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Stop Transfers


Malcolm Farr
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I've played various instruments in the past which have the Great reed(s) separately drawable - is that a real word? - on the Choir, but never one which has a Great Reeds on Choir transfer. I assume that this operates such that, when drawn, the Great reeds (even though they are bunched with the other Great stops) sound only on the Choir and not on the Great. Is this correct?

 

Yours in ignorance

MJF

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I've played various instruments in the past which have the Great reed(s) separately drawable - is that a real word? - on the Choir, but never one which has a Great Reeds on Choir transfer. I assume that this operates such that, when drawn, the Great reeds (even though they are bunched with the other Great stops) sound only on the Choir and not on the Great. Is this correct?

 

Yours in ignorance

MJF

 

Certainly in my experience your assumption is correct. The reeds are placed on a separate soundboard or chest allowing them electrical or pneumatic independence from the rest of the Great. It's often seen with heavy pressure reeds of the Tromba type which can then be accompanied by the Great, used in a fanfare style, or coupled through choir to pedal to provide a different tone to any pedal reed. It's an inevitable compromise, but something is normally better than nothing.

 

AJS

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I've played various instruments in the past which have the Great reed(s) separately drawable - is that a real word? - on the Choir, but never one which has a Great Reeds on Choir transfer. I assume that this operates such that, when drawn, the Great reeds (even though they are bunched with the other Great stops) sound only on the Choir and not on the Great. Is this correct?

 

Yours in ignorance

MJF

 

I was brought up with the H & H in Leicester Cathedral and it had such a transfer stop and so the 3 Trombas (when drawn on the Great jamb), played only on the Choir keyboard. It also meant that they then were usable on the pedal via the Choir to ped coupler - a blessing as the vast Pedal Ophicleide was not suitable for contrapuntal music.

Best wishes,

N

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The organ in Ashford Parish Church http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=N14699 has an interesting variation on this theme. There are 3 stops controlling the floating reeds and couplers for Reeds on Great and Reeds on Choir.

 

Its been a long time since I played this organ, but if i remember correctly you can have the reeds on both manuals at the same time. However its not quite as useful as having the stops duplicated with a second underaction or switching

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I've played various instruments in the past which have the Great reed(s) separately drawable - is that a real word? - on the Choir, but never one which has a Great Reeds on Choir transfer. I assume that this operates such that, when drawn, the Great reeds (even though they are bunched with the other Great stops) sound only on the Choir and not on the Great. Is this correct?

 

Yours in ignorance

MJF

Just so. This was pretty standard on H&H instruments in the early part of the C20th - an unintended (am I sure?) consequence was that the player had access to a 4' reed on the pedal via the Reeds on Ch/Ch-Ped route.

 

Harrisons wemt further with Positive on Gt, Pos on Solo and Bombarde Tubas on Ch at Durham (the latter allowing the (enclosed) Orchestral Tuba to be played alongside/against the (unenclosed) 8 & 4' Tubas) - leaving some scope for 'surprises' when things wern't as expected - Conrad E often used Pos on Solo, Solo Sub, Solo Unison Off, Solo-Ch to transpose the 4' cornet back to a (TC) 8' one.

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I've played various instruments in the past which have the Great reed(s) separately drawable - is that a real word? - on the Choir, but never one which has a Great Reeds on Choir transfer. I assume that this operates such that, when drawn, the Great reeds (even though they are bunched with the other Great stops) sound only on the Choir and not on the Great. Is this correct?

 

Yours in ignorance

MJF

 

St. Paul's now has a plethora of these devices (I found 9 on a quick glance through the spec):

Gt reeds on solo

Gt reeds on ped

Sw reeds on solo

Sw reeds on ped

Which all look useful, plus all the manual transfers:

North Choir on Solo

Dome Chorus on Choir

West reeds on solo

West Chorus on Gt

West reeds on Gt

 

One hears various accounts of visiting recitalists who 'got it wrong' with embarrassing consequences!

:huh:

DT

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Just so. This was pretty standard on H&H instruments in the early part of the C20th - an unintended (am I sure?) consequence was that the player had access to a 4' reed on the pedal via the Reeds on Ch/Ch-Ped route.

 

On some instruments another "unintended consequence" of having the great reeds available on the choir is the opportunity (an opportunity which, I hasten to add, I would never take ...) to use the choir octave and sub-octave couplers with the great reeds and then couple the result back to the great ...

 

(OK, I admit it - I did do it - once - just once ...)

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On some instruments another "unintended consequence" of having the great reeds available on the choir is the opportunity to use the choir octave and sub-octave couplers with the great reeds and then couple the result back to the great ...

Probably not an unintended conseuqence c.1920.

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On some instruments another "unintended consequence" of having the great reeds available on the choir is the opportunity (an opportunity which, I hasten to add, I would never take ...) to use the choir octave and sub-octave couplers with the great reeds and then couple the result back to the great ...

 

(OK, I admit it - I did do it - once - just once ...)

 

Do any Harrison's of this period have octave and/or sub-octave couplers on the Choir? AH was very keen not to "over couple" the Halifax organ, and none of the couplers the organist wanted got into the scheme.

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Do any Harrison's of this period have octave and/or sub-octave couplers on the Choir? AH was very keen not to "over couple" the Halifax organ, and none of the couplers the organist wanted got into the scheme.

Very few, as far as I know. Arthur Harrison did occasionally include the stop 'Octaves Alone', which was a combined octave and unison off coupler. This idea was partly resurrected at Exeter Cathedral in 1985. However, it was only applied to the 16ft., 8ft. and 4ft. stops. It was installed because the Organist and Master of the Choristers at the time found even the Choir Lieblich Gedeckt too loud for choral accompaniment and wished to make available the 16ft. Lieblich Bourdon at unison pitch, without the necessity of playing an octave higher every time the Choir Organ was used.

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On some instruments another "unintended consequence" of having the great reeds available on the choir is the opportunity (an opportunity which, I hasten to add, I would never take ...) to use the choir octave and sub-octave couplers with the great reeds and then couple the result back to the great ...

 

(OK, I admit it - I did do it - once - just once ...)

 

Well the temptation has to be tried!

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