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64' pipes


Peter Clark
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Somebody asked me today about 64' pipes and their purpose and frankly I could't answer to any degree of satisfaction. So is there a real pont to them or are they in reality just a flippant, expensive fancy? And how do you tune them?!

 

Peter

 

 

I should imagine that, having got them to speak, tuning would be relatively easy. The vibrations would be so slow that one could almost tune by counting them. When Sam Clutton visited Sydney Town Hall, he said that the bottom note of the 64' was vibrating at 4 beats per second (the boot has a glass window so the reed can be seen in action) and was therefore speaking as a half-length 128'!

 

Are there any 64' pipes apart from Sydney and Atlantic City? I've seen 64' acoustic basses and 64' reeds on electrones. St. Laurence, Nuremburg had a 64' Tromba in the specification, but I don't know if it had any 64' pipes.

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I should imagine that, having got them to speak, tuning would be relatively easy. The vibrations would be so slow that one could almost tune by counting them. When Sam Clutton visited Sydney Town Hall, he said that the bottom note of the 64' was vibrating at 4 beats per second (the boot has a glass window so the reed can be seen in action) and was therefore speaking as a half-length 128'!

 

Are there any 64' pipes apart from Sydney and Atlantic City? I've seen 64' acoustic basses and 64' reeds on electrones. St. Laurence, Nuremburg had a 64' Tromba in the specification, but I don't know if it had any 64' pipes.

 

 

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I've never heard one, and I don't feel deprived.

 

On the other hand, I have created one in the company of fellow conspirators......I will explain.....

 

At Halifax PC, when Philip Tordoff played something French and loud.....take your pick......a few of us would mount the raised platform on which the choir-stalls are situated. When the unfortunate Mr Tordoff reached the end of said loud French piece, we would rapidly stamp like football hooligans; the effect not terribly musical, but nevertheless having a certain garvitas. (It didn't matter, because the rather obscene 16ft Ophicleide did the rest).

 

Philip was unfailingly polite and tolerant of this appalling behaviour.

 

However, the day we dropped a plastic toy crocodile into his glass or real ale, we discovered an altogether darker side to his nature, as he stormed off to catch his bus. It pushed him clean over the edge of intolerance, and he was not a happy bunny.

 

MM

 

PS: Don't even ask about the Bach Chorale prelude soloed on a paper and comb for the authentic baroque touch.

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The 64' reed (I think it is real and not electronic - maybe someone can be more specific) at Washington National Cathedral can make an impression - try this CD in Gerre Hancock's incredible improvised Symphony.

 

A

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The 64' reed (I think it is real and not electronic - maybe someone can be more specific) at Washington National Cathedral can make an impression - try this CD in Gerre Hancock's incredible improvised Symphony.

 

A

 

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I bet that Symphony ends in A minor or major. (Incredible I do not doubt....Gerre Hancock is a class act).

 

Why?

 

The so-called 64ft reed at Washington, so far as I am aware, goes only down to AAAA, but the three pipes are real enough.

 

Isn't the only CCCCCCCCCCCCCC reed, (delete as appropriate), in America the brute at Atlantic City, amusingly labelled "Dulzian 64ft" and probabl;y on 50" wg?

 

So far as I recall, that consists of just one pipe.

 

Therefore, we must conclude that the ONLY true 64ft reed, (when it isn't pretending to be a half-length 128ft) is a unique BRITISH entity to rival Stephenson's Rocket and the railways.

 

The railways are a GOOD thing and serve a purpose.

 

MM

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Congratulations! This is the most gloriously anoraky thread I've ever seen!

 

MM is quite correct: the 64ft reed at Atlantic City Hall is the 64ft Dulzian. It is also available at 42 1/3 pitch as well, and also again at the console as Diaphone 64. It is constructed as a Diaphone, with the resonators resting their feet on the floor. There are individual pipes for the bottom octave. Naturally, it is full length.

 

More recently, Dobson experimented with ravellement into the 64ft octave at Verizon hall in Atlanta - there is an extension of the 32ft reed to bottom AAAA. http://www.dobsonorgan.com/html/instrument...ladelphia2.html

 

I feel that once the limits of human hearing and perception have been breached, there is little point to continue to break them furthur. A vibration half the speed of another vibration is not twice as impressive. I suppose it might be quite impressive to play a 32ft C at middle C on the pedal board but the bottom octave is a dissappointment. But the bottom BBBB and AAAA are useful for pieces like the third Franck Chorale and the Liszt BACH. By 32ft G the sound is impressively meaty that a 64ft G wouldn't add anything extra.

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Congratulations! This is the most gloriously anoraky thread I've ever seen!

 

MM is quite correct: the 64ft reed at Atlantic City Hall is the 64ft Dulzian. It is also available at 42 1/3 pitch as well, and also again at the console as Diaphone 64. It is constructed as a Diaphone, with the resonators resting their feet on the floor. There are individual pipes for the bottom octave. Naturally, it is full length.

 

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Oh shucks! I' ve been labelled an anorak. B)

 

I could go one better and start a thread about the makers of percussion instruments who have supplied organ-builders over the years, but I'll spare yas all.

 

MM

 

 

PS: Thanks for filling in the other 11 notes of the 32ft Dulzian at Atlantic City, Apart from the sheer enormity of it, I have not the slightest interest in the instrument, ppssibly because there are far better, rather smaller.....well...less large instruments in the US which need a bit of TLC.

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Oh shucks! I' ve been labelled an anorak. :lol:

I think just knowing of this board's existence qualifies us for the "anorak" label, in the eyes of the vast majority. B)

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I think just knowing of this board's existence qualifies us for the "anorak" label, in the eyes of the vast majority. :P

 

 

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I think that this discussion board is utterly unique in catering for anoraks, serious historians and students, comedians, musicologists, organ builders and performers.

 

Only four things are missing to make it complete; a quiz section, an astrology section, a for sale section and a personals box.

 

I could somehow imagine, "Double Ophicleide extension seeks suitable chest." :wub:

 

MM

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

 

I think that this discussion board is utterly unique in catering for anoraks, serious historians and students, comedians, musicologists, organ builders and performers.

 

Only four things are missing to make it complete; a quiz section, an astrology section, a for sale section and a personals box.

 

I could somehow imagine, "Double Ophicleide extension seeks suitable chest." :wub:

 

MM

 

 

I'm a complete anorak, I admit it, but I have found that anorakdom has been useful when it comes to making music at the organ.

 

I've never heard a real 64', but the resultant one at Liverpool Cathedral does have an effect and is a useful part of that glorious instrument.

 

The Atlantic City Organ - it may appear to be a monster, but everyone I know who has played or heard it says that it's a fabulous musical instrument, beautifully constructed and should certainly be restored.

 

I had to open a big 3 manual Copeman Hart in Belfast some years ago. I finished with 'Finlandia' and flipped the transposer to give me a 64' sub bourdon on the last chord. If you're going to play transcriptions, you might as well have fun with them.....

 

Having recommended Double Ophicleide to go for a certain organ job, partly on the basis that there was a ravishingly attractive girl in the choir - to whom he has now been happily married for years - I can't see him putting such an ad up. :P

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Having recommended Double Ophicleide to go for a certain organ job, partly on the basis that there was a ravishingly attractive girl in the choir - to whom he has now been happily married for years - I can't see him putting such an ad up. :wub:

 

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OMG! Now I'm not just an anorak, but a soothsayer and clairvoyant as well. :P

 

 

MM

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OMG! Now I'm not just an anorak, but a soothsayer and clairvoyant as well. :wub:

 

 

MM

 

 

OK - what's the next fashion going to be, organ-wise? We've had thinned-down Schnitgers and Cavaille-Coll clones (as Maurice Grant put it). Are we due for a rash of neo-Comptons or alter-Arthurs?

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OK - what's the next fashion going to be, organ-wise? We've had thinned-down Schnitgers and Cavaille-Coll clones (as Maurice Grant put it). Are we due for a rash of neo-Comptons or alter-Arthurs?

 

 

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Rabbit's paw and tongue of newt.....rub, rub, rub.

 

I see a great European exchange. We hand over all the redundant Willis and Harrison organs, and we take those dreadful old Walckers off their hands.

 

I love the EU.

 

MM

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Rabbit's paw and tongue of newt.....rub, rub, rub.

 

I see a great European exchange. We hand over all the redundant Willis and Harrison organs, and we take those dreadful old Walckers off their hands.

 

I love the EU.

 

MM

 

 

Gawd!!

 

Mind you, I think the Steinmeyer at Trondhjem will be worth hearing when it's restored. It was severely arsed-about-with in the sixties when they moved most of it to the west end, with a bit east of the crossing as a kororgel, and put the Willis reeds into store (subsequently destroyed). It still sounds pretty impressive, but feels incomplete.

 

A Willis tuner told me (in graphic Glaswegian) about a Walcker in Scotland divided in a west gallery, but not the usual way with Great on one side and Swell on the other. This had the C side of each department on one side and the C# side on the other, which involved two swell-boxes and two tremulants and needed three people to tune it - one on each side and one at the keys.

 

St. Peter's, Parkstone, Dorset has what might be termed a neo-Compton (the previous organ was a Compton, but the present one was largely new in 1982/3) advised, I think, by Roger Fisher.

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