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Heating Woes


pwhodges
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I gather that at the weekend the heating at Christ Church, Oxford failed. The Clerk of Works brought in some of those jet-engine-like gas heaters and put them at the west end, behind the organ. So their full output went up into the back of the organ which I am led to believe is now unplayable; and the piano's gone out of tune too...

 

Paul

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I gather that at the weekend the heating at Christ Church, Oxford failed.  The Clerk of Works brought in some of those jet-engine-like gas heaters and put them at the west end, behind the organ.  So their full output went up into the back of the organ which I am led to believe is now unplayable; and the piano's gone out of tune too...

 

Paul

 

Heat? In a church? Whatever next? Next you'll tell me that some churches have congregations, too...

 

This sounds all too familiar - in my place we just don't have real heat. Except about twice a year, when the vicar discovers that the heating hasn't worked for a couple of days, so sticks it on continuous on a Saturday morning. Result - church goes from about -5 to +24 overnight. Bloody marvellous.

 

Seriously - the church is unheated during the week - the vestry is maintained at 12 degrees, which is the temperature at which we're required to do choir practice, but that's it.

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Heat? In a church? Whatever next? Next you'll tell me that some churches have congregations, too...

It's a college chapel; they have to keep the poor dears warm, because the schools don't harden them up like they used to...

 

And I wasn't clear - I was led to believe that the organ is not merely out of tune, but mechanically out of order. But I'm open to correction by someone with closer contacts.

 

Paul

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I gather that at the weekend the heating at Christ Church, Oxford failed.  The Clerk of Works brought in some of those jet-engine-like gas heaters and put them at the west end, behind the organ.  So their full output went up into the back of the organ which I am led to believe is now unplayable; and the piano's gone out of tune too...

Tch! tch! Not at all what Cardinal Wolsey had in mind, I am sure. How on earth can anyone expect to perform Tudor music authentically with all these modern fads like heating eroding our great English cathedral traditions? Where will it all end? Stop tampering, stop modernising and leave well alone, I say.

 

I dunno. I really don't know...

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Seriously - the church is unheated during the week - the vestry is maintained at 12 degrees, which is the temperature at which we're required to do choir practice, but that's it.

I wonder if employed church musicians, staff and clergy are covered by the various Factory Acts as performers in theatres are. The Acts provide a minimum temperature below which it is illegal to work. There is, unfortunately for theatre musicians, no maximum temperature.

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I wonder if employed church musicians, staff and clergy are covered by the various Factory Acts as performers in theatres are. The Acts provide a minimum temperature below which it is illegal to work. There is, unfortunately for theatre musicians, no maximum temperature.

 

 

They actually specify a temperature below which it is legal to refuse to work, which is quite different from it being illegal to work.

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They actually specify a temperature below which it is legal to refuse to work, which is quite different from it being illegal to work.

Thanks for the clarification, Nick. So, do the Acts apply to churches or not? Presumably if the church was hired for eg a recording session the players could legally refuse to work below the minimum temp.

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Guest Lee Blick
Tch! tch! Not at all what Cardinal Wolsey had in mind, I am sure. How on earth can anyone expect to perform Tudor music authentically with all these modern fads like heating eroding our great English cathedral traditions? Where will it all end? Stop tampering, stop modernising and leave well alone, I say.

 

I dunno. I really don't know...

 

 

I thought in olden times the churches and cathedrals relied on the Thurifer to swing his thurible to keep the church heated in the winter. That is what the smoke is for, isn't it? :unsure:

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Guest Roffensis
I gather that at the weekend the heating at Christ Church, Oxford failed.  The Clerk of Works brought in some of those jet-engine-like gas heaters and put them at the west end, behind the organ.  So their full output went up into the back of the organ which I am led to believe is now unplayable; and the piano's gone out of tune too...

 

Paul

 

 

Well what a sad loss that is!

 

Go on!, knowing me, could you expect a different response!! The organ is hideous anyway. Maybe the organ is lost forever and they might get a nice Willis/Harrison in.

 

:unsure: R

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I thought in olden times the churches and cathedrals relied on the Thurifer to swing his thurible to keep the church heated in the winter. That is what the smoke is for, isn't it?  :unsure:

Symbolism isn't my strong point, but I always understood that the smoke represented the prayers of the faithful ascending to heaven. Maybe other things as well.

 

I can't imagine a thurible providing much heat. They'd have probably got almost as much again from the candles burning before the numerous images and the candelabra provided for lighting. Flaming torches too, maybe? At any event, I'd be prepared to bet that cathedrals in the middle ages were perishingly cold in winter.

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Surely all that is needed is a bit of warmth from a nice big Open Wood - and a little brightness and cheer from a Cymbale III?

 

:unsure:

 

I am sorry to hear about Christ Church, though. It is the only large mechanical transmission which I actually like.

 

I was looking at the specification of the former instrument a few days ago. It was quite odd in certain ways - due, no doubt to restrictions of space. I cannot imagine where H&H would have placed the 'prepared-for' 32p and 8p reeds on the Pedal Organ, should funds have ever been made available.

 

In addition, there was no Oboe on the Swell and a Solo Organ of four stops. Oh, and the usual big shouty family of Trombe on the GO.

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Guest Roffensis
Surely all that is needed is a bit of warmth from a nice big Open Wood - and a little brightness and cheer from a Cymbale III?

 

:unsure:

 

I am sorry to hear about Christ Church, though. It is the only large mechanical transmission which I actually like.

 

I was looking at the specification of the former instrument a few days ago. It was quite odd in certain ways - due, no doubt to restrictions of space. I cannot imagine where H&H would have placed the 'prepared-for' 32p and 8p reeds on the Pedal Organ, should funds have ever been made available.

 

In addition, there was no Oboe on the Swell and a Solo Organ of four stops. Oh, and the usual big shouty family of Trombae on the GO.

 

 

I heard it, it certainly made a good sound, with, no doubt, some shortcomings, which could have been addressed. There is a recording of Dvorak's Mass in D which uses it, and which makes interesting listening.

 

R

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In addition, there was no Oboe on the Swell and a Solo Organ of four stops.

But the Swell double was (as I recall) a Contra Oboe which worked very well in the psalms, and the (enclosed) Solo Tuba was rather a good one.

 

I always enjoyed listening to it, except possibly the time that I watched S-S-S-Sydney pushing in the Great upperwork as he progressed down the last page of a Bach fugue, ending up on 16' and 8' OD#1 only. Perhaps it's a shame that he didn't oversee a rebuilding, but he could see the fashion and simply said to me when I asked about it: "But my d-d-dear boy, my s-s-successors would hate me!" - and we did get the Rieger instead :unsure:

 

Paul

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Guest Roffensis
But the Swell double was (as I recall) a Contra Oboe which worked very well in the psalms, and the (enclosed) Solo Tuba was rather a good one. 

 

I always enjoyed listening to it, except possibly the time that I watched S-S-S-Sidney pushing in the Great upperwork as he progressed down the last page of a Bach fugue, ending up on 16' and 8' OD#1 only.  Perhaps it's a shame that he didn't oversee a rebuilding, but he could see the fashion and simply said to me when I asked about it: "But my d-d-dear boy, my s-s-successors would hate me!" - and we did get the Rieger instead :unsure:

 

Paul

 

 

Really? did he have a stammer? I did not know of that.

 

Perhaps he would have been more accurate to have said "Some of my successors", and yes!.....fashion.

 

R

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Guest delvin146

What sad news about Christ Church Oxford. Obviously it was built from quality materials designed to withstand modern fluctuations of temperature and humidity.

 

O well, at least it's not a Willis/Harrison that's been buggered up :unsure:

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You know that I don't have a garage.

 

You also know I have books piled from floor to ceiling due to a lack of shelves.

 

Perhaps it's therefore just sour grapes on my part.

 

Would you believe it - I completely forgot that you do not possess a garage.

 

Surely, all houses have books piled from floor to ceiling (even with shelves)? I am sure that you know mine does.

 

I also have grapes - but they are quite nice ones and are not really sour at all....

 

:unsure:

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Oh yes, quite a bad one really.  I now recall it being particularly bad on initial "m" as well as "s".

 

Three famous S-s-s-Sydney W-w-w-w-Watson stammers:

 

Replying to the enquiry of a finals undergraduate, when Dr Watson was chairman of the examiners: "I have to tell you that you've f-f-f-f-f-passed."

 

To the choir at the start of a rehearsal before Evensong: "What's on the menu tonight?" <looks at music list> "Ah, m-m-m-m-Me in E."

 

In a lecture about the Romantic Symphonists: "Now we all know that t-t-t-t-t-Tschaikowsky was a homo-homo-homophonic composer."

 

On a more organ-related matter, he used to accompany Stanford in A from the orchestral score. Now there's an idea for a more practical ARCO test.

 

Apologies for any errors in transmission.

 

Michael

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