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Stop Diapason, Larigot & False Relation

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My organ is a 1 manual + pedal with 7 stops, all full compass with no bass/treble splits. I was running through a Flute Piece by Thomas Thorley (Old English Organ Music for Manuals, Book 2) yesterday and in an attempt to inject some colour used the Stop Diapason and Larigot which sounded fine until around bar 12 where the Larigot caused a false relation when the bass A natural (sounding Middle E natural pitch) scrunched against the E flat an octave higher in the right hand.

 

I quite like the effect and that is probably sufficient justification to use that registration but wonder if it's acceptable in a musical sense, i.e. would anyone in the 18th century have used a registration like that which caused what an audience might hear as a wrong note? The suggested registration is light Flutes 8 and 4 which I can achieve with the Stop Diapason and Flute 4 but much prefer the more colourful sound. An alternative would be to use the 2' Piccolo instead of the Larigot but as the organ has just been tuned (the Larigot goes off pitch very easily) I thought it good to give the stop a rare outing while it is usable.

 

I'd be interested in any opinions. I've discounted going inside, removing the Larigot pipes below Middle C and blocking the holes!

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I would go with what sounds most musical - on a single manual such as yours one has to adapt - I play one regularly too. Re the 1-1/3' - I have seen instances where it changes to 1' in the bass in a similar context - to avoid the problems you describe.

 

A

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would anyone in the 18th century have used a registration like that which caused what an audience might hear as a wrong note?

 

 

Not in England. Around 1795 Thorley's contemporaries John Marsh, Jonas Blewett and Francis Linley all gave advice on how to register organs of their time. Their advice is very similar (they may well have copied freely from each other). I posted Linley's in a thread here. See in particular the section "The Blending of the Stops". At the risk of over-simplifying his advice, the emphasis is on 8' pitch, occasionally with a 4' added, and on choruses. One almost wonders why organ builders bothered to supply stop knobs for the Great and Swell Open and Stopped Diapasons since they seem to remain drawn at all times!

 

Larigots had been supplied at least in some earlier organs (Renatus Harris comes to mind), but, like Cornets, were probably out of favour by 1800. Linley's advice tends very much towards a spirit of reverence and devotion; he regards frivolity as inappropriate in church.

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Hi

 

At the time the piece was written, most organs were tuned in some form of unequal temperament, so the harmics of the lower pitched stops would be closer to the true-tuned mutations than in equal temp. That could be the reason - and although usingthe Larigot may not be historically correct, if it works, then go with it!

 

Every Blessing

Tony

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Thank you for these responses. Vox's earlier posting is very interesting and I think that most of it still holds true today. I played the piece again today and at a decent speed the crunch is barely noticeable and, to me, quite enjoyable. I shall play it on Sunday morning and be ready with an explanation in the extremely unlikely event that anyone mentions the bar in question. They don't, after all, mention my unintentional wrong notes!

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