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Howlers

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Guest Echo Gamba

This may have been mentioned before, but this morning, playing for a funeral, I saw what, for me, was one of the best ever "howlers" in the tuner's notebook:- "Voix Celeste out of tune when used with Salicional" The tuner had patiently explained that the VC was deliberately tuned sharp to "beat" with the Salicional.

 

Others I have seen over the years include: "Voic Celeste TC not working in bottom octave" and, on a Father Willis where the pedal Open Diapason was "bottom octave only" - "Pedal Open Diapason only working on bottom octave"

 

Any more ?

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Guest Voix Mystique
This may have been mentioned before, but this morning, playing for a funeral, I saw what, for me, was one of the best ever "howlers" in the tuner's notebook:- "Voix Celeste out of tune when used with Salicional" The tuner had patiently explained that the VC was deliberately tuned sharp to "beat" with the Salicional.

 

Others I have seen over the years include: "Voic Celeste TC not working in bottom octave" and, on a Father Willis where the pedal Open Diapason was "bottom octave only" - "Pedal Open Diapason only working on bottom octave"

 

Any more ?

 

I'm sure I've read of 'such-and-such (prepared for) isn't working'...

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Why didn't you tune the Swell to Great is a particular favourite.

 

Also don't you tune the Pedal Open Diapason. Explaining that partial removal of the instrument to do so, wasn't really understood. Last time I went there - actually a blessing.

 

AJS

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I've seen 'Swell Suboctave coupler out of tune' in the tuning book on the console of an organ with seriously failing pneumatic action. Drawing the said stop frequently caused the Swell division to emit the most extraordinary sounds, so it's perhaps fair to say that the writer of the comment was trying to alert the the tuner to a serious fault, even if they failed to use appropriate technical vocabulary.

 

I once leafed through a tuner''s book that I found on an organ bench in a small village church to read an exchange of correspondence between the organ builder and the organist. The organist was protesting in the most strident manner that, despite repeated requests, the lowest octave of the Swell had not been repaired. Below this was the builder's very gracious explanation the fact that the Stopped Diapason Bass on the Great jamb operated on the bottom 8ve of of the Swell manual and that none of the stops on the Swell jamb were provided with pipes. I remember wondering if the orgabist had only recently begun to use the upper manual after possibly decades in post.

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In my first job as an Organist at the Parish Church of St Mary without-the-Walls in Handbridge (Chester) I spotted a note in the tuner's book as follows:

 

"The organ is in fine form for the most part, however when playing for a funeral today I noticed a slight wind tremor in all stops, almost as if"

 

(the above phrase was crossed out and the following added)

 

"Forget it - someone had left the Tremulant on! Sorry!

R. A. Fisher"

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"Forget it - someone had left the Tremulant on! Sorry!

R. A. Fisher"

It's comforting to know that even the most emmiment can have senior moments!

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Some gems from Cornish tuning books:

 

"Have removed swell shutters and reed flap to make swell sound louder. I now find that swell pedal does not work, could you please put it right?"

 

"Organ syphons even when blower is not working."

 

"As per your estimate please convert pedal action to electric - funeral at 2.30."

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In my first job as an Organist at the Parish Church of St Mary without-the-Walls in Handbridge (Chester) I spotted a note in the tuner's book as follows:

 

"The organ is in fine form for the most part, however when playing for a funeral today I noticed a slight wind tremor in all stops, almost as if"

 

I'd love to have that problem! Following a rebuild in the 1980s, the instrument where I am DoM doesn't enjoy the slightest 'wind tremor' as a result of turning the tremulant on. I noted this in the service book early in my tenure, and was told by the builder/tuner that it was already adjusted as strongly as possible.

 

Sigh.

 

I'm sure that the generous supplier of this forum would be more useful than that, but the builder/tuner of the instrument I play on is a member of the congregation, and very valued for the work he does around the church without charging, otherwise I'd suggest that a more proactive builder be sought.

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Or how about this one from a fault book, "Bottom E on the Pedal Violone sounds like a Skil Saw going through a nail."

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Yesterday I had to make a report on one of my organs in my diocesan charge. The organ could only be turned on (blower-wise) by the Churchwarden's husband lifting the two trap doors in the Vestry, returning to the organ and pressing "on" and then retuning to the Vestry where he took a mop to the the blower to get it going. Obviously the handle had magical powers as after a little time of him being like St George fighting the dragon in the pit the great machine started up. I am certain it is the largest coffee grinder in Christendom. The Mop & Pit

There was also a dyslectic engraver employed too - hence Salcional 8 and Gedacht 8 on the Swell.

Chuckles.

Nigel

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Yesterday I had to make a report on one of my organs in my diocesan charge. The organ could only be turned on (blower-wise) by the Churchwarden's husband lifting the two trap doors in the Vestry, returning to the organ and pressing "on" and then retuning to the Vestry where he took a mop to the the blower to get it going. Obviously the handle had magical powers as after a little time of him being like St George fighting the dragon in the pit the great machine started up. I am certain it is the largest coffee grinder in Christendom. The Mop & Pit

There was also a dyslectic engraver employed too - hence Salcional 8 and Gedacht 8 on the Swell.

Chuckles.

Nigel

 

I am not sure about the spelling of 'Gedacht' as I have seen it spelt this way on two organs I know quite well, then again could well have been the same engraver...

 

I've heard of a organ teacher who left a note on the drawstop of the Trumpet 8p saying "F off" meaning the bottom F was not working. Unfortunately another organist took it by another meaning.

 

JA

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Another quote from a fault book, "... Also, can you lessen the tremulant so that it sounds less like Mrs Miller."

 

[For those of you too young to remember Mrs Elva Miller in her prime as one of the greatest classical pop crossover singers of the 1960's and 70's, I suggest hunting down a recording and playing it on the highest quality sound system you can lay your hands on. Her technique was truly amazing.]

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Yesterday I had to make a report on one of my organs in my diocesan charge. The organ could only be turned on (blower-wise) by the Churchwarden's husband lifting the two trap doors in the Vestry, returning to the organ and pressing "on" and then retuning to the Vestry where he took a mop to the the blower to get it going. Obviously the handle had magical powers as after a little time of him being like St George fighting the dragon in the pit the great machine started up. I am certain it is the largest coffee grinder in Christendom. The Mop & Pit

There was also a dyslectic engraver employed too - hence Salcional 8 and Gedacht 8 on the Swell.

Chuckles.

Nigel

 

Hi

 

Incorrect spellings are pretty common on older organs - and there are several variants of "Gedacht" in use.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Hi

 

Incorrect spellings are pretty common on older organs - and there are several variants of "Gedacht" in use.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

Only German speaking readers would have thought that 'gedacht' was the correct spelling. Well, at least for 'thought'. B)

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Only German speaking readers would have thought that 'gedacht' was the correct spelling. Well, at least for 'thought'. :angry:

 

"This is a Lieblich Gedackt, which means 'lovely thoughts.'"- Huw Edwards, Songs of Praise

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Just seen a draft of this Sunday's pew leaflet, listing Sunday evening's anthem as How lovely are thy swellings fair...

That is an absolute classic. Brilliant!

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Just seen a draft of this Sunday's pew leaflet, listing Sunday evening's anthem as How lovely are thy swellings fair...

 

Well that's a bit grating (GREATing, get it?). Ahem.

 

J

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Not a printed howler, but I remember the choir I was a member of were doing Parry's "I Was Glad" as the anthem one Sunday,MANY years ago, before which the Vicar announced the choir would also be singing the "Viva Vagina" :(

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Two quotes from Virgil Fox:

About a Schlicker 16p reed "It sounded like a rattle snake pissing down an eve's trough."

 

and about a E. M. Skinner Tuba Mirabilis "Its like forcing an elephant through a mattress."

 

:rolleyes:

 

JA

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I did a wedding a couple of weeks ago where the Bridal march (sic) was called BRIDLE march!

 

Unbelievable!

 

Isn't spellcheck a wonderful thing?

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The worst howlers I've seen printed

 

"Arrival of the Queen of Sheba by G.F. Handle" and "In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Sprite" :o

 

 

Isn't spellcheck a wonderful thing?

 

It is when it works :rolleyes:

 

 

EC

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....then there was the service leaflet one Pentecost that proudly proclaimed that today was not WHITsunday, but... um...

 

well... look on your keyboard and find instead the letter "S" instead of "W"

so close...

:rolleyes:

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The worst howlers I've seen printed

 

"Arrival of the Queen of Sheba by G.F. Handle" and "In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Sprite" :o

 

 

 

 

It is when it works :rolleyes:

 

 

EC

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