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Organs with 'pull out' pedal boards


mrbouffant
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I was asked to visit and play an 1874 Forster & Andrews house organ recently.

 

When I arrived I was surprised to see that the pedal organ listed on NPOR was not evident. However, it soon became clear that the pedal board pulls out from the casework and can then be played once it is suitably anchored to the floor. Afterwards, it slid back neatly into the case. Quite an ingenious solution when one doesn't want the instrument dominating the room in which it is situated.

 

Is this a common feature of house organs in general? I had never come across it before and it struck me as novel.

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I recently saw a very small (c.1840s?) Hill with a 27 note straight flat pedalboard which hinged up underneath the keyboard. Quite ingenious. It also had a collapsible bench.

 

It looked like a small home/practice instrument, which could be folded up into something about the same size as a cottage upright piano when not in use.

 

It made me wonder about Victorian house organs in general and if there were other examples of Victorian "home practice instruments" around or whether they are a fairly modern phenomenon.

 

If they are about, they may be worthy of further investigation, especially if there are clever features and lessons we can learn from. The little Hill I saw was a really interesting little instrument - I'm keen to see what it's like when it's been restored.

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This must have been quite a common feature at one stage. I am aware of two 2M+P american organs with slide in pedal boards, both now in the Netherlands.

 

This church on the NPOR, Wiltshire Easton Grey, Easton Grey Church [N10400] [sorry I don't seem able to paste the reference from my browser] has a pipe organ by E H Suggate, London 1879 which I thought was originally a house organ. I was also convinced the pedal board, now fixed in position, had originally slid in.

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Hi

 

One of the organs I used to play quite often had a retractable keyboard. The pedalboard was always in place when I played it, and I never thought to look & see if it slid into the case. I wouldn't be surprised it it did. Details & pictures at http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D00785 The pedals were 13 notes GG-G - great fun (see the picture on NPOR). It was formerly a residence instrument.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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