Jump to content
Mander Organs
Sign in to follow this  
Ronald Shillingford

How Clean Is Your Organ And Loft ?

Recommended Posts

At the risk of rubbing any other fellow Organist's why is the it is that the Organ loft and for that matter is an untidy place ? usually tatty music left about with hymn books on top of the Console with Service sheets and Anthem books. And I also cannot understand why some organist's have the odd humbugs and bottles of water in the loft. It really is ghastly to be surrounded by all this in addition to dusty old carpets. Shal I send Kim and Aggie out to find the dirtiest Organ loft ? All that is needed is a bit of effort and organisation. So come on have a sponsor spring clean of the Organ loft and keep your loft tidy .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have seen organ-lofts you would believe a waste truck had discharged its content in! But this has some advantages too. I found many a 19th's century paper in such places, like inauguration's program, music sheets etc.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with these sentiments.

 

I'm reminded of a black n'white photo of Max Reger playing a symphonic organ in Germany-the console lid is piled high with music.

 

Sloppy organ lofts can of course reflect the incumbent musician or reflect a hard working environment! My church is open each day from 8.30am-5.00pm and as I once had 75% of my repertoire stolen and sold to a second-hand music dealer I do not keep even one album around the console now-its all safely in its storage shelves in the locked Choir Vestry.

 

I also have a thing about dusty consoles.

 

Cheers

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree with these sentiments.

 

I'm reminded of a black n'white photo of Max Reger playing a symphonic organ in Germany-the console lid is piled high with music.

 

Sloppy organ lofts can of course reflect the incumbent musician or reflect a hard working environment! My church is open each day from 8.30am-5.00pm and as I once had 75% of my repertoire stolen and sold to a second-hand music dealer I do not keep even one album around the console now-its all safely in its storage shelves in the locked Choir Vestry.

 

I also have a thing about dusty consoles.

 

Cheers

Michael

75% ??!! icon_eek.gificon_eek.gificon_eek.gif

 

I suppose you didn't get any of it back. Bad luck though.

 

I used to do organ practive in my local church until someone stole the speakers (three times) and the drumkit (twice). Now the church is largely kept closed and I was forced to give up. Pity.

 

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

75%

 

Hi Dave

 

Yes- I did get most of it back through detective work and a police team that actually went to the secondhand music store concerned. But the proporietor kept my expensive Breitkoph Bach albums procured in Frankfurt and Australia. He returned them 6 months later but that's another story!!

 

Its amazing what gets stolen from churches!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Any instances of clergy being stolen? B)

 

I know of part of a Trompette en Chamade 'going' - quite an effective one too - the part left behind was re aimed at the church floor!

AJJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Roffensis
Oh dear - I'd better watch out for abductors!!

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony (Baptist Minister)

 

 

My loft is lovely and clean, I polish the floor every week, and the organ cases glow with colour!! I also keep my keys clean, and hoover under the pedals!! As I play in churches all over Liverpool I see some right sights though, and I think we should have an award for the untidiest loft in Britain. Old chipped glasses, last years music lists, sticky sweet papers, pile cream, dirty stop knobs, unused pedals with 10 years dust on them, and an assortment of unused church furniture and old rugs are all firm candidates. I have seen the lot!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And what would you say of this:

 

-1960 sandwich on a soundboard....Sandwiched between two pipes

 

-A 1907 original stop (extremely rare) piled at the back of the organ on a floor with

some inches of stone-dried black dust

 

-1962 cardboard boxes (from Laukhuff?) at random

 

-About 200 (two hundred!) old nails treathening the feet under

the Pedalboard.

 

Could win an european award...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Roffensis
And what would you say of this:

 

-1960 sandwich on a soundboard....Sandwiched between two pipes

 

-A 1907 original stop (extremely rare) piled at the back of the organ on a floor with

some inches of stone-dried black dust

 

-1962 cardboard boxes (from Laukhuff?) at random

 

-About 200 (two hundred!) old nails treathening the feet under

the Pedalboard.

 

Could win an european award...

 

 

Nah, you dont win on that little lot. The pile cream is still the best I reckon!!!! And the dusty old glasses with fingerprints and sticky bits all over them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Roffensis
At the risk of rubbing any other fellow Organist's  why is the it is that the Organ loft and for that matter is an untidy place ?  usually tatty music left about with hymn books on top of the Console with Service sheets and Anthem books.  And I also cannot understand why some organist's have the odd humbugs and bottles of water in the loft.  It really is  ghastly  to  be surrounded by all this in addition to dusty old carpets.  Shal I  send Kim and Aggie out to find the dirtiest Organ loft ?  All that is needed is a bit of effort and organisation.  So come on have a sponsor spring clean of the Organ loft and keep your loft tidy .

 

Yes a skip is a most useful item to have at the west door....

In it are to go all carpets, bad for the acoustics, both in the loft and those stuffed under the pedalboards and bench helping us lot to fall off.

Next, all anthem books etc with fitted green mould.

Pew runners are a complete no no in church. Worshippers must Suffer!

Clergy....oops........sorry, I'll stop there!.......

 

sorry!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Worshippers must Suffer!

Clergy....oops........sorry, I'll stop there!.......

 

sorry!

 

So I should hope! There's no need for worshippers to suffer - and I hope that we clergy have a role!

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My organ is not on a loft but I do keep some music on top of the console for easy access, together with the midi console manual it's about 3 to 4 cm high. One advantage is that this often helps to prevent awkward silences during the service when the organist is looking for the next piece of music to play. (e.g. switching from the last hymn to the postlude) But I always take service sheets with me at the end of the service (usually to throw out later at home).

 

The problem this creates, as some of you mentioned, is theft. The chapel where I play, there is no choir, so we use the same setting of gloria every week, sung by the congregation. It's an English version from the Schubert German Mass and is readily available from the internet (which is where I got it). One Sunday morning I arrived to find that the entire two pages of the gloria is missing from the console! Who would steal something like that?

 

Fortunately, the chaplain's office was close by and I was able to print another copy before the service began. From that day on, he has always kept serveral copies locked in the sacristy! (talk about extreme measures)

 

Another explanation I can offer for this phenomenon is where churches where there are more than one organist, each is reluctant to move something the other leaves behind (thinking that there is a reason it was left behind). So gradually these accumulate and the pile gets bigger and bigger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Surely an organ loft needn't be too tidy? Part of the pleasure of being in a cathedral or college chapel organ loft is examining what's up there!

 

Especially interesting are scores marked up by the (perhaps very eminent) organist. Does he just circle troublesome notes, or is he more inventive? Little drawings of a pair of spectacles perhaps? Or warnings such as "Watch it!", "Trouble looming!", "Count!!!" or "Careful!"?

 

There is great comfort to us mere mortals in knowing that a very well-known organist has had to practice his fingers to the bone over the same passages that we struggle with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely agree - it's fascinating what you can find in a loft. I remember one loft with a book which had comments from the organists about events and sermons that had happened in the time. There were also M&S "Curiously strong" mints - for curiously long sermons and prayers...

 

I'm currently seeing red as an incumbent organist after discovering on Sunday at about 9.20 that the organ copies of service music I was going to play at 9.30 had been mislaid by a deputy a couple of weeks before (I think). Cue lots of furious scrabbling about trying to find a spare copy before the service and lots of threatening note writing in red ink during the lessons and prayers to leave in strategic places around the loft and choir vestry...

 

So I guess if you're a deputy or a visitor, look by all means but leave everything where it was when you leave - and I guess the job of tidying up falls to the incumbent...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would always regard a tidy organ loft with some suspicion. It suggests someone is taking too much to heart the saying about cleanliness being next to godliness. Time spent cleaning the organ loft is time spent not practising.

 

At school we had a lovely big organ loft and a cupboard full of old organ music left by old boys and teachers. I saved myself a small fortune by rummaging around and finding long lost copies of the Orgelbuchlen, Brahms Chorale Preludes, Vierne's Pieces en style libre, to name just three. And, when it came to my time to leave, I too must have left a few scores behind, as I never saw them again afterwards.

 

It's all part of the charm of a dusty organ loft, overflowing with all sorts of goodies! Long lost works by Berlioz or Handel weren't found in pristine organ lofts, after all.

 

Jeremy Jones

London

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Barry Oakley

I guess there's always one piece of information found at the console, tidy or not, and that's the little book left for the organ tuner noting any problems. You can usually spot if a problem has been rectified or how to avoid the problem and possibly a red face.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I guess there's always one piece of information found at the console, tidy or not, and that's the little book left for the organ tuner noting any problems. You can usually spot if a problem has been rectified or how to avoid the problem and possibly a red face.

 

Just occasionally, they can also make amusing reading during the dull parts of the service - particularly if you are playing for a wedding. Not infrequently, it is possible to spot a recurring fault which has apparently defied the best efforts of the tuner and his colleagues. Such an organ should be treated with extreme caution, possibly with a reed knife and a bottle of vodka kept close at hand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Leathered-Lips
Just occasionally, they can also make amusing reading during the dull parts of the service - particularly if you are playing for a wedding. Not infrequently, it is possible to spot a recurring fault which has apparently defied the best efforts of the tuner and his colleagues. Such an organ should be treated with extreme caution, possibly with a reed knife and a bottle of vodka kept close at hand.

 

I've heard of those that deface the faces of the deceased on the funeral papers, by drawing on moustaches, beards and glasses. Not me I hasten to add.

 

Edna

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Especially interesting are scores marked up by the (perhaps very eminent) organist. Does he just circle troublesome notes, or is he more inventive? Little drawings of a pair of spectacles perhaps? Or warnings such as "Watch it!", "Trouble looming!", "Count!!!" or "Careful!"?

 

===========

 

 

THAT'S where I left my music Nick!

 

I still have the music with the ruder bits scribbled on them, so my reputation remains marginally intact....at least on this discussion board.

 

I like using international traffic signs; especially for Organ Concertii....."Beware of oncoming traffic" or "Give way."

 

As for tidy organ-consoles, I have a lovely head-scarf and a bib, marigolds and a feather duster, a can of "Pledge" and knee pads. I leave them by the console, in the hope that some visiting organist will someday do the cleaning and polishing!

 

MM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must admit that I do like a tidy organ console and loft. I hate working in a mess, so I do try to dust and tidy music as often as posible. If my boss is reading this, he will probably recall the condition of my study at home and wonder if I have a split personality. The answer to that is simply - of course we do. <_<

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...