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Pedalboard Preferances


Colin Harvey
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What design of pedalboard do you prefer  

20 members have voted

  1. 1. What design of pedalboard do you prefer

    • Radiating and Concave
      8
    • Straight and Concave
      10
    • Straight and Flat
      2
    • Radiating and Flat
      0


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After a conversation of pedalboard preferences at the weekend, I would be interested to know what design of pedalboard people prefer.

 

Hi

 

Definitely straight concave (RCO standard prior to to Wesley/Willis design was adopted). I've played all sorts regularly, and have always found straight concave the most comfortable.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Hi

 

I've played all sorts regularly, and have always found straight concave the most comfortable.

 

Tony

 

I also prefer straight and slightly concave. Somehow my brain finds the equal spacing of the parallel keys easier to cope with than the varying geometry of the full R & C variety, however anatomically and ergonomically rational it may seem to be.

 

I'm also happy with the completely flat, parallel board, with hooked sharps etc, as seen on many Dutch and German organs, especially if the keys themselves have a nice flat surface which provides a nice firm, confident point of contact for the toes (and just occasionally the heels), even if reaching the top and bottom notes may put a strain on the seams of one's pants.

 

But then I've never aspired to play the likes of Dupré or Bossi etc.

 

JS

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Who voted for radiating concave? Would you tell us why? You will be the first person I believe I have ever spoken to who actually likes them. I've always wondered how it came to be adopted as a standard.

 

I grew up with the things and my usual church has one now (unless I can get it changed back). Every time I get to play a straight one I'm amazed how seemingly insurmountable technical deficiencies become just fairly serious, and revel in the resulting increase in my right note factor (from 8% to 23%)

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Surprised but delighted by these results. I'm beginning to feel thoroughly vindicated. :D Keep up the voting!!

 

If someone prefers R/C pedalboards, I'd be interested to know why! I'm beginning to wonder why have they have become such a de-facto standard in this country.

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Who voted for radiating concave?  Would you tell us why?  You will be the first person I believe I have ever spoken to who actually likes them.  I've always wondered how it came to be adopted as a standard.

 

Being dutch, I've played on many kinds of pedals here in the Netherlands (as well as abroad) and having two organs in 'my' church, one of which is a two-manaul Hill I definitely choose the radial-concave pedal (like on the Hill). It takes about a month to get used to it (the pedal of the great-organ "upthere" has a 19th century dutch pedal, probably made to play with 'klompen' (woodenshoes), or maybe not to be played at all :D ).

It's just very convenient to be able to play the entire pedal range with any feet, to easily play two notes with one foot, and/or to play a quint in foot LEGATO (shoe size 42). The 1905 Hill console is way ahead of it's time for Holland - even today organs are built that are much less sophisticated or ergonomic (but then these are probably 'historic').

 

BTW. I don't think that here in the selfacclaimed organmekka there's anything like a standard with regard to organ consoles, let alone pedals. It's funny to see how 'we' have evolved here (not, that is ...)

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Interesting to hear your comments, Heva. You don't find any problems with your heels not having enough space? I remember having to stretch quite a lot on some 18 & 19th Century organs in holland to reach the extremities of the pedalboard. Some of them are BIG!

 

I don't know how you guys cope with big modern romantic organs without divisionals.

 

Re. console Standards - I know the RCO set up some standards for placement of the pedalboard, dimensions, etc. THey're a range of measurements but I think the only people who really used them were HN&B - so after your 1905 Hill. There are also the ISOB standards, which intersect with the RCO standards at the upright/baroque stance end of the RCO standards...

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Interesting to hear your comments, Heva. You don't find any problems with your heels not having enough space? I remember having to stretch quite a lot on some 18 & 19th Century organs in holland to reach the extremities of the pedalboard. Some of them are BIG!

Well, for once my length comes in handy here (1.92m), but I think these old pedals (like Dordrecht) are 'designed' to be played with klompen - that's why they're so big ;-)

 

You can imagine a farmer with klompen on a 19th century dutch organ console, you can imagine a Savil row gentleman on a Willis/Hill/ACC console. That's the difference (and still is? :D )

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So the dutch too are understatment's fans! :D

(At least they don't destroy their historical organs...)

 

Heva, are you sure the farmers and the organists

were the same people?

 

Here is a picture of a Pedal from Bätz, an excellent

dutch builder:

 

http://www.xs4all.nl/~twomusic/orgel/pictu.../05console.html

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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You can imagine a farmer with klompen on a 19th century dutch organ console, you can imagine a Savil row gentleman on a Willis/Hill/ACC console. That's the difference (and still is?  :D )

 

Well, in most country parish churches in this country, you've usually got this little old man or woman playing on voix celeste, flute and oboe (their favourite and only combination), ocassional pedal note at the end of the hymn, no sense of rhythm. Usually, the blazer comes from M&S rather than Gieves - normally with some crest on the front pocket - and the shoes are clarks rather than churches.

 

They wrestle their way through the voluntaries and everyone is mightly relieved when each hymn finally comes to a finish at -1 mph, having endured consistent and extreme rallentando since line 2 as the organist fumbles their way through the last verse extravaganza from their book.

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So the dutch too are understatment's fans!  :D

(At least they don't destroy their historical organs...)

 

Heva, are you sure the farmers and the organists

were the same people?

 

Here is a picture of a Pedal from Bätz, an excellent

dutch builder:

 

http://www.xs4all.nl/~twomusic/orgel/pictu.../05console.html

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

 

I used 'farmer' to characterize the organists, not that they wére farmers ....

And Bätz, well yes, excellent, but I don't want organs to be built with consoles like these in the 21st century, certainly not in large organs...

My experience with these consoles are that manuals are to far 'in' the organ and the pedals are to far under your seat. Result: balancing between falling forward (you wánt to play the uppermost manual) and not being able to reach the uppermost manual (because you wánt to play the pedals).

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Would you prefer this kind, then ?

 

http://www.walckerorgel.de/gewalcker.de/spieltische.htm

 

(Scroll a few down and towards the middle of this large page, according to your bowser,

and you'll see the thing).

 

Here is a Musing Muso special:

 

http://www.xs4all.nl/~twomusic/christine/b...istine_kamp.htm

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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My experience with these consoles are that manuals are to far 'in' the organ and the pedals are to far under your seat. Result: balancing between falling forward (you wánt to play the uppermost manual) and not being able to reach the uppermost manual (because you wánt to play the pedals).

 

 

This is the downside of so many historic French, Dutch & German organs from the 17c onwards - what really matters is not so much the design of the pedal board itself as its 'north-south' placing, that is, how far the manuals overhang. On a 3-manual organ - take for example, the magnificently reconstructed Hildebrandt organ at Naumburg - with average-length arms and dutiful toes-only pedal techique, one finds extended playing on the top (Oberwerk) manual physically demanding on the stomach muscles. Keeping one's balance on a shiny leather bench only adds to the problem.

 

Yet Johann Sebastian obviously coped with this ergonomic nightmare - but then he was made of sterner stuff...

 

JS

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Do any double pedalboards still exist in Gemany/Austria, or have they all been reformed out of existence?

 

They were since the arising of the pneumatic action, which allowed

for a device called "Automatisches Pedal".

This device changed the registration on the Pedal according to the

Manual that was played, so that multiple Pedal-boards were not

usefull any more.

These consoles with two Pedals were actually a nightmare to play.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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Thanks for the clarification, Pierre.  I find it quite interesting to consider that double pedalboards belong to the era of Mendelssohn rather than that of Reger.

Regards,

Paul.

Ulm Cathedral, for instance, had a double Pedalboard in 1858, but

was removed later by Walcker themselves.

Best wishes,

Pierrel

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