-in to the capture system and, as such, are technically adjustable.

 

At Truro they are actually fixed in the normal way and not adjustable. Adrian's idea of using them when making a smooth diminuendo is certainly used a good deal by my assistant, Chris Gray. Not only does it mean that no manual change is needed when both hands are occupied, also there is no need to take off the Great to Pedal (or other) coupler. The pedal stops are not affected unless the pedal cancel is pressed.

 

Robert Sharpe

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At Truro they are actually fixed in the normal way and not adjustable. Adrian's idea of using them when making a smooth diminuendo is certainly used a good deal by my assistant, Chris Gray. Not only does it mean that no manual change is needed when both hands are occupied, also there is no need to take off the Great to Pedal (or other) coupler. The pedal stops are not affected unless the pedal cancel is pressed.

 

Remind me of the coupler layout at Truro, Robert? The Willis III I play has the couplers in the standard HWIII way, on tabs under the music desk, which I hated at first, but am now finding very convenient - things like jumping up on to the swell and being able to sort out couplers as you play without removing hands from manuals, e.g. killing gt to ped as you hop up, or adding ch-ped 4' for a nice pedal solo accompanied by strings that can cut steel from 30 paces.

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Guest Roffensis
Now I never thought one mention of divisional cancels would go so far....!!!! In fact there is a use which no-one here seems to have mentioned for these little delights:

 

Imagine playing on a light registration on the Great or Choir, coupled to the Swell and wanting to reduce without having to make what could be an untidy manual swap - perhaps in a final playout of an anthem in a piece with rather thick chords needing both hands to accomplish. It's rather good to be able to make the move simply by canceling the stops on the "home" manual...jolly useful, I'd say...

 

A

 

 

I agree with you wholeheartedly how useful such "O" pistons and "Doubles Off" rockers are.

 

I also am amazed how much debate it has caused!! ;):wacko:

 

R

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I agree with you wholeheartedly how useful such "O" pistons and "Doubles Off" rockers are.

 

I also am amazed how much debate it has caused!! ;):wacko:

 

R

 

I used the Pedals Off rocker switch for the first time ever this morning - for a pedal free verse in Rockingham...

 

Works quite well!

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I have always found the General Cancel awfully useful, you know. Sorry not to contribute anything useful to this thread.

 

Ian Crabbe

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At Truro they are actually fixed in the normal way and not adjustable. Adrian's idea of using them when making a smooth diminuendo is certainly used a good deal by my assistant, Chris Gray. Not only does it mean that no manual change is needed when both hands are occupied, also there is no need to take off the Great to Pedal (or other) coupler. The pedal stops are not affected unless the pedal cancel is pressed.

 

Robert Sharpe

 

Ah - I was fairly certain that Simon Morley (who originally requested them) had mentioned that they were adjustable.

 

Adrian - the couplers at Truro are grouped (as draw-stops) with the departments which they augment, at the base of each double column. There is also one group of three on the right jamb, on the inside two rows; these three stops are, I think: Full Organ, Generals on Swell Toe Pistons and Divided Pedal*. The stop to couple the Pedal and Great pistons is situated at the base of the GO stops, on the outer row. There are no stop keys. In this way, the layout is similar to Salisbury.

 

On the 1963 'Willis' console, the unison couplers were engraved in red but Swell 4p to Pedal, Solo 4p to Pedal, Swell 16p to Great and Swell 4p to Great were engraved in black. I think that this has been retained. No doubt Robert Sharpe will be able to confirm - or refute - this.

 

As given in the brief booklet, the list of couplers on the 1991 console is slightly incomplete - Swell Sub Octave, Swell Octave and Solo Octave should be added.

 

* This small cluster of stops is (or was) missing its characteristic curved departmental header ivory label - the old console only had two double staggered rows on each side, with a fifth header label to denote the Solo Organ stops, which were formerly grouped above those of the Swell Organ. It would be interesting to know whether a replica has since been made and fitted - although, unless Manders were able to acquire a suitable second-hand one, labelled 'COUPLERS', or similar, I am not certain that this would be possible, since I think that Willis hold the design copyright - or whatever it is called.

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* This small cluster of stops is (or was) missing its characteristic curved departmental header ivory label - the old console only had two double staggered rows on each side, with a fifth header label to denote the Solo Organ stops, which were formerly grouped above those of the Swell Organ. It would be interesting to know whether a replica has since been made and fitted - although, unless Manders were able to acquire a suitable second-hand one, labelled 'COUPLERS', or similar, I am not certain that this would be possible, since I think that Willis hold the design copyright - or whatever it is called.

 

I don't know about the design copyright bit but we still have them in stock and have recently had 25 of each made (the scroll is different, i.e. opposite, for bass and treble jambs).

 

David W.

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I don't know about the design copyright bit but we still have them in stock and have recently had 25 of each made (the scroll is different, i.e. opposite, for bass and treble jambs).

 

David W.

 

Thank you - this is interesting. Could I ask how they are made? Are they ivory or Ivothene, or some other material? I would be interested to know how they are shaped - is it by a machine, for example?

 

Also, do you supply them to trade or privately, please?

 

Thank you.

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Thank you - this is interesting. Could I ask how they are made? Are they ivory or Ivothene, or some other material? I would be interested to know how they are shaped - is it by a machine, for example?

 

Also, do you supply them to trade or privately, please?

 

Thank you.

 

Ooooh! I think you'd better contact me privately :rolleyes:

 

dw@willis-organs.com

 

or

 

0151-298 1845

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Ooooh! I think you'd better contact me privately :rolleyes:

 

dw@willis-organs.com

 

or

 

0151-298 1845

 

Will do. Thank you! :ph34r:

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