PipeChat Digest #4545 - Tuesday, June 8, 2004
 
Re: digital "action"
  by "Raymond H. Clark, Quilisma Publications" <quilisma@cox.net>
Solemn Evensong at St. John's
  by <DERREINETOR@aol.com>
Re: Tamburini and Digitini
  by <TubaMagna@aol.com>
My concert was last night
  by "BRUCE SHAW" <bruce.shaw@shaw.ca>
Re: digital "action"
  by "bobelms" <bobelms@westnet.com.au>
Re: Patriotic suggestions
  by "littlebayus@yahoo.com" <littlebayus@yahoo.com>
RE: Patriotic suggestions
  by "littlebayus@yahoo.com" <littlebayus@yahoo.com>
Re: digital "action"
  by "Raymond H. Clark, Quilisma Publications" <quilisma@cox.net>
 

(back) Subject: Re: digital "action" From: "Raymond H. Clark, Quilisma Publications" <quilisma@cox.net> Date: Mon, 07 Jun 2004 19:18:07 -0700       Andrew Barss wrote:   > > On Monday, June 7, 2004, at 07:43 PM, Raymond H. Clark, Quilisma > Publications wrote: > >> Please. I've read all the electronic substitute makers' propaganda >> about that. What they DON'T tell you is that speakers will need >> re-coning or replacing every 10-15 years (more often near the coast), > > > My experience suggests that this is the exception rather than the rule. > My father represented Allen organs in the Maritime Canada region (can't > get much closer to the coast than that!) from about 1965 until his death =   > in 1990. I continue to maintain an association with the current > representative and, while there have been some speakers re-coned and/or > replaced, the vast majority are still operating just fine.   Well, it's a BIG problem in San Diego, perhaps because the temperature is also higher. > > >> What costs MONEY is when a church puts in a pipe organ and DOESN'T >> keep up with the maintenance. That's the churches' fault, NOT the = organs. > > > Playing the devil's advocate for a moment: How much money will be > invested over the life of that pipe organ in annual maintenance and > major cleanings/refurbishing which (based on my observations) seem to be =   > required every 20-30 years?   That's my point. Those major overhauls are required every 20-30 years because of "deferred maintenance."   How does that compare to replacing an > electronic organ every 20-30 years?   Well, it's hard to say because one can't predict the rate of inflation with any kind of accuracy. Yes, the Flentrop in Seattle DID have to have an action overhaul BEFORE the earthquake, but that was because it wasn't done right to begin with (evidently). > > >> I don't want to put words into Seb Gluck's mouth, but he has OFTEN >> said that it is the defeatist attitude of SOME organist that results >> in an electronic substitute being installed > > > This sort of statement suggests the attitude that ANY pipe organ is > preferable to ANY digital organ -- I (and I'm clearly not alone on this) =   > do not subscribe to that opinion.   I didn't say that; I have NEVER said that. What I HAVE said is that a properly voiced, designed, scaled and placed pipe organ is preferable to ANY digital substitute.   I have played MORE than my share of horrible pipe organs; but in a LOT of cases, a thorough CLEANING and TUNING was all that was required to "un-horribilize" them (chuckle), and/or a JUDICIOUS revoicing and re-scaling by somebody who knew what they were DOING.   I would always prefer a well-built, > well-designed, well-maintained pipe organ to a digital organ. However, > how often does one or more of those factors fall short of the mark? > > >> Yes, it's nice to have a recital organ, but not at the expense of >> having pipes at ALL. Preludes and postludes are NOT that important, at >> least not in liturgical churches. MOST Roman Catholic, Anglican, and >> Lutheran churches can be served VERY well by a correctly designed, >> voiced, and installed encased organ of 10-20 stops. > > > Agreed. But not all those churches are installing digital organs are > buying 100+ stops! There are a lot of 25-35 stop digital organs being > installed (quite successfully, I might add) in churches where a pipe > organ is totally impracticable due to physical constraints, monetary > constraints, or both.   If you have room for a digital console and speakers, you have room for a pipe organ. Look at something like Hal Gober's instrument that's wrapped around the WEST DOORS of the church (grin) ... it also has a side-saddle console so the organist can see the altar. And it's a TRACKER (chuckle).   As to monetary constraints, we moved and restored that K & G in Cincinnati for UNDER $5K in the 1970s, and MOST of the money went to an organ-builder for releathering the huge reservoir and feeders.   > > Often these churches are enjoying their instruments and praising God > every bit as vigorously and with every bit as much spirit as any church > with a pipe organ. I find that the "pipe-at-any-cost" proponents seem to =   > want these churches to believe that they have somehow "copped out" by > buying a non-pipe organ. In my opinion, that's simply not fair!   Prior to the 1930s, churches had pipe organs; those who couldn't afford them had reed organs, which, again, in the hands of a good musician, can be perfectly acceptable ... *I* wish somebody would tackle building a modern version of the Mustel harmonium.   We don't put plastic flowers or electric candles or cotton-polyester cloths on our altars (in the Anglican Church, anyway); we give God the BEST ... fresh flowers and beeswax candles and pure linen altar cloths. Why should that not apply to organs as well, if you want to bring "spirit" and "God" into the mix? Digital substitutes are just that: a substitute for the real thing.   > > >> It simply is not good stewardship to install an electronic substitute >> for $50K-$100K that is going to have to be replaced every 20-30 years >> when you could recycle a marvelous 19th century pipe organ like the >> one Seb rescued in New York that will BE there for a couple of hundred >> years. > > > Once again, in my experience, the rescued organ remaining in place for a =   > couple of hundred years is the exception rather than the rule. Can you > find specific examples? Of course. Can you show valid statistics to > suggest that even 25% of the pipe organs sold remain in place for more > than 100 years? I doubt it.   Oh, I think you'd find that the pipe organs that WERE discarded were discarded because of changing FASHIONS, rather than because they were worn out. As to examples, see the Extant Organs List from Organ Historical Society. > > As the quality of sound of digital organs improves, I suspect you will > find fewer churches parting with them as quickly as 20-30 years from > now. Some of those old digital Allens that my father sold back in the > early '70s have been replaced but most are still in use by their > original owners. Furthermore, the ones that are being replaced are being =   > put back into service in other locations. The original owners are almost =   > always replacing them to obtain better sound -- not because they are > beyond repair (or even in need of repair). > > >> People turn up their noses at small organs and recycled 19th century >> organs. That's unfortunate, because they can make more MUSIC than ANY >> amount of digitalia. It's the ORGANISTS who don't know what to do with >> them. > > > Right. It's the organists. I believe your statement can be just as > accurate turned around: A digital organ can make more MUSIC than ANY > amount of pipes. It's the ORGANISTS who don't know what to do with them.   Surely you jest! > > I think the critical word in that sentence is "can." > > The music director at our church is an accomplished concert pianist. I > once commented about his playing an old upright in the church that was > in very poor condition. He responded that, as a professional, he > considered it his responsibility to make the best of whatever instrument =   > he was asked to play whether that was a fine concert grand, a grimy old > upright with notes not playing, or a digital piano. Would he prefer to > play on the fine concert grand? Of course, wouldn't we all? However, he > didn't criticize what was available, he simply got on with the job at = hand. > > There's my $0.02 (or so) worth. > > Regards, > Andrew Barss > Halifax, Nova Scotia >   Of course. I've run FINE music programs with nothing but a broken-down electronic substitute for the instrument. We sang a cappella a LOT (grin). That doesn't mean that I didn't spearhead a drive for a pipe organ as soon as it was humanly possible.   Cheers,   Bud      
(back) Subject: Solemn Evensong at St. John's From: <DERREINETOR@aol.com> Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2004 22:20:46 EDT     --part1_27.5a0fd3a7.2df67c7e_boundary Content-Type: text/plain; charset=3D"US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit   Dear Colleagues,   A reminder to those in the New England area: Please join us at The Church = of St. John the Evangelist (Anglican/Episcopal), 35 Bowdoin St., Beacon Hill, =   Boston, on Friday, June 11 at 6:30 pm for Solemn Evensong. The Rt. Rev'd = V. Gene Robinson, 9th Bishop of New Hampshire, preaching; the Rev'd Fr. Michael J. =   Roeske, Rector of St. John's, will officiate.   Music by Bach, Stainer, Near, Mathias and plainchant psalms will be = featured, as well as a newly composed Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis by yours truly.   For more information, please see www.stjohnsbowdoinst.org.   Pax,   William (Bill) Harris Director of Music St. John's, Bowdoin Street, Boston.   --part1_27.5a0fd3a7.2df67c7e_boundary Content-Type: text/html; charset=3D"US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable   <HTML><FONT FACE=3D3Darial,helvetica><HTML><FONT SIZE=3D3D2 PTSIZE=3D3D10 = FAMILY=3D =3D3D"SANSSERIF" FACE=3D3D"Arial" LANG=3D3D"0">Dear Colleagues,<BR> <BR> A reminder to those in the New England area: Please join us at The Church = of=3D St. John the Evangelist (Anglican/Episcopal), 35 Bowdoin St., Beacon = Hill,=3D20=3D Boston, on Friday, June 11 at 6:30 pm for Solemn Evensong. <B>The Rt. = Rev'd=3D20=3D V. Gene Robinson, </B>9th Bishop of New Hampshire, preaching; the Rev'd = Fr.=3D20=3D Michael J. Roeske, Rector of St. John's, will officiate. <BR> <BR> Music by Bach, Stainer, Near, Mathias and plainchant psalms will be = featured=3D , as well as a newly composed <I>Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis</I> by yours = t=3D ruly.<BR> <BR> For more information, please see www.stjohnsbowdoinst.org.<BR> <BR> Pax,<BR> <BR> William (Bill) Harris<BR> Director of Music<BR> St. John's, Bowdoin Street, Boston.<BR> </FONT></HTML> --part1_27.5a0fd3a7.2df67c7e_boundary--  
(back) Subject: Re: Tamburini and Digitini From: <TubaMagna@aol.com> Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2004 22:24:32 EDT   Many electropneumatic pipe organs do not need solid-state relays, especially those with traditional, un-unified specifications and normal = couplers. Slider-and-pallet soundboards made of dimensionally stable, properly treated and assembled materials, such as voidless plywood of many, many = fine layers, can probably withstand more extreme climates. The same might be = said for carefully constructed traiditional "pitman" actions. Remember Mr. Skinner building his windchests out of Mahogany for his Cuban instrument, so as to withstand the effects of woodboring pests? The American knee-jerk need for solid-state electronics may be = hampering some organ projects out there. Obviously, a 60-rank instrument such as the = one in question would need a combination action to be used in a liturgical and =   concert situation, but if the solenoids are of high quality, then the = client must realize that it is the combination action that will/might require replacement and/or updating every few decades, as would any electronic = appliance. Sebastian M. Gluck Tonal Director Gluck New York Restorers and Builders updated website: http://www.glucknewyork.com   ..  
(back) Subject: My concert was last night From: "BRUCE SHAW" <bruce.shaw@shaw.ca> Date: Mon, 07 Jun 2004 23:02:29 -0600   It went far better than I had any right to expect, considering I was = reading off the band score and had one brief sound check.   We had been having trouble with the console all week - at one point it = wasn't working at all but apparently they got it all fixed up because I = had no problems with it.   Phantom of the Opera went perfectly. I was at pretty much full organ and = it shook the building. One of the conductors had never seen an organist = up close and was amazed at what I was doing with my feet - look ma, no = hands.   For Les Miserables, I played most of it on synthesizers but for the Finale = and the reprise of the March I switched to organ. During the sound check = the sound guy told me it was too loud so for the performance I killed the = octave couplers, the Bombarde Tuba and a couple of mixtures and kept the = boxes closed then went to full organ on the last chord. My spies in the = audience said it worked fine.   Got two minutes of sustained applause and whistling and shouting. Band = members were constantly coming up to me and congratulating me on what a = difference it had made to the sound.    
(back) Subject: Re: digital "action" From: "bobelms" <bobelms@westnet.com.au> Date: Tue, 8 Jun 2004 13:42:12 +0800   Bud, let me correct a wild statement you made without offending you again. Your statement that speakers and electronic instruments need to tbe = replaced every 20 to 30 years is generalization. I have electronics as a hobby and have been a radio ham for nearly 50 years. I have never had a speaker reconed or replaced; yet I have gear here with speakers which is much = older than that. And yes, my town is surrounded by water with two harbours, one each side of me and the Southern Ocaen less than a mile south.   The problem with electronics, of course, and their age is largely not that they wear out or collapse within a certain short time frame, but that technology has advanced at a tremendous rate and the digital organs of 30 = or 40 years ago have been made obsolete through the advances in technology. I have two electronic organs (I refuse to call them "toasters" I'll leave = that term to those who are still living in the 1960s and have their heads stuck in the sand). One is a 1975 Lowrey 2x61/25 which sounds very good and at = 28 years old does not show any signs of needing replacement (and yes the speakers neither need reconing of replacing). The other is a near new Ahlborn-Galanti which is the closest thing to true pipe organ tone that I have played.   Now as for this replacement thing with electronic organs, there are three pipe organs in our capital city, two tracker and one EP that were built in the 1980s and 1990s. The largest - a 4/105m with EP action has already = been completely rebuilt. One of the others 2/42 with tracker action has had extensive work already with a completely rebuilt wind system and work on = the action. The third 2/24 tracker has had a completely new tracker action installed plus other work. Bad building in the first place? Yes, but no better than a badly designed electronic organ which has had to be replaced after 20-30 years at much less cost.. It works both ways Bud. There are = bad pipe organs.   In another post you made the statement that if an electronic organ can be installed in a building so can a pipe organ. As I said I have two = electronic organs (plus a Bechstein piano) in my lounge room. Are you telling me I could fit three pipe organs in there? Oh I see - a positive with no principal tone based on a stopped flute? No thanks! I prefer my electronic organs. I can enjoy playing them and can handle pretty well all the repertoire on the larger one, rather than make nice little tinkly sounds with no real substance or warmth of tone.   Wit one thing I would agree with you, Bud. I would be wary of adding = digital stops to a pipe organ except in the case of pedal reeds where it could = well be a matter of digital reeds or none at all.   As for digital technology there is no reason why it should not last indefinitely except, of course, where it is overtaken by advancing technology, and even that will only make for improvement. Bob Elms.   Please. I've read all the electronic substitute makers' propaganda about that. What they DON'T tell you is that speakers will need re-coning or replacing every 10-15 years (more often near the coast), and that you will be REPLACING their instruments every 20-30 years.   ----- Original Message ----- From: "Raymond H. Clark, Quilisma Publications" <quilisma@cox.net> To: "PipeChat" <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Tuesday, June 08, 2004 6:43 AM Subject: Re: digital "action"      
(back) Subject: Re: Patriotic suggestions From: "littlebayus@yahoo.com" <littlebayus@yahoo.com> Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2004 23:41:46 -0700 (PDT)     --- Patricia/Thomas Gregory <tgregory@speeddial.net> wrote: > Greetings: > > May I suggest "Meditation and Variations on America" > by Janet Linker. > > It is well crafted and falls easily under the > fingers. >   And the publisher is: (big snare drum or tympani drum roll)....     Best wishes,     Morton Belcher fellow list member   > Best wishes, > > Tom Gregory > -- > Thomas and Patricia Gregory > 716 West College Avenue > Waukesha WI USA > 53186-4569 > > > "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 > >       __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Friends. Fun. Try the all-new Yahoo! Messenger. http://messenger.yahoo.com/  
(back) Subject: RE: Patriotic suggestions From: "littlebayus@yahoo.com" <littlebayus@yahoo.com> Date: Tue, 8 Jun 2004 00:15:15 -0700 (PDT)     --- Glenda <gksjd85@direcway.com> wrote: > The Stars and Stripes Forever. > > Always fun, and not so hard - a real crowd pleaser. > > > Glenda Sutton > gksjd85@direcway.com >   And the best available edition and its publisher is?....   Best wishes,     Morton Belcher fellow list member...       > > > "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 > >       __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Friends. Fun. Try the all-new Yahoo! Messenger. http://messenger.yahoo.com/  
(back) Subject: Re: digital "action" From: "Raymond H. Clark, Quilisma Publications" <quilisma@cox.net> Date: Tue, 08 Jun 2004 00:46:42 -0700       bobelms wrote:   > Bud, let me correct a wild statement you made without offending you = again.   It is neither "wild" nor uncorroborated. I have WORKED for BOTH Allen and Rodgers at various times and DONE the speaker replacements.   > Your statement that speakers and electronic instruments need to tbe = replaced > every 20 to 30 years is generalization. I have electronics as a hobby = and > have been a radio ham for nearly 50 years. I have never had a speaker > reconed or replaced; yet I have gear here with speakers which is much = older > than that. And yes, my town is surrounded by water with two harbours, = one > each side of me and the Southern Ocaen less than a mile south.   We must have truly unique pollutants in Southern California, then. > > The problem with electronics, of course, and their age is largely not = that > they wear out or collapse within a certain short time frame, but that > technology has advanced at a tremendous rate and the digital organs of = 30 or > 40 years ago have been made obsolete through the advances in technology. = I > have two electronic organs (I refuse to call them "toasters" I'll leave = that > term to those who are still living in the 1960s and have their heads = stuck > in the sand). One is a 1975 Lowrey 2x61/25 which sounds very good and at = 28 > years old does not show any signs of needing replacement (and yes the > speakers neither need reconing of replacing).   If you think a 1975 LOWREY sounds good, Bob, then we don't have much to talk about. And I HAD a Lowrey for a practice organ for a number of years, so I DO know what they sound like.   The other is a near new > Ahlborn-Galanti which is the closest thing to true pipe organ tone that = I > have played.   I'll grant you the sound; I will NOT grant you the durability.   > > Now as for this replacement thing with electronic organs, there are = three > pipe organs in our capital city, two tracker and one EP that were built = in > the 1980s and 1990s. The largest - a 4/105m with EP action has already = been > completely rebuilt. One of the others 2/42 with tracker action has had > extensive work already with a completely rebuilt wind system and work on = the > action. The third 2/24 tracker has had a completely new tracker action > installed plus other work. Bad building in the first place? Yes, but no > better than a badly designed electronic organ which has had to be = replaced > after 20-30 years at much less cost.. It works both ways Bud. There are = bad > pipe organs.   I never said there weren't, but if that happened to an organ of that age in the US, the institution would have the builder in COURT. And in fact many churches did after the Perflex debacle in the 1970s and 1980s.   > > In another post you made the statement that if an electronic organ can = be > installed in a building so can a pipe organ. As I said I have two = electronic > organs (plus a Bechstein piano) in my lounge room. Are you telling me I > could fit three pipe organs in there? Oh I see - a positive with no > principal tone based on a stopped flute? No thanks! I prefer my = electronic > organs. I can enjoy playing them and can handle pretty well all the > repertoire on the larger one, rather than make nice little tinkly sounds > with no real substance or warmth of tone.   A caricature. The 1m Ott organ of 10 stops in Founders' Chapel, San Diego HAS an 8' Principal that goes all the way down to low C ... no stopped pipes, no resultant quints. I suggest you take up Sumner and read what constituted an English CATHEDRAL organ WELL into the 19th century. Size DOES not matter; SCALING and VOICING *do*.   You are, of course, free to have whatever you like in your home. What I SAID was that it's silly for a church seating 100 whose musical requirements are an opening and closing voluntary, three hymns, and MAYBE an anthem or solo to have 100+ equivalent digital "ranks." All those knobs are there to feed the organist's ego, NOT to service the liturgy and the congregation.   I entirely agree that EVERY manual division of a CHURCH organ NEEDS an 8' Diapason, even if you must compromise by grooving the bottom octave to the Stopt Diapason, or making the bottom octave "monkey" quints, or whatever. The 4' or 2' principal-based organ has very little historical precedent, outside of the Brustwerks of large organs, or very small cabinet organs for home or continuo use.   It's interesting to look at the stoplists of our 19th century "catalog" organs ... virtually ALL of them, no matter HOW small, have an 8' Open Diapason on the Great. That's how 19th century American builders DEALT with our acoustically-dry churches ... by strengthening the bass and mid-range and reining in the trebles.   I would also point out that both Wolff (I believe it was) and Juget-Sinclair have built very satisfying residence organs consisting ENTIRELY of wooden ranks that are certainly not lacking in warmth OR = weight.   I have never had a pipe organ to practice on AT HOME, but if I DID, I would be quite happy with one like the Beckeraths at Southern Methodist University:   Manual 1 - metal Rohrfloete 8' Manual 2 - metal Gedeckt 8' Pedal - Oak Gedeckt 8'   AND it would fit in the same space as the average electronic substitute's console. > > Wit one thing I would agree with you, Bud. I would be wary of adding = digital > stops to a pipe organ except in the case of pedal reeds where it could = well > be a matter of digital reeds or none at all.   I seldom hold M.P. Moller organs up as paragons of ANYTHING (chuckle), unless they were voiced by Whitelegg, but I have heard perfectly respectable mitred Moller 16' Double Trumpet stops that fit into a 4' swell box; another alternative is haskelling them, though that takes more horizontal space, as the pipes are fatter. A haskelled WOODEN 16' Trombone can be a LOVELY sound in the hands of the right voicer and = builder. > > As for digital technology there is no reason why it should not last > indefinitely except, of course, where it is overtaken by advancing > technology, and even that will only make for improvement. > Bob Elms.   The pipe organ was perfected by the time of Cavaille-Coll's death in the 19th century, except for electric blowing plants and (if you must have them) combination actions. By then, everything had been invented that is required by the LITERATURE (a constant plea of mine: "go to the LITERATURE!"), and there are many EARLIER organs that achieved a summit of perfection that wasn't to be recovered until the middle of the 20th century, when American builders (at least) saw the error of their ways in building just such instruments as you describe.   MOST of what came after Cavaille-Coll (Hope-Jones, etc.) contributed to the Dark Ages of organ-building in the 1920s, for all that we love E.M. Skinner's "specialty" stops.   I see no reason to re-invent the wheel.   We have available to us historical models of ALL epochs and schools of organ-building. And certainly the historically-informed eclectic organs of Mander, Noak, Fisk, Brombaugh, Fritts, etc. can play just about anything, not to mention the monuments of 19th century AMERICAN organ-building: Hook, Johnson, etc.   Cheers,   Bud