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Mander Organs
Pierre Lauwers

Bach Organs

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The Compenius family was famous for its use of transmissions even at the very beginning of the 17th century. But we do not know how they worked, since there are no Compenius organs extant.

Not really my subject, but isn't there an original Compenius organ, renovated by Mads Kjersgaard, at Frederiksborg Palace in Denmark?

JC

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=======================

It isn't just at Cappel where the 4th rank appears as an aliquot rank.

 

Far more bizarre are some of the old Cymbels found on old Polish organs. I'm not entirely certain how they work, but they consist of a few virtually random, untuned pipes at very high pitch, which are soldered into a block. When "drawn" (presumably by some sort of bleed ventil or other), the notes chirp away happily high above everything else, making absolutely no contribution to the melodic line or the overall tuning of the instrument.....they just chirp away, doing their own thing, and adding a sort of gritty brilliance to the whole instrument. It's not an unattractive sound actually, but it has to be heard to be believed, and of course, used in moderation.

 

When these Polish cymbels ARE drawn, they have much the same impact as the York Tuba Mirabilus, and certainly draw attention to themselves.

 

I suspect that it all comes down to the voicing, because if you really think about it, even a normal Tierce mixture is producing higher harmonics, which on the note "C", would be G,B,D,F for the quints, and B,D#F# and A for the third sounding ranks.

 

Critically, our ear just cannot hear the individual components of sound at higher pitches, and as I have demonstrated many times to people, if you want hear what the Polish cymbels sound like, just get someone to draw a 2ft or 1.1/3 (going right to the top note without a break, such as one on the organ I play), and just lean on a random fistful of top notes whilst the player plays a normal major or minor chord on the full chorus. It doesn't actually spoil anything, but you get that gritty, harmonically random top-end effect.

 

Like Blue Stilton, it is something of an acquired taste.

 

MM

 

This is fascinating.

 

Could you supply more information about these Polish cymbels, for example:

- how many ranks/pipes per note?

- did you mean that there there is only one group of pipes (on one block) which play whatever note is played?

- are they tuned to any particular pitch?

- do you know of any sound samples?

- or locations?

 

I'd love to know more.

 

Just as an aside, did you see Michael Palin tonight? He was travelling through Poland. Part of the journey was by canal barge which, rather than utilise locks to make an ascent, was dragged by cable up a hillside to a higher level canal. Apparently, this system has been in use for 150 years.

 

John

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Dear Vox,

 

your perception of this stop was quite correct. Breaking twice per octave, it sounds the chord C-F-A on all the Cs and Fs, so that for about half the compass there are non-harmonic pitches present. It was not meant as a chorus stop at all, but as an imitation of the more or less random harmonics you hear in small handbells. The Zimbel sounds beautiful on top of a flute chorus when there is a vivid treble line, e. g. in a highly embellished cantus firmus in some North-German chorale fantasia. On top of a chorus it adds a random thrill, nothing more. Special effect department indeed.

 

Best,

Friedrich

 

Do you have further details of the composition?

 

Presumably, it would begin something like:

 

36 39 41

29 32 34

 

finishing in a low:

 

8 11 13

 

having octaves, elevenths and thirteenths throughout?

 

In that respect, perhaps it was a very early version of the neo-baroque 'un-tredezime'?

 

John

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This is fascinating.

 

Could you supply more information about these Polish cymbels, for example:

- how many ranks/pipes per note?

- did you mean that there there is only one group of pipes (on one block) which play whatever note is played?

- are they tuned to any particular pitch?

- do you know of any sound samples?

- or locations?

 

I'd love to know more.

 

Just as an aside, did you see Michael Palin tonight? He was travelling through Poland. Part of the journey was by canal barge which, rather than utilise locks to make an ascent, was dragged by cable up a hillside to a higher level canal. Apparently, this system has been in use for 150 years.

 

John

 

 

======================

 

 

I don't know all the details, but I believe the same pipes just play whatever note is pressed, and therein is a mystery of how it actually works.

 

So far as I know, it is just a block of pipes of more or less random pitch, which squeak away somewhere in the stratosphere.

 

I have a bit of sound problem on the computer at the moment, but I may be able to find the link.....bear with me, and I'll see if I can find it.

 

MM

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======================

I don't know all the details, but I believe the same pipes just play whatever note is pressed, and therein is a mystery of how it actually works.

 

So far as I know, it is just a block of pipes of more or less random pitch, which squeak away somewhere in the stratosphere.

 

I have a bit of sound problem on the computer at the moment, but I may be able to find the link.....bear with me, and I'll see if I can find it.

 

MM

 

Imagine a rather fat pipe foot, soldered closed*. To this, looking rather like a chimney flute, though with lots of chimneys instead of only one, are soldered lots of little pipelets......all tiny, none of them tuned to anything particular .......that's your Polish cymbal. There's one of these for every note.

 

* obviously they're open where the pipelets are soldered on, otherwise they wouldn't be getting any wind. Just to make that clear....

 

I know I've seen a picture of this on the Internet somewhere, but I'm blessed if I can find it.

 

Cheers

Barry

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Thanks, MM and Barry.

 

So, presumably, there is a slightly different composition and sound on each note, although each is not tuned to any particular notes.

 

Come to think of it, I seem to remember seeing a picture of something along these lines somewhere. I wish I could remember where! I would dearly like to hear a sound sample, especially after MM comparing these to the York Tuba Mirabilis. I assume, then, that they are rather loud?

 

John

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Imagine a rather fat pipe foot, soldered closed*. To this, looking rather like a chimney flute, though with lots of chimneys instead of only one, are soldered lots of little pipelets......all tiny, none of them tuned to anything particular .......that's your Polish cymbal. There's one of these for every note.

 

* obviously they're open where the pipelets are soldered on, otherwise they wouldn't be getting any wind. Just to make that clear....

 

I know I've seen a picture of this on the Internet somewhere, but I'm blessed if I can find it.

 

Cheers

Barry

 

 

=====================

 

 

Ah! Gracias!

 

I didn't realise they had a set of pipes for each note. I was wondering how they could actually work!

 

MM

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Thanks, MM and Barry.

 

So, presumably, there is a slightly different composition and sound on each note, although each is not tuned to any particular notes.

 

Come to think of it, I seem to remember seeing a picture of something along these lines somewhere. I wish I could remember where! I would dearly like to hear a sound sample, especially after MM comparing these to the York Tuba Mirabilis. I assume, then, that they are rather loud?

 

John

 

 

====================

 

 

I'm still working on this John.

 

I thought I could go straight to the "Polish Cymbal" track(s), but alas, no.

 

The problem is, I have all the sound files, but the soundcard isn't working for some obscure reason. So I'm having to download to RW-disc and then play them in the CD/DVD player.

 

When I find out where it is, I can then trace it back to the web-site from the title.

 

Bear with me!

 

MM

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====================

I'm still working on this John.

 

I thought I could go straight to the "Polish Cymbal" track(s), but alas, no.

 

The problem is, I have all the sound files, but the soundcard isn't working for some obscure reason. So I'm having to download to RW-disc and then play them in the CD/DVD player.

 

When I find out where it is, I can then trace it back to the web-site from the title.

 

Bear with me!

 

MM

 

No problem. Many thanks.

 

John

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