PipeChat Digest #4896 - Friday, November 12, 2004
 
Re: Free reeds
  by "Stephen Roberts" <sroberts01@snet.net>
Re: weird font
  by "Harry Grove" <musicman@cottagemusic.co.uk>
RE: reed organs/pipe organs/digital organs
  by "Daniel Hancock" <dhancock@brpae.com>
RE: reed organs/pipe organs/digital organs
  by "Arie Vandenberg" <ArieV@ClassicOrgan.com>
RE: reed organs/pipe organs/digital organs
  by "Daniel Hancock" <dhancock@brpae.com>
Re: reed organs/pipe organs/digital organs
  by "Liquescent" <quilisma@cox.net>
RE: reed organs/pipe organs/digital organs
  by "Andy Lawrence" <andy@ablorgans.com>
Re: reed organs/pipe organs/digital organs
  by "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@swbell.net>
Re: weird font
  by <Myosotis51@aol.com>
RE: reed organs/pipe organs/digital organs
  by "Daniel Hancock" <dhancock@brpae.com>
Re: Remembrance Sunday
  by "Harry Grove" <musicman@cottagemusic.co.uk>
Re: reed organs/pipe organs/digital organs
  by "Liquescent" <quilisma@cox.net>
RE: reed organs/pipe organs/digital organs
  by "TheShieling" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz>
RE: reed organs/pipe organs/digital organs
  by "TheShieling" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz>
 

(back) Subject: Re: Free reeds From: "Stephen Roberts" <sroberts01@snet.net> Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 03:44:58 -0800 (PST)   Dear List, As I recall, the 32' reed at the Methuen Memorial Music Hall is also a = free reed. I assume that it was from the original Walcker organ. Stephen Roberts  
(back) Subject: Re: weird font From: "Harry Grove" <musicman@cottagemusic.co.uk> Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 13:40:58 -0000   And it took them to Version 9 ?   Harry Grove [a.k.a. a somewhat perplexed musicman]   ________________________________________   ----- Original Message ----- From: <Myosotis51@aol.com> To: <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Thursday, November 11, 2004 6:39 PM Subject: Re: weird font     > Hello admin@pipechat.org, > > > In reference to your comment: > I know that some email programs make it hard to send in Plain Text > but there is usually a way to do so if you hunt for it. >   > AOL finally fixed this: In version 9.0,  
(back) Subject: RE: reed organs/pipe organs/digital organs From: "Daniel Hancock" <dhancock@brpae.com> Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 08:52:45 -0600   Andy Lawrence wrote:   >You're right... I did totally misunderstand your intent! Sorry about=20 >that :) The thread seemed to be headed in the direction of saying, "sure,=20 >harmoniums are legitimate instruments, but electronic organs are not" and >it=20 >was from that angle that I read your post. I understand your angle now, I=20 >think, that reed organs do have their strengths. Thanks for clearing it=20 >up. :)   Thank you for understanding. I suspected that we were closer in understanding than it appeared. =20   One of the mistakes I think that the organ community in general makes is trying to equate the different types of organs. At the very least, we should have an understanding of different types, and realize that each one might have its own particular strengths and weaknesses. Pipe organs, electronic organs, digital organs, reed organs--they are each different means to different ends (although, perhaps you *could* qualify them as different means to the same end, sometimes!) The problems occur when we try to identify them as the same means to the same end.   Daniel Hancock Springfield, Missouri  
(back) Subject: RE: reed organs/pipe organs/digital organs From: "Arie Vandenberg" <ArieV@ClassicOrgan.com> Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 10:33:09 -0500       Hi,   Why is it, if Harmoniums and Reed Organs are supposedly such musical instruments, no one builds them, and no one buys them. I get at least one =   phone call a month (it used to be more), about the availability of a reed =   organ, and people can't even give them away. I tell them to check out antique dealers, and the dealers say they already have one or more on the floor.   Surely there must be folk or small churches out there who want them, but I =   don't know where they are. It is a shame that they end up at the dump.   It seems that there are many more who will pay big bucks on an electronic instrument than take possession of an organ that costs next to nothing.   Arie V.       At 08:52 AM 2004-11-12 -0600, you wrote: >Andy Lawrence wrote: > > >You're right... I did totally misunderstand your intent! Sorry about > >that :) The thread seemed to be headed in the direction of saying, >"sure, harmoniums are legitimate instruments, but electronic organs are = not" >and it was from that angle that I read your post. I understand your = angle >now, I think, that reed organs do have their strengths. Thanks for = clearing >it up. :) > >Thank you for understanding. I suspected that we were closer in >understanding than it appeared. > >One of the mistakes I think that the organ community in general makes is >trying to equate the different types of organs. At the very least, we >should have an understanding of different types, and realize that each >one might have its own particular strengths and weaknesses. Pipe >organs, electronic organs, digital organs, reed organs--they are each >different means to different ends (although, perhaps you *could* qualify >them as different means to the same end, sometimes!) The problems occur >when we try to identify them as the same means to the same end. > >Daniel Hancock >Springfield, Missouri   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Arie Vandenberg Classic Organbuilders ArieV@ClassicOrgan.com Tel.: 905-475-1263      
(back) Subject: RE: reed organs/pipe organs/digital organs From: "Daniel Hancock" <dhancock@brpae.com> Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 10:04:45 -0600   >Why is it, if Harmoniums and Reed Organs are supposedly such musical=20 >instruments, no one builds them, and no one buys them. I get at least one=20 >phone call a month (it used to be more), about the availability of a reed=20 >organ, and people can't even give them away. I tell them to check out=20 >antique dealers, and the dealers say they already have one or more on the=20 >floor.   >Surely there must be folk or small churches out there who want them, but I=20 >don't know where they are. It is a shame that they end up at the dump.   >It seems that there are many more who will pay big bucks on an electronic=20 >instrument than take possession of an organ that costs next to nothing.   >Arie V.     I don't think that you can classify the average, run-of-the-mill, reed organ as highly desirable and musical--although I think they score high under "quaint" and "charming". =20   There is a class of higher-end instruments, however, that are. These few instruments probably exist in proportion to those few souls who like them, and want to have them. The parlor organ is a product of the mass-produce-it industrial era, in which no home was complete without an organ or (preferably) a piano.   As I see it, the common average parlor organ served two functions. One was to supply an organ-like instrument to those who weren't quite rich enough to have a residence pipe organ. The other, more common function was to compete with the piano. Reed organs were cheaper and lighter than pianos--and many were sold in a day and age when it was a status symbol to have a real piano in the parlor. Some of them were even made in upright piano cases--with 88-key compasses! The stop knobs (if they existed) were often obscure (so it wouldn't look like an organ), and you had to pump two absurd pedals that looked a lot like the damper and soft pedal. If you couldn't have a piano, you could at least make it look like it!   Then there were the parlor organs that had the high backs on them complete with mirrors, carved wood, spindles, and shelves. These backs really looked more like fireplace over-mantles of the same period. Reed organs of this class generally had one or two sets of reeds, a fan-tremulant, octave coupler(s), and any number of mutes that "affected" the tone of the reeds, though of dubious value. Remember, it was important to give the impression of many stops doing many things, so the customer would feel that they were getting a higher value. A typical stoplist looked more or less like this:   BASS 8' Melodia (primary 8' tone) 8' Dulciana (muted 8' tone, same set as Melodia) 4' Principal (for brightening the bass, and accompaniment of treble stop) 4' Echo (a muted 4' principal MECHANICAL Bass coupler=20 Vox Humana (revolving cardboard fan Tremulant) Treble coupler TREBLE 8' Cremona (secondary 8' tone for treble) 8' Celeste (combination stop for Cremona and Diapason) 8' Dolce (muted 8' tone, from Diapason) 8' Diapason (primary 8' tone in treble)   This is not the class of reed organs that was being suggested for interpretation of harmonium music. This is the type of organ that crowds every antique mall floor, and never sells for the absurd, high prices one usually sees on them. I don't exalt them for their musical value, but as antiques, machines, and icons of their era, they are very interesting to me.=20   However, I would mention that I grew up in a church hearing an electronic organ--I don't remember what. My mother played it. It never impressed me. When I was 12, on a visit to my grandparents home, I discovered that my grandfather had purchased a Victorian parlor organ on a whim--and I fell in love with the acoustic sound generated by those reeds. It's not really like an accordion at all--the tone is more refined, and not so harsh. From there, I began playing that electronic organ at church, and it was a few short steps to the pipe organ and formal, proper training by the time I was college-age. =20   Would I have been interested in the pipe organ, having only ever heard that sorry electronic thing at the small-town Baptist church growing up in Missouri? Maybe, probably so. Who knows? But it was the allure of an obsolete parlor reed organ that "did it" for me, and I know, I'm thankful enough for that!  
(back) Subject: Re: reed organs/pipe organs/digital organs From: "Liquescent" <quilisma@cox.net> Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 08:15:30 -0800   There are relatively few high-end 2m/ped American reed organs or French harmoniums available.   Estey, Mason & Hamlin, Vocalion (would somebody clarify if that was an actual COMPANY, or merely denoted a pressure instrument), Hinners, and Farrand & Votey made CHURCH reed organs.   Most of the rest did indeed sound like an indignant bumble-bee confined to a bedpan (grin).   As Sebastian pointed out, the typical "parlor" organ was just that ... a parlor organ for home use. Sears used to sell them from their mail-order catalog ... I forget at the moment who made them for Sears.   When upright pianos began to replace reed organs in the home, a couple of builders attempted to buck the trend by building reed organs in upright piano CASES.   Estey also built a small PIPE organ in the shape of a grand piano (!) .... there was still one of those at Cleveland Institute of Music in the 1960s ... I think I recall someone saying it had been Dr. Edwin Arthur Kraft's studio organ, but I'm not sure about that.   Estey soldiered on until the 1950s ... I think the "Moderne" (one manual, divided stops, electric suction), the EPRO (two manuals and pedal, electro-pneumatic key action, tubular pneumatic stop action), and the folding "missionary" organ were among the last models they made.   Oberlin Conservatory in the early 1960s still had a couple of 2m/ped "Student" model Esteys in the basement of old Warner Hall for practice instruments.   The Beehive in New England keeps a Moderne on hand that they rent out occasionally for the Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle and the Mahler symphony that calls for a harmonium. When Music Hall in Cincinnati was being remodeled and we were removing the pipe organ, I came across their reed organ in storage ... I remember it being used for the Mahler.   LITERATURE for the American reed organ is pretty much what you'd expect .... transcriptions of "To A Wild Rose," etc. ... but if you dig deep enough, there are some interesting things, but they're mostly written for the C-compass church reed organ ... Batiste, Foote, Fr. Rossini, etc.   A VERY common problem with reed organs is that silly people remove the RESERVOIR to make room for an electric blower in the case ... of COURSE they wheeze and the tone sags when you draw more than 2-3 stops. I saw several fine 2m/ped Mason & Hamlins reduced to impotence by that practice. They were then tossed in favor of electronics, sadly.   A sidebar: does anyone know the (evidently short) history of Mason & Hamlin PIPE organs? We had a 10-stop 2m/ped one here in San Diego. I never heard it ... I think it dated from around 1900. I THINK it was tubular pneumatic. I believe Lyle Blackinton still has it in his shop; he told me it had some interesting BRASS fittings on the windchest.   Cheers,   Bud       Arie Vandenberg wrote:   > > > Hi, > > Why is it, if Harmoniums and Reed Organs are supposedly such musical > instruments, no one builds them, and no one buys them. I get at least > one phone call a month (it used to be more), about the availability of > a reed organ, and people can't even give them away. I tell them to > check out antique dealers, and the dealers say they already have one or > more on the floor. > > Surely there must be folk or small churches out there who want them, but =   > I don't know where they are. It is a shame that they end up at the = dump. > > It seems that there are many more who will pay big bucks on an > electronic instrument than take possession of an organ that costs next > to nothing. > > Arie V. > > > > At 08:52 AM 2004-11-12 -0600, you wrote: > >> Andy Lawrence wrote: >> >> >You're right... I did totally misunderstand your intent! Sorry about >> >that :) The thread seemed to be headed in the direction of saying, >> "sure, harmoniums are legitimate instruments, but electronic organs >> are not" >> and it was from that angle that I read your post. I understand your >> angle >> now, I think, that reed organs do have their strengths. Thanks for >> clearing >> it up. :) >> >> Thank you for understanding. I suspected that we were closer in >> understanding than it appeared. >> >> One of the mistakes I think that the organ community in general makes = is >> trying to equate the different types of organs. At the very least, we >> should have an understanding of different types, and realize that each >> one might have its own particular strengths and weaknesses. Pipe >> organs, electronic organs, digital organs, reed organs--they are each >> different means to different ends (although, perhaps you *could* = qualify >> them as different means to the same end, sometimes!) The problems = occur >> when we try to identify them as the same means to the same end. >> >> Daniel Hancock >> Springfield, Missouri > > > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ > Arie Vandenberg > Classic Organbuilders > ArieV@ClassicOrgan.com > Tel.: 905-475-1263 > > > ****************************************************************** > "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 > List-Subscribe: <mailto:pipechat-on@pipechat.org> > List-Digest: <mailto:pipechat-digest@pipechat.org> > List-Unsubscribe: <mailto:pipechat-off@pipechat.org> > >      
(back) Subject: RE: reed organs/pipe organs/digital organs From: "Andy Lawrence" <andy@ablorgans.com> Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 11:14:47 -0500   There are several problems with reed organs. Most are in a relatively useless format (one manual, no pedals) for most people's use. They have a =   reputation (and actually fairly well deserved) for developing windleaks = that can be expensive to fix. The ones that actually do have the potential to = be useful (the 2 manual and pedal ones) have weird dimensions, heavy key action, are tedious to repair, etc, etc. However, I do see people = regularly spend positive money to obtain these.   But the one-manual, foot pumped jobs? You can't play piano music on them, =   and you also can't play most organ music on them (at least any music that has a pedal part). Unless of course you have an assistant that can play = the pedal part for you, which sometimes actually can work pretty well. So they're just not useful for most people. There are 10 reed organs for = every 1 person that wants one. I would never pay money for one, but would consider taking a free one.   I have considered, and may someday do it, taking the reeds from 3 or more reed organs and building one 2 manual and pedal (with 3 divisions) organ using the reeds. If the console was built to AGO or European specs, I = think people would find it useful... at least for practicing. Especially if I could figure out a way to make the key action more like a tracker. One of =   the reasons the action on a reed organ feels weird is the the wind is actually trying to open the pallet, whereas on a tracker organ the wind is =   holding the pallet closed, giving you the "pluck".   I'm full of other money-losing ideas too, if anyone's interested LOL   Andy       On Fri, 12 Nov 2004 10:33:09 -0500, Arie Vandenberg wrote > Hi, > > Why is it, if Harmoniums and Reed Organs are supposedly such musical > instruments, no one builds them, and no one buys them. I get at > least one phone call a month (it used to be more), about the > availability of a reed organ, and people can't even give them away. > I tell them to check out antique dealers, and the dealers say they > already have one or more on the floor. > > Surely there must be folk or small churches out there who want them, > but I don't know where they are. It is a shame that they end up at > the dump. > > It seems that there are many more who will pay big bucks on an > electronic instrument than take possession of an organ that costs > next to nothing. > > Arie V. > > At 08:52 AM 2004-11-12 -0600, you wrote:   A.B.Lawrence Pipe Organ Service PO Box 111 Burlington, VT 05402 (802)578-3936 Visit our website at www.ablorgans.com  
(back) Subject: Re: reed organs/pipe organs/digital organs From: "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@swbell.net> Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 10:26:05 -0600     ----- Original Message ----- From: "Arie Vandenberg" <ArieV@ClassicOrgan.com> To: "PipeChat" <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Friday, November 12, 2004 9:33 AM Subject: RE: reed organs/pipe organs/digital organs   > Why is it, if Harmoniums and Reed Organs are supposedly such musical > instruments, no one builds them, and no one buys them.   In the old days two classes of people bought reed organs. Small churches who could not afford a pipe organ, and private individuals for their homes (hence the expression "parlor organs.")   The problem with reed organs in churches is that the sound does not carry very well, so except in extremely small churches an electronic organ does the job better. This does not mean that reed organs are not fine instruments, only that they are not very suited to churches.   The people who bought "parlor organs" for their home probably did so = largely because they could not afford pianos. Basic model reed organs were extremely cheap, approximately a quarter the cost of an upright piano. These days most people who want a piano have one, although the piano = market also has been declining for some time, as has the organ market, pipe and electronic alike.   So there is no market for reed organs now.   Most of the repertoire that was written for the harmonium was intended for the church context. Some of it is very nice, and sometimes it comes off better on the harmonium than the organ. My memory is a little hazy about this now, but back in the Seattle OHS Convention David Daube played the Vierne Carillon from 24 Pieces in Free Style on a harmonium. This had a stop (the name of which escapes me) that had a certain percussive quality about it, which David used in the middle section, and which it is believed Vierne had had in mind at this point when composing the piece. Whatever = it was, the effect was quite magical.   John Speller        
(back) Subject: Re: weird font From: <Myosotis51@aol.com> Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 11:40:58 EST   Hello musicman@cottagemusic.co.uk,     In reference to your comment: And it took them to Version 9 ?   Harry Grove [a.k.a. a somewhat perplexed musicman] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Nope, there was always a workaround, the simplest being to sign on to AOL =   via IE. They finally made it easy to compose mail in plain text within = the program in 8.0. Now, remember that AOL 1.0 came out in...ummm..... sometime around 1991. =   (The one that I would ask - he was in on it - is sleeping.) <g> Victoria (geekgrrl)   ________________________________________   ----- Original Message ----- From: <Myosotis51@aol.com> To: <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Thursday, November 11, 2004 6:39 PM Subject: Re: weird font     > Hello admin@pipechat.org, > > > In reference to your comment: > I know that some email programs make it hard to send in Plain Text > but there is usually a way to do so if you hunt for it. >   > AOL finally fixed this: In version 9.0,  
(back) Subject: RE: reed organs/pipe organs/digital organs From: "Daniel Hancock" <dhancock@brpae.com> Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 11:06:26 -0600     >But the one-manual, foot pumped jobs? You can't play piano music on them,=20 and you also can't play most organ music on them (at least any music that=20 has a pedal part). Unless of course you have an assistant that can play the=20 pedal part for you, which sometimes actually can work pretty well. So=20 they're just not useful for most people. There are 10 reed organs for every=20 1 person that wants one. I would never pay money for one, but would=20 consider taking a free one.   Ah, but that's the point. All that positively beautiful harmonium music is easily played on those finer-built, church-model, one-manual, foot-pumped jobs! =20   Daniel  
(back) Subject: Re: Remembrance Sunday From: "Harry Grove" <musicman@cottagemusic.co.uk> Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 18:02:14 -0000   a.k.a 'What are you playing ?' ......   This year (back to the Navy) and ...   Before: Selection of Sea Songs- inc. Tom Bowling The Arethusa Hearts of Oak Rule Britannia   During: The "usual" hymns   The Last Post (I usually play 'Sunset' - the Royal Marines harmonised version)   Two Minutes silence   Reveillie - that's i) "Get out of bed, you lazy b***ers", & ii) "Come to the Cook-house door"   After: March Imperial (Sir Edward Elgar*)   This is played as the congregation follow the Flag Bearers out of the = church to lay wreaths at the memorial in front of the church - next to the window =   by the organ - so that the music is clearly heard by those assembled outside.   For a photo, visit http://www.clent-worcs.co.uk/St._Leonard's_church.htm   There is also a multi-national tribute - for our American colleagues.   We look out over Worcestershire towards the Malvern Hills (so very much associated with Elgar). Two villages down the road - where I live - the choir process down the village street (regardless of traffic ... but the, it's strange what = several parked tractors can do) and stand on the white line, while the names on = the memorial are read-out; the same names as the families listening.   Harry Grove [a.k.a. a musicman still remembering]    
(back) Subject: Re: reed organs/pipe organs/digital organs From: "Liquescent" <quilisma@cox.net> Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 10:14:59 -0800       John L. Speller wrote:     > > The problem with reed organs in churches is that the sound does not = carry > very well, so except in extremely small churches an electronic organ = does > the job better.   Depends.   Some Estey and Mason & Hamlin models were made with finished backs and grill-work so that the sound DID project if the organ was turned to face outward.   It's also important to remember that carpet, padded pews, acoustical tile, etc. didn't invade the churches until after WWII, for the most part (except for those damned Gustavino tiles) <g> ... my mother's rural Methodist church had plaster walls, plaster ceiling, hardwood floors, bare benches, and a 7-stop Estey pipe organ that kicked it in those acoustics. I saw the reed organ that preceded it, but it wasn't playable. I suspect it was quite successful in that setting, as it was a LARGE one-manual. The church seated about 100.   The 2m/ped models that had the reed boxes elevated and facing forward, rather than under the keyboards, projected rather well. They also had a typical sticker-and-square tracker action, rather than the usual mushy direct plunger action of the smaller ones.   This does not mean that reed organs are not fine > instruments, only that they are not very suited to churches.   They ARE perhaps more dependent on the acoustics, and placement. A large reed organ high on the central axis of a good room with the tonal openings facing out can be quite effective. There are many rural churches in the Midwest, both protestant and Catholic, that still have = them.   > > The people who bought "parlor organs" for their home probably did so = largely > because they could not afford pianos. Basic model reed organs were > extremely cheap, approximately a quarter the cost of an upright piano. > These days most people who want a piano have one, although the piano = market > also has been declining for some time, as has the organ market, pipe and > electronic alike.   THERE'S a question: whatever happened to the low-end electronic home organ market? You can't GIVE them away nowadays. Is it because electronic keyboards are cheaper, take up less space, and have more sounds on them?   > > So there is no market for reed organs now. > > Most of the repertoire that was written for the harmonium was intended = for > the church context. Some of it is very nice, and sometimes it comes off > better on the harmonium than the organ. My memory is a little hazy = about > this now, but back in the Seattle OHS Convention David Daube played the > Vierne Carillon from 24 Pieces in Free Style on a harmonium. This had a > stop (the name of which escapes me) that had a certain percussive = quality > about it, which David used in the middle section, and which it is = believed > Vierne had had in mind at this point when composing the piece. Whatever = it > was, the effect was quite magical.   It's called "Percussion" ... a small hammer strikes the reed (the shallot, not the tongue, I THINK) ... I don't remember if it repeats or = not.   Somebody know?   Cheers,   Bud        
(back) Subject: RE: reed organs/pipe organs/digital organs From: "TheShieling" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz> Date: Sat, 13 Nov 2004 07:50:20 +1300   >Pipe organs, electronic organs, digital organs, reed organs--   One thing I fail to understand is why people try to make a distinction between "electronic" and "digital" instruments. It's a nonsense. When folk speak of a "digital computer" organ, they are speaking of electronic sound generation and amplification through loudspeakers, exactly as has been = going on for 70 years.   Too, it seems that "digital computer" is a silly term. I'm no computer expert, but I thought that all computers work on a digital system.   A good friend of mine, MA MusB FRCO ChM ADCM LRAM, always insists that the instrument he plays every week is not an electronic but a "digital = computer organ". In reality it's a 2m Allen and is every bit as electronic as the cheapest Conn spinet of 45 years ago.   Ross    
(back) Subject: RE: reed organs/pipe organs/digital organs From: "TheShieling" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz> Date: Sat, 13 Nov 2004 07:52:41 +1300     >Why is it, if Harmoniums and Reed Organs are supposedly such musical instruments, no one builds them, and no one buys them. [snip] It is a = shame that they end up at the dump.   Here in New Zealand these days, a 1m Estey, even with some borer (wood-eating insect) in it of just 2 sets of reeds plus usual derivatives, will sell for $300 to $600 in an antique shop. Ludicrous, but true.   Ross