David Coram Posted November 1, 2010 Share Posted November 1, 2010 Let's start with a tight definition of 'alteration' - 1) Any additional stop, unless occupying a 'prepared for' slot 2) Any replacement stop UNLESS the displaced rank, rackboard and upperboard are preserved 3) Any change of action affecting an entire division 4) Any change of compass 5) More or less any major rebuild by the more ruthless firms other than the most basic cleaning 6) Any change in tuning method from cone to slider, or change in pitch Readers may be surprised to know that a change of location within the same building is allowed under the current European guidelines insofar as they pertain to this thread, notwithstanding that in so much as this is the case there shall not have been any alteration to the dimensions or proportions of the case or the relationships between its component parts. You may add an electric blower, and extra points will be awarded for retaining hand blowing backup. Parish organs under a certain size can be reasonably expected to have fared better; around my old home town I can think of several contenders which have done 100 years and above with the odd dust-off. So, perhaps we should therefore exclude instruments of fewer than twelve speaking stops. The unaltered time period need not necessarily start with the organ in its original condition, but it must not have ended - i.e. if it was changed 2 years ago after a 400 year stint, tough. I have set the rules deliberately to disqualify any instrument I know personally, although some come very close; the former Walker at Rotherwick, entirely untouched since 1905 (save for the addition of an electric blower, but it retained its hand blowing and the little knocker to wake up the pump attendant)... until its removal 3 years ago (by me) in place of an electronic (not by me). So, as it's no longer there, its previous 102 years count as nothing. The glorious 1870s Hill at St Martin's Salisbury fails through having had the pedals electrified and new extension stops added by Nicholsons in 2000. Romsey fails through pitch change, new reed tongues and sliders in 1974, and electrification of the stop action with extensive behind-the-scenes alteration in 1996, even though it went from 1888 to 1974 without so much as a cleaning. This is going to bug me all night; I really can't think of anything of more than 12 stops which has done more than about 30 or 40 years without what I would call significant alteration from its original state. Can you? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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