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16' String And Ii


Westgate Morris

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Hello: Two different questions.

 

Do you have a 16' Swell String on your church organ? The agrument is that it is very useful and not a luxury for the small church instrument.

Comments.

 

The Sesquialtera II. Why not have it as two stops - a 2 2/3 and 1 3/5? Would this not make things more flexible? What would be the advantage of having it as a single stop?

 

 

Questioner,

WM

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Guest Roffensis
Hello: Two different questions.

 

Do you have a 16' Swell String on your church organ? The agrument is that it is very useful and not a luxury for the small church instrument.

Comments.

 

The Sesquialtera II. Why not have it as two stops - a 2 2/3 and 1 3/5? Would this not make things more flexible? What would be the advantage of having it as a single stop?

Questioner,

WM

 

 

I have a 16 Contra Gamba on my Swell, and yes it is very useful indeed. It adds a wonderful growl when required, and is ideal for English music. I also think you are quite right to suggest the Sesq. drawing at the two independent pitches, it would be a bonus for Bach eg, and of course you can draw them together as required. It will also make them easier to tune.

 

R

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
Hello: Two different questions.

 

Do you have a 16' Swell String on your church organ? The agrument is that it is very useful and not a luxury for the small church instrument.

Comments.

 

The Sesquialtera II. Why not have it as two stops - a 2 2/3 and 1 3/5? Would this not make things more flexible? What would be the advantage of having it as a single stop?

Questioner,

WM

 

 

I agree with both these points. I do not have a 16' String (despite having 104 stops to choose from) and I wish I had. It's a special effect, but an excellent one in the right repertoire. You might bear in mind that the 16' basses are extremely difficult to make and voice. The best bet may well be to have conventional pipes down to CC (usually zinc for stability) and then have an octave of 'haskell basses' - open pipes with a special canister hanging within the top. This 1920/30s invention works for any open pipes and enables a 16' note to be gained from an 8' open pipe. You don't see them often, but most good firms know how to make them.

 

Your Sesquialtera point is fair, but .......bear in mind....

A proper Sesquialtera is made from Principal pipes; that is to say: split it up and you will get a Twelfth and Seventeenth, rather than and Nazard and a Tierce. Nazard and Tierce together are a Substitute for a Sesquialtera, but not the same thing.

 

Stop action is at least as expensive as pipes, so a properly designed Sesquialtera with ranks that cannot be drawn separately may still be a good idea. I believe that Goetze and Gwyn have made some where a different draw (of the stopknob - i.e. a half draw or a turn) can give the Twelfth rank alone - this may be the way to go.

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Guest delvin146
I have a 16 Contra Gamba on my Swell, and yes it is very useful indeed. It adds a wonderful growl when required, and is ideal for English music. I also think you are quite right to suggest the Sesq. drawing at the two independent pitches, it would be a bonus for Bach eg, and of course you can draw them together as required. It will also make them easier to tune.

 

R

 

I don't think it particularly matters whether the 16' is a flute or a string, provided it can add some weight and darkness without becoming overly muddy at the bass. Very useful for getting a full swell effect from an organ with no swell sub octave coupler by playing an octave down. A 16' is also totally necessary for victorian hymn tunes like "Eventide" and the like.

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Guest Roffensis

Your Sesquialtera point is fair, but .......bear in mind....

A proper Sesquialtera is made from Principal pipes; that is to say: split it up and you will get a Twelfth and Seventeenth, rather than and Nazard and a Tierce. Nazard and Tierce together are a Substitute for a Sesquialtera, but not the same thing.

 

True, but there ought to be "halfway house" that will suffice. I have found mixtures "divided" however. At least one was quite successful.

 

R

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The Sesquialter is not a Nasard+ Tierce, only the neo-baroques have believed that...

Besides being made of Principal pipes, it may have breaks, like in the classical flemish organ, or breaks plus more than two ranks (Hill!)

 

This stop is part of the Diapason chorus, not a fancy stop intended for "ti-ta-tu-taah" light music like people liked it in the 70's.

 

16' strings are of two kinds:

 

-Cutting strings like the Contra-Viole, basis of the Cornet de Viols,

a dissonant ensemble made for special, colourfull effects;

 

-Soft basses, never overwhelming, nor heavy.

 

Both kinds are to be borrowed for the Pedal, where you cannot have enough

nuancies at 16'.

 

Pierre

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I don't think it particularly matters whether the 16' is a flute or a string, provided it can add some weight and darkness without becoming overly muddy at the bass.

Well, that cuts out all the 16' flutes that I've met - with the arguable exception of the Sw. Quintadena at Windsor.

 

Very useful for getting a full swell effect from an organ with no swell sub octave coupler by playing an octave down.

Strewth, do people actually use sub-octave couplers to fake a full Swell? :o

 

A 16' is also totally necessary for victorian hymn tunes like "Eventide" and the like.

No it totally well isn't! :o

 

Sorry. I know there are people here who will violently disagree, but I think 16' flute stops need to be used very rarely and with the utmost discrimination - and suboctave couplers not at all (unless an extra octave of pipes has been provided - as if!)

 

Having said which, I think a 16' Sw. string could potentially be a very useful stop indeed - and perhaps more flexible than a 16' reed which would be my normal priority.

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You might bear in mind that the 16' basses are extremely difficult to make and voice. The best bet may well be to have conventional pipes down to CC (usually zinc for stability) and then have an octave of 'haskell basses' - open pipes with a special canister hanging within the top. This 1920/30s invention works for any open pipes and enables a 16' note to be gained from an 8' open pipe. You don't see them often, but most good firms know how to make them.

 

Another possibility is to use a Quintaten type bass. We (I was with HNB at the time) installed a small two manual with such an 8' bass in a Leatherhead church some years ago, and the break was next to inaudible. Haskell basses tend to b a bit 'breathy'.

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- and suboctave couplers not at all (unless an extra octave of pipes has been provided - as if!)

 

Here we go with absolute statements again! Thousands of fine a not so fine organs have them and organists good and bad do use them. It's like saying never ever eat fish. Is why I so many organists don't get along? I'd rather walk into a room full of singers than a room full of organists!

 

WM

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Here we go with absolute statements again! Thousands of fine a not so fine organs have them and organists good and bad do use them. It's like saying never ever eat fish. Is why I so many organists don't get along?
Yebbut. It's how you use them. Just because they are there doesn't mean they are musical. They do have their uses, but it never ceases to amaze me how organists are so often oblivious to the completely unmusical effect of the missing pipes in the bottom octave. So many just don't listen to the effects they are producing. Same with superoctave couplers.

 

I'd rather walk into a room full of singers than a room full of organists!

Me too! <_<
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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Lee Blick

Personally I don't find 16ft Bourdons in swell boxes particularly useful in a general chorus because they can be too cloying at the bottom end. A soft 16ft string can be useful if used with an 8ft string particularly if you add a string Celeste and even 4ft string. It can make lovely celestial 'full swell'.

 

I can understand Westgate Morris's suggestion of using 16ft manual strings in hymns such as Eventide. It can add a certain weight to the chorus without being too muddy, especially if the hymn is played fairly slowly in a big church with a large congregation. Of course it depends on the organ, acoustics, the congregation and the organist!

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I don't think it particularly matters whether the 16' is a flute or a string, provided it can add some weight and darkness without becoming overly muddy at the bass. Very useful for getting a full swell effect from an organ with no swell sub octave coupler by playing an octave down. A 16' is also totally necessary for victorian hymn tunes like "Eventide" and the like.

Just for the record it was 'delvin146' that was suggesting that a 16' is necessary for the Victorian EVENTIDE.

 

Westgate Morris

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Here we go with absolute statements again! Thousands of fine a not so fine organs have them and organists good and bad do use them. It's like saying never ever eat fish. Is why I so many organists don't get along? I'd rather walk into a room full of singers than a room full of organists!

 

WM

 

 

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

 

Well, guilty as charged!

 

Even on an organ without a sub-octave Swell coupler, I have been known to drop the left-hand down an octave and achieve the same full-swell effect; especially when I had 16ft Violone which fairly growled in the bass. I don't recall any complaints about it.

 

I do much the same thing now on the little tracker I play, and astonishing though it may seem, I can actually accompany a hymn verse on just 4ft Octave and IV rks Mixture played an octave down, with the 8ft added for the darker effect of a 16ft chorus if I feel strangely drawn to it. Don't ask me why it works, but I just use my ears.

 

The point about "diapason" mutations is a valid one. They can be very useful indeed, as either chorus components or colouring components, and in fact, I once temporarily removed an absolutely hideously scratchy 8ft string on a choir organ, and slotted in a 17th rank which I cobbled up from some less than spectacular 15th rank I had been given. I also swapped the 2ft Flute for a 2ft Principal, because the main section of the organ broke down, and the Choir organ, in a different location, was all we had available to accompany quite a lot of people.

 

When the main section of the organ worked once more, I was so delighted with the 17th on the Choir Organ, I left it in for about two years. It was extremely useful as a mutation, and especially effective when coupled to the Great Chorus.

 

Of course, when they got a "bad" Vicar, I had to swap everything back again before making a dramatic exit.

 

 

MM

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Well, that cuts out all the 16' flutes that I've met - with the arguable exception of the Sw. Quintadena at Windsor.

 

I am fairly certain that you would find nothing to offend you in our beautiful GO Quintatön 16p.

 

Sorry. I know there are people here who will violently disagree, but I think 16' flute stops need to be used very rarely and with the utmost discrimination - and suboctave couplers not at all (unless an extra octave of pipes has been provided - as if!)

 

Well - yes, actually!

 

I use my GO Quintatön 16p a great deal. It is particularly useful when playing hymns. However, it is also extremely useful in Psalms and accompaniments for many canticle settings and anthems.

 

I also use my Swell Sub Octave quite often. Apart from providing necessary gravitas for the last three or four pages of Mulet's Tu es petra, it is also extremely wonderful used with the mild strings and the Octave coupler.

 

Furthermore, it is also good at providing mini full Swell effects - for example, Sub Octave, Hautbois, Flute 4p, Principal 4p, (Twelfth), Fifteenth and even with the Mixture or Clarion.

 

In addition, all the 8p and 4p reeds, the Mixture and the Sub Octave coupler is an interesting (and useful) alternative to the 16p Double Trumpet.

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Even on an organ without a sub-octave Swell coupler, I have been known to drop the left-hand down an octave and achieve the same full-swell effect; especially when I had 16ft Violone which fairly growled in the bass.  I don't recall any complaints about it.

 

I do much the same thing now on the little tracker I play, and astonishing though it may seem, I can actually accompany a hymn verse on just 4ft Octave and IV rks Mixture played an octave down, with the 8ft added for the darker effect of a 16ft chorus if I feel strangely drawn to it.  Don't ask me why it works, but I just use my ears.

This, I think, is not quite the same thing as indiscriminate use of a sub-octave coupler because you can be more flexible and exercise more control over the harmony to make sure that no unmusical effects result. Even I do this sort of thing - mostly when accompanying psalms.

 

You can also argue that in block harmony you can get away with using a sub-octave coupler because you can cover the missing notes in the bottom octave with a 16' pedal. It is in contrapuntal music that the missing notes become most obvious and unmusical.

 

Tu es petra - and indeed French music generally - is a case apart. When French composers call for the sub-octave couplers they craft their music accordingly. They are used principally to provide a fuller texture when the hands are high up on the keyboard. I don't know any cases where a Frenchman asks you to use them in the lowest octave.

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Tu es petra - and indeed French music generally - is a case apart. When French composers call for the sub-octave couplers they craft their music accordingly. They are used principally to provide a fuller texture when the hands are high up on the keyboard. I don't know any cases where a Frenchman asks you to use them in the lowest octave.

 

 

Granted, Vox - but you did, after all, write ... "and suboctave couplers not at all"...

 

Obviously, you did not intend this to mean 'never' .... I think.

 

:unsure:

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
Greetings,

 

    There's no reason not to have a 16' String when it can fit under 7'!  Please browse through the following link to find an Austin CCC String pipe which I have named "Mr. Squiggles".  Also seen is BBB, as is one of my cats, Henrietta.  :(

 

      www.putfile.com/bigaquarium

 

      Best,

 

            Nathan

 

 

Nice!

And the cat's not bad, either.

 

I still think that a haskell bass is the way to go..... mind you, I have never seen one of these mitred. I have 1-12 of a 16' Contra Salicional temporarily sitting on the path outside my front door (while builders are working on my new organ hall) CCC on this is about 9' long, a handsome job, but I wonder whether all this effort to get it round a decently-made bend (four mitre-cuts and a zinc-tube prop between the up and down sides) was worth the effort. A couple of years ago, I installed a splendid 16' Open Metal under a 10' ceiling - no problem with a haskell bass. A USA invention too.

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