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Keep Your Organ And Loft Clean Please


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It amazes me that in the UK Organists have a serious problem with keeping their loft and Organ tidy. Time and time again Ive come across Churches where Music is left strewn on top of the Console or on the floor. Shoes which u could easily trip on and sweet papers and bottles of water for those thirsty Organists/Choir. Its a disgrace ! I know can hear some of u chuckling now ! But seriously folks clean your act up. Its not nice to come and play in such hazardous conditions . Finally I cannot abide dusty Organ lofts and Organ Consoles where the dust is everywhere on the casing keys etc. Theres no excuse for idleness . A good bit of elbow grease and a duster and u be surprised how gleaming those keys and Console will look. And please please please don't book recitalists if u know your Organ is not in tip top condition. Theres nothing worst when coming to play a recital and u find numerous faults on a instrument which simply is not up to par.

Its not fair on the recitalist when music has to be transposed up or down or played an octave up because notes are not playing.

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Guest Roffensis

I quite agree. Even worse is when someone does play your organ having not first washed their hands in strong bleach, and your keys are all dirty, black and sweaty afterwards. God only knows where some peoples fingers may have been, one risks perhaps even Cholera touching the keys, unless one uses bacterial wipes first. And, Guchy shoes? forget that, what about pooey shoes. Imagine someone treading in doggy doo doo, then doing Bach 540, while you have to clean up Bark 2 afterwards. Not nice.

 

Greasy knobs are another thing, getting hold of a stop and it being all gunky, that's horrible as well.

 

I pride myself in having a spotless organ, and am thinking of imposing fines for hand wear and nose damage.

 

R

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I agree got back after 3 weeks holiday and spent 3/4 hour getting rid of a stray service sheet left erroneously on the music desk and polishing the pedals. I was in a right mood, swearing under my breath... A duster is now specially kept in my little box by the console for dusting.

 

I'm sorry, I must go. A bird has just landed on my balcony railing. I must disinfect it again and then my cat's teeth will need their early evening flossing...

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I played for a concert at Keble College, Oxford at some point in the mid 80s. The detritus in the loft included a traffic cone and a crate of empty beer bottles. Some years later, I shared this information with a friend of mine who had been organ scholar at Keble in the late 70s. He expressed outrage at such an appalling decline in standards in a relatively short space of time. He was adamant that in his day you could have expected to find only fine wine or sherry bottles.

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Guest Lee Blick
I agree got back after 3 weeks holiday and spent 3/4 hour getting rid of a stray service sheet left erroneously on the music desk and polishing the pedals. I was in a right mood, swearing under my breath... A duster is now specially kept in my little box by the console for dusting.

 

I'm sorry, I must go. A bird has just landed on my balcony railing. I must disinfect it again and then my cat's teeth will need their early evening flossing...

:o

:unsure:

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Ronald, are you taking the piss? Have you been at the spirits cupboard? This reminds me of your Don't Be Another Victim Of Crime thread which, although courteously contributed to by members of the forum, seem to be completely sensationalist in the original post, and - if I may be so bold - completely tongue in cheek. Which cheek, I am not at liberty to comment...

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Ronald, are you taking the piss? Have you been at the spirits cupboard? This reminds me of your Don't Be Another Victim Of Crime thread which, although courteously contributed to by members of the forum, seem to be completely sensationalist in the original post, and - if I may be so bold - completely tongue in cheek. Which cheek, I am not at liberty to comment...

 

I don't think there's anything sensationalist about it. At the risk of naming and shaming, I was absolutely horrified recently to visit St Mary the Virgin Oxford (University Church) and find a sea of paper and books covering every available inch of floor space, mess everywhere. The passage board contained dismantled fan heaters, broken bits of electrical equipment and extension leads. Here is an instrument which owes its existence in part to a predecessor having burnt to the ground fifty or so years ago. Are they hoping the same will happen again?

 

On the point of cleaning keys, I often come across organs whose keys are absolutely black with grime. Now, as I'm always banging on about, I was brought up to believe the duties of a note holder included cleaning keys, pedals, stops, aligning pistons, regulating bat pins and couplers where possible, going through the manuals that aren't being tuned to find unexpected heavy, noisy or sticky notes and dealing with them. Tune the organist, not just the organ, so the saying goes; maintenance of an organ should be just that.

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Only water? The last loft I was in had two bottles of wine. Oh, and two if not three pairs of shoes and some sort of glove puppet thingy.

 

 

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

 

 

(To be read in the style of Dame Edith Evans)

 

"A gloooooooooooove puppet? To be caught with one's hands in the till is indeed unfortunate, but to be discovered up to the wrist inside a glooooove puppet, is tantamount to obscenity."

 

:unsure:

 

MM

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It amazes me that in the UK Organists have a serious problem with keeping their loft and Organ tidy. Time and time again Ive come across Churches where Music is left strewn on top of the Console or on the floor. Shoes which u could easily trip on and sweet papers and bottles of water for those thirsty Organists/Choir. Its a disgrace ! I know can hear some of u chuckling now ! But seriously folks clean your act up. Its not nice to come and play in such hazardous conditions . Finally I cannot abide dusty Organ lofts and Organ Consoles where the dust is everywhere on the casing keys etc. Theres no excuse for idleness . A good bit of elbow grease and a duster and u be surprised how gleaming those keys and Console will look. And please please please don't book recitalists if u know your Organ is not in tip top condition. Theres nothing worst when coming to play a recital and u find numerous faults on a instrument which simply is not up to par.

Its not fair on the recitalist when music has to be transposed up or down or played an octave up because notes are not playing.

 

Nothing untidy about my organ loft, Ronald! (Or my use of upper-case characters, come to that....)

 

... At the risk of naming and shaming, I was absolutely horrified recently to visit St Mary the Virgin Oxford (University Church) ... Here is an instrument which owes its existence in part to a predecessor having burnt to the ground fifty or so years ago. Are they hoping the same will happen again?

 

I did not know that. I do know that its immediate predecessor was removed to Cornwall, where it replaced an organ in St. Mary's Church, Penzance which had been badly damaged by fire.

 

I read an interesting article on the previous organ, written by Cecil Clutton shortly after it had been installed. He spoke reasonably well of it. I know that you like the new instrument; however, I am not sure that I would wish to be quite so limited in repertoire by the style of the present instrument.

 

Before you respond, I suspect that it is technically possible to accompany Howells' Collegium Regale on this organ (with registrants) but I doubt that it would be edifying - or desirable.

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

(To be read in the style of Dame Edith Evans)

 

"A gloooooooooooove puppet? To be caught with one's hands in the till is indeed unfortunate, but to be discovered up to the wrist inside a glooooove puppet, is tantamount to obscenity."

 

B)

 

MM

 

 

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

 

I couldn't sleep for thinking about a suitable organist's glove puppet.

 

Would it be Mr Punch?

 

"Naughty, naughty, naughty......shall we try that again? (thwack)"

 

Maybe the Policeman?

 

" 'ello, 'ello, 'ello....what's goin' on 'ere then?"

 

Maybe Mrs.Punch?

 

"Leave the baby alone! It's not his fault if his nappy is like an organ-loft!"

 

It's all too much.....WE NEED TO KNOW!

 

MM

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

 

I couldn't sleep for thinking about a suitable organist's glove puppet.

 

Would it be Mr Punch?

 

"Naughty, naughty, naughty......shall we try that again? (thwack)"

 

Maybe the Policeman?

 

" 'ello, 'ello, 'ello....what's goin' on 'ere then?"

 

Maybe Mrs.Punch?

 

"Leave the baby alone! It's not his fault if his nappy is like an organ-loft!"

 

It's all too much.....WE NEED TO KNOW!

 

MM

 

Mr Hat?

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Are we naming and shaming? A dodgy game perhaps. I would have to say that I've found the state of the console area in a famous midlands collegiate church generally matches the beauty of the sound of its west-end organ.

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Are we naming and shaming? A dodgy game perhaps. I would have to say that I've found the state of the console area in a famous midlands collegiate church generally matches the beauty of the sound of its west-end organ.

 

 

 

'Beauty of the sound of its west-end organ', must be that Denys Thurlow special at St.Mary's Warwick. surely?

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Are we naming and shaming? A dodgy game perhaps. I would have to say that I've found the state of the console area in a famous midlands collegiate church generally matches the beauty of the sound of its west-end organ.

 

Another instrument on which we agree, Neil.

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'Beauty of the sound of its west-end organ', must be that Denys Thurlow special at St.Mary's Warwick. surely?

 

Here's a little game. I bet we can do this without slagging individual instruments off, including imitation ones!

 

As for STMV Oxford, you probably could accompany Howells on it, if that's what you want to do. There is more to life however, including variety being the spice of it...

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  • 2 weeks later...
As for STMV Oxford, you probably could accompany Howells on it, if that's what you want to do. There is more to life however, including variety being the spice of it...

 

Except that I am not sure how effectively one could accompany Howells on it - not just without registrants. The sound and blend of the instrument are of a different ethos than was expected by Howells. He was upset enough by the transformation of the Gloucester organ; if you attempted to play his music on this instrument, he may well come back to haunt you.

 

With regard to your comment on variety, I actually get the impression that this is something of which there would be very little on this instrument. I for one would be quite unhappy to have the available repertoire limited to music from the renaissance and baroque periods (with a few later eighteenth century composers thrown in for good measure), purely because the instrument has been designed with a limited repertoire in mind. Whilst this could be considered to be somewhat of a generalisation, nevertheless I feel that there is some truth in this statement.

 

This organ may be musical and have nice flutes, etc, but it is difficult to deny that its very design and voicing has effectively rendered much repertoire after about 1850 or so to be difficult to bring off; not just physically, but stylistically as well.

 

Now I like the music of Bach, Buxtehude and a number of French seventeenth and eighteenth century composers; I like the music of Sweelinck and some of the early Italian masters. However, I also like Franck, Widor, Vierne, Messiaen, Dupré, Cochereau - and much later nineteenth and twentieth century choral music. Whilst I am not so gauche as to demand that every instrument should be suitable for the whole gamut of my repertoire and preferred style, nevertheless I think that I would find this instrument particularly unsatisfying and lacking in versatility. I must confess that I find accompanying much of the music for which this instrument is apparently most suitable ever so slightly tedious after a while. As far as I can see, it would be difficult even to find the type of sounds which I favour for hymn accompaniments on this instrument.

 

I am sorry, but I require a little more excitement than a nice chiffing Spitzflöte, the possibility of playing an 8p Hohlflöte and 4p Octave an octave lower to achieve some gravitas or a gently buzzing Dulcian in a case facing west.

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Guest Andrew Butler

Talking (indirectly) of Nicholson's, reminds me that last time I played at a certain cathedral in the east of England (that looks different now than it did then) the console was an awful mess - thick dust, and dozens of broken/ blunt pencils everywhere. And the swell pedal was stuck shut. (It was quite a few years ago)

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Talking (indirectly) of Nicholson's, reminds me that last time I played at a certain cathedral in the east of England (that looks different now than it did then) the console was an awful mess - thick dust, and dozens of broken/ blunt pencils everywhere. And the swell pedal was stuck shut. (It was quite a few years ago)

 

What a shame. I played this organ several years ago and it was in good condition. I presume that they are letting it disintegrate gently, in the wake of the appeal in order to raise money totally to rebuild it.

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What a shame. I played this organ several years ago and it was in good condition. I presume that they are letting it disintegrate gently, in the wake of the appeal in order to raise money totally to rebuild it.

 

 

So nobody's going to tell us exactly which organ this is?

 

Spoilsports!

It'll all very well talking in sly hints, but it leaves the rest of us poor addicts completely unsatisfied.

 

C.

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So nobody's going to tell us exactly which organ this is?

 

Spoilsports!

It'll all very well talking in sly hints, but it leaves the rest of us poor addicts completely unsatisfied.

 

C.

 

It's just had a new tower - there's another clue Paul!

 

AJJ

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