PipeChat Digest #3870 - Tuesday, August 12, 2003
 
Of Mixtures, Twelfths, and Rankage (long)
  by <TubaMagna@aol.com>
Madison, WI - Wed Noon Recitals
  by "Michael Franch" <mvfranch@hotmail.com>
RE: This Sunday
  by "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com>
Wedding music
  by "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com>
IRC tonight
  by <quilisma@socal.rr.com>
Re: Madison, WI - Wed Noon Recitals
  by "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@mindspring.com>
Re: Orwell, VT Hook (and 2-rank mixture)
  by "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@mindspring.com>
Re: Mixtures
  by "bobelms" <bobelms@westnet.com.au>
Dogs and organ music.
  by "bobelms" <bobelms@westnet.com.au>
Re: Dogs and organ music.
  by <quilisma@socal.rr.com>
Re: MIXTURES
  by "John Foss" <harfo32@yahoo.co.uk>
Re: MIXTURES
  by <RonSeverin@aol.com>
velocity sensitive action
  by "terry hicks" <Terrick@webtv.net>
Re: velocity sensitive action
  by <quilisma@socal.rr.com>
 

(back) Subject: Of Mixtures, Twelfths, and Rankage (long) From: <TubaMagna@aol.com> Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2003 16:20:08 EDT   Dear PipeChatters: Although I have designed and voiced a whole mess of mixtures during the past two decades, I am by no means the authority on the subject; there are others on this list with far more experience under their belts. However, due to the number of private emails regarding this topic, I'll give a couple of my thoughts on it. I can also post an article I wrote for the Journal of American Organbuilding entitled, "Mixture Design and Voicing: One Builder's Musings." That piece is a good introduction to my thoughts, and will give list members a real taste of the types of articles that appear in the Journal, the official quarterly of the American Institute of Organbuilders and the most affordable organbuilding Journal in print. I shall leave it up to the administrators as to whether or not they will permit this. My ramblings, such as this one, can be quite boring. Organists must get away from statements like, "A Fourniture is a mixture of X ranks, pitched at X-X-X-X-X, breaking on the Cs," regurgitating a formula quoted by Barnes fifty years ago. He was not an organbuilder, but an enthusiast writing in an inspired, but still naive period. There are historical and musical paraments, but no "absolutes," in mixture design.   What's wrong with three-rank mixtures? Mixtures of three ranks, with rare exception, are harmonically unbalanced, and change their composite color at each break, regardless of how "meticulous" or "sensitive" the finisher is. When two fifths, perfectly tuned, embrace a sole unison, and are clashing with the tempered intervals held at the keyboard, the ensemble gets reedy and wavy, and voice leading in contrapuntal and choral music suffers. Temperament is NOT the culprit, it simply isn't. An atmosphere of overpowering fifths, entering and leaving at each break, cannot be compensated for by an exotic temperament.   Can three-rank mixtures be made to work? I have designed and voiced three three-rank mixtures; two were 15-19-22 and did not break for nearly FOUR octaves, breaking to 8-15-19 and 8-12-15, always maintaining the "shine" of two unisons, aided by downscaled quint ranks. The third was the replacement of a mid-1970s "Cymbel" that was a pseudo-historical farce in the context of a clinically dead, carpeted American church, pitched untunably high, and bearing little or no resemblance to any mixture it claimed to emulate. The replacement began lower-pitched, with two unisons and one fifth, and the breaks were arranged such that the quint-unison-quint portions only ran three notes or so, and the clearer, double-unison breaks ran for nine notes. Because the room was so incredibly bright (after the installation of the new marble floor), the top break, as I remember, runs 1-8-12. I can dig up the paperwork and post that example separately.   Twelfths: are they necessary luxuries, or built into the mixtures? Well, they don't show up in French baroque organs, but are quite present in German baroque organs. In some German instruments, one finds BOTH a flute-scaled Nazard and a principal-scaled Quinte on the Hauptwerk, whereas in France, these mutations are almost universally flutes, from the seventeenth century to the present. Twelfths have been a consistent flavor in English organs for centuries, a tradition that made its way to American organbuilding until about the 1960s, when Americans began to drop them from organ design (along with Swell 8' Open Diapasons, Swell reed choruses, REAL strings, and thick, thunderous pedal organs). An independtly drawn twelfth is scaled, voiced, and finished differently than the twelfth that enters a mixture as part of a larger voice. I personally find that if the twelfth enters too early in the mixture, the texture can be gritty, and it is often that the twelfth drifts during tuning. It occurred to me that this is getting way too long, and may be unpostable, so I shall refrain from yammering any longer. But those are some starter thoughts...   Sebastian M. Gluck New York City  
(back) Subject: Madison, WI - Wed Noon Recitals From: "Michael Franch" <mvfranch@hotmail.com> Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2003 15:50:08 -0500   If you're in the area during the fall semester, you'll want to check out this fabulous weekly recital series:   Noon Organ Recitals will run September 3 through December17 at Luther Memorial Church, 1021 University Ave., Madison, WI. For more information call 608.258.3160.   November 5 and the two weeks following will be special programs to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the series!   Bruce Bengston is the Organist and Music Director of Luther Memorial. It has a beautiful Austin and the acoustics are ideal!   Mike Franch in Madison, WI   _________________________________________________________________ The new MSN 8: advanced junk mail protection and 2 months FREE* http://join.msn.com/?page=features/junkmail    
(back) Subject: RE: This Sunday From: "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com> Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2003 18:08:34 -0500   Very nice, Sand. Guess I need to buy a jet after all, just to go to your church.   Glenda Sutton gksjd85@direcway.com     -----Original Message----- From: pipechat@pipechat.org [mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org] On Behalf Of Sand Lawn   Service Music for Northminster Ch. Monroe, LA August 10th, 2003 Installation of new Associate Pastor   Prelude Piece Heroique Franck Introit "I Was Glad" Parry The Gospel Lesson "The Spirit of the Lord" Elgar The Choral Blessing "How Beautiful are the Feet" Handel The Anthem "How Lovely Are the Messengers" (St. Paul) Mendelssohn The Communion Anthem "Draw Us In the Spirit's Tether" Friedell The Choral Benediction "The Lord Bless You and Keep You" Rutter   It was a beautiful service          
(back) Subject: Wedding music From: "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com> Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2003 18:57:53 -0500   I've got a strange request to make. I'm finishing a project, and decided to design a wedding program for it. I would like your suggestions (I already know my own) of fabulous (not your everyday hum-drum - please no G-strings or Ariosos or sheep grazing, safely or otherwise, and let's skip the usual Wagner/Mendelssohn/Purcell/Clarke) wedding music, for great organ, any necessary chamber instruments (although let's keep them to a minimum, please), in a good medium space with great musicians, particularly music for trained boy and/or girl choir that of course would be evocative of wedded bliss. This is an expensive wedding, but it is not the Rockefellers, so no full orchestras please. Please feel free to include some good Anglican/Episcopal/Lutheran hymns. Bagpipes need not apply, and keep the brass section as close to the back door as possible (even outside the church would be nice).   I just can't wait, although we won't actually make it to the wedding in this literary project, so I'm not likely to use these (unless I ever play another wedding myself). But I'd really like to see what you come up with.   Glenda Sutton gksjd85@direcway.com          
(back) Subject: IRC tonight From: <quilisma@socal.rr.com> Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2003 17:44:44 -0700   9 p.m. US Eastern Time   directions: pipechant homepage   SEE Y'ALL THERE!   Cheers,   Bud      
(back) Subject: Re: Madison, WI - Wed Noon Recitals From: "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@mindspring.com> Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2003 20:19:35 -0500     ----- Original Message ----- From: "Michael Franch" <mvfranch@hotmail.com> To: <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Monday, August 11, 2003 3:50 PM Subject: Madison, WI - Wed Noon Recitals     > If you're in the area during the fall semester, you'll want to check out > this fabulous weekly recital series: > > Noon Organ Recitals will run September 3 through December17 at Luther > Memorial Church, 1021 University Ave., Madison, WI. For more information > call 608.258.3160. > > November 5 and the two weeks following will be special programs to celebrate > the 30th anniversary of the series! > > Bruce Bengston is the Organist and Music Director of Luther Memorial. It has > a beautiful Austin and the acoustics are ideal!   I think this is Bengtson (son of Bengt) not Bengston. This would be Bruce A. Bengtson. Bruce P. Bengtson is organist of Christ Church, Reading, Pa.   John Speller    
(back) Subject: Re: Orwell, VT Hook (and 2-rank mixture) From: "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@mindspring.com> Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2003 20:35:59 -0500   Although I was unfortunately unable to go this year (having used up all my vacation going to England earlier in the summer), I did go to the Orwell recital a few years back when the recitalist was Peter Sykes. It is a = truly wonderful little organ, and I could well believe it is the best extant one-manual Hook.   John Speller    
(back) Subject: Re: Mixtures From: "bobelms" <bobelms@westnet.com.au> Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 11:07:25 +0800   I have just read another dissertation on temperaments by Ron Severin. Is there something wrong with my ears and my musical sense? This talk of out of tune-ness of instruments tuned to equal temperament which has been pushed by Ron for years does not make sense to me. It does not fit what I hear. And how does he know what Bach liked or disliked?? Are Bach's comments and preferences recorded anywhere?   I have listened to mean tone temperament - flat keys were not acceptable), Werckmeister - a little better but not all that much, and Valotti - good for most keys but not so hot for some of the French and modern repertoire. Equal temperament seemed to be the most universally acceptable sound, remembering that I play music from many eras and composers from Bach to Herbert Howells and Gordon Young, Vierne and Cesar Franck, just to name a range. If you are going to confine your repertoir to the Baroque, Bach, Pachelbel, etc. fine, but for most modern music equal seems to do the best job. I know some might not agree.   Further, the evidence is that the most widely used temperament is equal, given that orchestras play in that temperament. Pianos also are tuned to equal temperament. Don they inevitably sound out of tune? Of course not. I know pianos have not mutations or mixtures but they do play chords in fifths and thirds so the "out of tuneness" spoken of by Ron should show up there. It doesn't. Woodwinds, brass are tuned to equal, strings are tuned to perfect fifths but I believe most string players do not use open strings usually anyway so, effectively, they are playing in tune with the other instruments.   Nor can I accept that the introduction of equal temperament was the reason for the abandonment of the use of mixtures and mutations and upperwork. According to all the reading I have done this was a natural progression, a swing of the pendulum, partly through changes in the repertoire - the playing of transcriptions and 19th Century repertoire that called for varied tone colours, high pressure reeds, and imitative stops. The organ became a one man orchestra and was used extensively as such (to huge audiences incidentally. Sydney Town Hall organ used to draw audiences in the thousands). The pendulum has now swung back to an instrument probably combining the best of two worlds. However the majority of these latest instruments are still being tuned to equal temperament in this country at least.   Nor do I believe people were not "entirely happy" with the result but "didn't know why". This is generalization..   I cannot accept Ron's final remark "scratchy, sizzly, wooly (sic)" and "snarly, screachy (sic)" That does not fit with the beautifully voiced instruemnts I have heard and played all of which use equal temperament.   I think your horse died many years ago Ron.   Regards, Bob Elms.     ---- Original Message ---- From: RonSeverin@aol.com To: pipechat@pipechat.org Subject: Re: Mixtures Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2003 12:28:13 EDT   >Hi Arie: I think it will lay to rest the fears >of moving away from equal temperment and still be able to play >in all keys major and minor. Bach produced the well tempered >48 for Clavichord, and as erroniously ascribed to equal temperment. >It will probably take a 100 years to totally make right this error. >Equal temperment was known as early as the 17th century and >discarded out of hand. Bach certainly knew of it, and could never >bring himself to embrace it, but yet he gets the blame. >442 or 444. One American builder of the 19th century even went >as high as A=459. he later went back to retune lower. IIRC this >was the RC cathedral in either Rochester, or Buffalo NY. Oh, you >could >play in all keys, but they were all out of tune at the same rate in >Equal. >The first hit soon after this change to Equal was to cut back or >eliminate mixtures altogether. Mutations were curtailed, reeds got darker, and in many cases 2' stops were eliminated except on very complete larger organs. Tonal color then came from reeds and keen strings, and exaggerated flue scales, all to compensate the out of tuneness of Equal. >People were never entirely happy with the results but never knew >there was an alternative. Their remarks over the last 100 years atest to their displeasure >but what to do. I say go back and rediscover the truth. Oh, you heard >these in print many, many times, words like scratchy, sizzle, wooly, >and on the baroque side snarly, screachy. What caused those >remarks? You guessed it..............Equal temperment. > >Ron Severin >    
(back) Subject: Dogs and organ music. From: "bobelms" <bobelms@westnet.com.au> Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 11:28:59 +0800   Perhaps Bruce can tell me why I can take my dog into the church when I am practising, he lies under a pew and goes to sleep while I thunder away. Even full organ is no problem for him. Reeds or flues or both it is the same for him. Peaceful slumber.   However, if I as much as pick up my oboe at home, he does not wait for the first note. He leaves the house so fast that he bumps into things on this way out and he stays out for the rest of the day!   Both instruments are tuned to equal temperament so we can't blame that, can we?   Bob Elms.    
(back) Subject: Re: Dogs and organ music. From: <quilisma@socal.rr.com> Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2003 20:42:33 -0700   Princess, Sheltie #1 in the dynasty, used to go to church with me all the time. She'd sleep peacefully on a pew cushion in the organ loft until the 32' came on ... then she'd RACE around the loft looking for the "mice" ... it was an old church, and everything RATTLED with the 32' Bourdon drawn (chuckle).   Cheers,   Bud   bobelms wrote: > Perhaps Bruce can tell me why I can take my dog into the church when > I am practising, he lies under a pew and goes to sleep while I > thunder away. Even full organ is no problem for him. Reeds or flues > or both it is the same for him. Peaceful slumber. > > However, if I as much as pick up my oboe at home, he does not wait > for the first note. He leaves the house so fast that he bumps into > things on this way out and he stays out for the rest of the day! > > Both instruments are tuned to equal temperament so we can't blame > that, can we? > > Bob Elms. > > "Pipe Up and Be Heard!" > PipeChat: A discussion List for pipe/digital organs & related topics > HOMEPAGE : http://www.pipechat.org > List: mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org > Administration: mailto:admin@pipechat.org > Subscribe/Unsubscribe: mailto:requests@pipechat.org > > >        
(back) Subject: Re: MIXTURES From: "John Foss" <harfo32@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 06:25:42 +0100 (BST)   Dale wrote "Is it really a Viscount(?) Ahlborn?"   It's a 2m Viscount Jubilate with an Ahlborn Classic Archive. The Ahlborn is voiceable, the Viscount at this level not. However the combination provides the basis for playing virtually all the repertoire, though 3 manuals would be welcome. The Ahlborn has better sounds than the Viscount - the mixtures are brighter and clearer. It is when the V & A are used together that the conflict arises - they are not quite in tune with each other. Now this is alterable, but the last occasion I tried my handing at adjusting the settings the Ahlborn rebelled and went on to about 25% volume, so, after help from Eorg list members (yes Arie - you were appreciated!) and the factory to restore it to its initial glory I have been wary of doing anything else to it! John Foss       ===== www.johnfoss.gr http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orgofftop/   ________________________________________________________________________ Want to chat instantly with your online friends? Get the FREE Yahoo! Messenger http://uk.messenger.yahoo.com/  
(back) Subject: Re: MIXTURES From: <RonSeverin@aol.com> Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 01:41:49 EDT   Hi John:   The manual that came with your Ahlborn module will allow you to tune the module to the Viscount.   Ron    
(back) Subject: velocity sensitive action From: "terry hicks" <Terrick@webtv.net> Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 01:29:33 -0500 (CDT)   I can't remember the company who had installed some action that would duplicate the control of mechanical action. Have they disappeared? I'm waiting for the day when velocity-sensitive keyboards can open valves/pallets through electric action.    
(back) Subject: Re: velocity sensitive action From: <quilisma@socal.rr.com> Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 01:37:03 -0700   Um, two that I know of: Notre Dame in Paris (don't know the builder), and C.B. Fisk at All Saints' Ashmont Station, Boston. The latter was abandoned after the rector changed his mind about wanting a chancel console that would play the Fisk in the west gallery, as well as the old electric-action chancel organ, or something like that.   Cheers,   Bud   terry hicks wrote: > I can't remember the company who had installed some action that would > duplicate the control of mechanical action. Have they disappeared? I'm > waiting for the day when velocity-sensitive keyboards can open > valves/pallets through electric action. > > "Pipe Up and Be Heard!" > PipeChat: A discussion List for pipe/digital organs & related topics > HOMEPAGE : http://www.pipechat.org > List: mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org > Administration: mailto:admin@pipechat.org > Subscribe/Unsubscribe: mailto:requests@pipechat.org > > >