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A Personal Request


Guest Geoff McMahon
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Guest Geoff McMahon

Dear All,

 

Our moderator has (as you will have noted) deleted a few threads which were inappropriate for this discussion board.

 

Could I appeal to all members of the discussion board to avoid making postings which have nothing to do with pipe organs? This board has the potential to be informative and interesting to all who have an interest in the pipe organ and its music. If we become frivolous, those amongst us who really have interesting things to say will ignore it and go elsewhere. I think that would be a shame.

 

The board is not cheap to run, but we think it provides a valuable service to the organ world and we are happy to do that. But the purpose will become seriously diluted if we do not, collectively, ensure it engenders an exchange of ideas on a reasonably high level.

 

For the avoidance of doubt, could I also reiterate that anything to do with electronic organs does not have a place on this board.

 

I hope you do not mind my making this appeal and hope that it continues to be an informative and interesting forum for constructive discussion.

 

With very best wishes to you all,

 

John

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Dear All,

 

Our moderator has (as you will have noted) deleted a few threads which were inappropriate for this discussion board.

 

Could I appeal to all members of the discussion board to avoid making postings which have nothing to do with pipe organs? This board has the potential to be informative and interesting to all who have an interest in the pipe organ and its music. If we become frivolous, those amongst us who really have interesting things to say will ignore it and go elsewhere. I think that would be a shame.

 

The board is not cheap to run, but we think it provides a valuable service to the organ world and we are happy to do that. But the purpose will become seriously diluted if we do not, collectively, ensure it engenders an exchange of ideas on a reasonably high level.

 

For the avoidance of doubt, could I also reiterate that anything to do with electronic organs does not have a place on this board.

 

I hope you do not mind my making this appeal and hope that it continues to be an informative and interesting forum for constructive discussion.

 

With very best wishes to you all,

 

John

 

Dear John,

 

Thank you for kindly explaining Rachel's thoughts behind deleting three recent threads, which she felt to be inappropriate to the discussion board.

 

May I firstly join with those who wish to say thank you for kindly hosting and financing this discussion board? I, along with many others, derive much pleasure and gain learning from the contents therein. It certainly does provide a valuable service to the organ world, both to its users and to those who read it without contributing, and is much appreciated indeed.

 

However, I would also like to defend the intentions of those whose recent posts have been deleted. Firstly, the poster who informed us - happily totally wrongly as it turned out - that our regular, highly entertaining and informative contributor MusingMuso had passed away. My understanding is that, in research for her forthcoming book, she needed agreement from each of us whom she is quoting to include our contributions in her publication. She made strenuous attempts to contact the aforementioned member, who had disappeared from the board, but with no success. I know full well that several of our members (me included) were concerned about the reasons for MM's disappearance from the board and had liaised with other contributors to try and confirm his well-being. The OP was subsequently given apparently reliable information from an apparently very reliable source - who personally knew MM - about MM's demise. Incidentally, MM once posted, himself, along the lines that he felt closer to members of this discussion board than he did to neighbours and others around him, and I think that many of us regard others on this board as good friends, albeit in Cyberspace. I think it only natural, then, that the OP would publish to let us know what seemed to be a certain, sad fact after strenuous enquiry. The happy fact that it was wrong is merely reason to rejoice and, granted, perhaps, to delete the thread.

 

The other two "humorous" threads were, obviously, intended as "throwaway" threads merely to entertain friends. Of course they weren't intended as items for discussion - and, therefore, weren't intended to fill bandwidth with many replies - but were merely items intended to bring a smile to colleagues and friends, which I am sure was the intention of the two OPs.

 

I am concerned that a discussion board which aims to engender ideas on a reasonably high level could become one which becomes dryly academic and argumentative, and one subsequently frequented by a few rather than by many. Human nature being as it is, most of us appreciate a bit of humour and some banter from time to time, as well as serious discussion. I am certainly one person who will go to his computer more often in the hope of some amusement whilst gaining learning rather than with the intention of merely discussing matters at a high level. I doubt that I am the only one who feels this way, and I think the variety offered on the Mander board is the source of its richness.

 

Turning to electronic organs, whilst I understand your position as a builder of the very finest of pipe organs, I am sorry to read that you think that electronic organs should be totally excluded from discussion. Electronic substitutes are a fact of life. Whereas I would personally love to have at home a mechanical organ built by a leading firm such as yours the fact is that I, as is the case with many others, unfortunately do not have the space nor the finance to commission such an instrument and, without an electronic substitute, would find rehearsal facilities seriously curtailed. Whilst I believe that most churches and concert halls which require an organ should aim for a decent pipe instrument, sometimes funds will only extend to electronic simulators. I know that there are people and organizations out there in such a position who, unable to finance a decent pipe organ, will have to make do with an electronic substitute. To deny them access to advice from the wide range of expertise in both pipe and electronic instruments available from those who contribute to the Mander discussion board would, in my opinion, be unfortunate indeed.

 

I think that this discussion board will continue, with your kind support, to be an informative and interesting forum for constructive discussion, but I think that, human nature being what it is, allowance should be made for the inclusion of humour and going off on the odd tangent from time to time, including tangents into electronic substitutes where necessary. I think that the board is all the richer for this, and would be much poorer as a mere academic discussion forum, frequented by the few.

 

I see that, on the homepage, you say that you will "add or delete fora as appropriate". As a suggestion, would it be possible to consider an additional forum for such throwaway items of humour which could, perhaps, be included in the short term but then dispensed with so as to avoid your need for paying for bandwidth for items which do not directly contribute towards serious discussion about pipe organs?

 

Once again, I greatly appreciate your generosity in hosting this magnificent forum. But I fear that any well-intentioned attempts to limit humour and wider discussion might rather limit the rich and varied input put into this discussion board by its learned, intelligent and witty members rather than enhance it.

 

With grateful thanks, and with every good wish.

 

HG

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To pick up on but one point - since Mr. Mander is kindly funding the bandwidth (and therefore the existence) of this board, I think that it is entirely reasonable for him to request that we refrain from discussing electronic substitutes.

 

I do take your point regarding humour, richness and diversity; however, the post involving the idiot who 'lost' his car appeared to me to give cause for pity - as opposed to humour. The link to the spoof sale of Iceland arguably was irrelevant.

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To pick up on but one point - since Mr. Mander is kindly funding the bandwidth (and therefore the existence) of this board, I think that it is entirely reasonable for him to request that we refrain from discussing electronic substitutes.

 

Yes, of course J.P. Mander has the right to dictate the rules, but I think it unfortunate to remove humour for the reasons given. I, personally, am more uncomfortable about the publicity given by some members towards competitors' offerings where our hosts would have been more than able to build a similar - if not better - organ, as I've stated here before. Giving publicity to other pipe organ builders on a discussion forum funded by a leading pipe organ builder seems somewhat distasteful to me, and rather worse than discussing electronic simulators which probably offer no competition to such an esteemed pipe organ builder as our hosts.

I do take your point regarding humour, richness and diversity; however, the post involving the idiot who 'lost' his car appeared to me to give cause for pity - as opposed to humour. The link to the spoof sale of Iceland arguably was irrelevant.

Well, the esteemed Guillaume Ormond "lost" his car more than once. Whilst both posts were irrelevant to the topic of pipe organs, I'm sure they raised a smile in a number of members. What's the harm in that?

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Yes, of course J.P. Mander the right to dictate the rules, but I think it unfortunate for the reasons given. I, personally, am more uncomfortable about the publicity given by some members towards competitors' offerings where our hosts would be more than able to build a similar - if not better - organ, as I've stated here before. Giving publicity to other pipe organ builders on a discussion forum funded by a leading pipe organ builder seems somewhat distasteful to me, and rather worse than discussing electronic simulators which probably offer no competition to such an esteemed pipe organ builder as our hosts.

 

Yet Mr. Mander did not express disapproval at the time. I recall that another contributor disagreed strongly when I made the same point. Personally I would not wish to do anything that would cause offence to our host.

 

Well, the esteemed Guillaume Ormond "lost" his car more than once. Whilst both posts were irrelevant to the topic of pipe organs, I'm sure they raised a smile in a number of members. What's the harm in that?

 

Ormond has already been mentioned. Perhaps some found these posts amusing. However, as our host has stated, he pays for the bandwidth and neither of these links were remotely organ-related. Again, surely it is reasonable for him to request that humour, etc is at least related to pipe organs - or church music?

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Yet Mr. Mander did not express disapproval at the time. I recall that another contributor disagreed strongly when I made the same point. Personally I would not wish to do anything that would cause offence to our host.

 

Nor I. You'll no doubt remember that I have - more than once - brought up the fact that I have thought it rather distasteful to give "free" publicity (actually, publicity funded by Manders) to two other organ builders on two other topics much discussed on this board.

 

Ormond has already been mentioned. Perhaps some found these posts amusing. However, as our host has stated, he pays for the bandwidth and neither of these links were remotely organ-related. Again, surely it is reasonable for him to request that humour, etc is at least related to pipe organs - or church music?

 

Dare I say, PCND, that you - as well as I - have been guilty of going off on a tangent far away from pipe organs in our attempts at introducing humour on this discussion board before?

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Nor I. You'll no doubt remember that I have - more than once - brought up the fact that I have thought it rather distasteful to give "free" publicity (actually, publicity funded by Manders) to two other organ builders on two other topics much discussed on this board.

 

I actually find it shows great integrity on the part of Manders to facilitate such discussion of other builders work. It shows they fear nothing from their competitors, and rightly so, I have always found their instruments a real pleasure to play. That is not to say that the organs by these competitors are not also fine instruments, as many are.

 

Jonathan :rolleyes:

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I actually find it shows great integrity on the part of Manders to facilitate such discussion of other builders work. It shows they fear nothing from their competitors, and rightly so, I have always found their instruments a real pleasure to play.

 

Yup, totally agreed! :rolleyes:

 

But I still feel uncomfortable that Manders "give" free publicity to their competitors through some of our postings.

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Just to address one point. That of "publicity" for other builders on this forum. My feeling is that it is not possible to discuss "the organ" without some reference at some stage to many builders and designers of instruments. It seems to me that that is the spirit in which this forum is kindly hosted - if I'm wrong in that then I stand to be corrected.

 

On the subject of bandwidth (whether one thinks of it in network terms or disc space), I host a few sites pro bono. I simply set bandwidth limits which seem appropriate for the traffic for each site (individually set). I'm not saying that there is not a load of activity which, in effect, one is paying for and donating to other entities, but it is relatively easy to control. In the case of forums and other sites where users may post their own contributions, I believe it is vital that they are effectively moderated, and that users are informed clearly at the outset that abuse or offence is not tolerated - in this regard I support as a matter of course the actions taken by this forum's owner and moderator.

 

Fundamentally, as others have said, this is Manders' forum. Its fate and modus operandi rests with them. I'm glad to use it, and it and its members has been of very great help to me in the recent past, for which I am grateful. I spent much of my initial time as an organist with a Mander instrument (now no longer in situ), and appreciate those instruments very much. Equally, robust debate, with occasional glimpses of humour (or other lightening of the mood) are valuable, and so I share Holz Gedeckt's views and gratitude to our host.

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Guest Geoff McMahon

Just to clear up one or two points.

 

Firstly, I welcome any discussion about other builders' work even if it might be free advertising on their behalf. It would not make sense to exclude such discussion as it is relevant to the wider cause. I would not want any of you to feel diffident about saying nice things about other organ builders and their work. We can all learn by the successes of others.

 

Secondly, I am not suggesting that the fora should be dry and humourless, just that the humour needs to be kept in proportion and generally organ related somehow.

 

Thirdly, I know that electronic organs are a fact of life and do a good job as a substitute in some instances. However, this is a discussion board for PIPE organs, so feel that electronic ones should be discussed elsewhere. The same applies to pianos, harpsichords or any other musical instrument.

 

I do not wish to be heavy handed, just to indicate a general preference for what I see as our common benefit.

 

John

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Dare I say, PCND, that you - as well as I - have been guilty of going off on a tangent far away from pipe organs in our attempts at introducing humour on this discussion board before?

 

On the odd occasion, granted. I think the implication was that the Iceland thread was more than an isolated post.

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Just to clear up one or two points.

 

Firstly, I welcome any discussion about other builders' work even if it might be free advertising on their behalf. It would not make sense to exclude such discussion as it is relevant to the wider cause. I would not want any of you to feel diffident about saying nice things about other organ builders and their work. We can all learn by the successes of others.

 

Secondly, I am not suggesting that the fora should be dry and humourless, just that the humour needs to be kept in proportion and generally organ related somehow.

 

Thirdly, I know that electronic organs are a fact of life and do a good job as a substitute in some instances. However, this is a discussion board for PIPE organs, so feel that electronic ones should be discussed elsewhere. The same applies to pianos, harpsichords or any other musical instrument.

 

I do not wish to be heavy handed, just to indicate a general preference for what I see as our common benefit.

 

John

 

Thank you for the clarification! I think we're in full agreement.

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While fully agreeing at the basis, I feel somewhat less comfortable

with the idea the thread about MM's passing was undesirable.

Humor varies widely between areas; what is "good" here is "bad taste"

elsewhere -like with the organs!-.

As we belgians like the "british humor" quite much, we enjoy to read

things like that; but our own humor is heavier by far, so there might be

limits we cannot "sense".

In Belgium such a thread would pass like "splendid". We joke about the death

at least twice a day, be it somebody else's or -far better!- our own.

But strangely, the french are totally closed to anything like that and very

rarely understand any belgian humor at all.

 

At the hotel I work in now we have to ask the guests for their passport.

Some might sometimes protest somewhat.

We use to answer it is for the Fire department, in order to help trace the origins

of the meat, should the building be transformed in a huge kitchen. And you know,

dear Mr Vandelpimperzeel, how severe the food regulations are....With the belgians

all ends up with big LOLS, with french people you cannot finish the sentence that they

already run away like.....Chickens!

 

So with humor it is very difficult for non-englishmen to grasp the limits; by advance,

apologies!

 

Pierre

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I’m somewhat embarrassed that my first ever posting was all about electronic organs! I had no idea, that anything to do with electronic organs does not have a place on this board. Maybe a statement to this effect should be included in the guidelines for participants (I mean this as a constructive suggestion).

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While fully agreeing at the basis, I feel somewhat less comfortable

with the idea the thread about MM's passing was undesirable.

 

Pierre

 

In fairness to Churchmouse, she was given what she understood to be accurate information from a reliable source. It was unfortunate that there arose a misunderstanding as to the precise identity of the person in question. Perhaps under the circumstances, she felt that further checking was unnecessary.

 

Whilst I found it quite easy to acquire a contact number for a colleague of MM, I doubt that it would have been as easy (or at least as cheap) for Churchmouse to do so from her location.

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I’m somewhat embarrassed that my first ever posting was all about electronic organs! I had no idea, that anything to do with electronic organs does not have a place on this board. Maybe a statement to this effect should be included in the guidelines for participants (I mean this as a constructive suggestion).

Oops, me too about the firm I hadn't heard of (which of course, I won't now mention!)

 

A reminder; is the other 'forbidden topic' (controversial organ in London....) also still 'off piste'? I assume the answer is yes?

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Guest Hector5

In view of the fact that Mr Mander has clearly laid out his frustrations, I think the time has come for certain of the brethren to grow up. The use of the smiley faces just to respond to a post is a pointless waste of time. I am sure that it is not possible to remove them from the setup, but the juvenile way they are used is plain silly. I for one am very grateful for the discussion list. It has opened doors in terms of information, I've made new friends, found music, learned more about aspects of the organ than I would under normal circumstances. I sincerely hope that members will adhere to the requests of John Mander and that the list remains an informative and enjoyable haven, onto which I log more times than is healthy in one day.

 

Hector

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