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Guest spottedmetal
Noise isn't an aim in itself; was any Tuba intended for use in chords?

Is the Norman Cocker Tuba Tune the exception that proves the rule?

 

Best wishes

 

Spottedmetal.

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Is the Norman Cocker Tuba Tune the exception that proves the rule?

 

Best wishes

 

Spottedmetal.

 

This does not quite answer Pierre's statement. Simply because someone has written a piece in which the central F# major section could be played on a Tuba (or a bold reed chorus) does not necessarily mean that it should be so treated.

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There are one or two pieces where Howells requires the Tuba to be played in chords. I haven't looked, but I can't believe it would be difficult to find earlier examples by others.

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There are one or two pieces where Howells requires the Tuba to be played in chords. I haven't looked, but I can't believe it would be difficult to find earlier examples by others.

.. and since Percy loved the tuba so much, surely there must be at least one example in the Whitlock oeuvre to also demonstrate this ..

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There are one or two pieces where Howells requires the Tuba to be played in chords. I haven't looked, but I can't believe it would be difficult to find earlier examples by others.

 

The final page of Bairstow's Prelude in C springs to mind......

 

G

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.. and since Percy loved the tuba so much, surely there must be at least one example in the Whitlock oeuvre to also demonstrate this ..

 

...Fanfare from the Four Extemporisations...does that count ? Exultemus from the Seven Sketches, Book 1, Sortie from Book 2...

ok they're not lengthy passages, just a tempting blast now and again to keep the anoraks happy.

 

H

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Guest spottedmetal
Samuel Green? Nah! Not my thing. Give me a decent, full-blooded cathedral organ any day - but, with some restraint. A quick burst for a final chord may be acceptable, but many organists are guilty of the inartistic use of so much power, that the music is lost beneath a huge wall of noise.

Dear All

 

Yes - I find that organists who are not used to a large specification will approach such an instrument, pull out as many stops as they dare - substitute word "can" there - and then keep playing that way. It's monotonous and tedious. Many years ago at a recital at the Madeleine in Paris, it sounded as though the organist was trying to get an elephant to dance.

 

In contrast, perhaps this is why the Dulciana is the passion of one frequent contributor to this list . . . and one could write reams of the use of the Dulciana. It's seen as a retiring little stop but is actually so very important with mixtures of harmonics. At risk of belabouring the point here, it's possibly worth examining for a reason which might become clear. A physicist or tuner hears the beat frequencies between notes but I'm not sure that all players appreciate the effect. It's for this reason I hate Tierce stops in Equal Temperament - the beat between a Tierce and a Fifteenth should produce a fundamental note two octaves down and in ET it's a quarter tone sharp - not enough to be dissociated and not near enough to merge. Anyway, this comes to the interesting part as we normally view the ear ticklers as enhancing certain upper harmonics or filling in missing harmonics. The reality is that the harmonics when drawn together produce the beat frequency fundamental . . . and the Dulciana can be used merely to reinforce that fundamental.

 

I'm wondering if the lack of appreciation of this use of the Dulciana, and of the delicate Septieme, have taken away from the perception of versatility of some instruments that former generations thought were great. For instance on the last rebuild of a big romantic organ, the Mixture was mucked around with, removing the flat 21st from a 17.19.21.22 harmonic series and replacing it by a series which did not so closely relate and not capable of generating the fundamental. (Am I right in postulating that the closer harmonics are more reliable beat frequency generators)? I'm postulating that this seeming subtle change could have a dramatic shift away from the effects that the original builder intended.

 

Has anyone experience of this?

 

Best wishes

 

Spottedmetal

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Guest spottedmetal
Which Organist?

Sorry - it was over 25 years ago and I haven't the faintest clue. In any event, it was such a recital I wanted to forget as it was so disappointing :-(

 

Best wishes

 

Spottedmetal

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... It's for this reason I hate Tierce stops in Equal Temperament - the beat between a Tierce and a Fifteenth should produce a fundamental note two octaves down and in ET it's a quarter tone sharp -...

Spottedmetal

 

Forgive me if I have misunderstood what you wrote, but most tuners tune Tierce ranks (whether in a mixture or alone) so they don't beat against the Octave or Fifteenth.

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Guest spottedmetal
Forgive me if I have misunderstood what you wrote, but most tuners tune Tierce ranks (whether in a mixture or alone) so they don't beat against the Octave or Fifteenth.

No - this is not what I'm getting at, unless I have misunderstood you, which I might or otherwise made a fundamental mistake. It's not beating against, it's combining with to reveal the difference frequency between the two notes and this is the fundamental note. It's the principal behind the design of super-heterodyne radio and of synthetic 32ft. This is why major third triads in Equal Temperament are so horrible, if one listens closely to them loudly, particularly on account of the three difference frequencies all beating against each other, from the major third, the minor third and the tempered fifth - far from harmonious.

 

If the tierce is tuned not to produce a quarter tone sharp beat-fundamental two octaves below, doesn't it have to be discordant with any third in a chord of equal pitch? Thus, whilst providing clear solo lines (like the discussion on Tubas above), use of the Tierce in chords in ET has to produce a harsh discord somewhere, at least in theory!

 

For reedy spice the Septime, in contrast, is so flat from the conventional 21st, it has little meaning within the musical structure so avoiding discord but provides that odd harmonic content (in contrast to even harmonics) which is otherwise provided by the Tierce.

 

It was probably the introduction of ET that started the Victorian demise of choruses including the Tierce and the disharmony introduced by ET was probably a major influence on rise of the Hope-Jones school of tonal harmony and variety at 8ft level.

 

The discord of the Tierce certainly precludes its use on extension instruments and, venturing into toasters, possibly is one cause of the Hammond's distinctive sound with that 7th drawbar. Incidentally, I'm sure that practicing on a Hammond has its benefits - no-one has answered my observation that Barbara Dennerlein's pedal technique, so attuned to toe-only "authentic" pedalling of Bach, might have been perfected as a result of the Hammond's pedalboard imperfections, and being adventurous with Hammond drawbars enables a greater understanding of the possibility of the need only for the fundamental 8ft tone in terms of tonal support rather than foundation. There must be some crematoria organists around here on this list who have done this?

 

I hope this clarifies a little,

 

Best wishes

 

Spottedmetal

 

PS If it's useful here to expand on the reason why a fundamental difference frequency is produced by sounding of harmonics please let me know on or off list.

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PS If it's useful here to expand on the reason why a fundamental difference frequency is produced by sounding of harmonics please let me know on or off list.

 

If you expand any more you may explode!

 

It was simply your use of the word 'beat' that I wished to clarify. There had recently been a whole load of nonsense on another organ forum about tuning Tierce ranks flat. As a physicist with a family background in organ building I have no need of lectures on sound waves, particularly in a thread supposedly about FHW's organs, however, don't let me stifle your enthusiasm, and yes I do understand the connection between FHW and the Tierce.

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Guest Cynic
Forgive me if I have misunderstood what you wrote, but most tuners tune Tierce ranks (whether in a mixture or alone) so they don't beat against the Octave or Fifteenth.

 

 

Absolutely.

Indeed, I would never employ again any tuner who did anything else!

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I do not understand very well what a Dulciana

and an "Harmonics" mixture could give togheter,

save two "red flags" -indeed, they belong to the extremes

of the crescendo...-

As for mutation ranks used in chords, it all depends what one

draws with them ! You'll never play a Cornet alone in chords

(save special effect), while you'll do of course in the full organ.

A matter of proportion also.

Eberhard Friedrich Walcker kept the Tierces (from the baroque tradition) in his mixtures while

adopting the equal temperament, but instead of building them straight like any other rank

(that is, Principal pipes with the same scaling as any other Mixture rank), he made them

with Spitzflöte pipes, voiced very gently.

That way it is very agreeable (some times ago I linked to a video in Grecia, Costa Rica, where

you could hear an original example).

 

Pierre

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT

For me the Tierce stop in all its pitches, offers extraordinary colour/timbre to solo combinations and (because of being drawn separately and used as we would use sparingly to enhance the flavour of other ingredients salt and pepper in cooking), chorus/plenum registrations. But I find the Tierce seriously emaciated when the instrument is in Equal Temperament. Even a gentle Temperament elevates this 17th harmonic to a sensous and sensational usefulness. I suggest that a simple exercise in experimentation be done with any French Duo where the Basso is a Jeu de Tierce (with the Gross Tierce - even finer), is used or requested. These pieces finish with both voices/parts on the Tonic. In D minor(ish) Premier Ton movements, for instance, the final note held just long enough, allows us the splendid feeling of a major chord because of the tuning of the 17th. In a Temperament belonging to the age of the music, the composer surely understood this and used it to the advantage of the music. Those big minor mode movements that finish with a major chord that excludes the 5th (dominant) note - and a chord that sometimes is 'filled out/in' by present-day players on equal temperament - again utilize the searing cleanness of the Tierce in Cornets. This cadence is frequently preceded by strong chromatic harmonies that produce an effect more reminiscent of The Rack! The drama and tension is completely dissolved when the final major chord is played using the perfect tuning of individual ranks in an unequal tuning of the whole organ. (The Tierce sounding an F# from the Root is (more) in tune with the F# of the chord).

Harmonics of stops and their scalings I think, go hand in hand with Temperament. Therefore, those players here who baulk at Tierce Mixtures on Romantic organs have a great point as the 17th rank in particular is fundamentally so out of tune in chords and harmonies. But we do and should use them with discretion as they are best added after the reeds - thus tempering the equal temperament, so to speak. They have their place if the player understands the builder's objectives in putting them there in the first place. All players on all organs must surely use ears and not a preconceived registrational plan when playing. In an old Temperament such as 5th Comma or 6th Comma (amongst many others), The Fugue in M. Clérambault's 1st Ton Suite can be be played on a Jeu de Tierce with great poignancy. Personally, I become quite perplexed (age?) when I come across old and new organs that abound in mutations but have been 'gagged' by Equal Temperament. For me even a slightly modified tuning can enhance the purity of mixtures as well as adding greater flavour to all the ingredients when playing repertoire of all ages. Choirs also would not have to sing equally 'out of tune' as they do when accompanied by an equal tempered organ, just as the strings in a quartet have to practise their A# and Bb (for one instance) to be as one when playing with a pianoforte in Chamber Music.

Re-reading this, I think I have given up Equal Temperament for Lent! Sorry. But I find that the salt of Temperament is the crux of colour and like a dish from the kitchen the same ingredients can be lifted completely from the bland to the sublime by the addition of seasoning.

All best wishes,

Nigel

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The discord of the Tierce certainly precludes its use on extension instruments

 

I hope this clarifies a little,

 

Spottedmetal

 

It doesn't clarify - or signify - at all unfortunately.

 

ALL Tierces are tuned 'perfect'.

 

The discord of the Tierce, as you put it, doesn't exist when tierces are drawn from the tempered ranks of a unified (or extension) instrument, so actually that is the exact reverse of your statement.

 

We still include Tierces (my choice entirely, as I love them): the new organ for Florence [http://www.willis-organs.com/florence_general.html] has one in the Swell Mixture and the new organ for Auckland has a Tierce Mixture and a separate Tierce in the Choir. As Pierre comments, the voicing must be gentle and, in our case, the scale is slightly modified.

 

DW

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If the tierce is tuned not to produce a quarter tone sharp beat-fundamental two octaves below, doesn't it have to be discordant with any third in a chord of equal pitch? Thus, whilst providing clear solo lines (like the discussion on Tubas above), use of the Tierce in chords in ET has to produce a harsh discord somewhere, at least in theory!

A correctly tuned tierce will clash with thirds to some extent in any temperament, except for some keys in quarter-comma meantone.

 

Paul

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For me the Tierce stop in all its pitches, offers extraordinary colour/timbre to solo combinations and (because of being drawn separately and used as we would use sparingly to enhance the flavour of other ingredients salt and pepper in cooking), chorus/plenum registrations. But I find the Tierce seriously emaciated when the instrument is in Equal Temperament. Even a gentle Temperament elevates this 17th harmonic to a sensous and sensational usefulness.

 

Which is why even on my 'digital' at home I have tuned one of the 'profiles' away from equal temperament so that I can get at least an approximation of this effect in Couperin and De Grigny etc.

 

AJJ

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It's not beating against, it's combining with to reveal the difference frequency between the two notes and this is the fundamental note.

These are two names for the same phenonmenon, except that it is usually termed beating when the pitches are rather close together and difference tones when they are further apart. The frequency of the beats heard between 2 sources of sound is that of the difference between them, hence a pipe sounding at 440Hz will beat at 1 Hz (1 beat per second) with another at 441Hz.

 

Hence also, beats will occur between pipes sounding at 32Hz (16' C) and 48Hz (10'G) and these beats will have a frequency of 48-32=16Hz, which is the fundamental frequency of a 32'C pipe.

 

Less familiar is that it also follows that because the difference between 10'G and 8'C is also 16Hz, these 2 notes sounded together will also create a 32'C fundamental.

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Guest spottedmetal
Personally, I become quite perplexed (age?) when I come across old and new organs that abound in mutations but have been 'gagged' by Equal Temperament. For me even a slightly modified tuning can enhance the purity of mixtures as well as adding greater flavour to all the ingredients when playing repertoire of all ages. . . . But I find that the salt of Temperament is the crux of colour and like a dish from the kitchen the same ingredients can be lifted completely from the bland to the sublime by the addition of seasoning.

Dear All

 

There's a lot developing in this thread that might be worthy of a new thread . . . as far as slightly modified tunings go, I have not found a better one than the Kellner and certainly prefer this to the Bradley Lehman. One of the best examples I've heard on the effect of an unequal temperament was hearing Jill Crossland play the Mozart variations of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on a Kellner tuned instrument in which the change from F major to F minor was so shocking in performance it nearly brought tears to the eyes.

 

Looking at the variety of these posts, in which apparently many of us find agreement, perhaps the issue of the Tierce and temperament is worthy of further thoughts as well as the effects of "false fundamental" production of sequential harmonic mixtures. In response to Pierre, it is with the use of those particular sorts of mixture that the quiet reinforcement of the fundamental can have a dramatic effect - and it is the lack of appreciation of the Dulciana that gives many organists a frustration with small organs which are apparently incompetant for earlier works only for the reason that the combination of Dulciana plus 2ft is so easily overlooked. As a result small organs with Dulcianas are often despised and considered too overloaded with 8fts but in reality their presence can add both subtlety and versatility.

 

Sorry for diverging from the FHW thread.

 

Best wishes

 

Spottedmetal

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Guest spottedmetal
The discord of the Tierce, as you put it, doesn't exist when tierces are drawn from the tempered ranks of a unified (or extension) instrument, so actually that is the exact reverse of your statement.

Actually this is exactly the case where the other discord happens which is the one to which I'm drawing attention: as others have commented one cannot get away from one discord or the other.

 

The equal tempered third is sharp, so when the Tierce is drawn with the 2ft, the interval is wide, so there is a greater frequency difference between the two notes. The frequency difference is audible as the beat frequency, this being larger than it should be by the generation of perfect harmonics so therefore the resulting note is higher - uniformly by 1/4 tone.

 

As Pierre comments, the voicing must be gentle and, in our case, the scale is slightly modified.

I think that this is the only way in which conventional equal temperament organ building can cope with the discord conflict, but delicate results are obtained as a result.

 

However, where incorporated into an organ of a previous generation, we should avoid mucking around with it or removing the Tierces.

 

A H&H harmonics stop with the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th consecutive harmonics 17.19.21.22 would create this false fundamental effect which would need only a small foundation stop to provide reinforcement of the fundamental to make a useful and delicate effect.

 

On one such instrument the organist clearly shared same dislike of Tierce discordance, and consequently removed the Tierces and changing the mixture to 19-22-26-29 . At first glance, I'd have agreed with him.

 

However, the unintentional effect of absenting the adjacent harmoncs is serious in having taken away part of Arthur Harrison's vision.

 

Now not being consecutive harmonics and without Tierces this new mixture would not generate the false fundamental at 8ft pitch and serves only in providing brightness, rather than the variety which the former structure would have offered, having a negative impact on the organ as a whole.

 

Sadly it's three decades since I last heard the original stop before the alteration and am not able now to recall the sound so I wasn't able to hear the direct comparison. The reality is that it would not have been the stop at fault, merely the use to which it was put - in the same way as that comment about Tubas not being designed to be played in chords.

 

Best wishes

 

Spottedmetal

 

PS Apologies for consecutive replies but felt that this one raises issues of mixture structure and use worthy of further consideration.

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I give it again for you, Spottedmetal:

 

http://www.gewalcker.de/gewalcker.de/2007-.../Chanon(02).wmv

 

Here you hear an untouched 1886 Walcker Mixture.

Note the yellow, golden color.

And note towards the end -when the volume has been reduced- what

it gives as an effect in big chords (there are no reed stops!).

 

Could anyone give a sound file of an "Harmonics" Mixture,

and/ or a Willis tierce Mixture,please ?

 

Pierre

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A H&H harmonics stop with the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th consecutive harmonics 17.19.21.22 would create this false fundamental effect which would need only a small foundation stop to provide reinforcement of the fundamental to make a useful and delicate effect.

 

On one such instrument the organist clearly shared same dislike of Tierce discordance, and consequently removed the Tierces and changing the mixture to 19-22-26-29 . At first glance, I'd have agreed with him.

 

However, the unintentional effect of absenting the adjacent harmoncs is serious in having taken away part of Arthur Harrison's vision.

 

Spottedmetal

 

I have yet to meet an example of a Harrison & Harrison Harmonics IV which produces a 'useful and delicate effect'. Since these stops were primarily included in an attempt to allow the opaque Tromba ranks to blend with the rest of the G.O. on Arthur Harrison's instruments, it is unlikely that there are any examples which would yield delicate effects.

 

However, as others have observed, unless one is also going to revoice the reeds, then altering the mixture to a composition of 19-22-26-29 generally achieves little - particularly if the Open Diapason I is the usual large-scale leathered variety. Whilst such ranks are not normally considered to be part of the G.O. chorus, their use, even in full effects simply adds to the thick, dull tone.

 

It is probably more correct to state that this was Col. George Dixon's vision, as opposed to Arthur Harrison's.

 

Whilst there are some examples of H&H Trombe speaking on 225mm or even 175mm, most are voiced on approximately 300mm - with those at King's College Chapel, Cambridge supplied at a pressure of 450mm. In the case of the latter examples, they are at least enclosed in the Solo expression box.

 

Leicester Cathedral is an interesting case; the organ there was restored by H&H in 2003. Amongst other things, the G.O. reeds were replaced with new pipe-work - Trombe, all speaking on 300mm w.g. However, the H&H Mixture IV (19-22-26-29), which replaced the Harmonics in 1972 - 73 was retained.

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Leicester Cathedral is an interesting case; the organ there was restored by H&H in 2003. Amongst other things, the G.O. reeds were replaced with new pipe-work - Trombe, all speaking on 300mm w.g. However, the H&H Mixture IV (19-22-26-29), which replaced the Harmonics in 1972 - 73 was retained.

 

Didn't something similar happen at Ely last rebuild although a Sesquialtera III went in to replace the Cornet V (Clutton/Wills) for a more 19th Century colour within the chorus.

 

AJJ

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Didn't something similar happen at Ely last rebuild although a Sesquialtera III went in to replace the Cornet V (Clutton/Wills) for a more 19th Century colour within the chorus.

 

AJJ

 

Yes. I must confess that I found this rebuild hard to understand. The 1908 tonal scheme was not restored fully; however, the Great (and, I think, Pedal) reeds were revoiced with new tongues and shallots. The Tuba was re-instated. The Swell Horn Quint (5 1/3) was not replaced, neither was the G.O. Harmonics V (10-17-19-flat 21-22). If there had been a wholehearted attempt to re-create George Dixon and Arthur Harrison's original scheme, I could have accepted this. It was after all their first complete tonal rebuild of a cathedral organ (Durham had much prepared-for work in 1905 and, when finally completed in 1935, the scheme was altered in some respects). However, what Ely has now, in my view, is neither one thing nor the other. Consequently, I miss the raw excitement of the previous incarnation. To me, this organ now sounds rather dull.

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