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Pistons


John Robinson

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As a non-playing member of this forum (my interests are mainly design and history), I would be grateful if anyone with practical experience could advise me of the comparative usefulness of different types of piston.

 

As I understand it, there are basically three methods of rapidly changing combinations of registers:

 

divisional pistons

general pistons

sequencers

 

I assume that sequencers have great value when preparing for a recital, where one can step through an entire programme of music using only one piston, but what are the merits of divisional pistons as opposed to generals?

 

The consoles of most English 'cathedral-sized' instruments always seem to include divisional pistons whereas the Germans appear often to avoid them, many consoles having general thumb pistons beneath the lowest manual only, presumably to allow the manuals to be placed closer together.

 

Can anyone explain this difference in approach to accessing combinations? What are your personal preferences? With the potential of programming thousands of general combinations (using modern digital systems), are divisional pistons redundant?

 

On a similar theme, what are your opinions of thumb pistons duplicating the stop controls for individual couplers?

 

John

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Can anyone explain this difference in approach to accessing combinations?  What are your personal preferences?  With the potential of programming thousands of general combinations (using modern digital systems), are divisional pistons redundant?

 

On a similar theme, what are your opinions of thumb pistons duplicating the stop controls for individual couplers?

 

John

 

Personally I use divisionals for setting up common combinations on each manual, to give me a reasonably smooth crescendo from pp to ff, as I'm sure most people do.

 

I use generals for setting up "solo" setups or one off, quirky registrations. At least I would if the generals on my current instrument were settable without it blowing up in a fit of sparks.

 

Sequencers are handy not just in recitals, but also in accompaniment, if you have a piece that requires a number of registration changes, you just keep kicking "next", without having to think over much, so you can concentrate on getting the notes mostly right and at the right time.

 

Thumb pistons for couplers are useful, depending on the console layout. I use gt-ped quite a lot, and sw-ch on my current instrument. Certainly having some form of getting gt-ped without having to take hands off is very handy, whether thumb or toe driven.

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As a non-playing member of this forum (my interests are mainly design and history), I would be grateful if anyone with practical experience could advise me of the comparative usefulness of different types of piston.

 

As I understand it, there are basically three methods of rapidly changing combinations of registers:

 

divisional pistons

general pistons

sequencers

 

I assume that sequencers have great value when preparing for a recital, where one can step through an entire programme of music using only one piston, but what are the merits of divisional pistons as opposed to generals?

 

The consoles of most English 'cathedral-sized' instruments always seem to include divisional pistons whereas the Germans appear often to avoid them, many consoles having general thumb pistons beneath the lowest manual only, presumably to allow the manuals to be placed closer together.

 

Can anyone explain this difference in approach to accessing combinations?  What are your personal preferences?  With the potential of programming thousands of general combinations (using modern digital systems), are divisional pistons redundant?

 

On a similar theme, what are your opinions of thumb pistons duplicating the stop controls for individual couplers?

 

John

 

 

=======================

 

 

I have never personally played an organ with a sequencer, and really wouldn't welcome one, unless they do things I cannot imagine.

 

Nevertheless, I'm the sort of person who would prefer driving a Lotus 7 to an all-singing, all-dancing electronic BMW.

 

I understand divisional pistons well, and I can use them to good effect, even if they don't absolutely covering every possible nuance of registration for a particular piece of music.

 

The duplication of coupler-control using pistons (both toe and thumb) is extremely useful; especially in accompaniment-work, and the samer goes for individual regiter pistons such as 16ft Ophicleide, Tuba etc.

 

Diverting a little, the old Brindley & Foster pneumatic "Brindgradus" system is worth a look at, because this was a sort of English use of the German "kegladen". I don't think the system ever really caught on, but it made certain pre-sets available back in the 19th century.

 

Carlo Curley displayed a slightly wicked sense of humour, when I complained that I couldn't find a Great & Pedal Combinations Coupled stop on his Allen Touring Organ.

 

"Oh no! Did we forget something?"

 

Of course, I didn't realise that the American systems have the Pedal combinations acting as double-touch on the Great manual pistons.

 

It's all about ergonomics, and I personally quite like double-touch devices, which are super-abundant on theatre-organs.

 

People often say that the most comfortable consoles are those by Harrison & Harrison, and they are splendid. However, for the most carefully thought-out and ingenious stop and regiustration control, I personally think that the Hill, Norman & Beard stop-key consoles took some beating, with their divisional canceller bars and solo cancelling devices.

 

They took a little getting used to, but lightning-speed changes of registration were possible.

 

For absolute ergonomic perfection, I don't think anyone has ever improved on the really big theatre-organ consoles, which can (and often do) have in excess of 200 tabs (twice that in the bigger American installations).

 

MM

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Personally I use divisionals for setting up common combinations on each manual, to give me a reasonably smooth crescendo from pp to ff, as I'm sure most people do.

 

I use generals for setting up "solo" setups or one off, quirky registrations.

That about sums it up, I think.

 

Generals are invaluable for sudden, large registration changes that would otherwise require you to out-gyrate an olympic gymnast.

 

I can't be doing with sequencers. I just don't trust 'em. Forget to press the piston just once at the intended spot and you're stuffed. I once heard a performance of Guilmant's Sonata no.1 by an eminent recitalist grind to a halt on page 2. There followed much thumping of pistons, after which the hapless performer turned to the audience and apologised for "a problem with the sequencer". I know of one other recitalist who won't touch them because they are apt to lose their memories.

 

Then there are "steppers", which are like sequencers, but different somehow. Don't ask me how - I'm a Luddite when it comes to these things. Perhaps someone can explain.

 

I rarely use thumb pistons for the couplers, but I find a foot piston for Gt to Ped indispensible. Likewise, on a large organ I find a Gt and Ped Combs coupled piston essential, but a Ped to Sw Pistons merely disruptive; I never use it.

 

Of course, I didn't realise that the American systems have the Pedal combinations acting as double-touch on the Great manual pistons.
Are you absolutely positive about that, MM? If so, I'm amazed I've never stumbled across it. I remember one occasion when I had to do an Evensong at Washington Cathedral. I was on tour with a choir (not mine). We flew into Washington at 10.30 in the evening. Rehearsal time was at a premium and there was no option but to head straight for the cathedral. We arrived there at 11 p.m. I had precious few minutes to set up my pistons. Surveying the 140-odd stops, I noted the three different Swell Organ divisions, the two floating Baroque divisions, the thirteen Pedal reeds (including the 64' Bombarde Basse) and the rest - but no Gt and Ped Combs coupled. With a hint of dismay I commented on this to the assistant organist. He mused: "Ah, yes... I know what you mean. No, we don't have them here." I would like to think he would have mentioned double touch if it had been available! If double touch pistons are normal there, I feel sure I would have discovered it at some point, even if only by accident, but I haven't.

 

Oh yes. Against all the odds, perhaps, the evensong went superbly.

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk

Ah, Pistons - good topic!

 

Assuming that you are not spoiling a historic console, it is worth having a decent piston stystem installed on every instrument over about 15 stops. The cost is pretty small - once you have solenoids behind the stops, which is the expensive factor. I need a major piston system for my home-built monster having practiced for nearly ten years now on a job with no pistons that work properly. Shopping around, I have found suppliers who will give me a solid state system of more than 16 memories to cover more than 100 speaking stops at under £10k.

 

My pet hates are black pistons with white lettering, which (once a layer of grime has been laid down) are virtually impossible to read. I also used to dislike the HN&B cubes because they used to catch my knuckles, although they looked rather nice and couldn't unwind themselves or play the upside-down game like conventional pistons.

 

For all but the very largest instrument, I would have thought that six to eight pistons for each manual and eight to ten generals ought to be plenty. The difficulty about having more than 8 divisionals is that they tend to get grouped rather close together - the essential is that they remain under the normal playing position, and have to be more-or-less reachable by either hand. In practice this puts them between middle C and treble E or so.

 

Considering how long builders have been supplying generals, it is a pity that there are still wide deviations in what is considered convenient or comfortable. A row above the top manual might look pretty, but they can be a long way away if you're playing on the Choir. Most often one sees them grouped together down one end, but this could be bettered: for instance, in the Bass keyslip (which make better musical sense) they become awkward for the right hand to reach. We are talking, after all, about registration aids which are at their most useful when you are in a real hurry. This doesn't have to be a case of a crotchet rest for one hand in a Reger fugue, it could be simply the need for a really special 'final verse' setting in a hymn.

 

I reckon the best provision is where there is a set of Generals duplicated both ends of the console - say 1-4 under the Swell manual and 5-8 under the Great. That's still only 16 extra pistons to accomodate. Want more Generals? Have lots more memories!

 

I have only used a Sequencer proper a couple of times and the biggest problem (other than getting my brain round the technology) is the length of time it takes to set them. I would far rather have Generals (several sets) with a Stepper. For those who have not met Steppers, these are really easy to use and understand: all that happens is that by repeatedly using the same 'Advance' piston, you scroll through the Generals in order. Great! Sensible builders also supply a Retard piston which takes you back one if you've made a blunder.

 

Then again, the builders still have their own 'clever' places to put these Advance pistons. At any rate, you need more than one. At Westminster Cathedral (for instance) I think there are five - two below the Swell, more or less either end of the divisional pistons and two below the Great (Ditto). There is also a toe piston.

 

The Advance toe piston is often the most useful of all, only I have sometimes seen it put exactly where one would expect Great to Pedal. At Southwell Minster Paul Hale has placed his Advance Toe Piston where your foot automatically catches it when you swing your right leg straight forward. That's the best place!

 

I would agree with comments above that all this technology brings problems with it. I have taken to checking pistons before recitals even when they have been locked overnight. I still find human error the most likely reason for a hitch. Commonest, I select my fabulous sound, work out which piston it should go on, find a bit of post-it note, stick it on the music and write the number down ..... and fail to press the setter piston. Come the recital, on the final page of a terrific crescendo we suddenly get an unexpected reduction to massed flutes at 8' pitch!

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Ah, Pistons - good topic!

...

I have only used a Sequencer proper a couple of times and the biggest problem (other than getting my brain round the technology) is the length of time it takes to set them.  I would far rather have Generals (several sets) with a Stepper.  For those who have not met Steppers, these are really easy to use and understand: all that happens is that by repeatedly using the same 'Advance' piston, you scroll through the Generals in order. Great!

Sorry, I'm being slow here. What's the difference to a sequencer then?

Sensible builders also supply a Retard piston which takes you back one if you've made a blunder.

Isn't that a bit harsh a name for a "blunder correcting" device? :D

 

Best,

Friedrich

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Divisionals:-

 

the great merit of these is flexibility. You don't need to programme them in advance for whatever piece you're going to play you can just play! Also if you get out of sync with your sequencer you may have little option but to go back to the good old divisionals. You can generally sit down at any organ and play in the expectation that the divisionals will give a crescendo of reasonable settings on each manual, whereas when visiting other organs you have no way of predicting what the generals will have been set up to do.

 

Generals:-

 

are particularly useful when you need to change several things in one go. For example if you have a Nunc Dimittis setting with a quiet ending followed immediately by a loud Gloria you can change swell, great and coupler combinations in a single button press. Also great for launching straight into a concluding voluntary after a hymn or whatever. The drawback, for me anyway, is that I tend to set generals for specific pieces and they have to be constanty reset if this is how you use them.

 

Steppers / sequencers:-

 

frightening to the unitiated, but absolutely wonderful in many circumstances. I do feel that performances loose some spontanaity, but this is compensated by the degree of certainty that you'll reproduce the sounds you've planned. Drawbacks are that you need plenty of time to set the things up. It may well at least double the time you need to practice and prepare as a visiting organist. Also, as one of the previous repondents has suggested, you must press the advance piston exactly as planned - miss one out in the heat of the moment and you've had it. You also need to be confident that the settings you're so carefully progamming during private practice will work when it comes to practicing with the choir. Conductors will rarely allow time for you to reprogramme the thing if they shout up "we could do with a bit more there" or whatever. You also need some system of noting in your copy exactly which sequence number you are on at any time so that when you're asked to go back to bar 76 you can put the sequencer back to the relevant setting. Of course, next time you play the piece, either because you're on a different organ or because you've reprogrammed those settings in the mean time, all of you're previous markings are worthless and you'll have to rub them out and start again.

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Divisionals:-

 

the great merit of these is flexibility.

Generals:-

 

are particularly useful when you need to change several things in one go.

 

Steppers / sequencers:-

 

frightening to the unitiated, but absolutely wonderful in many circumstances.

 

==================

 

Sorry to snip the post so!

 

However, I hope everyone doesn't think I'm harping-on about theatre-organs for the sake of it, but the art of theatre-organ, orchestral playing, depends to a massive extent on great dynamic contrasts and colour changes of registration in a way that the classical-organ never does.

 

Only two English theatre-organists command my absolute respect, but Simon Gledhill and Richard Hills do; the others now being largely deceased. I think Simon Gledhill "more or less" registers by hand, and watching his console-control is quite an experience; especially on a 4-manual with 200 tabs at his disposal.

 

I don't know whether it would be physically possible to do the same thing at Liverpool Cathedral or at the Albert Hall, but it's the equivalent in musical terms.

 

It begs the question, as to whether organists to-day, have that same ability and mastery of the organ-console as did those who grew up with big concert-style instruments.

 

MM

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Steppers / sequencers:-

 

frightening to the unitiated, but absolutely wonderful in many circumstances. I do feel that performances loose some spontanaity, but this is compensated by the degree of certainty that you'll reproduce the sounds you've planned. Drawbacks are that you need plenty of time to set the things up. It may well at least double the time you need to practice and prepare as a visiting organist. Also, as one of the previous repondents has suggested, you must press the advance piston exactly as planned - miss one out in the heat of the moment and you've had it.

 

 

A number of modern installations now have an advance button discreetly placed at the side of the console for use by the page turner/registrant.

 

At a recent recital here in Ripon a lady organist from overseas played the Elgar Sonata with kaleidoscopic changes of registration almost every other note, yet without once touching a single piston or stop. At end the end I felt her very busy (and attentive) page turner should have taken a bow as well!

 

JS

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Many thanks to all who responded. This has been most enlightening. :rolleyes:

 

From the information you have kindly supplied, I assume that 'steppers' move through the generals as set whereas 'sequencers' provide a series of combinations completely independent from the generals. I had previously thought that they were the same thing.

 

One question that remains, if you will excuse my persistence, is how do the Germans manage so well without (usually) the benefit of divisional pistons? From your responses, divisionals seem to be the most useful option on most occasions.

 

John

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk

[

 

One question that remains, if you will excuse my persistence, is how do the Germans manage so well without (usually) the benefit of divisional pistons?

 

 

 

Obviously there will be exceptions but the answer seems fairly obvious to me, i.e.

they are rarely called upon to accompany the same sort of music as we use over here. There is also a tradition of console assistants where older (non-gadget-aided) consoles are involved.

 

When it comes to solo repertoire, a generals or hand registration system works very well for the stuff that most German organists actually play. It even works for French works which are getting to be as popular with keen players there as here. A limit of only three free combinations could still give you

1. Fonds de 8p

2. Fonds 16 8 4 avec Anches Recit

3. Tutti (less your brightest Mixtures)

Just change manuals or add/subtract couplers and that covers most big movements!

 

P.

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A limit of only three free combinations could still give you

1. Fonds de 8p

2. Fonds 16 8 4 avec Anches Recit

3. Tutti (less your brightest Mixtures)

Just change manuals or add/subtract couplers and that covers most big movements!

 

This also takes us back to the old pre set Victorian composition pedals which many of us still use on instruments of a reasonable size. A seemingly unexciting set of combination settings becomes all one needs when one considers the stops and couplers one draws (or withdraws) by hand above and beyond these. The section on combination pedals in the essay below by the late Julian Rhodes sums this up albeit on a very small instrument - a particular favourite of mine however.

 

http://www.ondamar.demon.co.uk/essays/kilk.htm

 

AJJ

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Many thanks to all who responded.  This has been most enlightening.  :rolleyes:

 

From the information you have kindly supplied, I assume that 'steppers' move through the generals as set whereas 'sequencers' provide a series of combinations completely independent from the generals.  I had previously thought that they were the same thing.

 

One question that remains, if you will excuse my persistence, is how do the Germans manage so well without (usually) the benefit of divisional pistons?  From your responses, divisionals seem to be the most useful option on most occasions.

 

John

 

======================

 

German organs (and many Czech/Polish ones) still include the "rollschweller" foot-control, which is a bit like having a lot of general pistons operating across the entire dynamic-range from "ppp" to "fff".

 

Perhaps someone can tell me for certain, but don't the "free-combinations" operate on the thumb-pistons independently of this?

 

That should give all sorts of possibilities, including specific pre-sets for particular combinations of stops and sounds.

 

Although I've HEARD a few romantic German organs live, I've yet to have the pleasure of actually sitting at one, so perhaps Barry or Friederich could enlighten us further.

 

MM

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This also takes us back to the old pre set Victorian composition pedals which many of us still use on instruments of a reasonable size. A seemingly unexciting set of combination settings becomes all one needs when one considers the stops and couplers one draws (or withdraws) by hand above and beyond these. The section on combination pedals in the essay below by the late Julian Rhodes sums this up albeit on a very small instrument - a particular favourite of mine however.

 

http://www.ondamar.demon.co.uk/essays/kilk.htm

 

AJJ

 

 

================

 

Even better, the old Binns patent "adjustable combination pedals" which could be changed by setting the desired stops, and then, by briefly pulling a setter-stop which worked pneumatic setter-motors, the combination would be set-up to match a particular combination-pedal.

 

Was this the first use of instantly adjustable combination devices in England, I wonder?

 

They were awfully good!

 

MM

 

MM

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======================

German organs (and many Czech/Polish ones) still include the "rollschweller" foot-control, which is a bit like having a lot of general pistons operating  across the entire dynamic-range from "ppp" to "fff".

Perhaps someone can tell me for certain, but don't the "free-combinations" operate on the thumb-pistons independently of this?...

In German romantic organs, you need to engage the Rollschweller with a piston if you want to use it. Choosing a Freie Kombination after that, in turn, would disengage the Rollschweller. You could indeed talk of the Crescendo as one specific kind of Kombination.

 

In his essay "Deutsche und französische Orgelkunst und Orgelbaukunst" (On German and French organ music, playing and organbuilding) Albert Schweitzer, by the way, suggests to design the stop action in a way that allows the player to choose if the Freie Kombination should a: disengage all stops already drawn, or b: be added to the drawn stops. He envisioned a combination action that combines the advantages of the Freie Kombination and of the Appels des Anches.

 

Best,

Friedrich

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In a large part of Europe the freely programmable pistons are known as Setzer-combinations. Sequencer is a play-memory, a device that records what you have played, so that you can go to the nave and listen to the organ playing what you just played.

 

In my organ there is an unlimited number of Setzer-combinations, and the number of the current combination (=piston) is shown on a small display over the top manual. So it is really not possible to get lost. It is also possible to save a combination between two existing ones, for example between 1 and 2 there can be 1.1 or 1.224 or whatever. Then there are the combination lists, which are named A001 to Z999. Each list can have an unlimited number of combinations and the combinations can be copied and moved from a list to another like with the Windows clipboard. So it is possible to store every registration of every piece you ever play, and you can get them anytime you want and assemble them for a recital programme, for example. Each player has his unique user name and password, so every time you come to the organ, the console is "empty" and you only have access to your own registrations.

 

Sounds complicated and technical maybe, but this system is really versatile and I wouldn't change it for anything.

 

Btw I also have the Divisionals and generals, but they are almost never used. It is simpler to program a straightforward sequence of combinations for every piece.

 

The organ and console can be seen at http://kotisivu.mtv3.fi/marko.hakanpaa/mikaelin-engl.htm

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In a large part of Europe the freely programmable pistons are known as Setzer-combinations. Sequencer is a play-memory, a device that records what you have played, so that you can go to the nave and listen to the organ playing what you just played.

 

In my organ there is an unlimited number of Setzer-combinations, and the number of the current combination (=piston) is shown on a small display over the top manual. So it is really not possible to get lost. It is also possible to save a combination between two existing ones, for example between 1 and 2 there can be 1.1 or 1.224 or whatever. Then there are the combination lists, which are named A001 to Z999. Each list can have an unlimited number of combinations and the combinations can be copied and moved from a list to another like with the Windows clipboard. So it is possible to store every registration of every piece you ever play, and you can get them anytime you want and assemble them for a recital programme, for example. Each player has his unique user name and password, so every time you come to the organ, the console is "empty" and you only have access to your own registrations.

 

Sounds complicated and technical maybe, but this system is really versatile and I wouldn't change it for anything.

 

Btw I also have the Divisionals and generals, but they are almost never used. It is simpler to program a straightforward sequence of combinations for every piece.

 

The organ and console can be seen at http://kotisivu.mtv3.fi/marko.hakanpaa/mikaelin-engl.htm

 

I wouldn't mind this every Sunday!!

 

AJJ

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I wouldn't mind this every Sunday!!

 

AJJ

 

When modern electronic transmissions were developed with a simple two wire main cable, it became possible to fit a recording/playback system that enabled a performance to be recorded and played back. If the instrument had electric swell box control it would work these dynamics as well.

 

Of course the instrument must have electric action and when first introduced the concept was immediately condemed by the then `tracker' school as a terrible invention that might encourage organist to waver from the `must be mechanical action regime' and did much to ridicule it.

 

The advantages are obvious. You can listen to what you are playing - invaluable to recitalists, teachers and students.

 

If you were making a record or doing a broadcast you could ensure that your best performance was recorded and stored so that when the recording engineers arrived, wastage time was kept to a minimum and when a fire engine or police car went past and ruined a `take' it was a simple task to re-record the intended performance.

 

There was the feeling that this device would put organists out of work and as anyone who has experienced trying to get a congregation to keep with `recorded hymns' knows it is easier said than done. Unfortunately some organists seem to have a Luddite streak in their makeup but some have vision, even to the extent these days of putting in dual actions in instruments when necessary.

 

A very eminent organist condemed the system as it was not a `live' performace that was eventually heard - but seemed to miss the point that it was when recorded - but then we didn't have proper pedalboards and pedal organs until the mid 1800's.

 

FF

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When modern electronic transmissions were developed with a simple two wire main cable, it became possible to fit a recording/playback system that enabled a performance to be recorded and played back. If the instrument had electric swell box control it would work these dynamics as well.

 

Of course the instrument must have electric action and when first introduced the concept was immediately condemed by the then `tracker' school as a terrible invention that might encourage organist to waver from the `must be mechanical action regime' and did much to ridicule it.

 

The advantages are obvious. You can listen to what you are playing - invaluable to recitalists, teachers and students.

 

FF

I must be honest, I find the record/playback facility on my Clavinova very useful - for listening to my performances and occasionally for special effects - like playing a duet or even doing the "look, no hands" trick... I find it far more convienent than frigging around setting up microphones, MD recorders, etc, which I need to do on the organ - just hit a button and off you go...

 

However, despite the features of a clavinova, I still hanker after a proper grand piano and I wouldn't dream of defacing my lovely new, all mechanical, organ when it arrives with electronic paraphanalia to enable playback features.

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I must be honest, I find the record/playback facility on my Clavinova very useful - for listening to my performances and occasionally for special effects - like playing a duet or even doing the "look, no hands" trick... I find it far more convienent than frigging around setting up microphones, MD recorders, etc, which I need to do on the organ - just hit a button and off you go...

 

However, despite the features of a clavinova, I still hanker after a proper grand piano and I wouldn't dream of defacing my lovely new, all mechanical, organ when it arrives with electronic paraphanalia to enable playback features.

 

You are quite right Colin - a fine tracker organ should not be tampered with but if you have electric action why not take advantage of what is available. I knew one organist who took great delight in playing the Soler (two organ) Sonatas, one part recorded on one manual and played back, the other part played live on the second manual. This was a bit of a kamakasi situation as there are some four bar rests in the music in some places and being able to keep strict tempo and the ability to count is necessary.

 

Do tell us about your impending arrival.

 

Best wishes,

 

Frank

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A very eminent organist condemed the system as it was not a `live' performace that was eventually heard - but seemed to miss the point that it was when recorded - but then we didn't have proper pedalboards and pedal organs until the mid 1800's.

 

FF

 

I’d rather have a “Recorded Live performance” than none at all.

 

I understand that a good tracker organ is a gem to play, but I fail to understand the Luddite tendencies displayed by many organists. Chichester is a fine example of a good tracker organ but many cathedral organs couldn’t exist with tracker action due to placement/space available.

 

:)

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I’d rather have a “Recorded Live performance” than none at all.

 

I understand that a good tracker organ is a gem to play, but I fail to understand the Luddite tendencies displayed by many organists.  Chichester is a fine example of a good tracker organ but many cathedral organs couldn’t exist with tracker action due to placement/space available.

 

:)

 

==================

 

There was a time when you could just jump on an organ, draw stops and play something.

 

Nowadays, we have electronic everything and levels of memory which exceed all the know organ-repertoire ever written.

 

What is the point of this?

 

I was driving my friend's new sports-car the other week. It has everything a man, his partner and his dog could ever require......electric mirrors, automatic seat positioning, GPS navigation, gearbox mode switching, traction control, ABS, cruise-control.

 

It also cost about the same as a modest two-manual organ.

 

I drove a 100 miles, and it took 3 hours to get there....and why?

 

Simply because it took me an hour to work everything out, half-an-hour to find the radio station I wanted, and then the actual drive to my destination.

 

I don't want all this electronic stuff, because I don't understand it. If my life is made better by something I am happy to go along with it, but the motoring equivalent of the "simple" tracker-organ, would be arriving at the destination in an old Lotus 7, grinning from ear to ear with flies stuck in my teeth.

 

I would have done that journey in about an hour and a half I guess.

 

As Pierre points out, there is no progress!

 

MM

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I don't want all this electronic stuff, because I don't understand it. If my life is made better by something I am happy to go along with it, but the motoring equivalent of the "simple" tracker-organ, would be arriving at the destination in an old Lotus 7, grinning from ear to ear with flies stuck in my teeth.

 

I would have done that journey in about an hour and a half I guess.

 

 

MM

 

 

A Lotus 7, a beautiful and fine car. :)

 

In the hands of a good driver I’ve no doubt a speedy and pleasant journey would be had but too much right foot on a wet roundabout, ouch. :)

 

You don’t have to understand technology to embrace it. You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) replace all things mechanical with modern technology. But if it’s there, why not use it? :P

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