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Pedal to Great (or automatic bass) gadgets can be supplied by pipe organ builders. I've seen some.

This technology is not expensive either.

 

A lot of builders install those. The South Island Organ Company in New Zealand which I work for, did use Muldersoft Transmission systems and they had the ability to use Auto-Pedal / Ped to Gt etc.

If anyone here knows of the Positive Organ Company, London, their one-manual organs had the 'Melodic Bass' which was a pneumatic system so you would get the impression of playing the pedals aswell. Their specifications were normally around Open 8, Flute Bass 8, Flute Treble 8, Viol 8, Dulcet Bass & Treble 4.

They normally included Melodic Diap 8 or Viol 8 which were also pneumatic and the rest of the manual action was mechanical.

 

JA

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Don't knock the Auto Pedal control as I did. Then I had a skiing accident. It enabled me to carry on working and earning a living whilst my right leg was in plaster.

 

Bet you didn't think of that excuse did you! :rolleyes:

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My pedalboard is 'standard' Well, whatever that means! It certainly isn't half size and transferring from it at home to the church I give regular recitals at, and to the Church I'm DoM at doesn't give me any grief at all...

...sorry all, I meant that it's shorter from back to front (I've heard this called 'half size' by another manufacturer!!!) and possibly slightly narrower, but, no, otherwise r&c, 30 notes etc

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...sorry all, I meant that it's shorter from back to front (I've heard this called 'half size' by another manufacturer!!!) and possibly slightly narrower, but, no, otherwise r&c, 30 notes etc

 

Ah ha! You know, I've never noticed that!!

I play with the bench really close in anyway, so all I'd miss out on is tripping over the back of the pedal board which at home doesn't stick out behind the bench, but, on thinking about it, does at church! :rolleyes:

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There isn't a great deal to add to all the good advice here apart from the matter of the use of headphones. Please take care not to listen at high volume levels for long periods or you could cause permanent damage to your hearing. It's very tempting to turn them up because it sounds wonderful, but the consequences, especially to someone who depends on their ears for their profession, can be devastating.

JC

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Guest Lee Blick
...sorry all, I meant that it's shorter from back to front (I've heard this called 'half size' by another manufacturer!!!) and possibly slightly narrower, but, no, otherwise r&c, 30 notes etc

 

I gather in the US, a pedalboard that has shorter sharps, shorter pedals, and/or shorter compass is called a 'princess' pedalboard. It could perhaps also have something to do with the 'fragility' of organists in some parts....

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Guest Barry Williams
Pedal to Great (or automatic bass) gadgets can be supplied by pipe organ builders. I've seen some.

This technology is not expensive either.

 

 

These cost between £65 and £156 per manual and are a great help to non-organists. I have specified these in several rebuilds etc in the Diocese where I advise on organs.

 

Barry Williams

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.............. and are a great help to non-organists.

 

Barry Williams

 

And to those like me who need to 'cheat' at the start of the Bach P in D major!!

 

AJJ

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And to those like me who need to 'cheat' at the start of the Bach P in D major!!

 

AJJ

 

Yeah, but what about the fugue??!

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Yeah, but what about the fugue??!

 

I get someone else to do that!

 

AJJ

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I get someone else to do that!

 

AJJ

 

Good idea! There are several anecdotes about the fugue which could almost start their own topic in this forum....!

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Guest Lee Blick
A lot of builders install those. The South Island Organ Company in New Zealand which I work for, did use Muldersoft Transmission systems and they had the ability to use Auto-Pedal / Ped to Gt etc.

If anyone here knows of the Positive Organ Company, London, their one-manual organs had the 'Melodic Bass' which was a pneumatic system so you would get the impression of playing the pedals aswell. Their specifications were normally around Open 8, Flute Bass 8, Flute Treble 8, Viol 8, Dulcet Bass & Treble 4.

They normally included Melodic Diap 8 or Viol 8 which were also pneumatic and the rest of the manual action was mechanical.

 

JA

 

I had to play Widor's Toccata on one of those Positive Organ Company thingies. There was nothing 'positive' about it. If they supply the Bourdon pipes, they may as well supply the pedalboard.

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Guest Lee Blick
And to those like me who need to 'cheat' at the start of the Bach P in D major!!

 

AJJ

 

Or that pedal bit in the Prelude & Fugue in A minor, or the whole of Thalban-Balls Paganinni Variations. :rolleyes:

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Guest Barry Williams
Yeah, but what about the fugue??!

 

 

Shame on you! You should learn the pedal part. It is not that difficult.

 

Barry Williams

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Shame on you! You should learn the pedal part. It is not that difficult.

 

Barry Williams

 

I played it for my FTCL - in the style of Virgil Fox!!! :rolleyes:

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I had to play Widor's Toccata on one of those Positive Organ Company thingies. There was nothing 'positive' about it. If they supply the Bourdon pipes, they may as well supply the pedalboard.

 

I agree about that. I am thinking about restoring a redundant one for home use, but a pedal board is one thing I definately would install. The only thing is I would have to supply extra 18 Bourdon pipes as they only use 12 for the Melodic Bass. Sounds like quite a bit of work but would probably be worth it.

 

JA

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If anyone here knows of the Positive Organ Company, London, their one-manual organs had the 'Melodic Bass' which was a pneumatic system so you would get the impression of playing the pedals aswell. Their specifications were normally around Open 8, Flute Bass 8, Flute Treble 8, Viol 8, Dulcet Bass & Treble 4.

They normally included Melodic Diap 8 or Viol 8 which were also pneumatic and the rest of the manual action was mechanical.

JA

Many years ago I recall that someone from HNB moved one of these things and put an electric blower on to relieve the organist of having to supply the wind for him/herself. He never could get the Melodic Bass to work properly and came to the conclusion that it required turbulence in the wind supply in order to operate OK. In several I have seen the mechanical bits just keep going but the pneumatics have usually given up years ago. Can't say I like the sounds but they seem good workhorses and surley the next things up from American Organs or Harmoniums.

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Many years ago I recall that someone from HNB moved one of these things and put an electric blower on to relieve the organist of having to supply the wind for him/herself. He never could get the Melodic Bass to work properly and came to the conclusion that it required turbulence in the wind supply in order to operate OK. In several I have seen the mechanical bits just keep going but the pneumatics have usually given up years ago. Can't say I like the sounds but they seem good workhorses and surley the next things up from American Organs or Harmoniums.

 

This sounds fairly normal - A while ago I played for a concert of Baroque music on this one - it worked quite well soundwise - you could get quite a bit of sparkle with the octave coupler - fine for Monteverdi etc. (!) but as you say - then the action was decidedly unreliable - ' it maybe works better now. (I'd still rather have my Wyvern at home though!)

 

AJJ

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Many years ago I recall that someone from HNB moved one of these things and put an electric blower on to relieve the organist of having to supply the wind for him/herself. He never could get the Melodic Bass to work properly and came to the conclusion that it required turbulence in the wind supply in order to operate OK. In several I have seen the mechanical bits just keep going but the pneumatics have usually given up years ago. Can't say I like the sounds but they seem good workhorses and surley the next things up from American Organs or Harmoniums.

 

When you say 'the organist having to supply the wind for him/herself' do you mean using the pedals like on Harmoniums? All the Positive organs in New Zealand that I know of have the hand pump, but of course this would be inconvenient if no one was available to operate it. Most of the ones SIOC have restored have had electric blowers added, but still retain the hand pump. The pneumatics are a real nusence on the melodic stops, since they have to be either cleaned or replaced every 20 or so years. But if I added a pedalboard I would possibly have to keep the pneumatics since the Bourdon pipes are divided six either side of the organ.

One problem with the Positive organs is that they are quite a nusence to tune e.g. removing the swell box back panel etc.

 

JA

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When you say 'the organist having to supply the wind for him/herself' do you mean using the pedals like on Harmoniums? All the Positive organs in New Zealand that I know of have the hand pump, but of course this would be inconvenient if no one was available to operate it. Most of the ones SIOC have restored have had electric blowers added, but still retain the hand pump. The pneumatics are a real nusence on the melodic stops, since they have to be either cleaned or replaced every 20 or so years. But if I added a pedalboard I would possibly have to keep the pneumatics since the Bourdon pipes are divided six either side of the organ.

One problem with the Positive organs is that they are quite a nusence to tune e.g. removing the swell box back panel etc.

 

JA

 

I have a vague memory of playing one with harmonium type pedals - 'can't remember where though. Something like this maybe - though it now has an electric blower.

 

AJJ

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When you say 'the organist having to supply the wind for him/herself' do you mean using the pedals like on Harmoniums? All the Positive organs in New Zealand that I know of have the hand pump, JA

Yes exactley that. You may be able to just make them out on another picture I supplied at:

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/PSearch...D08351&no=2

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I would advise getting professional movers to move an organ in and out of a house - I tried it once myself and they make it look incredibly easy. It's really hard work without the right tools and having the dark arts. If there's any doubt, measure every door or get them to survey on site. They make it look incredibly easy and controlled. However, I'm looking forward to the piano movers moving a 6'3'' 1890s Bluthner Grand into my 4th floor flat.

 

I recently sold a large upright piano using eBay. To my dismay the buyers said they would move it themselves. It hadn't occurred to me that anyone would be so foolish. I asked them if they realised how heavy it was - no they hadn't - it's over 200 kilo I told them and they asked how heavy was that!! I explained it was the weight of 10 full suitcases - and that they should have a lorry with a tail lift and a heavy duty trolley..... Anyway I made them sign an agreement that removal was at their own risk and they were responsible for any damage..

If you sell an instrument on eBay I recommend specifying a bit more than "Buyer collects"

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I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that a digital instrument at home will be the preferred way of securing regular practice (ie every day, ideally). I am lucky enough to have unrestricted access to a "real" instrument, which I shall (of course) continue to use, but with the best will in the world it is difficult to get there as regularly as I would like to. I have not had the opportunity to play all that many digital instruments, and I'm not aware of any showrooms in my immediate vicinity where I could try out any instruments. I don't desire a lavish five manual cathedral reproduction; I would be quite happy with a modest 2 (maybe 3) manual affair, with the emphasis on quality rather than quantity. However, in a nod to ever so slight self-indulgence, I would prefer a French romantic specification, since this is the music I particularly enjoy, and as I'm paying and it is my hobby, I think I deserve a little self-indulgence. However, the instrument should be capable of allowing decent practice of a range of styles. I have done some internet research and generally have a 'feel' at, least in theory, of what the relevant companies are offering. I'm sure many of you have such instruments at home, so any first-hand advice or recommendations you have would be gratefully received. I don't want to ignite any (further) pipe vs digital debates. (My teacher is of no real help here as he has never had such an instrument and his only advice is to get a small 3 to 4 stop pipe organ. Well, as I'm not made of money and my (soon to be) wife would relish the prospect of headphones being used, this is not an option.) I hope this topic is not entirely outwith the remit of this forum.

 

I went round all the well-known brands of electronic instruments nine years ago and found Makin superior to the rest. It has in recent years been built by Johannus in Holland (who now own Makin) but it is a thoroughly English organ, using samples from, Hill, Harrison and others. I bought mine in 1999 and it has been absolutely dependable. This model, a 3-manual Sovereign, has an alternative voicing option with French/German specification, and can similarly be switched to middle tone tuning or Werckmeister at the touch of a thumb piston. The "Sovereign" model has now been superseded but the company always has some good second-hand ones on sale.

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