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Mander Organs

Unusual Accessories


pcnd5584

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The Battersea Hope-Jones organ has the following buttons situated at the back of the keys to which they apply:

 

Swell to Gt - brings on all 3 pitches of Sw to Gt tabs

Tubas to Gt - not sure yet if this brings just one pitch of Tuba on or more pitches, will find out

Swell to Orchestral - not currently working but presumably does whatever the Sw to Gt does, but for the Orch.

Suitable bass - if latched, recalls a 'suitable' pedal registration with the combination pistons for that manual (applies to Orchestral, Great & Swell manuals)

 

I can also confirm that the Southampton Guildhall Compton has Gt, Sw & Solo to Choir couplers, as well as the usual others.

 

P

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The Battersea Hope-Jones organ has the following buttons situated at the back of the keys to which they apply:

 

Swell to Gt - brings on all 3 pitches of Sw to Gt tabs

Tubas to Gt - not sure yet if this brings just one pitch of Tuba on or more pitches, will find out

Swell to Orchestral - not currently working but presumably does whatever the Sw to Gt does, but for the Orch.

Suitable bass - if latched, recalls a 'suitable' pedal registration with the combination pistons for that manual (applies to Orchestral, Great & Swell manuals)

 

I can also confirm that the Southampton Guildhall Compton has Gt, Sw & Solo to Choir couplers, as well as the usual others.

 

P

 

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

 

 

It's interesting to compare the Battersea organ with one of the first, purpose built cinema organs, by Hill, Norman & Beard Ltd., in 1921. (The Regal Cinema, Brighton).

 

This was a straight organ, with a curious, divided divisional arrangement, ie: Two Swells, Two Greats and Two Orchestral divisions, all enclosed in various swell boxes and with every possible coupler at 16 ,8,(8 off) and 4. That too has a Tuba on Great coupler and an early use of the General Cresendo Pedal.

 

Although it was obviously very expressive and had percussions, it didn't have any of the registers especially associated with the cinema organ: namely the Diaphone, Tibias and Diapason Phonons of Hope Jones.

 

Other quirks included the following:

 

PP piston

1 thumb piston in each keyslip giving Octave and Sub Octave

 

Accessory tablets:

 

Orchestral No.1 and 2 to Great

Swell No. 1 and 2 to Great

Pedal to Great pistons

Pedal to Swell pistons

Pedal to Orchestral pistons

Great and Pedal pistons Cpl'd

 

It's a pity it as burned out in 1928 or so. It must have been a curious thing to play.

 

The full NPOR entry is here:-

 

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=N15535

 

Best,

 

MM

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Perhaps not strictly an accessory, but I was very interested to learn that St Andrew's, Plymouth, once had a one-manual Hele chamber organ that had a pedal Sub Bass, but no pedalboard. Apparently the pedal stop sounded the lowest note of any chord played on the manuals, exactly (I must assume) like the "automatic pedal" / "melodic bass" facility found on some toasters.

http://www.npor.org....ec_index=D02923

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Hi

 

The "automatic bass" was a feature of some Positive Organ Company" instruments (& the various other Casson trading names), as were treble solo stops. They were done pneumatically.

 

The same principal was applied to some Harmoniums, the "Dawes Patent Melody Coupler" - that was mechanical - taking advantage of the relative pitch stability of free reeds on reduced pressure. I have an "after market" version on my Alexandre, but I've yet to get it working, and I've played a couple of other Harmoniums with this feature - including one we had at home when I was much younger. That had the Dawes mechanism built-in. There was also a bass version of the device.

 

Without checking patent dates I'm not sure if Cassson or Dawes was first on the scene with the idea.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Now here's an interesting one which I've never come across, but which emerged from the Compton research.

 

It's a crescendo and diminuendo device, presumably consisting of two pistons; one being an adder < cresc. piston and the other a > dimin. piston on the appropriate keyslip, and which acts independently of any stop-combination selected.

 

In effect, it's a thumb operated version of a Crescendo pedal, but not, (so far as I can work out), a General Crescendo pedal. So it's really a divisional adder and subtractor device.

 

Anyway, for those of a highly technical disposition, the patent no. is GB436739 and the inventor was A H Midgely.The date is around 1934/5.

 

Best,

 

MM

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Seeing as mention has been made of the "Automatic Pedal", here is one for you in a different context.

 

St Patrick's Basilica in Fremantle (http://www.ohta.org..../WA/StPats.html) has two organs, a large four-manual in the West gallery and a small 19 stop two-manual in the South Transept. Both organs are playable from either console, but the Transept organ has Great & Swell divisions combined when played from the West console and the West organ has an independent set of general pistons (no stops apart from three solo reeds) on the Transept console.

 

The Transept console has a coupler labelled "Automatic Pedal Coupling", which means that when the two organs are being used in dialogue with say the Transept on the Swell manual and the West organ on the Great, the organ will automatically switch between the Transept and West Pedal departments depending on which manual you are playing on at the time.

 

This was, as far as we know, the first use of this type of coupler and has since been incorporated into the organs of St Mary's Catholic Cathedral, Perth (http://www.ohta.org....TMARYSCATH.html). Both organs include the "Great to Swell" coupler for the purpose of playing the two organs together also.

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Seeing as mention has been made of the "Automatic Pedal", here is one for you in a different context.

 

St Patrick's Basilica in Fremantle (http://www.ohta.org..../WA/StPats.html) has two organs, a large four-manual in the West gallery and a small 19 stop two-manual in the South Transept. Both organs are playable from either console, but the Transept organ has Great & Swell divisions combined when played from the West console and the West organ has an independent set of general pistons (no stops apart from three solo reeds) on the Transept console.

 

The Transept console has a coupler labelled "Automatic Pedal Coupling", which means that when the two organs are being used in dialogue with say the Transept on the Swell manual and the West organ on the Great, the organ will automatically switch between the Transept and West Pedal departments depending on which manual you are playing on at the time.

 

This was, as far as we know, the first use of this type of coupler and has since been incorporated into the organs of St Mary's Catholic Cathedral, Perth (http://www.ohta.org....TMARYSCATH.html). Both organs include the "Great to Swell" coupler for the purpose of playing the two organs together also.

 

This sounds to be an interesting and a useful idea. Would there be any possibility of some photographs of these instruments (particularly the consoles), please?

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Now here's an interesting one which I've never come across, but which emerged from the Compton research.

 

It's a crescendo and diminuendo device, presumably consisting of two pistons; one being an adder < cresc. piston and the other a > dimin. piston on the appropriate keyslip, and which acts independently of any stop-combination selected.

 

In effect, it's a thumb operated version of a Crescendo pedal, but not, (so far as I can work out), a General Crescendo pedal. So it's really a divisional adder and subtractor device.

 

Anyway, for those of a highly technical disposition, the patent no. is GB436739 and the inventor was A H Midgely.The date is around 1934/5.

 

Best,

 

MM

 

I believe that Liverpool Cathedral organ (the Anglican one), when it was first built, had a couple of pistons which added or subtracted the next stop and would seem to be similar to the device you mention.

 

Elsewhere on the thread, Great to Choir (rather than Choir to Great) seems to have been the norm on Compton organs, at least during some of the firm's existence. I find the Great to Choir here more useful than the Choir to Great, although since thinking about it, I've been using the latter more often! None of the other organs in Newfoundland has it, including the two other four manual jobs.

 

The automatic pedal device is quite easy to achieve with modern actions. I know that several organs in Northern Ireland by Phillip Prosser and Wells Kennedy incorporate it, including the latter's quite large 1999 organ at St. Michael's, Enniskillen (a very fine job indeed, including one of the late Chris Wells's best cases).

 

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=D08045

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  • 4 weeks later...

There was, from what I have heard, a switch at the St Paul's Cathedral organ which allowed the three West End trumpets 16/8/4 to be played on the same octave concurrently. Perhaps this was removed after Christpher Dearnley's time, as there has been no recent reference to it at all.

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  • 1 year later...

Resurrecting an old thread, but has anyone ever come across any organs where there is a 'Swell to Pedal Combination Coupler' but not the more usual 'Great & Pedal Combinations Coupled'? I played in the NZ Organists' association playing competition in June this year and the three-manual organ which was used had this... And the Great & Pedal pistons were not permanently coupled.

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Resurrecting an old thread, but has anyone ever come across any organs where there is a 'Swell to Pedal Combination Coupler' but not the more usual 'Great & Pedal Combinations Coupled'? I played in the NZ Organists' association playing competition in June this year and the three-manual organ which was used had this... And the Great & Pedal pistons were not permanently coupled.

 

Several Harrison organs have both of these devices. Exeter Cathedral is one example. In addition, the Mander rebuild of the Chichester Cathedral organ also has both - but Alan Thurlow was formerly Sub Organist at Durham Cathedral, which is presumably where he met the first coupler.

 

However, Harrisons normally engraved the stop 'Pedal to Swell Pistons' - and wired it so that it was possible to set a different set of Pedal combinations, which would balance the settings of the Swell pistons.

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Several Harrison organs have both of these devices. Exeter Cathedral is one example. In addition, the Mander rebuild of the Chichester Cathedral organ also has both - but Alan Thurlow was formerly Sub Organist at Durham Cathedral, which is presumably where he met the first coupler.

 

However, Harrisons normally engraved the stop 'Pedal to Swell Pistons' - and wired it so that it was possible to set a different set of Pedal combinations, which would balance the settings of the Swell pistons.

Indeed and Durham also had Pedal & Accompaniment to Solo. Some of the key touches at Southwark were set similarly.

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