DIYAPASON-L Digest #360 - Wednesday, August 1, 2001
 
Re: [Residence Organs]  Re: Buzzy Diapasons
  by "Eric Sagmuller" <ess4@psu.edu>
Re: [Residence Organs]  Re: Buzzy Diapasons
  by <Mpmollerorgan@aol.com>
Re: [Residence Organs]  Re: Buzzy Diapasons
  by "F. Richard Burt" <effarbee@home.com>
Re: [Residence Organs]  Re: Pitch
  by "Hugh Knapton" <knapton@superaje.com>
Re: Pitch dates?
  by <TheGluePot@aol.com>
 

(back) Subject: Re: [Residence Organs] Re: Buzzy Diapasons From: "Eric Sagmuller" <ess4@psu.edu> Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2001 11:57:27 -0400   Eric Sagmuller wrote: > > Hello Friends, > * * * > The other strange thing is that I can't get a couple of these > offending pipes in tune. The collar is all the way down and > they still are too flat. I don't know though if this is related, > as the pipes were running a somewhat higher pressure on the > organ they came from. This would have raised the pitch a little.   At 10:21 PM -0500 7/31/01, F. Richard Burt wrote: > >Seen that, haven't fixed that either. We believe the offending >pipes in the organ we deal with was built back when many organs >were tuned to A=3D435 Hz. > >You may have to cut the pipe a bit shorter.   Do you know when A-440 became standard? All my pipework is from 1956-58. I tried to tune my Moller Principal to Weirkmeister III and ran into the same problem. I may have to trim a few pipes as you suggest.   Thanks, Eric    
(back) Subject: Re: [Residence Organs] Re: Buzzy Diapasons From: <Mpmollerorgan@aol.com> Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2001 13:16:08 EDT     In a message dated 8/1/01 10:58:38 AM, ess4@psu.edu writes:   >Do you know when A-440 became standard? All my pipework is from >1956-58. I tried to tune my Moller Principal to Weirkmeister III and >ran into the same problem. I may have to trim a few pipes as you >suggest. > >Thanks, >Eric   I don't know exactly, but one pipe in my Moller has a paper label on it = with the Moller name and location, and stating that it is the "pitch pipe" and = was set at A-440 @ 68 degrees F. The organ's pipes were made in December 1929 so by then 440 was alreay in = use at least by Moller.   Randall http://members.aol.com/mpmollerorgan/  
(back) Subject: Re: [Residence Organs] Re: Buzzy Diapasons From: "F. Richard Burt" <effarbee@home.com> Date: Wed, 01 Aug 2001 14:54:57 -0500   Eric Sagmuller wrote: > > Eric Sagmuller wrote: > * * * > Do you know when A-440 became standard? All my pipework is from > 1956-58. I tried to tune my Moller Principal to Weirkmeister III > and ran into the same problem. I may have to trim a few pipes as > you suggest. The exact date? I read that it is also known as the "Stuttgart" pitch. G. F. Handel tuned as low as about 423-ish Hz. F. Richard Burt effarbee@home.com  
(back) Subject: Re: [Residence Organs] Re: Pitch From: "Hugh Knapton" <knapton@superaje.com> Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2001 15:55:54 -0400     At 11:57 AM -0400 8/1/01, Eric Sagmuller wrote: >Do you know when A-440 became standard?   Perhaps a word about pitch would be in order here ... Perhaps more than what Eric was asking for... but hopefully not out of place.... others on the list can correct me where needed....     Although we generally all accept A-440 as the present standard, I think the various companies adopted it at different times. Generally speaking (here in Canada anyway), entirely new instruments built since the late 1950's have been built at A-440, but I have seen a few that were built at the former standard of A-435 (commonly referred to as "singing pitch"). This was usually done when the instrument was designed to accompany choir and/or congregational singing. I am under the impression that some of the U.S. builders adopted A-440 earlier than we did, but cannot state this with certainty. Perhaps some of the other builders on the list will be able to add to this... weren't many of the theatre organs A-440?   Older instruments are another matter. Many of the instruments from the 1800's were at somewhat higher pitches (often 445). As the mechanical action organ was being displaced by pneumatic actions, heavier wind pressures were adopted, often with larger scaling. The result proved somewhat strident, and pitches were generally dropped to A-435. Bear in mind that the people were living in a much quieter world than we now know ... choirs and singers quickly approved of the lower pitch.   By 1950, many of the leading builders were once again working with lower wind pressures. At the same time, people were becoming accustomed to high fidelity sounds (later stereophonic). This allowed for the pitch to be brought up again as the human ear began to accept the newer "sounds".   Most pipe organs were intended as "stand alone" instruments ... not generally expected to be used with other instruments. And of course there were a few builders that tried to design the organ so that it could entirely replace the orchestra. When one realizes that the many orchestras and symphonies could not agree on a standard pitch, it is quite easy to understand why the organ building world generally needed to set their own standards.   Here are a few various Historical "STANDARD" Pitches... not a complete list by any means....   A C   428 508.7 Renatus Harris' Pitch (1696) 374 444.5 Hospice Comtesse (1700) 392 469 Euler's Clavichord (1739) 403 470 Mersenne Spinet (1739) 415 493 Dresden Church (1722) 422 501 Mozart's Pitch, Vienna (1780) 423 501.2 Handel's Pitch (1751) 427.8 508.1 St. George's Chapel, Windsor (1788) 440 528 Congress of Physicists, Stuttgart (1834) 435 517.3 Diapason Normal, Paris 1859) 453.9 539.8 London Philharmonic (1874) 438 520.9 Westminster Abbey Organ (1877) 430.3 528,4 Temple Church London 440.3 529.4 St. Paul's London & Durham Cathedral 449.4 534.4 Society of Arts Standard 452 537.5 British Army Bands (Kneller Hall, 1885) 439 522 London Philharmonic (March 1896) 457.2 543.7 Steinway Pianos 445 530 Music Trades Association (1891) 422 501 Vienna Pitch; recommended by Dr. Richter and largely used in Southern Europe.   Is it any wonder that pitch can still be a contentious issue? I have recently heard that one U.S. symphony is hoping to have the standard raised to A-442, and another group is suggesting A-444.   Perhaps while I am on the subject, I can make a couple of points that are often overlooked by many professionals.   When an instrument is worthy of restoration, the pitch should never be = changed.   If a pitch must be changed, careful attention should be paid to the scaling. One instrument that I know very well had the pitch raised from A-435 to A-440 about 12 years years ago. We had proposed to re-scale much of the pipe work. The church chose someone else to simply cut the pipes to the new pitch .... and have complained about the "tubby beast" ever since. They are currently spending almost 1/2 million Canadian dollars to have the organ rebuilt, with the previous work being "undone".   Regards, Hugh  
(back) Subject: Re: Pitch dates? From: <TheGluePot@aol.com> Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2001 17:23:20 EDT   The "Equal Tempered Chromatic Scale" A4 =3D 435 Hz was adopted as the international pitch for orchestras in 1891. By 1918 many had abandoned = this standard and gone to A4 =3D 440 Hz. My experience is that instruments = built before 1918 are generally 435 while after are 440. A4 =3D 440 Hz became = the "American Standard Pitch" as adopted by the American Standards Association = in 1936, largely because everyone had already converted over more than a = decade before.   "Lead and they shall follow."   Al Sefl