PipeChat Digest #4206 - Wednesday, January 7, 2004
 
Re:  A bad room is no excuse
  by "Mark Quarmby" <mark_quarmby@yahoo.com>
Carpeting etc.
  by "Charlie Lester" <crlester@137.com>
Re: The King James Bible, the Book of Common Prayer, and Shakespeare
  by <DERREINETOR@aol.com>
IRC
  by <quilisma@cox.net>
A story of happy acoustics
  by "Sand Lawn" <glawn@jam.rr.com>
Re: Carpeting etc.
  by "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@mindspring.com>
acoustics as a theological issue
  by <quilisma@cox.net>
Re: Carpeting etc.
  by "Mark W. McClellan" <omicron@prairieinet.net>
Re: Carpeting etc.
  by "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@mindspring.com>
Reverberant Rooms
  by "David Evangelides" <davide@theatreorgans.com>
Re: Carpeting etc.
  by "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@mindspring.com>
Re: extreme examples from the 60's and 70's
  by "Cole" <rcolev@woh.rr.com>
RE: Choral music for K-1
  by "Mark Hopper" <mlhopper@msn.com>
RE: Reverberant Rooms
  by "Michael David" <michaelandmaggy@earthlink.net>
Re: Music Source Question
  by <ProOrgo53@aol.com>
Is it a Mixture?
  by "Richard Schneider" <arpschneider@starband.net>
the Faith in Britain
  by <quilisma@cox.net>
Re: Parrying with nature (Jerusalem)
  by <ProOrgo53@aol.com>
 

(back) Subject: Re: A bad room is no excuse From: "Mark Quarmby" <mark_quarmby@yahoo.com> Date: Wed, 07 Jan 2004 13:04:20 +1100   Bob Conway wrote:   > I never heard the rebuilt organ at the Royal College of Organists, so I = can > make no comments on that. When they moved to St. Andrew's Church, = Holborn, > what became of the organ in Kensington Gore?   It was "transported" to Grafton Cathedral, NSW, Australia where it has = been rebuilt in a rather dry situation. I think the most interesting thing that = I can remember about it was that it had a metronome built into the console = or organ bench which was ticking away for sometime before I discovered it = and was able to turn it off!   I only heard it once at Kensington Gore and from outside the hall as = someone was busy practising for a diploma exam. The room sounded quite resonant = from outside and when I read the specification later, I was rather surprised after what I had heard. In its new location, I probably would not be surprised.. :-)   Cheers,   Mark        
(back) Subject: Carpeting etc. From: "Charlie Lester" <crlester@137.com> Date: Tue, 06 Jan 2004 18:22:43 -0800   I could not agree more with John Foss about the curse of carpeting. And padded pews. And window curtains. And drapes covering the organ chambers. And acoustic tiling.   To some degree or another, nearly every church building in the U.S. that I have seen has undergone some sort of acoustic "improvement" and the more treatment that was done, the worse the result. That more "average" people are not aware of it can only speak of a refusal to acknowledge the fact that acoustics in large auditoriums are nearly always worse after they are tampered with. Especially when they were as they should have been in the first place -- all hard, reflective services.   Now, I am not talking about the rolling acoustic of Liverpool Cathedral. Even a small 100-seater can have a good, resonant acoustic if it's not all trussed up with upholstery.   And back to "improvements," I two case histories right at hand.   One of my organ positions is for a parish who has an early 1940s Spanish style sanctuary that seats about 350-400. There is carpeting down the three aisles and across the front "causeway," and the entire chancel is carpeted. The latter is of course the worst offender in terms of music since both the organ and choir have to sing across that sea of blue orlon. The choir loft has hardwood floors but there is little point in that as none of the sound makes it across the carpeting. So, the church's solution to the problem was to invest in a $15,000 sound system with enough mikes to outfit a television broadcasting studio. And the sound is STILL terrible in there!   A few years ago, a wedding photographer's spotlight blew up, sending cascades of glass and molten metal across the chancel carpet. His insurance company covered 100% repair or replacement, including, if we wished, removal of the carpeting and restoration of the BEAUTIFUL peg and groove hardwood floor underneath.   The Council opted for new carpet, of course, and the new stuff was twice as thick and fluffy as the old stuff, which had been a very close-nap pile that almost looked like indoor-outdoor carpeting. So the acoustics are even worse now. I nearly tendered my resignation over this -- I sent many emotional, tear-stained missives to the Council, begging them to restore the wood floors. Preference for coziness prevailed over concerns of worship ambiance and the carpet won out. I made sure that there was in the Council records a letter expressing my very strong objection to that decision.   The second situation is even worse. This church is a late 1950s Populuxe-style sanctuary. When it was built, it had hard terrazzo floors, unpadded pews, and hard walls - granted, the lower 8-ft. height is brick but since the rest of the surface was cement and plaster, one can only revel in the FORMER acoustic glory of the room. I say, former, because an uninformed pastor determined that he could "improve" the acoustics by covering most of the walls and the middle (long ways) section of the nave ceiling with acoustic tile.   A carpeted runner now covers the center aisle and the pews were, at some point, covered with upholstery. The only unaltered area was the chancel.   So, what happens is that when you stand in the nave, you have the eerie sensation of being in a huge sound studio -- nearly devoid of acoustical support at all. When you sing, your voice disappears into the great void and the sounds of people singing around you dissipate into fuzzy, grayness that does nothing at all to support congregational singing.   The odd thing is, though, that since the chancel is still very resonant, you get a very eerie "slapping" after-echo that only blurs things worse. The current pastor is as impassioned about remedying these improvements as I am -- and has only been deterred by the fact that the acoustic tile contains asbestos so it would have to be removed by high-tech asbestos abatement engineers -- with a price tag of high six figures.   In both cases, the organs suffer terribly. When the larger room's new Casavant was put in it probably was very effective in there despite it fairly modest size (24 ranks). Now, it just about totally disappears halfway down the nave. I have made certain temporary fixes with a very elaborate sound system --- effective but a very great "make-do" at best.   In these situations, the rooms should just have been left alone. Instead, know-it-alls (know-nothings, that is), in terms of acoustic science and engineering, decided to make changes that very detrimentally impacted the very PURPOSE of an AUDI-torium ... to enhance and amplify sound.   This all may sound very logical to musicians, organbuilders, etc. But just try to discuss this rationally with some pastors, council members, etc. A very odd abstinence sets in where, in the interest of the comfort and visual "beauty" of carpeting (I think the stuff is horrific myself), all rational thinking goes out the window.   Even when presented with the scientific and medical evidence that carpeting, especially in public places, is absolutely, disgustingly filthy, some church people are unswayed in their devotion to carpeting.   Here's just a partial list of what you will find in carpeting -- and bear in mind that carpeting in public places is even fouler than carpeting in private residences.   -- Dust, dirt, bacteria, germs, and viruses - tracked and blown in from outdoors   -- Many varieties (some deadly) of fungus; as well as mold, mildew, pollen, yeast, yeast spores and other allergens   -- Fleas, dust mites and other microscopic insects; and their eggs and feces   -- Human dandruff, hair, dead skin cells; and animal dander and mange   -- Bio-chemical pollutants including residue from insecticides and pesticides, auto exhaust fumes, and smog (just a few of many)   (Think about this list the next time you see little tikes merrily crawling and rolling around on a carpeted floor in an airport, hotel lobby ... or church sanctuary.)   So short story long, any way you look at it, no church building has ever been "improved" with acoustical, sound-absorbing treatments. And it's been incontrovertibly proven that these materials are detrimental to corporate and musical worship. Just try to tell THAT to the folks who want nice cushy pads for their fannies, acres of beautiful carpeting to behold, and ceilings full of "sound-killing acoustic tiles." There is simply no rational explanation for this phenomenon.   -------   If anyone is interested, I can post two articles about carpeting that I dug up when I was battling the Carpet Issue. There's some very interesting reading there.     ~ C      
(back) Subject: Re: The King James Bible, the Book of Common Prayer, and Shakespeare From: <DERREINETOR@aol.com> Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2004 21:47:36 EST   Bud, Touchee. BH    
(back) Subject: IRC From: <quilisma@cox.net> Date: Tue, 06 Jan 2004 19:07:08 -0800   If everybody's not off We Three Kings-ing, I'm on (grin).   Bud      
(back) Subject: A story of happy acoustics From: "Sand Lawn" <glawn@jam.rr.com> Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2004 21:22:25 -0600   I play for a small church with ideal acoustics. Hard surface walls, concrete floor that has been scored and painted "faux-marble," wooden ceiling with prefab beams which rises to a height of 37', hard wood floors in the chance. The 160 seats are padded and one runner runs down the central aisle. There is very subtle miking for the pulpit and the = lectern. There is no discernible echo but the ambience is very generous to vocal sounds, (a choir of 22), and the small 2/15 organ fills the room generously and supports a congregation that sings heartily. One of the best comments I heard was when a visitor commented, "I looked and looked, but I could not see how you manage to mike the choir! They sound so natural." This = church decided from the beginning to do things right and carefully followed the good advice they were given when the church was built 12 years ago. Never has the word "carpeting" been uttered here.   Sand Lawn www.northmin.com    
(back) Subject: Re: Carpeting etc. From: "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@mindspring.com> Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2004 21:19:02 -0600     ----- Original Message ----- From: "Charlie Lester" <crlester@137.com> To: "PipeChat" <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 8:22 PM Subject: Carpeting etc.     > To some degree or another, nearly every church building in > the U.S. that I have seen has undergone some sort of > acoustic "improvement" and the more treatment that was done, > the worse the result.   Well, I am glad to say that our church has never undergone any acoustic improvement. There has never been a carpet or pew cushions. The building only seats 200 people, but has 4 seconds of reverberation. As Sir David Willcocks is reported to have said of King's College Chapel in Cambridge, "in an acoustic like this a fart sounds like a sevenfold Amen."   John Speller, St. Mark's Church (Episcopal), St. Louis, Missouri. www.saintmarks-stl.org    
(back) Subject: acoustics as a theological issue From: <quilisma@cox.net> Date: Tue, 06 Jan 2004 19:29:40 -0800   The ancients weren't shy about spelling out WHY they built their churches the way they did ... read Abbot Suger on the building of the Great Quire at St.-Denis, or St. Bonaventure's Light Metaphysics.   All that space above one's head in a Romanesque or Gothic church isn't "wasted" space; it's SACRED space ... "How AWESOME is this place! It is none other than the Gate of Heaven and Tabernacle of the Most High God" (Introit, Dedication of a Church)   And NOTHING could be solemnly consecrated that wasn't PERMANENT ... carpet in a medieval gothic church? laughable, except for the rich carpets that were laid before the altar-throne of God, and changed at regular intervals.   At the protestant reformation, when the words of men became more important that encountering the Living Word of God (Logos) during the Mass, church architecture changed.   Puritan meeting-houses have notoriously bad acoustics for music, and that was by design. Puritans recoiled in HORROR at the concept of worshipping God in the BEAUTY of holiness. They substituted the judgement-seat for God's altar ... indeed, many New England churches doubled as court-houses.   Reverberant churches make most protestants queasy, and the more protestant they are, the queasier they get (chuckle).   Cheers,   Bud      
(back) Subject: Re: Carpeting etc. From: "Mark W. McClellan" <omicron@prairieinet.net> Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2004 21:33:38 -0600   But I would like to hear more about "the biggest little organ in the = world" ----- Original Message ----- From: "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@mindspring.com>   > As Sir David > Willcocks is reported to have said of King's College Chapel in = Cambridge, > "in an acoustic like this a fart sounds like a sevenfold Amen." > > John Speller, > St. Mark's Church (Episcopal), > St. Louis, Missouri. > www.saintmarks-stl.org >   >    
(back) Subject: Re: Carpeting etc. From: "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@mindspring.com> Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2004 21:48:29 -0600     ----- Original Message ----- From: "Mark W. McClellan" <omicron@prairieinet.net> To: "PipeChat" <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 9:33 PM Subject: Re: Carpeting etc.     > But I would like to hear more about "the biggest little organ in the world" > ----- Original Message ----- > From: "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@mindspring.com> > > > > As Sir David > > Willcocks is reported to have said of King's College Chapel in Cambridge, > > "in an acoustic like this a fart sounds like a sevenfold Amen." > > > > John Speller, > > St. Mark's Church (Episcopal), > > St. Louis, Missouri. > > www.saintmarks-stl.org   Unfortunately it needs quite a bit of work at present, so is not in top condition. It was, however, when built in 1938-9 one of G. Donald Harrison's finest small instruments, and although only 9 ranks sounds like around 50. Aeolian-Skinner Op. 979. The stop list is:   GREAT 61   8' Principal (metal) 8' Spitz Flute (metal) 4' Nachthorn (metal)   SWELL 61 (enclosed)   8' Bourdon (stopped wood & metal) 4' Prestant III Rks. Mixture (22-26-29) Tremolo   PEDAL 32   16' Bourdon (stopped wood) 8' Flute (ext.)   COUPLERS   Swell to Great 16-8-4 Great to Pedal Swell to Pedal 8-4 Swell 16-4 Great 4   Balanced Swell Pedal Balanced Crescendo Pedal Reversible toe spoon for Full Organ (the tabs are not winded, so there is no combination action)   The plenum is superb, literally sounding like a 50 rank organ, and the individual stops are very attractive. The drawbacks are: (1) Most of the beef is on the Swell, so it is very difficult to obtain echo effects; (2) There are no solo stops; (3) There are no strings; (4) There are no reeds; (5) There are no pistons.   John Speller        
(back) Subject: Reverberant Rooms From: "David Evangelides" <davide@theatreorgans.com> Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2004 19:48:48 -0800   In a similar way that preaching speed (words/minute) must be slower in the old cathedrals due to reverb, so accompanying congregational singing would have to be slowed down as each factor increases: 1. Auditorium is larger + 2. Reverb is greater + 3. Size of congregation increases.   That delay factor can distort the organist's sense of timing in the reverberant environment. Think of the delay factor, the 'wrap around' and time the sound from the organ and congregation reaches the organist's ears!   So the question is: Compared to singing in today's US style churches, would hymns have been sung at a slower tempo in UK style cathedrals - say 100 or 200 years ago?   David E   > -----Original Message----- > From: "F Richard Burt" <effarbee@verizon.net> > Subject: Re: extreme examples from the 60's and 70's > > The modern American style of preaching would be extremely bothersome if > applied in a highly reverberant room, such as the Cathedrals and > churches in the UK. If the environment is highly reflective, the rate > of delivery must be slowed to allow all hearers to sort the "message" > out from the rolling reverberations. The reberberations would roll up and around the on-going delivery of the spoken words to the point that it would be a continuous stream of noise; nothing more. - - - -   David E   David Evangelides Fulfillment Manager International Bible Society Colorado Springs, CO 80921  
(back) Subject: Re: Carpeting etc. From: "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@mindspring.com> Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2004 21:56:18 -0600     ----- Original Message ----- From: "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@mindspring.com> To: "PipeChat" <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 9:48 PM Subject: Re: Carpeting etc. > SWELL 61 (enclosed) > > 8' Bourdon (stopped wood & metal) > 4' Prestant > III Rks. Mixture (22-26-29)   Oops! Should be Plein Jeu III Rks. Don't know why I think of it as a Mixture! <g>   John Speller    
(back) Subject: Re: extreme examples from the 60's and 70's From: "Cole" <rcolev@woh.rr.com> Date: Tue, 06 Jan 2004 22:59:37 -0500   John Foss wrote: >... the "Word of God" must be >heard. It has been heard in the Cathedrals and >churches in the UK for several hundred years without >the benefit of carpeting, amplification or any other >help, other than that of good diction and the >"sounding board" of the pulpit.   No doubt, it was "heard". Was anybody listening?   Ross Coulson "Cole" Votaw -- Springfield, Ohio, USA      
(back) Subject: RE: Choral music for K-1 From: "Mark Hopper" <mlhopper@msn.com> Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2004 23:21:16 -0500   Shirley, Anyone who works with children and youth choral groups of any age should = be a member of the Choristers Guild. They are the magnet for the very best = of the best arrangers of children's music. The 90 voices of our three children's choirs are my primary focus here in Henderson--I couldn't live without the resources CG offers.   In my opinion, the best primary age material (4-5 yrs.) comes from Michael Bedford. He is a fellow Guild member and a top-shelf organist and church musician (and quite well respected, in fact). His material is musically = and educationally solid and is particularly well-suited to intoducing the = church year to young choristers.   I would be happy to speak with you further off the list.   Peace, Mark   Mark L. Hopper Associate Minister of Music and Organist The First Baptist Church 205 West Winder Street PO Box 75 Henderson, NC 27536 Church-(252) 438-3172 Home-(252) 492-6774 Fax-(252) 438-3710 markhopper@ncol.net    
(back) Subject: RE: Reverberant Rooms From: "Michael David" <michaelandmaggy@earthlink.net> Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2004 23:07:23 -0600   I don't know about centuries ago but today the answer is no. Tempos are similar And yes, I've played hymns in small churches in the US and a = number of cathedrals in England. Congregational responses and prayers are similarly paced in large spaces.       -----Original Message----- From: pipechat@pipechat.org [mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org]On Behalf Of David Evangelides Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 9:49 PM To: pipechat@pipechat.org Subject: Reverberant Rooms     In a similar way that preaching speed (words/minute) must be slower in the old cathedrals due to reverb, so accompanying congregational singing would have to be slowed down as each factor increases: 1. Auditorium is larger + 2. Reverb is greater + 3. Size of congregation increases.   That delay factor can distort the organist's sense of timing in the reverberant environment. Think of the delay factor, the 'wrap around' and time the sound from the organ and congregation reaches the organist's ears!   So the question is: Compared to singing in today's US style churches, would hymns have been sung at a slower tempo in UK style cathedrals - say 100 or 200 years ago?        
(back) Subject: Re: Music Source Question From: <ProOrgo53@aol.com> Date: Wed, 7 Jan 2004 00:28:52 EST   This 'Ave Maria' was by Johann Arcadelt and arranged by Franz Liszt.   This selection (copyright 1943 Amsco Music Publishing Company)can be found = on page 60 of the collection "Masterpieces for Organ" w/ foreward and editing by Dr. William Volkel, F.A.G.O.. The collection was published by Amsco Music Publishing Company - their item number 153. The collection = was published in 1973. ISBN 0-8256-2153-4   R. McGee Atlanta. GA, USA    
(back) Subject: Is it a Mixture? From: "Richard Schneider" <arpschneider@starband.net> Date: Wed, 07 Jan 2004 00:12:41 -0600   "John L. Speller" wrote:   > > III Rks. Mixture (22-26-29) > Oops! Should be Plein Jeu III Rks. Don't know why I think of it as a > Mixture! <g>   That's because, technically, it still IS a Mixture. A Mixture, by way of broad definition, is two or more ranks combined or "MIXED". What the pitches are is immaterial to that definition.   That's why silly things like a I rank NonenZimbel are NOT mixtures! That's just crashing glass somewhere out there in the Stratosphere!   Faithfully,   G.A.   -- Richard Schneider, PRES/CEO <>< Schneider Pipe Organs, Inc. 41-43 Johnston St./P.O. Box 137 Kenney, IL 61749-0137 (217) 944-2454 VOX (877) 944-2454 TOLL-FREE (217) 944-2527 FAX arpschneider@starband.net Home Office EMAIL arp@schneiderpipeorgans.com SHOP EMAIL http://www.schneiderpipeorgans.com URL ADDRESS  
(back) Subject: the Faith in Britain From: <quilisma@cox.net> Date: Tue, 06 Jan 2004 22:50:31 -0800   What an odd comment. It smacks of the protestant heresy that there was somehow a secret underground protestant church from A.D. 33 until approximately A.D. 1520, and that all the intervening years of Christian history simply had no meaning.   To answer your question, yes, the Word of God was preached and heard in Cathedrals and Churches in Britain, from the time Roman soldiers carried the Faith thence even unto the present day; the Sacraments were faithfully celebrated and received; saints wrought many miracles; sinners were converted; Our Lady blessed us with a vision of Her presence at Walsingham.   Bud   Amplification was not required.   Cole wrote:   > John Foss wrote: > >> ... the "Word of God" must be >> heard. It has been heard in the Cathedrals and >> churches in the UK for several hundred years without >> the benefit of carpeting, amplification or any other >> help, other than that of good diction and the >> "sounding board" of the pulpit. > > > No doubt, it was "heard". Was anybody listening? > > Ross Coulson "Cole" Votaw -- Springfield, Ohio, USA > > > "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: Parrying with nature (Jerusalem) From: <ProOrgo53@aol.com> Date: Wed, 7 Jan 2004 02:28:16 EST   Thank you Colin. Very interesting and not entirely off subject. We must = be aware of these things. My appreciation to you!   Dale Rider