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Davidb

1/8th Length Pipes

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Our Diocesean organ advisor has made a suggestion to my church, of making a bottom octave of 32 foot pipes using pipes of 1/8th length, so that the bottom C would be 4feet long. I've never heard of this idea before. Has anyone else ever come across it, or know of the success or otherwise of it?

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Noel Mander added a fractional length 32' reed at St. Michael's, Croydon. Presumably, down there it works fine provded you have enough on top of it. The other option is electronics, which are very popular in North America, but one wonders how long they will last in relation to the pipes.

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Our Diocesean organ advisor has made a suggestion to my church, of making a bottom octave of 32 foot pipes using pipes of 1/8th length, so that the bottom C would be 4feet long. I've never heard of this idea before. Has anyone else ever come across it, or know of the success or otherwise of it?

 

What an odd suggestion for a DOA to make! Worksop Priory has a 1/4 length Sordun: not very convincing, as I recall.

 

JS

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Our Diocesean organ advisor has made a suggestion to my church, of making a bottom octave of 32 foot pipes using pipes of 1/8th length, so that the bottom C would be 4feet long. I've never heard of this idea before. Has anyone else ever come across it, or know of the success or otherwise of it?

I believe that St mary's warwick might be 1/8th length. We have 1/2 and I'd certainly advise moving the 'break' down from c to at least G

 

M

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Sounds like a very bad idea to me... if you must have a 32' reed and are short of space (and in my view there are often many more worthwhile uses for the money), I'd advise the electronic option. Fractional length reeds give very little fundamental tone and it's unlikely to sound very musical.

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What an odd suggestion for a DOA to make! Worksop Priory has a 1/4 length Sordun: not very convincing, as I recall.

 

JS

 

 

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but at Worksop Priory, I recall the late Robert Andrews FRCO, commenting as the 32ft Sordun was drawn, "Listen! They've got death watch beetle in the roof."

 

To my ears, it was just a silly rattling noise.

 

MM

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Our Diocesean organ advisor has made a suggestion to my church, of making a bottom octave of 32 foot pipes using pipes of 1/8th length, so that the bottom C would be 4feet long.

Why not make it 6' and a little more depth and have a stopped 10 2/3' plus 6 2/5'? If the room takes the sound, it would most probably be much more acceptable. And if the room does not help in effecting the combination tone, it hardly will make a Rankett 32’ bloom.

 

Best,

Friedrich

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An 1/8th length 32' will add nothing but a rattle. If that fits with the tonal concept of the instrument - lots of fractional length reeds etc - then fine, it could be deemed appropriate. If not then try 1/4 length plus derivations/ independent ranks to create an harmonics along the lines of Friedrich's suggestion which makes a great deal of sense to me.

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I believe that St mary's warwick might be 1/8th length. We have 1/2 and I'd certainly advise moving the 'break' down from c to at least G

 

M

I doubt it. I have played this strange instrument on occasion and found the 32ft. reed to be extremely loud and free-toned. I do not think that this would be poosible with fractional-length resonators. In any case, I have yet to meet a Bombarde with resonators shorter than half-length. This method of construction is normally limited to stops of the Regal family - even the New College (Oxford) 32ft. Fagot on the Pedal Organ is half-length.

 

Having said this, I do know of at least one quarter-length 32ft. reed in a house organ - with the bass consisting of Oboe pipes. Under the circumstances, it is reasonably effective.

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Sounds like a very bad idea to me... if you must have a 32' reed and are short of space (and in my view there are often many more worthwhile uses for the money), I'd advise the electronic option. Fractional length reeds give very little fundamental tone and it's unlikely to sound very musical.

 

I would agree with this. Or, better still, eschew the digital option also - and spend the money on something more generally and musically useful.

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Noel Mander added a fractional length 32' reed at St. Michael's, Croydon. Presumably, down there it works fine provded you have enough on top of it. The other option is electronics, which are very popular in North America, but one wonders how long they will last in relation to the pipes.

 

Co-incidentally, I played for the choral services at this church last Sunday.

 

In reality, the 32ft. Sordun is something of a non-event. A few notes were off-speech and some were out of tune. Used without the Ophicleide (16ft.) the effect is bizarre, although fairly quiet. Used with the Ophicleide, it is barely audible, adding only the merest suspicion of 32ft. tone - and little in the way of gravitas. It is one of the few blemishes on what is otherwise a fine instrument.

 

This said, I wish that the Director of Music would re-tune the Positive Claribel (8ft.) back to normal. It does not work as a flute céleste. It fails to beat effectively with the Stopped Diapason, nor does it combine well with the Choir Lieblich Gedact.

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Thank-you. It's over thirty years since I played the instrument and, although it made quite an impression on me in many ways, the 32' reed wasn't something I recall.

 

My music teacher at school, Colin Nicholson, had lessons from George Oldroyd at the RCM. Oldroyd was organist at St. Michael's for many years. Colin said he spent most of them agitating to get the organ rebuilt and modernised, and when he died they did it as a memorial to him....

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As an old boy of St Mary's, Warwick I am happy to confirm that the Pedal Contra Bombarde is not of fractional length. The Sub-Bass 32' has an electronic bottom octave as, during the 1979(ish) rebuild it was found that because of all the extra pipework going in there was insufficient room in the West Gallery for the Hope-Jones Double Open Diapason.

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Bernard Aubertin has made a speciality of fractional length reeds, with cylindrical resonators and leathered shallots, which produce strong, stable notes with lots of fundamental. They take up very little room. There are several examples at 32' pitch. Can't recall whether they are 1/4 or 1/8 length, but they sound superb!

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Bernard Aubertin has made a speciality of fractional length reeds, with cylindrical resonators and leathered shallots, which produce strong, stable notes with lots of fundamental. They take up very little room. There are several examples at 32' pitch. Can't recall whether they are 1/4 or 1/8 length, but they sound superb!

 

Ian - could you point us in the direction of any audio samples, please?

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Bernard Aubertin has made a speciality of fractional length reeds, with cylindrical resonators and leathered shallots, which produce strong, stable notes with lots of fundamental. They take up very little room. There are several examples at 32' pitch. Can't recall whether they are 1/4 or 1/8 length, but they sound superb!

 

......and also another very good specimen on the Auberin at S. Louis Vichy - 1/2 length (ok - off topic) called Napoléon - a smallish scale Bassoon and fairly fundamental in sound but just right for that instrument in that acoustic. It is mitred under the arch outside the case to the side of the main organ.

 

A

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There seems a slight error in some of the above information. All the 32fts from Aubertin are full length - especially Vichy and Sarralbe - both of grand scale and the former gently mitred to fit the position without detracting from the visual. M. Aubertin created a different sort of 32ft which are found in Vertus (where it is housed in its own case and doubles back on itself). The scale is extremely narrow but gives an extraordinary fundamental which is progressibly enhanced by registers of higher pitch.

This is an instrument in Paris recently restored with such a reed. You have to be patient to hear it a few times though!

http://youtu.be/vijM7bTpQjo

Best wishes,

Nigel

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There seems a slight error in some of the above information. All the 32fts from Aubertin are full length - especially Vichy and Sarralbe - both of grand scale and the former gently mitred to fit the position without detracting from the visual. M. Aubertin created a different sort of 32ft which are found in Vertus (where it is housed in its own case and doubles back on itself). The scale is extremely narrow but gives an extraordinary fundamental which is progressibly enhanced by registers of higher pitch.

This is an instrument in Paris recently restored with such a reed. You have to be patient to hear it a few times though!

http://youtu.be/vijM7bTpQjo

Best wishes,

Nigel

 

 

Oops - my mistake - appologies for any confusion - 'was going by memory from a printed spec. that could not readily be located a the time.

 

A

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Oops - my mistake - appologies for any confusion - 'was going by memory from a printed spec. that could not readily be located a the time.

 

A

Likewise - apologies for misinformation. Was going from a conversation with Michel Gaillard in my pigeon French!

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Just to inform from the horse's mouth, so to speak, I have just received this which I hope folk will fully understand!

 

"Concerning my new 32' , I send you a more or less chronological list.

 

Sarralbe 1987 Lorraine: 2/3 length conical, wood, my first 32' which had to be lengthened (after completion ) from a full tone gradually to zero on circa11/2 bottom octave, the sound was "dirty" because a disturbing 7th ( the proof was that the original C could be tuned on D with a good 5th).

Vichy 1990 Auvergne : Napoléon 32' (!) : C to e° correct 2/3 length, then full length, wood conical.

Vertus Champagne 1996, St Louis en l'ile Paris 2005, Neuilly 2007, St Nicolas du Chardonnet ( Paris) 2008, Mariager DK 2010 , Thann 2001 , Kientzheim 2011 in Alsace, all rectangular wood / cylindrical metal in full length.

 

In refurbished organs by Michel Gaillard the 32' are often 1/2 length made with old revoiced 16' bombardes, Forbach, Freyming in Lorraine. Boulogne sur Mer Pas de Calais and St Vincent in Lyon 1996/7 full length cylindr. metal pipes .

 

The 16' bombasson is an unbroken full length reed starting bottom C like a cylind. reed with progressive flared bottom points and tapering (degressive in length ) bodies to f° then full conical ( flared ) length. A 25 years old idea ( how to get the right sounds when it gives no height, no depth and no width to install normal conic. full length bodies ) ... waiting an opportunity to be made flesh .

 

Most of these stops have tincast house made Aubertin leathered shallots .

 

I hope I have forgotten nothing to make informed for preparing an 32 fts tour Aubertin ...

 

Best regards, Bernard Aubertin"

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Just to inform from the horse's mouth, so to speak, I have just received this which I hope folk will fully understand..............

 

 

Thanks for the clarification.

 

A

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