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Octave Coupler on a One Manual Tracker Organ

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1 hour ago, Vox Humana said:

I may be reading this incorrectly, but it comes over as a tad arrogant - or at the very least smug. (Perhaps it's the use of the word 'snowflakes', which can be liberally applied to whichever point of view you don't currently agree with.)

Their stance is indicative of quite a few on quite a few topics these days. Almost passive agressive!

A

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Vox and AJJ. You both are quite correct. The couple's statement to me came over as quite defensive rather than outright arrogant as they know that my own tastes for liturgy, not reflected in the all services for which I play,  cease somewhere around Cranmer. The "you'd hate it" phrase, whilst perfectly true did smack of an attitude that they were more in touch with today's church than I, an old-fashioned stick-kicker.

I do though have sympathy with the over-cautious language used by some folk when talking to or about less advantaged people. It's a bit like the way well-meaning enquiries about the health of one we know to be very ill are all too often accompanied with a head leant to one side and a felicitous smile whereas the sufferer may prefer a straightforward question such as "How's the chemo(therapy) making you feel?"

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At one church where I played regularly earlier this century I tried to fit myself round the likes and dislikes of as many factions (if that's the right word) which I identifed in the congregation.  There were those who plainly were traditionalists and enjoyed having the organ, and sometimes my introductory music was simply a segwayed medley of hymn tunes played quietly rather than pieces from the organ repertoire.  This clearly worked on at least one occasion when a very elderly lady came up to the console after the service, supported by her daughter, who said touchingly with tears in her eyes how much she had enjoyed hearing the old tunes which her father used to play on the reed organ at home when she was a little girl.  On other occasions I would sometimes play the piano rather than the organ, such as for an impromptu Evensong when so few turned up that the vicar thought it would be better if we all occupied the chancel.  On that occasion only the hymns were accompanied.  That went down well also, the lay reader commenting afterwards that "my word, an organist who deigns to play the piano.  We must have him stuffed!".  (I knew her well and it was said and meant entirely kindly).  Or sometimes I would willingly give the whole service over to a worship group who then did their own thing.

Despite all this, though, there were obviously some at that church for whom nothing would have been enough and who probably regarded me as a 'snowflake' - though I consciously did nothing as far as I am aware to encourage this view.  Some of these people were even in the choir, among those I would normally have regarded as friends and allies!  So in the end I gave up and left.  Yet even after that I got calls imploring me to come back for services such as weddings and funerals when presumably they couldn't get anyone else, which I turned down because I disliked being at the beck and call of those who thought they could use me as a convenience.

I suspect this story will resonate with some other members of the forum.  It's nothing to do with octave couplers but it does have a connection with the original poster's remarks above.

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I believe that a previous poster recommended removing the Dulciana in favour of a 4ft. flute of some description (a Harmonic Flute might be a good idea). I would certainly favour that over losing either the Stopped Diapason or the Claribel Flute. I must admit that I have never found a Dulciana to be the slightest use on any organ. I realise that this is a fairly small instrument, and there would be no very quiet register (assuming that the Dulciana is such a rank); however, to be able to swap between two different 8ft. flutes can be very useful.

Years ago, a local organ builder rebuilt a smallish two-clavier instrument in a small parish church a few miles from where I sit at the moment. Among other things, he removed the Stopped Diapason on the G.O., in order to put in a Fifteenth. This left a Dulciana and a robust Open Diapason as the only 8ft. registers. Playing this instrument is now rather frustrating. The Dulciana is colourless and far too small to be of any accompanimental use. And the loss of the Stopped Diapason is most keenly felt.

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Hi

I'd not want to lose a Stopped Diapason - but then, I play a lot of early English repertoire, and the combination of Open & Stopped Diapason is one of the core sounds, called for when the composer asks for "Diapasons".  As to the Dulciana, it depends on how it fits with the other stops.  It can be useful to accompany soft solo registrations on the Choir, or by itself - but if, as on one of my previous organs, it's nigh on inaudible, it really isn't worthwhile.  At Heaton Baptist I had the interesting situation that the Stopped Diapason was the quietest stop on the small chamber organ, yet it seemed to "grow" if used in combination, even working under Principal & Fifteenth for a mf-f bright combination.  There was a Dulciana, which we retained (it was a historic instrument after all) and it was useful either on its own for soft voluntaries, or to colour the St Diap.

Every Blessing

Tony

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I would never want to be without a stopped diapason.  For 20 odd years I played a small early 19th century chamber organ with ‘modern’ additions.  Admittedly in a tiny church, the SD was a staple stop and combined well with the (divided) open diapason.  The upperwork additions simply didn’t work with the original material.  Sadly, this little organ has now gone, replaced by a Wyvern digital.  The combination of stopped diapason and open diapason still works well on the Wyvern, but, unsurprisingly, it is the one combination which isn’t included in the pre-set pistons.  I find that with all the electronic gadgetry, I’m still hand registering 95% of the time.  (In case people wonder, I don’t have any facility to adjust the piston settings - there are four of us, and we share one locked channel.)

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