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Greetings,

 

    I am very curious to know about the Keraulophon and how it is constructed.  Does this stop create a unique timbre or is it born out of affectation?  Can it be paired with a celeste?  :blink:

 

      Best,

 

            Nathan

 

 

Hi Nathan,

 

If you look at this link you will find it answers your question I think. Indeed about any stop you care to mention.

 

http://www.organstops.org/k/Keraulophone.html

 

Brian Childs

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Greetings,

 

Interesting. No offense intended, but is the organ encyclopedia accurate? Perhaps this is unfair, but I am a bit mistrustful of Audsley and some of the other sources frequently cited by the web site; especially Audsley though, as he seemed to be a theoretician with an axe to grind.

 

Is the construction as described accurate to what one might find in a mid-to-late 19th century English organ?

 

Best,

 

Nathan

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Greetings,

 

    Interesting.  No offense intended, but is the organ encyclopedia accurate?  Perhaps this is unfair, but I am a bit mistrustful of Audsley and some of the other sources frequently cited by the web site; especially Audsley though, as he seemed to be a theoretician with an axe to grind.

 

    Is the construction as described accurate to what one might find in a mid-to-late 19th century English organ?

 

      Best,

 

              Nathan

 

I really do not know because these stops are not all that common. It seems to have been something of a Hill speciality : at any rate the 1862 specification for the Ulster Hall Organ shows one on the choir but it certainly no longer exists under that name even if the pipes are still in the organ. I seem to recollect that Peterborough Cathedral also had one but whether it survived the fire in the organ I do not know. I know of no recent example but have occasionally come across the name in organs which have survived pretty much untouched since the 19th century, however, not having examined the innards of these organs I simply have no idea what,if any, mistakes exist in the description given. Sorry I cannot be more helpful. Perhaps someone else knows ? Mr Mander might.

 

BAC

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Guest Andrew Butler

There was one at Lewins Mead Unitarian Chapel, Bristol - on NPOR if you can be bothered with the new site that is. Church closed and organ removed (anyone know where?) in 1985.

 

I used to deputize there in the 60's/70's/80's, and alyhough I never saw the pipes, it did beat with the Vox Angelica, and as I recall had a warm, fat stringy tone - in contrast to the Salicional.

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There's an example near here, on the 2 manual Hill (1870-ish) at St James, Titsey, Surrey. The church is owned by the Titsey Foundation, and is not redundant as stated on NPOR. The organ is almost in original condition, is very rarely played, and is very unreliable these days. The console is still marked with soot, as a result of candles being used to illuminate proceedings, and the current tuning book goes back to 1936..........

 

A plaque on the instrument states that it was restored in 1895, and it seems likely that the Keraulophon was added at this time, as the stobknob is postioned at the top of the single column of Great stops (above the Fifteenth), not with the other 8' stops as would be expected. As I recall, the tone is similar to a very quiet Diapason. See N13934 on NPOR.

 

Graham

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There used to be an example of this stop in the 1904 Hill organ of St Paul's Bury, Lancs:

 

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N01512

 

The stop was placed on the Choir division, and conformed to Audsley’s description. It was of narrow scale and produced very keen, slightly reedy string sound. It was also one of only two spotted metal ranks in the organ, the other being the Swell Oboe. Interestingly, informed opinion was that this stop (along with the Pedal Open, Great Large Diapason and a few other odds and ends) might have been retained from the original instrument, built by Jackson of Liverpool in the 1840s. The stop was not, strictly speaking called ‘Keraulophon’, as there was what appeared to be a Greek character used in place of the ‘r’ on the stop knob (I can’t remember which character - it’s getting on for twenty years since I played this organ, and any opportunity to do so again has long passed). This was a wonderful instrument, which could and should have been saved.

 

The organ that I use for teaching:

 

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N04388

 

contains a Keraulophon on the Swell. The sound of this stop is indistinguishable from that of a Salicional.

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There's an example near here, on the 2 manual Hill (1870-ish) at St James, Titsey, Surrey. The church is owned by the Titsey Foundation, and is not redundant as stated on NPOR. The organ is almost in original condition, is very rarely played, and is very unreliable these days. The console is still marked with soot, as a result of candles being used to illuminate proceedings, and the current tuning book goes back to 1936..........

 

A plaque on the instrument states that it was restored in 1895, and it seems likely that the Keraulophon was added at this time, as the stobknob is postioned at the top of the single column of Great stops (above the Fifteenth), not with the other 8' stops as would be expected. As I recall, the tone is similar to a very quiet Diapason. See N13934 on NPOR.

 

Graham

 

Hi Graham

 

Have you kinformed NPOR of the current situation? It's probable that whoever sent us the info had been told that the organ was redundant, and no-one has bothered to tell us any different. An e-mail to the NPOR office would be helpful (quoting source of your info if relevant).

 

Many Thanks

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Greetings,

 

    ...I am a bit mistrustful of Audsley and some of the other sources frequently cited by the web site; especially Audsley though, as he seemed to be a theoretician with an axe to grind...

 

   

 

Perhaps just a little bit harsh writing off Audsley like this?

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Hi Graham

 

Have you kinformed NPOR of the current situation?  It's probable that whoever sent us the info had been told that the organ was redundant, and no-one has bothered to tell us any different.  An e-mail to the NPOR office would be helpful (quoting source of your info if relevant).

 

Many Thanks

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

Dear Tony,

 

Thanks for this - I'll pass the information to the NPOR office as requested.

 

Graham

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Greetings,

 

    I am very curious to know about the Keraulophon and how it is constructed.  Does this stop create a unique timbre or is it born out of affectation?  Can it be paired with a celeste?  :lol:

 

      Best,

 

            Nathan

 

 

There was one at St Botolph's Aspley Guise http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=D02015

 

which I remember from when I first started playing in 1960. I never quite understood what the point of it was. It wasn't a diapason, it wasn't a flute, it wasn't a string..and now (since the re-build) it isn't at all. My memories of that particular instrument are dominated by the heaviness of the tracker action. I remember failing to operate one of the combination pedals. It was so heavy that when I pressed it I was lifted up off the bench, but it stayed put. But I was lighter than I am now...

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The Keraulophon was an early attempt at string tone, but whereas most string stops (Gamba, Salicional etc) have a slot near the top the K. had a round hole. I have only ever seen one, on a Gray and Davison if I recall correctly, but it was a long time ago and I don't recall the church. It sounds, as others have said, like a mild string.

 

Regards to all

 

John

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I was sure I'd played an instrument with one of these, and it suddenly came to me it was St. Mary, East Grinstead with a Hunter of approx 1900:

 

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N15403

 

The instrument was recently restored by F.H.Browne and Sons I think. I shall ask Herr Direktor of the church tomorrow when I see him to give me his thoughts on this rather strange stop..

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Perhaps just a little bit harsh writing off Audsley like this?

 

Greetings,

 

I don't think so; Audsley was in favor of throwing out just about every convention that builders worked to establish - to the point that he even criticized the Hill instrument at Centennial Hall, Sydney:

 

"There had never before been so grand an opportunity in the organ-building world for the production of a truly great work, displaying all the science and art connected with organ construction and tonal appointment, as that afforded by the Competition for the Organ to be placed in Centennial Hall, Sydney, N.S.W., and yet that golden opportunity passed without establishing a single noteworthy step in tonal appointment, save in the mere matter of size, in advance of what had been achieved long before ... To the reader who has studied our views annent the tonal appointment of the Concert-room Organ, as clearly enunciated in our Chapter on that form of instrument, a glance at the above Specification will be sufficient to show how impossible it would be for us to say anything in high commendation of the tonal appointment therein."

 

In other words, with almost no practical experience whatsoever, Audlsey desired to subject the entire organ world to radical changes along lines conjured up in the back of his mind; thereby adding yet another level of translation required to simply negotiate his wacky divisional groupings to then deal with whatever strange pipework he advocated. Aside from the pretty technical drawings, I therefore take anything Mr. Audsley has to say with a grain of salt, and caution.

 

 

Come to think of it, Audlsey wasn't unlike Emerson Richards and his abomination in Atlantic City!

 

Best,

 

Nathan

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I was sure I'd played an instrument with one of these, and it suddenly came to me it was St. Mary, East Grinstead with a Hunter of approx 1900:

 

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N15403

 

The instrument was recently restored by F.H.Browne and Sons I think. I shall ask Herr Direktor of the church tomorrow when I see him to give me his thoughts on this rather strange stop..

 

Hi

 

Keraulophons are not really that rare. I've come across a few over the years. It seems that they were fashionable for a while - the chamber organ in my church had one when it first came here - it appears that it had replaced the Stopped Diapason Treble at some point in the organ's history. (Our current organist has put a rather uninspiring flute on the slide at present.) When the organ is restored (hopefully in the VERY near future) we have to decide if the Keraulophon goes back in, or if we revert to a Stopped Diapason (the current favoured option).

 

We have the Keraulophon pipes in store - they are narrow scale pipes with a circular hole near the top.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Hi

 

Keraulophons are not really that rare.  I've come across a few over the years.  It seems that they were fashionable for a while - the chamber organ in my church had one when it first came here - it appears that it had replaced the Stopped Diapason Treble at some point in the organ's history.  (Our current organist has put a rather uninspiring flute on the slide at present.)  When the organ is restored (hopefully in the VERY near future) we have to decide if the Keraulophon goes back in, or if we revert to a Stopped Diapason (the current favoured option).

 

We have the Keraulophon pipes in store - they are narrow scale pipes with a circular hole near the top.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

This is very interesting - if you decide that you do not wish to re-instate them, please let me know!

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This is very interesting - if you decide that you do not wish to re-instate them, please let me know!

 

Hi

 

As part of the organ's history, we will be retaining the pipes in store. Also, I've not heard them, but I'm told that it's a pretty poor-toned example (but that could be the organist's prejudice!). Sorry!

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Hi

 

As part of the organ's history, we will be retaining the pipes in store.  Also, I've not heard them, but I'm told that it's a pretty poor-toned example (but that could be the organist's prejudice!).  Sorry!

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

Ah well - it was worth a try!

 

Thank you for your reply, in any case.

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Greetings,

 

Interestingly enough, when I tuned the local Whitelegg Moller last week, the Choir Dulciana was slotted but also had circular holes on the opposite side of the tuning slot!

 

Best,

 

Nathan (Waiting for another Richard O. Whitelegg to come across the pond!)

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk

I know several Keraulophons and in two organs where I moved things around, the Keraulophons were deliberately retained.

 

The tone is a little more reedy - as in 'more like an organ Oboe' - than your typical Salicional. As others have remarked, the pipes feature a hole at the top - between 3/8 and 3/4" in diameter and for the most part quite ordinary in construction - wider than a Salicional and narrower than a small Diapason. There is one snag, which is why I think several have gone by the wall. The hole is usually in a pipe-metal tuning slide. This does not stay in place quite as well as the usual tin-plate tuning slide, being heavier and with much less spring. Consequently not only do they need tuning more often, but they are harder to tune because a tuner's reed-knife blow to the underside of the tuning slide often results in a bruised tuning slide and no change in pitch!

 

I like the sound very much, and to answer the main question on the first posting in this topic, they make absolutely splendid celestes - maybe a bit big (not that that matters if your swell-box closes properly) but full of character. A Keraulophon celeste is exactly what I ended up with in both organs - to name then: Holy Trinity, Stroud (the K. is Nicholson pipework) and St.Mary's Hay-on-Wye (Bevington). If I had been really bold I would have de-tuned them even more that I did - they could quite easily sound like French Accordions.

 

Hope this helps. In short, your tuner may want rid of a Keraulophon - or a chimney flute tuned by the ears, but you should keep them!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mr Mander may be able to help with this one. There's one on Birmingham Town Hall organ, which i think started life in 1834 as an open diapason, and was converted in 1890 into a Keraulophon, and then converted back in 1933 to the Swell Open Diapason II, then reversed again in 1982 when the organ was rebuilt by Manders. I can't say I have knowlingly heard it myself.

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