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AUGUST ORGANS


MusingMuso
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AUGUST ORGANS

 

I am probably completely out of touch with journals and periodicals devoted to the organ, since it is many years that I last bought a copy of “The Organ,” which I understand no longer exists. It was compulsory reading in my youth, and I will forever be grateful to a gentleman who was a member of the local Organist’s Association, who had a vast collection of many different journals. He had copies of “Rotunda” (The Willis house mag), “The Diapason” (USA), “The Organ” (almost from the first edition), and literally hundreds of glossy “flyers” from the many organ-builders of the world; from very high-quality leaflets from Hill, Norman & Beard, (beautiful embossed paper), to Moller, Rushworth & Dreaper and many, many others around the world. For a young organist, it was an absolute treasure-trove of information, and I am quite sure that they were a powerful influence on my appreciation of different organ-periods and organ-styles. Even at the age of 15, I knew the difference between extension organs, baroque organs, romantic organs (et al), and I also know that it was highly educational.

 

My question is simple:-

 

How many organ journals/periodicals still exist, and what might they be?

(I did say I was out of touch!)

 

The most obvious is the Netherlands “Het Orgel,” but of English publications, I know nothing much.

The reason I ask is also simple, because I am currently working towards on-line publishing of two books; the first a very detailed e-book about Very Advanced Driving, and a novel which I finished a year or two ago, but have never submitted to a publisher. Because it involves electronic publication only, (which I believe is the future of publishing), I have had to go through the process of ISBN registration and establishing a publishing name before I can finally get a web-site and the e-books on-line.

 

In for a penny, in for a pound, is there a case for reviving the idea of a quarterly organ-journal, but in on-line form rather than as a paper publication?

Would it be worth the effort, and would a CD/DVD format be better; especially if it included lots of photographs and sound-samples?

 

I’m just mulling over the idea at the moment, but the thoughts of board-member would be appreciated.

 

MM

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In for a penny, in for a pound, is there a case for reviving the idea of a quarterly organ-journal?

 

Is this not it? Several contributors here also write for Organists' Review, Choir and Organ, the Organ Club Journal, BIOS Reporter, IBO Journal. Let's do it here and now.

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Has The Organ really ceased publication ? There was a rumour to this effect some time back. A telephone call to the proprietor established that there was no truth in that story and the journal did appear. It would be a pity if this journal were to cease publication. Perhaps someone could give an authoritative answer?

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Has The Organ really ceased publication ? There was a rumour to this effect some time back. A telephone call to the proprietor established that there was no truth in that story and the journal did appear. It would be a pity if this journal were to cease publication. Perhaps someone could give an authoritative answer?

 

 

Probably not. See here

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Is this not it? Several contributors here also write for Organists' Review, Choir and Organ, the Organ Club Journal, BIOS Reporter, IBO Journal. Let's do it here and now.

 

I tend to see the BIOS and Organ Club literature as more 'club/society linked' - whereas OR and C&O between them are more general in their outlook. These latter, between them do 'the job' quite well. I also get The American Organist - good for the US perspective and a surprisingly good source of interesting new organ music from 'over there'. I used to be a memeber of the French 'FFAO' but stopped this sometime ago. One can have too much of a good thing!

 

A

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Has The Organ really ceased publication ? There was a rumour to this effect some time back. A telephone call to the proprietor established that there was no truth in that story and the journal did appear. It would be a pity if this journal were to cease publication. Perhaps someone could give an authoritative answer?

 

 

==============================

 

 

Thanks to everyone for the comments. I am very pleased to learn that “The Organ” still exists, and of course, “The Organist’s Review” etc. It makes my idea much less urgent but no less apt, because of all styles of publishing, the electronic format would be especially suited to the organ, and I’m surprised that no-one has seen the obvious in the UK; we being a very computer-literate lot.

 

Writing about music is a bit like tasting oil-paintings I would have thought, and the electronic format can combine visual, written and audio technology at a fraction of the cost, (and time), of print-runs and conventional distribution methods.

 

I just wonder how marvellous it would have been, when I was still easing myself out of the pod, to have had lots of photographs, lots of words AND sound samples to hear......the worlds of Schnitger, Cavaille-Coll, Silbermann, Aeolian-Skinner (et al), at the touch of a button. Instead, it was a case of reading, running out to the record shop, browsing very inefficiently, ordering records (when they weren’t in stock), going back the next week, going home and then listening.

 

The internet has made it all a bit easier, but still the technology of the written word remains aloof from the technology of digital music, when they could so usefully be combined with very little additional effort.

 

I mean, how DO you describe a Schulze Diapason or a “Father” Willis Orchestral Oboe merely in words?

 

It’s impossible!

 

Anyway, I shall now place this in the jar marked “Great ideas to dwell upon,” and perhaps return to it in due course, safe in the knowledge that, even if many organists cannot play the organ convincingly, they’re terribly well-read.

 

MM

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  • 2 weeks later...
==============================

 

 

Thanks to everyone for the comments. I am very pleased to learn that “The Organ” still exists, and of course, “The Organist’s Review” etc. It makes my idea much less urgent but no less apt, because of all styles of publishing, the electronic format would be especially suited to the organ, and I’m surprised that no-one has seen the obvious in the UK; we being a very computer-literate lot.

 

Writing about music is a bit like tasting oil-paintings I would have thought, and the electronic format can combine visual, written and audio technology at a fraction of the cost, (and time), of print-runs and conventional distribution methods.

 

I just wonder how marvellous it would have been, when I was still easing myself out of the pod, to have had lots of photographs, lots of words AND sound samples to hear......the worlds of Schnitger, Cavaille-Coll, Silbermann, Aeolian-Skinner (et al), at the touch of a button. Instead, it was a case of reading, running out to the record shop, browsing very inefficiently, ordering records (when they weren’t in stock), going back the next week, going home and then listening.

 

The internet has made it all a bit easier, but still the technology of the written word remains aloof from the technology of digital music, when they could so usefully be combined with very little additional effort.

 

I mean, how DO you describe a Schulze Diapason or a “Father” Willis Orchestral Oboe merely in words?

 

It’s impossible!

 

Anyway, I shall now place this in the jar marked “Great ideas to dwell upon,” and perhaps return to it in due course, safe in the knowledge that, even if many organists cannot play the organ convincingly, they’re terribly well-read.

 

MM

 

I would hesitate to place it in your jar "great ideas to dwell upon" since I believe you have suggested an exciting and viable development for this excellent discussion board or a parallel one.

 

At the time of Organist's Review's change following Paul Hale's departure I firmly believed the time was right to maintain

the excellent work his team achieved but in an electronic format.

 

As a reader who started in 1960's with Stainton de b Taylor 's editorship I thought the Organist's Review in its format before the latest change was excellent. With OR's elected change of direction, the electronic option is a way to keep faith with all previous editors and could deliver what organists desire.

 

The opportunity to be as up to date as this discussion forum showing new builds , sensitive restorations, recital and DVD/CD

reviews and lively discussion is an opportunity made possible by the internet .

 

Illustrated interviews (sound and vision)with recitalists,organ builders, tuners are ideas.

 

Organ builder leaflets current and historic could a fascinating information vehicle

 

Many talk about house journals Rotunda , Stop Open & Reed but how many have seen or read them?

Historical online articles from them would be highly prized.

 

Think outside the box ...we might surprise ourselves

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I would hesitate to place it in your jar "great ideas to dwell upon" since I believe you have suggested an exciting and viable development for this excellent discussion board or a parallel one.

 

At the time of Organist's Review's change following Paul Hale's departure I firmly believed the time was right to maintain

the excellent work his team achieved but in an electronic format.

 

As a reader who started in 1960's with Stainton de b Taylor 's editorship I thought the Organist's Review in its format before the latest change was excellent. With OR's elected change of direction, the electronic option is a way to keep faith with all previous editors and could deliver what organists desire.

 

The opportunity to be as up to date as this discussion forum showing new builds , sensitive restorations, recital and DVD/CD

reviews and lively discussion is an opportunity made possible by the internet .

 

Illustrated interviews (sound and vision)with recitalists,organ builders, tuners are ideas.

 

Organ builder leaflets current and historic could a fascinating information vehicle

 

Many talk about house journals Rotunda , Stop Open & Reed but how many have seen or read them?

Historical online articles from them would be highly prized.

 

Think outside the box ...we might surprise ourselves

 

========================

 

 

The extraordinary thing about digital media, (as the radio prgramme "Pipedreams" demonstrates,so well), is the fact that it embraces both the aural and visual senses, which in combination with a bit of careful scholarship and research, makes it ideal for an organ journal. The costs of production, (apart from any fees which might be payable to contributing writers), are very, very low compared to glossy, high-quality print with colour and black & white photographs.

 

Printing is a very involved process, even in this digital communication age, and even allowing for the genius of computerised printing presses, low-volume print-runs work out very expensive, to which has to be added the costs of distribution/postage etc. This is not cheap!

 

Let's be honest, the cost of actual electronic production are almost zero if someone knows how to do it, and the only consideration is whether and how much people wish to get paid for it.

 

Og course, if one were to write an article about a new organ somewhere, and that involved a journey to explore and take photographs or interview people, the costs rise, but then, so does the quality. Imagine, if you will, not just a sole photograph of a new console, but perhaps a couple of dozen photographs per article and sound-clips to back up this or that particular aspect of the text.

 

The digital medium is almost perfectly set-up to do this, and produce more than adequate quality.

 

Interestingly, in just thinking about it, I could probably produce a publication featuring local organs of real historic or contemporary interest, (which have never been covered previously), within a 20 mile radius of my home, record sound files, convert to 'pdf' format with suitable links and hyper-links as necessary, and get the thing on-line very, very quickly at extremely low cost!

 

It's mind bogglingly straightforward and without a doubt, would generate some amount of profit to keep the format on track and available, with a suitable data-base for posterity.

 

MM

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