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2 Manual 10 Stop Scheme


Colin Harvey

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Dear all,

 

We've had posts before on ideas for a 2 manual 20 stop scheme and on a 2 manual, 38 stop scheme, which until then, I thought only existed in the realms of electronic organs. I thought it would be more testing to go the other way and design a really small organ.

 

The same conditions apply:

 

1. the organ must be designed for maximum versatility performing organ repertoire.

2. The organ can have a maximum of 10 speaking stops only (e.g. excluding tremulants and couplers). I will disqualify any that have 1 stop more.

3. The organ should be over 2 manuals and pedals unless you can justify otherwise.

4. The purpose of the organ is for a small chapel with a strong music department. The organ is expected to accompany the excellent choir, accompany the congregation and perform organ repertoire by a very competent organist.

 

The chapel - for the sake of argument - can seat 140 people in pews in collegiate fashion. Appox dimensions 60ft by 25 ft by 20 feet high at the apex of the ceiling. The room is reverberant for the size of room. The organ is situated at ground level at the west end of the chapel, speaking down the main axis.

 

Here's a scheme to get us started. It is based on a very similar situation at Twyford Prep School. The organ is a hybrid Walker/Burton of 1870/1895. Burton was a local builder based in Winchester - very traditional Victorian builder working on a small scale. No great shakes but quite servicable stuff most of the time. The organ has just been restored by Walkers without alteration.

 

Great Organ

Open Diapason 8

Stopt Diapason 8

Principal 4

Stopt flute 4

Fifteenth 2

 

Swell Organ

Violin Diapason 8

Gemshorn 4

Mixture II (19.22)

Trumpet 8

 

Pedal Organ

Bourdon 16

 

Swell to Great

Great to Pedal

 

This organ is a lovely example of Multum in Parvo. Both Diapason chorus come alive and contrast nicely with each other in music by Bach, Buxtehude, etc. There is plenty of variety on the Great organ combining 8s and 4s for Romantic music, with the swell organ behind in the traditional English Romantic fashion. The Swell organ violin diapason either works as the basis for the chorus or a quiet string under expression. The trumpet is small scale and bridges the gap between a chorus reed for full organ and a solo stop - either as a trumpet or an oboe.

 

I played this organ and was fully aware I was dealing with a "full-size" organ which could do nearly everything bretheren twice it size could do, rather than a scaled-up practice organ. I was very impressed by this organ's flexibility, range and ability to give a very fine performance of music from all periods, renaissance, baroque, romantic, modern. Music written for very big organs was not really appropriate for the chapel but it could handle just about anything else.

 

Any other schemes people can think of?

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Great

 

Clarabella 8 (wide scale)

Principal 4

Flute 4

Mixture 12.15 (double draw if allowed)

 

 

Swell

 

Double Diapason 16

Gemshorn 8

Principal 4

Mixture 12.15.19 (with tierce from fiddle G)

Hautboy 8

 

Pedal

 

Bourdon 16

 

Clarabella 8 also on pedal by transmission from Gt if this is allowed

 

Usual unison couplers, no octaves.

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Very interesting exercise, and two well tought ones yet!

 

Here is my version, with the emphasis laid on tonal effect

rather than the "Repertoire" idea:

 

Manual I (Unenclosed)

 

Bourdon 16'

Open Diapason 8' (traditionnal, not slotted)

Stopped Diapason 8' (Ditto, no chimneys)

Dulciana 8' (After Green, not slotted)

Octave 4' (Like O. Diap, voiced with a strong octave)

 

Manual II (Enclosed in a Swellbox)

 

Salicional 8' (slotted)

Zauberflöte 8' (After Thynne, stopped harmonic pipes)

Flûte octaviante 4' (not slotted)

Plein-jeu 4-5 ranks (see below)

Trumpet 8'

 

Pedal

 

Soubasse 16' (borrowed from I)

Trumpet 8' (borrowed from II)

 

If an extension was permitted, I'd have the 16' Bourdon extended from the

Stopped Diapason, which would allow for an independant Twelfth rank I'd put

on the II (not the I); the disposition of the Plein-jeu would then be modified.

The Plein-jeu would be a slightly non-conventional one:

 

2 2/3'-2'-1 1/3'-1'

 

4'- 2 2/3'-2'-1 1/3'

 

4'- 2 2/3'-2'-1 3/5'- 1 1/3'

 

5 1/3'-4'- 3 1/5'-2 2/3'-2'

 

It is midway between the traditional Diapason chorus (which is here divided between the two claviers) and the Full-Swell mixture.

 

Compasses: Manuals 61n, Pedal 32n

Manual coupler, I-Ped, II-Ped, no octave coupler

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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11 speaking stops and I'd have suggested going along to hear St.Joseph's. RC, Keighley, West Yorks....Laycock & Bannister 1974.....but it's been disqualified. Pity....it's absolutely perfect, and it intrigued and delighted me for close on 30 years.

 

Ten ranks, and I could have thrown most of a Compton cathedral organ into the arena, but that's out too.

 

MM

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GREAT

Open Diapason 8

Stopped Diapason 8

Principal 4

Fifteenth 2

 

SWELL

Open Flute 8

Viola da Gamba 8

Gemshorn 4

Mixture 1-3/5 III

Trumpet 8

 

 

PEDAL

Bourdon 16

 

Sw to Gt

Sw to Gt Sub

Sw to Ped

Gt to Ped

 

AJJ

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk

GREAT

Ope Diapason 8

Stopped Diapason 8

Principal 4

Fifteenth 2

 

SWELL

Open Flute 8

Viola da Gamba 8

Gemshorn 4

Mixture 1-3/5 III

Trumpet 8

PEDAL

Bourdon 16

 

Sw to Gt

Sw to Gt Sub

Sw to Ped

Gt to Ped

 

AJJ

 

 

 

I like the above very much but would like to make two recommendations:

 

1. I would prefer to do without a 17th in the Swell Mixture. These can make for a nice 'rich' plenum, but might well restrict the Mixture's general usefulness. I firmly agree that 3 ranks is correct rather than 2, though. With only two ranks the choice is to break back early - there may be insufficient brightness, or too late and you end up with little tinkles standing too far away from the rest of the chorus.

 

2. I think (however you wangle it) that an 8' extension of the Bourdon is vital. This way you are not obliged to draw a coupler. I have (very occasionally) heard folks playing with an uncoupled Bourdon in the Pedal, but no stopped 16' I have ever heard (not even by Cavaille-Coll) has sufficient pitch definition for this to work, at least in the bottom octave.

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Thanks!

If I had been able to have more flexibility I would have had a straight 15.19.22 Mixture on the Sw and a Sesquialtera 12.17 (or even Twelfth and Tierce) on the Gt. After that a Celeste.

 

'Agree about the 8' Ped.

 

AJJ

 

PS The Sw Sub to Gt I like better than a straight Sw Sub that couples through.

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About the tierce ranks in the Mixtures:

 

I believe they are needed to build the tutti.

Or you have powerfull Cornets (in the french way) and powerfull

reeds that dominate the rest togheter, or you have seperate

stops with Tierce (Sesquialter), or you need the Tierce in the

mixture.

In my somewhat bizarre project you actually have a mixture

in the bass and a german romantic Kornett in the treble

(a Cornet with breaks, and made with pipes of the Diapason

scale).

This kind of compound stops was very used in german-speaking

areas during the romantic period and it works very well.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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I play an 1870s Vowles organ fairly frequently - 2 manuals - usual stops etc but with a fairly pungent 17.19.22. Mixture on the Gt and nothing but a 2' Piccolo to top the Sw flues. The two 8' reeds (Trumpet and Oboe are on the Sw - this division is quite recessed) Consequently for any big chorus effects the Mixture needs to be drawn. It works but sometimes one could do with something less 'clangy' and 'complex' sounding and the Gt 2' is not really 'pointed' enough tonally. I often use it with the 8' and 4' flutes as a RH solo against Sw 8' and 4' Principals. It was suggested at the last 'clean up' that a new quint mixture could be added to the Gt on the Dulciana slide - tempting - but it was decided not to mess around with things in the end. The sound is as one would expect from an organ of this type and vintage in a resonant church. I quite like it actually!

 

AJJ

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Well, some very interesting schemes developing!

 

I find the flexibility and variety of something as dull as 8 & 4 principals and 8 & 4 flutes can give a lot of subtly different colour if the pipes are designed to work with each other. I think I'd have a 4' flute before a celeste, but that's just me. I'd try something like a tremulant first.

 

One thing I've noticed about quite a lot of these schemes is the desire for some 16' tonality on the manuals. I can quite understand it in larger buildings but perhaps they would be a little overbearing in smaller rooms?

 

Pierre's scheme - I find it very interesting and you could probably do loads with it, and wow, a zauber flote within 10 stops. Sorry, that should be 12 stops. I would be interested to see how a 3 1/5 pitch works in the smaller church - it could be inflexible - but it's a noble sound in a larger space.

 

2. I think (however you wangle it) that an 8' extension of the Bourdon is vital. This way you are not obliged to draw a coupler. I have (very occasionally) heard folks playing with an uncoupled Bourdon in the Pedal, but no stopped 16' I have ever heard (not even by Cavaille-Coll) has sufficient pitch definition for this to work, at least in the bottom octave.

 

I agree an 8' bass flute is very, very useful. But not vital. I know I've cheated long enough in trios coupling the pedal through to one of the manuals (normally the LH) and only on a very few notes does it give any problems. But yes, yet to come across a bourdon that works by itself.

 

And yes, extension and borrowing isn't allowed either. But I'd be interested to hear about Musing Muso's scheme if he can bear to part with just one stop...

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Well, 16' on the manuals achieves two things - you get an approximately "full swell" type noise with the box shut, and also you can stick everything up an octave and gain yourself some bonus upperwork. A good cheat when you want 8 and 4 flutes on two manuals.

 

Come to think of it, I would probably change my Bourdon for the copper 16' Prinzipal at Clifton Cathedral. It's the best stop on the instrument.

 

Oh, and does a Cymbelstern count as a stop?

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"And yes, extension and borrowing isn't allowed either. "

 

(Quote)

 

Why?

All builders that made 10 stops organs with two claviers

did it; the genuine ancient builders would all have done

it with one manual and maybe some pull-down Pedal.

There are countless documented examples for that,

including northern Germany.

In Belgium there is no documented ancient two-manual organ

with fewer as 15 stops, even from german builders like

Peter Golfuss (17th century); and we do not even talk

about a Pedal.

To have a 16' playable on the Pedal only is an idea nobody

would have had save in the second half of the 20th century;

indeed, the ancient builders would have had it on the manuals

before thinking of any Pedal at all.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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Hi Pierre,

 

You make a very good point. In real life, yes, extension, etc would all be allowed and there is good reason and precedent from all schools of organ building (thinking of Harris and Byfield stops by communcation between Gt and Ch in this country) for it.

 

But this is a purely academic paper exercise, and it needs clearly defined boundaries. If we start to blur them, then we open the floodgates and end up with a 15 stop organ very quickly. Sorry to be so anal - I'm not always like this (only about 93% of the time).

 

I'll allow a cymbelstern, if you must, David. :D

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Guest Roffensis

GREAT

 

Open Diapason 8

Claribel Flute 8

Principal 4

Fifteenth 2

 

SWELL

Hohl Flute 8

Flute (metal) 4

Flageolet 2

Mixture II (12,17)

Cornopean 8 (voiced "close" to double as Oboe with box shut)

 

PEDAL

Leiblich Bourdon 16 (half way, but weighty without too much thickness to balance)

 

Swell to Great

Swell to Pedal

Great to Pedal

 

Tracker action, no more than 3" WPG to keep action light as possible.

 

Drawstops.

 

Great Diapasons fairly bold but not so that the swell cannot "break through", with plenty of harmonics. Fifteenth somewhat tamed to use also with Claribel. The Swell a secondary chorus. It could be nice? It would be pointless to "overblow" stop choice as such an organ is not going to shock really, only at the expense of colour. I think going for versatility accross two manuals would be my choice, avoiding duplications. If it were for 11 stops then my next choice would be a Dulciana 8 on the Great.

All best,

Richard

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Wells Kennedy did the following at Donaghadee, Co. Down a year or two ago - John Norman was consultant. It has a rather nice quasi Victorian gothic case designed I think by Didier Grassin.

GREAT

Open Diapason 8

Stopped Diapason 8

Principal 4

Wald Flute 4

Fifteenth 2

Sesquialtera 1-3/5 III

 

17.19.22. c1

15.17.19. f18

12.15.17. c25

 

SWELL

Gedeckt 8

Viola 8

Principal 4

Trumpet 8

 

PEDAL

Bourdon 16

Bass Flute 8 ext.

 

Tremulant & usual couplers

 

Mechanical Action

 

3' Wind

 

'Looks a bit like a mixture of our 'inventions' above - apparently it sounds and plays well.

 

AJJ

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Wells Kennedy did the following at Donaghadee, Co. Down a year or two ago - John Norman was consultant. It has a rather nice quasi Victorian gothic case designed I think by Didier Grassin.

GREAT

Open Diapason 8

Stopped Diapason 8

Principal 4

Wald Flute 4

Fifteenth 2

Sesquialtera 1-3/5 III

 

17.19.22. c1

15.17.19. f18

12.15.17. c25

 

SWELL

Gedeckt 8

Viola 8

Principal 4

Trumpet 8

 

PEDAL

Bourdon 16

Bass Flute 8 ext.

 

Tremulant & usual couplers

 

Mechanical Action

 

3' Wind

 

'Looks a bit like a mixture of our 'inventions' above - apparently it sounds and plays well.

 

AJJ

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I think that this topic is fascinating, and particularly relevant in today's context, where there are many churches that cannot afford large instruments.

 

My suggested specification:

 

Hauptwerk:

Praestant 8'

Rohrflote 8'

Octav 4'

Octav 2'

Mixtur IV

 

Oberwerk (expressive):

Viola Da Gamba 8'

Gedackt 8'

Rohrflute 4'

Krummhorn 8'

 

Pedalwerk:

Subbass 16'

 

If a little extension was permissible, I would extend to an 8' on the pedal.

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In a small building like this I wonder just how essential a Gt 2' is. Recently I was in a larger church than this that had an old organ with nothing on the Gt above 4' and the chorus sounded surprisingly adequate. So I wonder whether the following would work:

 

Great

Open Diapason 8

Stopped Diapason 8

Principal 4

Sw to Gt

 

Swell (voiced to complement the Gt, i.e. not too reticently)

Gedeckt 8

Salicional 8

Open Flute (metal) 4

Flageolet 2

Mixture (15.19.22)

Fagotto 8

Tremulant

Octave

Unison Off

 

Pedal

Bourdon 16

Gt to Ped

Sw to Ped

Sw 8ve to Ped

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In a small building like this I wonder just how essential a Gt 2' is. Recently I was in a larger church than this that had an old organ with nothing on the Gt above 4' and the chorus sounded surprisingly adequate. So I wonder whether the following would work:

 

Great

Open Diapason 8

Stopped Diapason 8

Principal 4

Sw to Gt

 

Swell (voiced to complement the Gt, i.e. not too reticently)

Gedeckt 8

Salicional 8

Open Flute (metal) 4

Flageolet 2

Mixture (15.19.22)

Fagotto 8

Tremulant

Octave

Unison Off

 

Pedal

Bourdon 16

Gt to Ped

Sw to Ped

Sw 8ve to Ped

 

I've seen something similar before but with a 4' Gemshorn on the Swell, a Swell Suboctave intead of Octave and perhaps more unusual a Great Octave -'can't remember where though!

 

AJJ

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Perhaps we're looking at this problem the wrong way. Rather than giving a specification and justifying it, why don't we start by looking at what we would like the organ to "do", and then designing a specification that meets these needs in the best possible way?

 

I would suggest that small organ in a church should be able to "do" the following:

 

1. Lead hymn singing in a convincing manner, and provide some variety in timbres to maintain interest.

2. Accompany solo singing, especially chant and suchlike.

3. Be balanced between divisions, enabling the organist to play trios convincingly.

4. Have a well developed chorus for Bach chorales etc.

 

I also think that the potential of the instrument to be used for teaching purposes should not be overlooked.

 

If anybody has any other ideas about what this organ should be able to be used for, please mention them!

 

I think that it is probably better to have an organ that follows one particular national style and voicing than to have something more eclectic. That said, I think that it should be possible to play music from a variety of different periods on the instrument in a "musically convincing" manner (as opposed to an "authentic" manner).

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Quite interesting views, Palestrina!

 

Here are my wishes:

 

1)-The organ must touch the souls of the hearers.

 

2)-It must be clear but never screaming, polyphonic but

not agressive

 

3)- It needs to be able to play from ppp to F, from soft and sweet

accompaniment up to a reasonnable Forte

 

4)- It must offer several tone colours without the aid of mutation

and mixtures

 

5)- It needs subtelity and refinment in voicing.

 

6)- The Open Diapason 8' tone must suffice to fill the church,

if needed there must obtain several rather than forcing

one's strenght. These stops must be "rolling", but sweet

and singing.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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Perhaps we're looking at this problem the wrong way. Rather than giving a specification and justifying it, why don't we start by looking at what we would like the organ to "do", and then designing a specification that meets these needs in the best possible way?

 

I would suggest that small organ in a church should be able to "do" the following:

 

1. Lead hymn singing in a convincing manner, and provide some variety in timbres to maintain interest.

2. Accompany solo singing, especially chant and suchlike.

3. Be balanced between divisions, enabling the organist to play trios convincingly.

4. Have a well developed chorus for Bach chorales etc.

 

I also think that the potential of the instrument to be used for teaching purposes should not be overlooked.

 

If anybody has any other ideas about what this organ should be able to be used for, please mention them!

 

I think that it is probably better to have an organ that follows one particular national style and voicing than to have something more eclectic. That said, I think that it should be possible to play music from a variety of different periods on the instrument in a "musically convincing" manner (as opposed to an "authentic" manner).

 

I agree with several of these points, although I would question points 3 and 4. Balance between the divisions is, of course, a good idea but, assuming the organ is in a small to moderate-sized church, I am not sure that playing trio sonati convincingly is necessarily a pre-requisite!

 

Point 4 - a well-developed chorus is also a good idea - but I am unsure about the reference to Bach chorales! Certainly, a good strong lead for hymns might be useful, though - unless, of course, we are talking about a Lutheran church....

 

I would also add that it should be a reasonably interesting instrument on which to play repertiore up to moderate difficulty.

 

However, I think that Palestrina has made a very important point - too many schemes are conceived in a vaccuum, with apparently little thought given to the specific function of the instrument.

 

With this in mind, I suggest the following scheme:

 

PEDAL

 

Violone (W; haskelled bass) mf 16

Great to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

 

GO

 

Stopped Diapason 8

Octave 4

Flageolet (wide scale, tapered) 2

Swell to Great

 

SWELL

 

Wald Flute 8

Viola (mild string) 8

Viola Céleste (AA) 8

(for service playing, of far greater use than

a Cornet, for example)

Gemshorn (conical) 4

Mixture (15-19-22: C1) III

(12-15-19: F#31)

(8-12-15: A46)

Bassoon 16

(Open shallots)

 

 

Whilst such an instrument would not play trio sonati particularly well, it would be quite practical for service-playing and the performance of a fair amount of standard parish repertoire.

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I think that a nice balance between divisions is essential. While I agree that it is not the first role of an instrument in a church of moderate size to be able to do these things, I think that it would be useful for it to have this capability nonetheless, especially since this would probably not compromise the organ's usefulness in a hymn-playing (etc) context.

 

I've been thinking a little more about my own scheme, especially in light of Pierre's comments. Refinement in voicing is essential. It goes hand-in-hand with scaling, and can make or break an organ.

 

I'd like to explain my now-revised scheme in terms of voicing, so that people can see how it is supposed to work...

 

Hauptwerk:

Rohrflute 8' - This stop should be quite bright, voiced to sound as if it has a 4' stop speaking with it. It should balance against the Oberwerk 8' and 4' flutes when used together.

Octav 4' - Quite bright and clear, with a definite chiff.

Octav 2' - Much the same as the 4' Octav, perhaps even a little bright.

Mixture IV - My knowledge of mixture compostions is quite limited, so this is what this mixture is supposed to do: Compensate for the lack of an 8' Diapason by lending a little more clarity to the lower octaves, and cap the chorus with a certain brightness without being shrill.

 

Oberwerk:

Viola da Gamba 8' - A "thick" string stop, which, when drawn with the Gedackt 8', should be usable as Principal of sorts.

Gedackt 8' - A contrast to the Hauptwerk flute (quite "dull" in sound). To be used for accompanying chant and soloists in a soft and unobtrusive manner.

Rohrflute 4' - Adds brightness and definition to the Gedackt to balance against the Hauptwerk Rohrflute.

Gemshorn 2' - Caps the chorus on this manual well, without being overly bright. Capable of being used with the Gedackt 8' only for a different tone colour against the Rohrflute on the Hauptwerk.

Krummhorn 8' - Useable as either a solo reed or a chorus reed. The other two 8' stops on this manual should be designed to work with the reed, so as to create subtle changes in the tone colour.

 

Pedalwerk:

Subbass 16' - Clear, without sound overly principal-like. The Pedalwerk is a little undernourished, I know, and could clearly benefit from an extension of the 16' rank to 8'.

 

So after all this, what are the possibilites?

 

Solo-Accompaniment:

Hauptwerk - Use the 4' Octav as a solo stop, against the Oberwerk 8' Gedackt.

There are more possibilites for the solo line on the Oberwerk, which are easy to spot by looking at the specification.

 

Both manuals have their own choruses, so these could be used against one another, in pieces like Menuet Gothique.

 

The Krummhorn can be accompanied on the Hauptwerk using the 8' Rohrflute.

 

The Viola da Gamba is handy for incidental music in a liturgical context. I can also imagine using it for the first part of Vierne's lovely little Berceuse before moving to the Rohrflute on the Hauptwerk.

 

There are more possibilites - I've just mentioned a few to let you know what I expect this organ to be able to do.

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