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Simon Walker

Half length 16' manual reeds

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Hi folks.

 

Another question...

 

When are half length manual reeds possible? What kinds of stops can be built in this way?

 

The reason for asking is again with regards to the instrument I currently play. It has a 1970's half length 16' bassoon on the swell. It's rather out of character with the rest of the division, much of which has a more early 20th century romantic feel to it. It would of course be fine on a neo-classical organ, but this isn't and I therefore regard it as a 'toy' stop. It produces some interesting effects, but I don't think sits well in the chorus. I prefer to use the sub octave coupler to gain a double trumpet sound instead for a full swell!

 

In the future, I'm sure replacing this stop will be considered, but what would you replace it with? There isn't enough room (without totally rethinking the layout of the box) for the much needed, full length, 16 double trumpet. Is it possible to produce a convincing, romantic sounding, chorus blending 16' half length swell reed? Doesnn't St. Pauls Cathedral London have a Willis 16' reed at half legnth?

 

Thanks for you time again!

 

CD

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Indeed, there were half-length 16' reed stops in the romantic period ! an example

was the "Tuba magna" of Cavaillé-coll, a stop he used in swellboxes when the available

height was unsufficient for a full-length one. And he did not "hook" his resonators as often

as the british builders did.

We speak here of a chorus stop of course; among the soloists, the half-length ones are numerous.

 

Pierre

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Hi folks.

 

Another question...

 

When are half length manual reeds possible? What kinds of stops can be built in this way?

 

The reason for asking is again with regards to the instrument I currently play. It has a 1970's half length 16' bassoon on the swell. It's rather out of character with the rest of the division, much of which has a more early 20th century romantic feel to it. It would of course be fine on a neo-classical organ, but this isn't and I therefore regard it as a 'toy' stop. It produces some interesting effects, but I don't think sits well in the chorus. I prefer to use the sub octave coupler to gain a double trumpet sound instead for a full swell!

 

In the future, I'm sure replacing this stop will be considered, but what would you replace it with? There isn't enough room (without totally rethinking the layout of the box) for the much needed, full length, 16 double trumpet. Is it possible to produce a convincing, romantic sounding, chorus blending 16' half length swell reed? Doesnn't St. Pauls Cathedral London have a Willis 16' reed at half legnth?

 

Thanks for you time again!

 

CD

You are right; the Sw 16' reed at St Paul's has a half-length bottom octave. We have a half length bottom 8ve on both Sw 16' and Ped 32' (neither Fr Willis alas though much else is). In both cases the 'break' is noticeable when played alone - the power relationship between the 1st harmonic and the fundamental flips over. In chorus they work fine.

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Somewhere in a back copy of The Organ Builder or Organ Building (I seem to remember it changed names at one point) I vaguely remember an article about a 'studio' organ in the USA built by Walkers where, as space was a premium flue basses were shared between divisions and some sort of 'haskelled' effect was used with 16' reed basses. The journal concerned is well buried and not to hand for checking but I seem to recall that although experimental this worked quite well.

 

A

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Indeed, there were half-length 16' reed stops in the romantic period ! an example

was the "Tuba magna" of Cavaillé-coll, a stop he used in swellboxes when the available

height was unsufficient for a full-length one. And he did not "hook" his resonators as often

as the british builders did.

We speak here of a chorus stop of course; among the soloists, the half-length ones are numerous.

 

Pierre

 

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

 

Now why are organ builders incapable of thinking outside the box?

 

You take the basses, bend the resonators sideways at the thin end, drill holes in the side of the box, run the resonators around the back and have the other end coming back in again, with seals to stop sound escaping and mice/bats and creepy crawlies setting up home.

 

I'm just too innovative for this world!

 

It's the sort of thing the theatre organ builders might have done when they had to install an organ under a stage, but I'm not sure if they ever did it my way.

 

I'd patent the idea,except for the fact that the medieval "maykers of sackbutts and serpents" probably got there first.

 

MM

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As I said, french-speaking builders did not like to hook their reed pipes.

Another interesting manner was Maurice Delmotte's in Belgium (at work

between about 1900 up to 1960!). The 16' Swell reed stop had its first octave

"going through the bottom" of the swellbox, on an auxilliairy chest that lied

at the level of the pedal stops in the basement of the organ; and of course,

that stop was borrowed towards the Pedal. A clever idea.

 

Pierre

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As I said, french-speaking builders did not like to hook their reed pipes.

Another interesting manner was Maurice Delmotte's in Belgium (at work

between about 1900 up to 1960!). The 16' Swell reed stop had its first octave

"going through the bottom" of the swellbox, on an auxilliairy chest that lied

at the level of the pedal stops in the basement of the organ; and of course,

that stop was borrowed towards the Pedal. A clever idea.

 

Pierre

 

 

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

 

 

What a celever man, except that I think the fair organ builders probably did much the same ting, albeit without a swell box.

 

Of course, there's the horizontal solution, but for my money, the most extraordinary thing I've heard of is in Hungary, (possibly the Cathedral at Pecs or maybe Szeged), where a whole section of organ is (or was), sectioned off from the rest of the instrument. The sound from this remote piece of organ traverses a considerable distance through a huge wooden conduit, and re-emerges in the organ chamber!

 

There are convulations, and there are CONVULATIONS, I guess.

 

Then there are "kinky" reeds such as the Serpent 32ft at Blackburn Cathedral, which bends one way and then another, before going vertical again. (It's also got brass resonators).

 

My favourite is the 32ft reed at the Riverside Church, New York, which has a rubber sleeve to do the same thing.

 

I think it was Virgil Fox who named it the "Contraceptive 32ft".....but then he would, wouldn't he?

 

Being innovative again, why not a labrynth like the Compton Polyphone?

 

Surely, a few miserable reed basses could share a mutual box?

 

MM

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

 

My favourite is the 32ft reed at the Riverside Church, New York, which has a rubber sleeve to do the same thing.

 

MM

 

 

It's not a reed, it's a Contra Gamba - "Purrs like a pussy cat" as Tony Bufano used to describe it, God rest his soul.

 

DW

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

 

Now why are organ builders incapable of thinking outside the box?

 

You take the basses, bend the resonators sideways at the thin end, drill holes in the side of the box, run the resonators around the back and have the other end coming back in again, with seals to stop sound escaping and mice/bats and creepy crawlies setting up home.

 

I'm just too innovative for this world!

 

It's the sort of thing the theatre organ builders might have done when they had to install an organ under a stage, but I'm not sure if they ever did it my way.

 

I'd patent the idea,except for the fact that the medieval "maykers of sackbutts and serpents" probably got there first.

 

MM

Hi MM,

 

I think Saxon Aldred did something like this at Standon (Herts) with the Sw 16' reed octave - and don't I recall that Bath Abbey 16' flue is outside the box with mouths inside or something?

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It's not a reed, it's a Contra Gamba - "Purrs like a pussy cat" as Tony Bufano used to describe it, God rest his soul.

 

DW

 

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

 

Oh! :P

 

At least I got the nickname right.

 

MM

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Hi MM,

 

I think Saxon Aldred did something like this at Standon (Herts) with the Sw 16' reed octave - and don't I recall that Bath Abbey 16' flue is outside the box with mouths inside or something?

 

The Swell 16' Salicet in the Nave organ at Cologne Cathedral (by the same builder) is the same.

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Indeed, the Sw 16' flue bass pipes at Bath are outside the box, mouths inside. Perfectly OK with stopped pipes. Half length reeds are fine if the shallots and scale of the whole rank are done correctly. Lots of examples of not so good ones which tend to tar the whole concept with a bad brush.

 

AJS

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The Swell 16' Salicet in the Nave organ at Cologne Cathedral (by the same builder) is the same.

 

I should have added that the bottom few pipes of this stop, outside of the box, are stopped. I don't know how noticeable the break is from stopped to open.

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I should have added that the bottom few pipes of this stop, outside of the box, are stopped. I don't know how noticeable the break is from stopped to open.

Not very noticeable, as they are in fact not stopped but haskelled (bottom six, C to F). From f-sharp on the pipes are open and inside the box. The 16-foot reed of same division, however, has half-length resonators at least in the lower range.

 

Best,

Friedrich

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Not very noticeable, as they are in fact not stopped but haskelled (bottom six, C to F). From f-sharp on the pipes are open and inside the box. The 16-foot reed of same division, however, has half-length resonators at least in the lower range.

 

Best,

Friedrich

 

Thanks, Sprondel. I hadn't realised this.

 

I don't know much about Haskelling, but if the pipe tops are open (as I think they are in Haskelled pipes) doesn't at least some of their sound emanate from outside the swell box?

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Thanks, Sprondel. I hadn't realised this.

 

I don't know much about Haskelling, but if the pipe tops are open (as I think they are in Haskelled pipes) doesn't at least some of their sound emanate from outside the swell box?

I'll have to look it up, but if I remember it correctly the enclosure encompasses the upper end of those pipes as well. On top of the Swell box sits the blower and main reservoir, and behind its encasement the Swell enclosure goes up to contain the long pipes.

 

Best,

Friedrich

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I'll have to look it up, but if I remember it correctly the enclosure encompasses the upper end of those pipes as well. On top of the Swell box sits the blower and main reservoir, and behind its encasement the Swell enclosure goes up to contain the long pipes.

 

Best,

Friedrich

 

Yes. I've just looked at the plans and, apart from the bottom six (of what I thought were stopped wood) the rest of the Salicet 16' pipes look like metal and, as you say, extend upward within the box behind the blower. Perhaps it is some of these that are Haskelled.

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