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Octave / Sub Octave Couplers


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My former organ at Christ Church Sparkbrook (3-man 1877 Bishop) had a Choir suboctave to Great coupler (but no unison C-G). Actually really quite useful as it was the only way of getting a 16 foot effect on full Great. Never seen this anywhere else. Contrabombarde

 

The Rothwell organ at Gregynog has exactly this feature too.

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I have just discovered that my Swell Unison Off 'reads through' the Swell to Pedal. I was attempting a different - and quieter - type of full Swell, and was using the Sub Octave and Unison Off, only to discover that, in the lowest octave of the pedalboard, nothing whatsoever happened. I was aware that the Swell Sub Octave 'read through' Swell to Pedal (obviously with nothing happening for the lowest octave), but this is the first time I have discovered this anomaly.

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THanks for reminding me of this, I played the Rothwell a few years ago and was most impressed both by its ingenuity and its sound. Miniture stop keys mounted between the manuals where thumbpistons normally go - how simple, elegant and easy to operate!

 

I quite agree! It certainly works for a small- to medium-size organ, as Gregynog is. I'm not sure how well it would work for a large organ, although I gather that stop-keys were used on the Temple Church console, IIRC. What's particularly clever at Gregynog is the duplication of the Pedal stops on each set of stop keys, so that they can be selected from any manual.

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Pre-1975 rebuild, St. Paul's, Clifton, Bristol was a fair-sized three-manual, was handy enough to play, and was areguably a better and more memorable instrument than what replaced it. Headstone is about the same size (NPOR is missing a Horn or Cornopean in the Swell at Clifton) and is presumably in good shape.

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On looking at the specification of the old Schulze organ at St Peter's, Hindley (http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=N10905), I noticed the curious stoplist of the Great. Am I right in assuming that the Great Octave coupler was a crucial part of the design, simulating a chorus much more like that at St Bartholomew's, Armley, for example?

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When the Hindley organ was written up in "The Organ", the reviewer (I forget who it was) made exactly this point, that Schulze must have conceived the Great chorus, especially the mixture, as needing the octave coupler to complete it, as it made no sense otherwise.

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... There is also the 'Octaves Alone' on the Choir at Exeter Cathedral - which, without it's Sub and Super which are not present, would seem to be odd until one understands (I think) that it is there to shunt the 16', 8's and 4' quiet stops up an octave for more variety in accompanimental noises. This would seem to be Vox H's idea of 'closet' extension principle - not very 'neat' but if it works....

 

AJJ

 

I have only just noticed this post, Alastair.

 

Indeed you are correct; in fact, the Octaves Alone at Exeter Cathedral only affects the 16ft. Bourdon, the two 8ft. flues and the 4ft. flute. At the time of the cleaning in 1985, these four ranks were also given three extra pipes each, to take the upper compass to sixty-one notes (they were placed on a top-note machine). Apparently, Lucian Nethsingha found the 8ft. Lieblich Gedackt too loud for verse anthems, etc - he preferred the Lieblich Bourdon played up an octave.

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