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American Mega-organs

Guest Lee Blick

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To illustrate the distinction I have in mind PCND and I would seem to hold diametrically opposed views on the value of tonal percussion registers in a classical organ design. I quite like them : he appears not to. I am entitled to think his opinion on this issue  is silly (even if on many other issues I find myself in complete and total agreement with him), and I do not doubt he holds exactly the same view of mine.The freedom to hold opposing views is what "free speech" is all about. It does not follow that I am entitled on this forum to transfer the description silly from his opinion to the character of the man, still less to do so using even stronger and more condemnatory language. It seemed to me that a Rubicon lay between those two things which it was not  appropriate for us to cross here. It was, and remains, my personal view that some have done precisely that and addressed each other in terms which reveal a degree of hostility which cannot be explained by anything posted here.


Well said, Brian.


I bear no resentment to you for your views on tonal percussion registers - only sadness! :)


For Mr. Sayer - I would agree, up to a point. Organists often seem to fall into two camps (as it were): the very serious-minded and those who have a sense of amusement which others may deem childish or smutty. It may be that you feel I myself fall into the latter category. I must admit that I do not! There is, of course, a middle ground. It is not always possible or desirable to attempt to categorise people!


Given the nature of the job which I do (and the hours which I have to work to earn a living) I find that a sense of humour is a saving grace. I think that it is good to realise that, whilst the views of others - even on what constitutes humour - may not co-incide with one's own, yet this may be a very helpful 'escape valve', as it were, for others.


I would not wish to become too prudish in my attitude to others, since I recognise in myself the occasional ability to find many things funny - yes, even those things which are, so to speak, 'near the knuckle'.


However, in agreement with Brian Childs, I am rather more disturbed by the blatant animosity which has been directed at some contributors at various times.


Whether (by adding this post) John Sayer feels vindicated that I have simply proved his point, remains to be seen. If that is his view, then I respect him for that. I would simply say that I also try to appreciate those who have a different sense of humour to my own - providing, of course, that there is no deliberate attempt to offend.


This I have never done.

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I think this is still an interesting topic. My sense is that by and large there is no tendency to build mega organs here anymore, in spite of the occasional 5m instrument that pops up from time to time. Even so, I think that America is very much still stuck in the reform movement because we can't seem to reach even English levels of 8' tone to this very day; let alone pre-reform movement levels. I don't know exactly what Schoenstein is doing but with all of the borrowing and unification I'm not sure how much of a market they even have here.


To make matters worse, no one makes English-style consoles here; only terraced or squat jamb affairs with knobs hiding behing the key cheeks - yech!




- Nathan, absolute English console-onlyist

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