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AJJ

House Organs

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I need an instrument to practice on - local church availability is getting less frequent and less easy to arrange and the church I actually play at has a 1 manual with non standard pedals etc. I do not have room (nor funds!) for the sort of pipe organ that I would love to purchase and I am unlikely to be moving house in the near future. I would be interested in ideas regarding the design of a small (but decent) electronic that would be appropriate for the room of a reasonably spacious victorian terrace house but not in an instrument that gave the effects of a large church organ in a synthetically over-large acoustic - in my experience this latter approach can lead to some ghastly 'St Pauls Cathedral in your living room' effects which I really would not want (and nor would my neighbours, wife or family - though I do see the advantage of headphones as an option).

2 contrasting manuals, a 16ft pedal, some characteristic solo possibilities (Oboe/Sesqui or Cornet) and for romantic indulgence a Celeste of some sort would suit the sort of things that I usually play - in fact general ethos (as far as one can generalise in this sort of thing) seems to come somewhere between a Cavaille Coll 'choir' organ and some of the small Hill/Willis 1 instruments found in village churches around here. Most electronics that one sees advertised seem vastly over endowed (I probably would not even want a combination action - good discipline!) stopwise, manual-wise and accessories-wise. Is there any hope - does anyone know of such an instrument or should I just stick to the piano? Help please!

AJJ B)

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Well, why not consider:

 

-A true 4 or 5 stops pipe organ

 

-An harmonium?

(This last is strongly coming back on the continent, a good thing!

England did build excellent harmoniums as far as I know).

 

Though of course limited, I'm convinced a five stops pipe organ allows

actually much more than a zig-hundred "stops" electronic one.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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Guest Barry Oakley
I need an instrument to practice on - local church availability is getting less frequent and less easy to arrange  and the church I actually play at has a 1 manual with non standard pedals etc. I do not have room (nor funds!) for the sort of pipe organ that I would love to purchase and I am unlikely to be moving house in the near future. I would be interested in ideas regarding the design of a small (but decent) electronic that would be appropriate for the room of a reasonably spacious victorian terrace house but not in an instrument that gave  the effects of a large church organ in a synthetically over-large acoustic - in my experience this latter approach can lead to some ghastly 'St Pauls Cathedral in your living room' effects which I really would not want (and nor would my neighbours, wife or family - though I do see the advantage of headphones as an option).

2 contrasting manuals, a 16ft pedal, some characteristic solo possibilities (Oboe/Sesqui or Cornet) and for romantic indulgence a Celeste of some sort would suit the sort of things that I usually play - in fact general ethos (as far as one can generalise in this sort of thing) seems to come somewhere between a Cavaille Coll 'choir' organ and some of the small Hill/Willis 1 instruments found in village churches around here. Most electronics that one sees advertised seem vastly over endowed (I probably would not even want a combination action - good discipline!) stopwise, manual-wise and accessories-wise. Is there any hope - does anyone know of such an instrument or should I just stick to the piano? Help please!

AJJ B)

If you only need an instrument to practice on and are concerned about volume, I'm sure most off-the-shelf digital organs available today have volume control facilities. And even if they come with stops in plenty surely they don't all need drawing.

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If you only need an instrument to practice on and are concerned about volume, I'm sure most off-the-shelf digital organs available today have volume control facilities. And even if they come with stops in plenty surely they don't all need drawing.

 

I agree with this but I suppose part of it is also the 'large two or three manual in a small room' side of things...or...'it wouldn't be possible with pipes so should one expect/desire it with electronics?' I accept with the fact that one does not have to use all the stops provided but an example I know of sounds decidedly comical with pedal opens and batteries of reeds honking around a residential sitting room all complete with the echo of Liverpool Anglican and a sort of detached feel to things as if one was playing a giant harmonium three blocks away. Likewise doesn't even the digital representation of a diapason chorus up to Mixture IV still need the space it would theoretically have with pipes to sound anything but decent? The reverse being that in a standard living room one should think small. Or am I thinking about this the wrong way?

AJJ

 

Quote.......

''Well, why not consider:

-A true 4 or 5 stops pipe organ

-An harmonium?''

 

The '4 or 5 stops' idea is interesting - I quite fancy one like the one at Kilkhampton Methodist with 7 (NPOR D05164) but I am not sure about the harmonium despite the interesting repertoire.

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Well, why not consider:

 

-A true 4 or 5 stops pipe organ

 

-An harmonium?

(This last is strongly coming back on the continent, a good thing!

England did build excellent harmoniums as far as I know).

 

Hi

 

As I see it, the options are either a good digital (Copeman-Hart or similar) or a small pipe organ. I guess the cost would be in the same region for either option. A Harmonium would not really be suitable - it's a very different instrument to a pipe organ (I have one - and use the organ in church for organ music practice). Neither would I recommend a 2-manual & pedal reed organ - the speech is just too slow in most cases (and I say this as a reed-organ enthusiast). An off-the shelf digital might be possible, if you can find one with suitable sounds and sensible controls. (I had problems with one I played yesterday, where sunlight shining through an adjacent window made the illuminated stop controls unreadable.)

 

Historically, of course, you would use a pedal clavichord (there's one currently listed second-hand by the early music shop.

 

I agree with your sentiments about the ridiculous amount of reverb some electronic organs seem to have - although it's perhaps nice for occaisional self-indulgence, it certainly doesn't sound "right" in a small room - and nor does it aid accurate phrasing, etc. whilst practising.

 

Good luck in your search.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Guest paulisom

My wife and I have searched long and hard for a small practice organ for home. We discounted a electronic very early on (I used to sell and voice them before I became a Diocesan Organs Advisor) as I was aware of the potential failings and life-span. We at first accumulated a number of ranks of redundant pipework with a view to creating our own organ. We rapidly realised that neither my wife or I had the time or talents to do any of the work, and we certainly could not afford to get it done for us. I eventually surfed the internet (causing a monstrous telephone bill and a rapid move over to broadband!) and found a large number of sites where small second-hand organs were sold by various clearing houses. It would seem that you can purchase a small organ from anything from 4000 Euros (1 manual 2 stops) upwards. There are some real gems and basically something for everybody. Curiously in the UK most builders want a lot more for the instrument than the builders in mainland Europe. We eventually found a wonderful box organ, built in 1997 by P & S for an organ builder in Stoke on Trent . We paid £5,000 for it, and I gather from organ builder friends that we have a real bargain, with solid oak in abundance. The organ only has one manual CC-g 56 notes and a Stopped Diapason 8', Flute 4' and a Fifteenth 2'. The instrument gives us a satisfaction that an electronic could never do - we have even forgiven it for having no pedals. We have found new repertoire in searching out organ music for manuals - Fleury, Torres, Rene Vierne etc. The organ is a real revelation and such fun to have. For information you might look at such sites as:

 

www.ladach.de - English spoken and written

www.gebrauchtorgel.de - Limited English

www.franceorgue.fr

 

We have realised a dream to own a new'ish house organ for what is a modest budget. For the same sum we could have bought a low grade electronic organ with plastic keys, illuminated stops, thin veneer, limited life span. Instead we got, solid oak, rosewood, stops, wooden keyboards and the satisfaction that the organ will last for a very long time.

 

No contest!

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Guest paulisom

I realised in my haste that I failed to mention that we wanted to buy British. It was only sheer fluke that we found this organ. Sadly none of the foreign organs would fit in our 15 century house!

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  The instrument gives us a satisfaction that an electronic could never do - we have even forgiven it for having no pedals.  We have found new repertoire in searching out organ music for manuals - Fleury, Torres, Rene Vierne etc. 

 

It sounds great fun - and the one manual repertoire is amazingly large and not just confined to the expected early music. Much of the French organ or harmonium music works well - the 24 pieces by Langlais include some real gems.

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It's not too expensive or difficult to DIY. You can buy a complete old pig on eBay for a couple of hundred quid, even if you only use the keyboards. Mine is: I: Stopped Diapason 8, II: Stopped Flute 4 (bott octave grooved to the tenor octave of the 8'), P: Stopped Diapason 16. Gives you enough diversity to make a useful rehearsal noise in just about any field, even trio sonatas if you don't mind playing down an octave with one hand. Or, get a cheap 2m harpsichord and fit a pedalboard to it?

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk

If anyone out there is planning to build a small practice organ, I am about to sling out a whole lot of salvaged material - small two-manaual tracker jobs, some electric chests, a couple of small detatched consoles etc. etc. I have found a buyer for my rambling house and out buildings in order to move to E.Yorkshire. There is a downside, however: my organ mania has filled every cubic foot I used to own in Gloucestershire.

 

If you are interested in organ parts or pipes - blowers, small reservoirs, good panelling in mixed heaps etc etc, please let me know.

 

This site will forward any e-mails.

 

I have three complete organs looking for homes:

 

1: A 14 stop straight two-manual and pedal organ. Most of the pipes are virtually new. neo-Baroque specification. Manuals tracker, pedals (including a 1/4 length 16' reed) on electric action.

 

2. A chamber organ of six stops with coupled pedalbaord. All it needs (apart from re-erection) is a good coat of paint over the 'grained pine' look. Attractive mid-victorian case - towers, flats, castellations etc.

 

3. A tall chamber organ by G.P.England with remnants of both an extended compass and a shifting movement. Six stops. Mahogany case, somewhat abused in the past but potentially a wonderful thing c.11' tall, however! Full history supplied.

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3. A tall chamber organ by G.P.England with remnants of both an extended compass and a shifting movement. Six stops. Mahogany case, somewhat abused in the past but potentially a wonderful thing c.11' tall, however! Full history supplied

 

(Quote)

 

If I had the money, I'd jump on this one!

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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