PipeChat Digest #2480 - Saturday, November 3, 2001
 
Re: Christmas Song needed
  by "Bob Elms" <elmsr@albanyis.com.au>
Re Room Acoustics
  by "Wayne Grauel" <wgvideo@attglobal.net>
Re: Christmas Song needed
  by "Bob Elms" <elmsr@albanyis.com.au>
The Layman and the Professional
  by <Devon3000@aol.com>
Re: Tour damage tomorrow
  by "jch" <opus1100@catoe.org>
The Little Donkey Song.....
  by "Joshua F. Edwards" <fbcorganist@att.net>
The Unschooled Organist - Layman's Opinion
  by <RVScara@aol.com>
A Truly Awesome Evening (cross posted)
  by "jch" <opus1100@catoe.org>
Music List-All Saints' (observed)
  by "Randy Terry" <randyterryus@yahoo.com>
Re: The Layman and the Professional
  by "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net>
The Friday Night "Organ Pump" (x posted)
  by "Mike Gettelman" <mike3247@earthlink.net>
new music, unknown music
  by <quilisma@socal.rr.com>
flat pedal-boards at Oberlin
  by <quilisma@socal.rr.com>
Re: Effect of swell shutter opening on tonality (cross posted)
  by <support@opensystemsorgans.com>
Re: flat pedal-boards at Oberlin
  by "Mike Gettelman" <mike3247@earthlink.net>
 

(back) Subject: Re: Christmas Song needed From: "Bob Elms" <elmsr@albanyis.com.au> Date: Sat, 03 Nov 2001 04:36:23 -0800   No I don't think so. It was sung in our state schools long before the time of Rutter. Unfortunately I no longer have a copy. It is a children's carol. Bob Elms.   > Not absolutely sure about his one, but MAYBE it is a John Rutter piece    
(back) Subject: Re Room Acoustics From: "Wayne Grauel" <wgvideo@attglobal.net> Date: Sat, 03 Nov 2001 07:52:13 -0500   In reply to:   From: "Emmons, Paul" <pemmons@wcupa.edu> Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2001 14:51:55 -0500   >High audio frequencies, with their short physical wavelengths, are more   easily reflected and / or absorbed by smaller surfaces than low frequencies.   That is the way I hear it, too. ************************************************** A: In principal, but it affects all frequencies, just more or less ***************************************************** Now my question:   Similar statements are made about most sound absorbing material in the room: they soak up the high frequencies more than the the low frequencies.   It is possible to install sound-absorbing material that is more even-handed. This is better for music as well as unamplified speech, but because it is more expensive it is seldom found. ************************************************************** A: There are significant factors that affect room acoustics as Ron said, the physical layout of the room, too many drugs in college by people who call themselves architects doing church and music spaces, and the total ignorance of people who make decisions within the congregations have a lot of affect on room acoustics.   Any material other than hard surface will negatively affect acoustics. *************************************************************   So, in the typical case, if the room is dead, it absorbs the high frequencies in particular.   Why, then, do we also say that in such rooms top-heavy organ design or voicing is usually unsuccessful, and a more foundational approach is needed; whereis the reverberent rooms are the ones that like a brilliant sound source?   A: What you hear is a combination of physical responses to lack of reverberation. What will be affected most and most noticeable from a musical standpoint in a lack of acoustics is fundamental tone and low frequencies, not the higher frequencies that you would expect. This goes against all reason, but all reflecting surfaces stop reflecting when covered up. This means that we hear less of the the mid and lower frequencies that are not as loud, and a lot more from the higher frequencies that are inherently louder than you would think.   This is what gives the organ a warmth. We directly here the higher frequencies coming straight at us and they sound piercing. True, the higher frequencies are not reflecting, but neither are the sounds from your 8' and 4' stops! Consider the relative volume from a 16' pedal, than take away it's ability to roll around the room once it reaches the reflecting surface.   For any who have had the unfortunate experience of some asshole leading the blind sheep in your congregation to carpet over beautiful hardwood floors, and installing pew pads when you had a beautiful Flentrop in a balcony and a room with 4 seconds of delay will know what I'm talking about. It has to do with wavelengths. In reality, lower frequencies will penetrate better than high frequencies, but this has very little to do with their ability to fill the room with reflected sound when there is no surface to reflect from.   The reality is that all of this cushy living room mentality affects everything from congregation singing to the entire organ. If you want to listen to a real good example, listen to a recording of the Flentrop at St. Marks or the Fritts at PLU, then listen to the Fisk at House of Hope. The organ sounds like it is being played in a vacuum! The big negative for congregation singing is that choirs can't hear each other, and the neither can the congregation. The reality is, that everyone out in the congregation is singing a solo, they can only really hear themselves and the person next to them, so the result of that is... they really don't want to sing!   Wayne Grauel    
(back) Subject: Re: Christmas Song needed From: "Bob Elms" <elmsr@albanyis.com.au> Date: Sat, 03 Nov 2001 05:09:54 -0800   Little donkey, little donkey on the dusty road Got to keep on plodding onwards with your precious load Been a long time, little donkey, through the winter=92s night Don=92t give up now, little donkey, Bethlehem=92s in sight Ring out those bells tonight=20 Bethlehem, Bethlehem Follow that star tonight=20 Bethlehem, Bethlehem Little donkey, little donkey Had a heavy day Little donkey, carry Mary Safely on her way    
(back) Subject: The Layman and the Professional From: <Devon3000@aol.com> Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2001 08:44:38 EST   I'm saddened to see the discussion revolving on how much we are asking the =   professional performers to get us out of the "decline," if there really is =   one. As our President said the other day, "We are the soldiers." We = can't expect a few people to save us or our profession.   We need to talk again about what we're doing in our own individual jobs. Thanksgiving is coming, and not one has pointed out a new, exciting piece = of music for us to check. Christmas is not far behind. This group has been, = up to this time, a source of very valuable information for new ideas that I = have really enjoyed using, and it has enhanced my "image" in all areas of my professional life. Let's concentrate on what we're doing, share ideas, = and keep fighting for attention in the music world. The professionals who = travel only reach a small portion of the public, and are soon out of mind. We = are the ones who establish a reputation in our communities. If we're not = doing our work and business, we can't expect others to bail us out. They only enhance our ongoing ministries.   I realize more every day that most of my colleagues (50 years +) are out = of full-time church work and either work for banks or computer companies, but =   many of them serve in small places where help is really needed. They work =   where they are appreciated, and if they find trouble, they just walk away = to another spot where help is needed. I envy them in many ways, because I'm stuck with a full-time position that it would not easily be possible to = walk away from, unless forced.   Until congregations rediscover the riches of the art and music that are possible, the situation isn't going to improve. What am I doing about it? = I'm fortunate to be in a wealthier congregation. That doesn't necessarily =   mean I can do as I please. But, I have, over the last few years, hammered =   away at my musicians to commission new pieces from composers we know will write music that is quality and usable by smaller as well as larger = churches. My brass choir has two "arrangers" of brass music. I'm going to try to = get these arrangements published, as they are wonderful and refreshing.   Memorials from musicians (and we've had quite a few these past few years = as the boomers age) can be suggested gently by us. You have to be careful, = but by being persistent, it will "pay off" for the entire profession.   It's probably good that we're in a "crisis" situation with organs and organists, etc. Like the war on terrorism, it has shaken us out of = dullness and monotony, forced us to consider what we're doing, how to improve, and = to each do our part, regardless of the results or rewards. Sometimes, it = takes years to get results, and we just give up too soon.   I want some new, "knock-em-down" organ music, as well as some = long-forgotten sweet, emotionally moving organ music, or even to rediscover any old music =   that has been long-forgotten. Don't hide your valuable knowledge. Let's build up a resource file of proven successes in choir anthems accompanied = by organ, in organ solo pieces, and in compositions for organ with other instruments.   I just went through a very nasty battle to save my music budget. Fortunately, the Trustees realize the value, and though we're going = through a terrible general budget crunch because of nonmusical problems (won't = publish that here), it was well worth the battle, even if it cost me three + weeks = of nonmusical work. They know I'm not just spending money needlessly, as I logged every cent. You may have to do the same thing.   If we really value and treasure our vocation as organists, I hope we'll = stop picking at nits and encourage, share, and build up each other with new = ideas (which might be old ideas to you).   Devon Hollingsworth  
(back) Subject: Re: Tour damage tomorrow From: "jch" <opus1100@catoe.org> Date: Sat, 03 Nov 2001 08:07:27 -0600   At 08:52 PM 11/2/01 -0500, you wrote: >. If it is a poor church, they probably would >be better off with an electronic (preferably not an allen hehe).   Well at least you didn't say they should just use a piano....as for an Allen, they could get a good used pipe organ for much less (hehe)    
(back) Subject: The Little Donkey Song..... From: "Joshua F. Edwards" <fbcorganist@att.net> Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2001 09:31:12 -0500   Didn't John Rutter write a song about a donkey in 5/8 time? I seem to recall my conducting professor mentioning that piece in class one day.. am I right? Josh in TN    
(back) Subject: The Unschooled Organist - Layman's Opinion From: <RVScara@aol.com> Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2001 09:47:34 EST   sorry, had my type set fo "I" could see it. This was the ending (and some =   might say, rightly so!)   ....Never mind the occasionally well attended concerts of certain = organiss, here and there. Across the board, classical organ concerts do not draw except from our own. It just ain't intereting (entertaining) enough. = Funny, tho. they pack over a thousand into those Dickenson Hogh School thester = organ concerts a half dozen times a yer, year after year. One reason, they = aren't just organists, they are thos uninitiated people who want to listen to = organ music that doesn't bore them. But, if the artist does not use the sound capabilities of that organ in an interesting manner, they will complain. = Of course, those threater organists are not locked into using only certain "accepted registrations" of ages ago.  
(back) Subject: A Truly Awesome Evening (cross posted) From: "jch" <opus1100@catoe.org> Date: Sat, 03 Nov 2001 09:00:14 -0600   Devon Holllingworth is truly a fortunate man. As an accomplished musician who regularly presides over a 4m 80rank Austin pipe organ, he is also the head of a church music department of a magnitude that many could only = dream of. Last night this department present its' 18th annual music concert called "The Joy of Music XVIII" This program had something for everyone with selections performed by the church's Brass Choir, Bell Choir, 50+ Chancel Choir and of course Devon at the big Austin.   I did not get a chance to congratulate Devon last night on providing a fantastic musical evening, so I would like to do it now. The program was = at the Christ Church of Oakbrook, Illiniois, where Devon is the director of music. The sanctuary of the church is an unusual edifice as it is geometrically shaped ( and if I tried to give you the geometric name for the shape I would probably get it wrong)...It has a high roof and to give you an idea of the structure and the room, I would have to describe its' likeness to that of a huge wooden teepee, but much broader at the base.   The program opened with selections from the brass choir and as Devon indicated in his opening remarks a little later, most of the music was new, as indicated by one of the selections played by the brass choir, = the very popular Christian Contemporary selection "Great is the Lord".   The congregation had an opportunity to participate in two grand hymns "Guide Me, O Great Jehovah" and the program closed with the hymn "Rejoice the Lord is King"...as the congregation joined the Chancel Choir, Brass Choir and organ to provide the kind of robust singing that I normally only =   find at organ conventions.   The Bell Choir directed by Devon provided two selections, "All Things Bright and Beautiful" and "The Rejoicing". The Chancel Choir followed with =   a rousing " I'm Gonna Rise (When the Son comes Down).. there was a little confusion initially as to the meaning of this selection =   as the program had Son misspelled as Sun...The Brass Choir provided = another selection "The Great Gate Of Kiev" and was then joined by the Chancel = Choir for "The Mighty Power Of God". Devon and the Mighty Austin followed with Charles Ives Variations on "America". The Chancel Choir also provided a 19th Century selection of grande organ and choir from the English = Cathedral period, but it was added to the program and not listed so I cannot give = you the title.   The program had some surprises...a men's quartet performed a selection = with newly written lyrics to describe the frustrations and foibles of being in = a large church choir, performed to the Romberg "Drinking Song" from the Student Prince. Another surprise (to Devon) was the presentation of a musical clock to Devon recognizing his twenty five years of musical contribution to Christ Church. (The clock may be familiar =   to some of you as Devon mentioned it had recently been a topic on the = email lists)..The clock played "When you wish upon a Star"...which perplexed one =   of the presenters who stated in was playing "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring" the previous night.   The program built to a climax with the "Festival Allelluias" with the chancel choir and brass choir presenting an augmentation to the original organ score of Widor's "Toccata from the Fifth Symphony. (I'm sure Betty and I were not the only ones who silently mouthed "Wow" at =   the conclusion of the Widor.) The program closed with the aforementioned hymn "Rejoice the Lord is King"...and Devon played us out with "God Bless =   America" on the big Austin.   Thank you Devon and all the talented musicians at Christ Church for a = truly wonderful evening..it was "awesome".   regards,   Jon C. Habermaas    
(back) Subject: Music List-All Saints' (observed) From: "Randy Terry" <randyterryus@yahoo.com> Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2001 07:27:41 -0800 (PST)   All Saints' Day (Observed) November 4, 2001 Episcopal Church of St. Peter Redwood City, California   Prelude: "Lotus" Billy = Strayhorn, arr. Alec Wyton PROCESSIONAL: "For all the Saints" Sine = Nomine GOSPEL: "We know that Christ is raised" Engleberg = Baptismal Procession: "Shall we gather at the river" Jeff = Redlawsk, marimba Musical Offering "A child is born" Mona = Dena, soprano Offertory Anthem: Fijian = Singers During Communion: "Steal Away" St. = Peter's Choir, arr. Terry CLOSING: "I sing a song of the saints of God" Grand = Isle (?? I think?) Postlude: "Finale" (Symphony I) Louis = Vierne   =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D Randy Terry, Director of Music & Organist Mona Dena, Principal Choir Director The Episcopal Church of St. Peter Redwood City, California www.stpetersrwc.org   __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Find a job, post your resume. http://careers.yahoo.com  
(back) Subject: Re: The Layman and the Professional From: "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net> Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2001 11:40:39 -0500   Devon and List,   The posting below sounded to me like it speaks of functions that used to = be part of the work of many AGO chapters. A reading of the chapter reports in TAO might reveal whether some chapters still present programs like = favorite anthem readings, or new (or favorite) organ music programs. Our chapter = had a fun program called Choruses for Courses (or perhaps it was the other way around!), hosted by Jim Wetherald at First Presbyterian Church, Stamford. (Un eglise en forme d'un poisson.) It involved a multi-course meal, and between the courses, we ascended to the stage of the hall and sang several anthems brought in quantity by the members. One member brought a couple of interesting compositions of his own. We are a pretty congenial group, anyway, and this turned out to be a fun and useful evening. I learned = about a couple of really good pieces, which in itself made the affair worth it. = We are having a members' recital soon (time and place classified, as I am playing!) for which some members are choosing music that is unjustly unknown. I will report here on the program, after the fact. If I want to continue to live around here, I will, of course, only report the program, NOT review the performances!   Having said all that, there is no question but that the Internet and a = list like this have a greater reach and can indeed enrich our repertoires, = choral and organ. Have we had a thread in which members can list pieces they love but think others may not know? It is my guess that for this list, it ought only to deal with organ music. There are choral lists for anthem discussions, of course.   Cheers,   Malcolm Wechsler, who had never heard the Rutter Requiem, but heard it beautifully sung by Stephen Roberts's choir in Danbury last night.   ----- Original Message ----- From: <Devon3000@aol.com> To: <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Saturday, November 03, 2001 8:44 AM Subject: The Layman and the Professional     > Thanksgiving is coming, and no one has pointed out a new, exciting piece of > music for us to check. Christmas is not far behind. This group has = been, up > to this time, a source of very valuable information for new ideas that I have > really enjoyed using, and it has enhanced my "image" in all areas of my > professional life. Let's concentrate on what we're doing, share ideas, and > keep fighting for attention in the music world. >   > My brass choir has two "arrangers" of brass music. I'm going to try to get > these arrangements published, as they are wonderful and refreshing. > > I want some new, "knock-em-down" organ music, as well as some long-forgotten > sweet, emotionally moving organ music, or even to rediscover any old = music > that has been long-forgotten. Don't hide your valuable knowledge. = Let's > build up a resource file of proven successes in choir anthems = accompanied by > organ, in organ solo pieces, and in compositions for organ with other > instruments. > > If we really value and treasure our vocation as organists, I hope we'll stop > picking at nits and encourage, share, and build up each other with new ideas > (which might be old ideas to you). > > Devon Hollingsworth        
(back) Subject: The Friday Night "Organ Pump" (x posted) From: "Mike Gettelman" <mike3247@earthlink.net> Date: Sat, 03 Nov 2001 11:55:05 -0500   No, I didn't go to Oberlin College last night to hand pump the new Fisk organ in Finney Chapel because Fisk forgot to install a blower. The "Friday Night Organ Pump" has been a long running tradition at Oberlin where the organ students present an impromptu recital at midnight for the students, and anyone else who cares to attend. Although it is a lighthearted and at times, slightly irreverent affair, there is some serious music performed. This particular night was significant because it was the first "Organ Pump" done at Finney Chapel in several years due to the removal of the EM Skinner and the installation of the new Fisk. In the interim, the "Pumps" had been done at Warner auditorium on the venerable Flentrop that lives there, but attendance had suffered. Now that the event has returned to Finney Chapel, the music department hopes for a return to larger audience sizes, and indeed about 200 folks attended this inaugural "Organ Pump" on the Fisk. To borrow a recent thread phrase, I am an admitted "uninitiated layman", but to my ears, this new Fisk instrument sounds terrific. I don't find it overpowering within the acoustic of the Chapel even though there were few people there to absorb the sound. It is robust indeed, but not at all unpleasant. One of the selections played by masters candidate James Feddeck was Jehan Alan's "Litanies". This piece has become one of my favorites, and I was thrilled to hear it played to such perfection. The Fisk seemed right at home with this piece. We also got to hear Bach's T&F played by 8 different organists in a "hot bench" performance, where each played a few phrases, and then turned the bench over on the fly to the next organist. This was very entertaining to watch, and interesting to hear the different styles of the performers on this most familiar piece. The evening closed with a performance of Louis Vierne's Symphony I, Op.14, I. Prelude performed by Tim Spelbring, another highly artistic student of the Oberlin Organ Dept.. The Fisk seems right at home with this music, although the organist must be most athletic to reach all the extremes of the flat pedal board, another long standing tradition of Oberlin instruments. So, there you have it. I report to you that, to my admittedly unseasoned ears, the Fisk seems a successful addition to the Oberlin Organ Dept. It seems to perform well, the music for which it was designed, and I don't hear any of the unpleasantness that has been suggested by other list members about Fisk Instruments. Granted, this was just a single performance heard, so I intend to return to Oberlin tonight to enjoy a concert performed by St. Sulpice organist, Daniel Roth. I have been told he is a master of the French Literature, so it should give me the opportunity to hear the Fisk put through its paces playing the music for which it was designed, performed by an artist who knows the literature quite well. To cap off my Oberlin Weekend, I will also attend a lecture/demonstration to be given by Daniel Roth on Sunday afternoon. I promise a follow up report on these activities as well.   Cheers Mike    
(back) Subject: new music, unknown music From: <quilisma@socal.rr.com> Date: Sat, 03 Nov 2001 08:58:02 -0800   Malcolm raises an interesting question.   I read the reviews of new organ music in The Diapason; I seldom read anything that inspires me to order a piece.   Now, granted, at this point in my life I pretty much play what I'm able to play, and I don't have the chops for big pieces anymore ... but it still strikes me that there's precious little of interest or use being written today.   Part of that has nothing to do with the quality of contemporary composers. The organ has been more-or-less marginalized in the world of "serious" music. It remains to be seen whether or not the restoration of old organs (Jacksonville, Cleveland) or the installation of new organs (Seattle, Dallas) in concert halls will produce significant new music for organ OR organ and orchestra.   Recently I happened to come across a copy of Virgil Thomson's "Pange lingua" (organ solo), which I think was written for the opening of the Aeolian-Skinner at Lincoln Center ... has anyone played it or heard it since?   Cheers,   Bud        
(back) Subject: flat pedal-boards at Oberlin From: <quilisma@socal.rr.com> Date: Sat, 03 Nov 2001 09:11:06 -0800   I was a little surprised by Mike's remark to the effect that flat pedal-boards were a long-standing tradition at Oberlin.   As I recall, ALL the practice organs (INCLUDING the Flentrops) have standard 32-note AGO boards ... the Flentrops MAY be 30-note ... I don't remember specifically ... but I DO remember that they were radiating and concave ... all the Holtkamp "Martinis" certainly are AGO-standard.   The Warner Hall Flentrop was installed after my day, and I don't remember what kind of pedal-board it has, but if BOTH the Warner Hall Flentrop AND the Finney Chapel Fisk DO have flat pedal-boards, I think that's unfortunate. While I agree that serious organ students SHOULD be able to play BOTH, that leaves Oberlin without a concert organ with an AGO-standard pedal-board.   The reality is that when those students leave school, they will be faced with a world that's 95%+ AGO pedal-boards, unless they make concert careers in Europe. I WILL grant that those who know how to play both DO seem to have less problem switching back and forth than those who have never been exposed to flat pedal-boards. And I suppose they have to do it at Oberlin, unless all the practice organs have been changed. But it still strikes me as somewhat odd to have BOTH concert organs with flat pedal-boards, if indeed that's the case.   Cheers,   Bud    
(back) Subject: Re: Effect of swell shutter opening on tonality (cross posted) From: <support@opensystemsorgans.com> Date: 3 Nov 2001 09:16:29 -0800   On Thu, 01 November 2001, "Bruce Miles" wrote:   > My ears tell me that, as the shutters close, the upper > freqencies are attenuated more than the lower or conversely, as they = open, > the sound becomes more brilliant. You're quite right. As the shutters close, the highs are dampened = disproportionately. In fact, even the open shutters have that effect, = which is why some or all of the pipes are left exposed, depending upon the = literature for which the instrument is designed. For Bach, the effect of = shutters is awful: you lose clarity and precision. For the Romantic = literature, the effect can be wonderful: the sound of those reeds = desperately trying to claw their way out of the closed box really sets you = up for what's to come when the shutters open.   > I have been experimenting with reproducing this effect on my soundfont > virtual 'Cinema Organ'. Without it adjusting the 'shutters' sounds just = like > a volume control being adjusted, which is exactly what it is. - most > unrealistic.   Depending upon your hardware, you may run into a wall. The SBLive, for = example, won't let you change its low-pass filter settings over the course = of a sustained tone.   Dick Meckstroth      
(back) Subject: Re: flat pedal-boards at Oberlin From: "Mike Gettelman" <mike3247@earthlink.net> Date: Sat, 03 Nov 2001 12:42:12 -0500       quilisma@socal.rr.com wrote:   > I was a little surprised by Mike's remark to the effect that flat > pedal-boards were a long-standing tradition at Oberlin.   (With a respectful yet wicked grin, Mike replies)   Gee, Bud. Could it be possible that long standing traditions have developed at Oberlin even since you graduated? (just teasing now :-) The Flentrop at Warner Hall indeed is flat. I checked it myself while standing next to the console a few months back. I am no expert on = the organs on the Oberlin campus for sure, but I'd bet the Brumbaugh pedal = board is also flat, and I have heard reports that there are others too. I'd like to sneak in and hear one of the Holtkamp Martinis by the way. Can you imagine the years of wear on these instruments?   Mike