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Do These Games Make Any Sense?


davidh
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On snowy days and others when there is nothing better to do, list members are tempted to post a problem such as "Design an organ with m manuals, and n stops".

 

I can imagine that on another discussion board the problem might be posed, "Select a world cup football (Soccer) team from the players in any English clubs that you choose". It is a well-defined problem, even if every single respondent has a different selection. A problem such as "Select a team for the Olympics" is not well defined if we are not told whether we need a football team or one for water polo.

 

1) The first problem that occurs to me is that a dozen organ builders given the same paper specification, at least at the level of detail offered in the solutions on this board, might produce a dozen good organs none of which sounded like any of the others. How many open diapason 8' stops have you heard, and how varied are they?

 

2) The second is that in most, but not all of these problems, the intended purpose of the instrument is not stated. Is it to play Stanley, Couperin, Bach, Franck or Messaien? Is it intended to play everything from the Robertsbridge Codex to the piece that I might compose next week? Is it a recital instrument, or an accompanying machine?

 

If the conclusion is that the exercise makes sense taking into account (1), then should the conditions of (2) be imposed so that participants are playing the same game on the same pitch?

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On snowy days and others when there is nothing better to do, list members are tempted to post a problem such as "Design an organ with m manuals, and n stops".

 

I can imagine that on another discussion board the problem might be posed, "Select a world cup football (Soccer) team from the players in any English clubs that you choose". It is a well-defined problem, even if every single respondent has a different selection. A problem such as "Select a team for the Olympics" is not well defined if we are not told whether we need a football team or one for water polo.

 

1) The first problem that occurs to me is that a dozen organ builders given the same paper specification, at least at the level of detail offered in the solutions on this board, might produce a dozen good organs none of which sounded like any of the others. How many open diapason 8' stops have you heard, and how varied are they?

 

2) The second is that in most, but not all of these problems, the intended purpose of the instrument is not stated. Is it to play Stanley, Couperin, Bach, Franck or Messaien? Is it intended to play everything from the Robertsbridge Codex to the piece that I might compose next week? Is it a recital instrument, or an accompanying machine?

 

If the conclusion is that the exercise makes sense taking into account (1), then should the conditions of (2) be imposed so that participants are playing the same game on the same pitch?

 

We know, we know! It isn't a serious exercise, but it throws up some interesting snippets of information. Please don't let reality get in the way, we have enough of that outside the window today.

JC :rolleyes:

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Any "fancy" specification is always written for a purpose, be it expressed

or not.

Of course the results will vary, according to the builders, but to the acoustics

of the building as well. There are rooms where virtually any organ will

sound well, and, halas, reversely!

 

More important maybe, thoses exercices display "the state of mind" in

a dedicate moment, and show in which direction the fashion evolves.

 

In the french-speaking organ world, there is a clear tendancy towards

post-romantic designs with independant mutation ranks instead of

tierce and septième mixtures, also 1 3/5- 1 1/7- 1 1/3- 1 as stops

rather than "Harmonics", which can be used both ways, togheter

or independantly.

There is also a strong tendancy to adopt british elements in what

could be named an "european scheme", with french and german features

as well, and this not necessarily to sum up "repertoires" like a Meccano toy.

 

This can be understood when reading the "Projets" (projects) section

on the french forum.

 

Pierre

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Errr, if the original poster feels that the intellectual challenge posed by designing a stop list of a certain size on a snowy day is too simple, why not add in an additional layer of complexity? How about asking, when listing your design, to specify pipe scaling and windpressure? That'll sort the men from the boys!

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Errr, if the original poster feels that the intellectual challenge posed by designing a stop list of a certain size on a snowy day is too simple, why not add in an additional layer of complexity? How about asking, when listing your design, to specify pipe scaling and windpressure? That'll sort the men from the boys!

 

Or could result in:

Pipe scales = wide

Wind pressure = heavy

 

:rolleyes:

 

[blame the snow, fetches coat and wellies]

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Errr, if the original poster feels that the intellectual challenge posed by designing a stop list of a certain size on a snowy day is too simple, why not add in an additional layer of complexity? How about asking, when listing your design, to specify pipe scaling and windpressure? That'll sort the men from the boys!

 

Good idea....Plus: cut-ups, halving rates, kind of chests, pipe materials with thicknesses, grooves dimensions,

ditto windtrunks, reservoirs, and power of the blower. All in the open for free, hmmm ? :rolleyes:

 

Pierre

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Guest Voix Mystique

Thinking of wind pressures, I was recently up at St. Mary's Ewell - 1889 Willis, IIIP/39 - and was foolish enough to sit in the North Aisle. The occasion was the retirement 'do' including Choral Evensong with Benediction and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament (yes, this is still the CofE). The Great Chorus reeds, all near the front (and in the Double Trumpet's case, right behind the facade), are on 6", with the Pedal Ophicleide, similarly close to the front, on 15". The acoustic is dry, the building perhaps too small for this rehoused organ (the original was destroyed in a fire in 1973). These reeds are INCREDIBLY loud! It's a gorgeous organ, though.

 

I also got a lengthy chat afterwards with the guest preacher, an old friend of the Vicar's, The Archbishop of Canterbury, no less. [.. part deleted by moderator] I have to say, I found him an inspirational preacher, a deeply spiritual man and one of the nicest people it has ever been my privilege to meet. And this coming from me, an arch-cynical, arch-Tridentinist teenaged Roman Catholic with little time for the CofE!

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On snowy days and others when there is nothing better to do, list members are tempted to post a problem such as "Design an organ with m manuals, and n stops".

 

I can imagine that on another discussion board the problem might be posed, "Select a world cup football (Soccer) team from the players in any English clubs that you choose". It is a well-defined problem, even if every single respondent has a different selection. A problem such as "Select a team for the Olympics" is not well defined if we are not told whether we need a football team or one for water polo.

 

1) The first problem that occurs to me is that a dozen organ builders given the same paper specification, at least at the level of detail offered in the solutions on this board, might produce a dozen good organs none of which sounded like any of the others. How many open diapason 8' stops have you heard, and how varied are they?

 

2) The second is that in most, but not all of these problems, the intended purpose of the instrument is not stated. Is it to play Stanley, Couperin, Bach, Franck or Messaien? Is it intended to play everything from the Robertsbridge Codex to the piece that I might compose next week? Is it a recital instrument, or an accompanying machine?

 

If the conclusion is that the exercise makes sense taking into account (1), then should the conditions of (2) be imposed so that participants are playing the same game on the same pitch?

 

What is the budget here? I don't suppose you could get away with a decent instrument of the kind proposed for less than £500,000! (+ VAT)

 

Peter

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Ha! That reminds me of my ARCO exam. I entered the room at Kensington Gore to be greeted by the three examiners, one of whom gave a cheery "hello" with a characteristic little wave. I knew instantly from the take-off of him that a friend of mine regularly did that this was Willis Grant.

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