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Discussion board members may be intrested, perhaps even amused, by a feature we were asked to provide for a new organ for a private chapel. We were asked to provide a bear which emerged from the organ case when a stop was pulled on the console. The organ is interesting in itself. It is a one namual and pedal organ of nine stops. Most of the stops are divided at middle c. The organ also has notes below the normal compass in old English style, a GG and AA. The C# key is split so that AA and C# can be played. The organ also has a drum pedal, which activates the bottom 6 notes of the Pedal Bourdon, a nightingale modelled on one from an old Italian organ and a wind driven cymbelstern, we suspect the first to have been made in Britain. But the star is the bear which you can see here:



I hope you enjoy it.



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This sort of design for a new instrument is close to my heart, for reasons I won't go into here. It would be interesting to know the specification; or, a condensed version.


What is on the stop knob ? I feel sure it isn't Roar Flute !





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There is an engraving of a bear on the stop knob. For those interested in a bit more information, the stop knob is at the right hand end, all the stops being in a row above the keyboard. The specification is:


Open Diapason 8

Stopped Diapason 8

Principal 4

Chimney Flute 4

Twelfth 2 2/3

Fifteenth 2

Tierce 1 3/5

Trumpet 8

Pedal Bourdon 16

Kellner's temperament

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Earlier this year I was at the Abbatiale de Saint-Savin-en-Lavedan, a few miles to the south of Argeles-Gazost in the Pyrenees. In the Abbey church there is a, beautifully restored, Renaissance organ dating from 1557. I couldn't play it because the guy in the church didn't have the key but we were able to see the instrument quite well and the curator of the church was, clearly, very knowledgeable about the instrument. It had one manual of 38 notes and 6 pedals. 8',4' 22/3', 2',11/3',1, plus a Flute bouchee at 4' and a 8' Regal. There was also a Rossignol!


Most amusing though were 3 gargoyles on the front of the case work operated by 3 pedals at the console - their mouths and eyes moved when operated by the player with the pedals!


The instrument looked beautiful and there is a recording of a concert in the church on youtube.


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