PipeChat Digest #4945 - Tuesday, November 30, 2004
 
Re:an advert of interest
  by "Arie Vandenberg" <ArieV@ClassicOrgan.com>
Re:an advert of interest
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Re: That "advert" of interest
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Re: St. Anne
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Re: That "advert" of interest
  by <TubaMagna@aol.com>
Re: That "advert" of interest
  by <RonSeverin@aol.com>
Re: That "advert" of interest
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Re: an advert of interest
  by "F. Richard Burt" <effarbee@verizon.net>
The $6,000,000 question
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Re: Re:an advert of interest
  by "F. Richard Burt" <effarbee@verizon.net>
11 yr old "child prodigy" composer Jay Greenberg  [marginally on-topic, x
  by "Charlie Lester" <crl@137.com>
Re: Re:an advert of interest
  by "Andy Lawrence" <andy@ablorgans.com>
 

(back) Subject: Re:an advert of interest From: "Arie Vandenberg" <ArieV@ClassicOrgan.com> Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 11:43:33 -0500     Andy,   I concur with what you say. It would indeed be a sad day, when pipes are displaced entirely by electronic instruments. Pipe organs are still the models with which electronic organs seek to compete.   That said, every time advances are made in electronic organs, it means = pipe organ builders have to make sure their instruments are better as well, and =   maybe be more creative. I would say the days of mediocre pipe organs is over.   In the end, an organ should only be purchased on the basis musical superiority. And good pipe organs have a magic about them that almost no electronic organ has. And the best pipe organ is still superior to any electronic organ I have heard.   Arie V.       At 10:46 AM 2004-11-30 -0500, you wrote: > > As to long term reliability, and durability, I suppose only time > > will tell. Most electronic organs these days are much more reliable > > than they were 20 or 30 years ago. Most often it is mechanical > > things that are the problem with them. While electronic problems do > > happen, they are much less so now. Of course, they do not need > > tuning periodically, like pipe organs. So maintenance and service > > costs on an electronic organ should be much lower than with pipes. > > > >I appreciate and agree with most of your post, including the part I quote >here. I only want to mention that while it is true that pipe organs = require >more scheduled maintenance (tuning), I think the cost of this is often >exaggerated. The largest organ I've been involved in maintaining is 69 >ranks (including large antiphonal). It gets tuned once a year, in about = a >day if a thorough tuning is needed. (Smaller organs, naturally, = requiring >significantly less time). Occasionally it gets touched up (reeds mainly) >for other special occasions. It is nothing astronomical. It has had the >occasional cipher, but fairly rarely, and its always easy to remedy. Its >about 6 years old now, going on 100. So while I agree that pipe organs >require tuning and this needs to figured into the equation, I think it = still >works out that the electronic must have a significantly lower initial = cost >to come out even with the pipe organ in the end. Pipe organs last an >awfully long time! Most instances I know of where significant amounts of >money were spent on a pipe organ, it has been a case where a different = sound >was desired, not because it wore out. In fact, even many restorations = turn >into this. How often do we hear of an organ that needed a restoration, = that >might have been quite straightforward, but then the organist realizes, = aha, >while we're at it we can change this! And that! And that leads to more >changes, and soon the cost becomes significant. I'm not saying the = practice >is bad... only that it should be taken into account. > >I do have a bias toward pipes and admit its more than musical. There's >something about it... sort of like how I long to have lived in the steam >era, but know its an era long gone. Gone because its no longer cost >effective. I think the pipe organ remains with us not only because it >sounds better, but has remained cost effective (this is especially true = for >churches that already have a good pipe organ and choose to maintain it, >rather than change or replace it to fit whatever current tonal tastes >dictate, but is also true of new organs as long as they plan to keep it = for >a long time). If these reasons go away, I'll be sad to see the pipe = organ >go, but realize that it will happen (again, there's that big "if" at the >beginning of this sentence!). But I think its safe to say that if it >happens, a similar phenomenon will happen as with the railroads... >the "romance" of it will be lost. Once that happens, its only a matter = of >time before the music is lost too. I think this is why we pipe people = cling >so strongly... we just don't want this to happen. Its more than just = what's >more cost effective. Its the very future of church music. Even if >electronic organs sound exactly like pipe organs, there's still something >significant about that fact that its no longer an accoustic instrument. >(Accoustic guitars and other accoustic instruments are still a big deal!) > >Gosh, what a depressing post. Sorry about that! :) Take heart fellow = pipe >people... if pipe organs are superior, as we claim, they'll remain on = their >own merit, though likely in smaller numbers all the time. If fact, even = if >they only remain superior, but not cost effective, there will still be = some >market, because of being in the category of art (unlike railroads, where >cost effectiveness is the only real deciding issue). > >Andy      
(back) Subject: Re:an advert of interest From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 08:44:12 -0800 (PST)   Hello,   The Trinity Church NY instrument is impressive....that much is obvious from only the recordings I have heard from across the pond. As I said in a recent post, I would love to hear it in the church.   However, looking at the economics of the electronic debate, I start to question certain things.   To make the international exchange rate/inflation accounting maths easier, let's say that the organ I play cost 150 grains of rice, and an electronic of good quality with an adequate installation would probably have cost 50 grains of rice at the same time.   The maintenance on the pipe organ has been about 0.5 grains of rice per year, which over thirty years, amounts to only 15 grains of rice. The organ has tracker action, stays in tune, and rarely gives trouble of any kind. In point of fact, I see no reason why it should not last another fifty years without major work being carried out; other than the blower eventually self-destructing at a cost of perhaps 1.0 grain of rice.   After 30 years, the electronic would need to be replaced, or at least totally renewed internally, with all new speakers etc.   Assuming a further 50 years of service(80 years in total), the pipe organ would have cost a total of 191 grains of rice, but after 60 years of music, the prospect of a third generation electronic would then have to be considered. In other words, over the same time scale, the three electronic organs would have cost perhaps 150 grains of rice, plus the cost of any maintenance over the 80 year period, which I would expect to exceed the very low maintenance required by the pipe organ. In other words, they would be virtually neck and neck financially....BUT.....the third generation electronic would be nearing the end of its life yet again, with the prospect of a further 50 grains of rice being outlayed.   The pipe organ, on the other hand, could probably be re-leathered and overhauled for around 30 grains of rice, suggesting that the organ now jumps into the lead economically.   Project this over a further 80 years, and what happens?   The pipe organ costs 30 grains of rice to refurbish, plus 40 grains of rice to maintain, and yet another blower or two which would add a couple of grains of rice.....total amount of Rice grains.....70.   Another 3 electronics down the line, (150 grains of rice) plus maintenance, and it soon becomes a no-contest, with the pipe organ far cheaper in the longer-term.....perhaps a total cost of only 70 grains of rice including tuning & maintenance.   Of course, the organ would have to be well made and use tracker action for ultimate reliability!!   The key question is this......   Do we build churches for posterity, and with them, fine organs, just as our ancestors did?   When I go to Holland, I am not playing organ 80 years old, or even 160 years old, but sometimes almost 450-500 years old, and often rebuilt or restored but two or three times in that period.   The interesting thing is, that a "state of the art" electronic is far more expensive than the amounts of rice quoted above.....that makes it frighteningly expensive by way of comparison!   Of course, there IS A VERY GOOD REASON for buying electronic.....it's called lack of faith and short-termism.   On the other hand, if all the churches are going to shut down, then get an electronic. When the church closes, you can get a barely used home practise instrument for a "snip."   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK               __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Mail - You care about security. So do we. http://promotions.yahoo.com/new_mail  
(back) Subject: Re: That "advert" of interest From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 08:56:51 -0800 (PST)   Hello,   I wonder what St Bavo, Haarlem would cost to build these days, or Alkmaar, or Groningen, or Rotterdam or the Royal Albert Hall London, or the Festival Hall, Hull City Hall, Norwich Cathedral etc etc etc.   $1,000,000 you say?   Peanuts!   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK     --- TubaMagna@aol.com wrote:   > There are very few million-dollar church organs in > the world, and we all know it. >     __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? The all-new My Yahoo! - Get yours free! http://my.yahoo.com    
(back) Subject: Re: St. Anne From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 09:00:05 -0800 (PST)   Hello,   Memory stirs .....slowly....I don't think it was Glenda.   Wasn't it an affectionate title tagged on by certain British scholars?   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK     --- Glenda <gksjd85@direcway.com> wrote:   > Was the choral/hymn tune St. Anne or its similitude > in existence at the > time that Bach wrote the 'St. Anne' Fugue?     __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? The all-new My Yahoo! - What will yours do? http://my.yahoo.com  
(back) Subject: Re: That "advert" of interest From: <TubaMagna@aol.com> Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 12:14:11 EST     In a message dated 11/30/04 11:57:48 AM, cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk writes:   I wonder what St Bavo, Haarlem would cost to build these days, or Alkmaar, = or Groningen, or Rotterdam or the Royal Albert Hall London, or the Festival = Hall, Hull City Hall, Norwich Cathedral etc etc etc. $1,000,000 you say? Peanuts! Regards, Colin Mitchell UK   Whether you're rambling on about peanuts or rice, please do not be manipulative. You know what I meant.  
(back) Subject: Re: That "advert" of interest From: <RonSeverin@aol.com> Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 13:04:20 EST   Boy's boy's!!! I know what Sebastian was trying to say. Collin, I never heard of supplying rice or rice cakes to the builder of your pipe organ. <G> Now, doctors in the US before and slightly after 1900 may have accepted chickens, eggs or a bag of apples for there home ministration calls. People were poor. Before the great fire of 1666 London, hundreds of thousands of people lived there and the gross profit of the city was about 12,000 pounds sterling for all combined. The pipe organ mystique will never die where people want good solid traditional music programs. They will find a way to pay for what they want. Wall Street was an example of a destroyed Aeolian Skinner organ. They required an interim instrument of a custom manufacture. A prototype was proposed that was nearly as nice as the organ that was lost to 911. It could be had quickly and was head and shoulders above the rest of the digitals out there. I don't think they waited eight years with no organ for a pipe organ company to design what they needed. They did the best thing to buy time, for a good replacement carefully crafted to meet their needs. They knew it would be years dealing with their insurance carrier. You know insurance companies, they try to get away without paying for some arcaine reason or cents on the dollar. They are always looking at their bottom line don't you know. They sure do collect every year though, tons of cash. I'm sure you won't get far trying to convince an organ company to accept chickens, eggs, or rice cakes in payment for a new pipe organ. I hope I've put things into perspective. Ron Severin PS Put the blame on churches attempting to dumb people down with praize bands and strange non Christian doctrines for the lack of more pipe organs. Let's blame people unwilling to go to churches who produce the above. What's the point of going and remaining unfed? Would you spend your hard earned bucks propping up a church that does such wimpy things. I don't think so. Christianity as well as Judaism are not for the faint hearted, or for people looking for the kinder and gentler God.  
(back) Subject: Re: That "advert" of interest From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 10:18:20 -0800 (PST)   Hello,   Well, actually, I wasn't being manipulative at all, and I "guess" I knew what Sebastian was talking about. My point was about patronage.   I assume he was referring to NEW organ projects or major re-builds.   Going back in history, how many of the really notable instruments were funded by parishes?   I suppose some were, but more likely, they were funded by individual patrons.   I don't know the situation on the ground in the US, but trying to find a patron for a church in the UK is now almost impossible; making fund raising a very long, drawn out affair. Hence the move to procure funding from "heritage" bodies and "lottery" funds.....it really is that desperate, and most applications are refused.   Money is now much more corporate, more international, more multi-ethnic and more multi-faith....that's the problem!   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK       --- TubaMagna@aol.com wrote:   > > Whether you're rambling on about peanuts or rice, > please do not be > manipulative. You know what I meant.     __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around http://mail.yahoo.com  
(back) Subject: Re: an advert of interest From: "F. Richard Burt" <effarbee@verizon.net> Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 12:26:14 -0600   Hello, PipeChatters:   Ross wrote:   > The cost is a very important factor. I've not heard the instrument, > in person or on record or any other way, so could someone please > post the cost.   The research and development were rolled into the technology costs, too. That built up the cost of THAT organ for Trinity/Wall Street to a point that a comfortable pipe organ might have been built.   However, consider that they had the funds to work this deal, and want to eventually re-instate their Aeolian-Skinner, . . .if at all possible.   Meanwhile, Marshall and Oglestreet have advanced the state of the art quite a bit ahead of the better production organs from the majority of E-org builders.   F. Richard Burt     ..      
(back) Subject: The $6,000,000 question From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 10:33:06 -0800 (PST)   Hello,   Hee hee!   The problem was the figure of $1,000,000....hardly enough to buy certain new autos these days!   I think the figure translates to about =A3540,000 in the UK, which is about the same as the proposed new Bentley, and I know people who earn more than this in six months.   I think we need a new figure for the "question"......   Any advance on (of would be nice!) $60,000,000?   I have a funny feeling that this is what the Bavo organ might cost if it were built to-day; bearing in mind that the case reputedly cost as much as the instrument!!   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK   PS: One QUARTER of the world's money supply now passes through the City of London IN A SINGLE DAY!   London is SMALL compared to New York....absolutely staggering!       --- RonSeverin@aol.com wrote:   > > Before the great fire of 1666 London, hundreds of > thousands of > people lived there and the gross profit of the city > was about > 12,000 pounds sterling for all combined.       __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? The all-new My Yahoo! - Get yours free! http://my.yahoo.com    
(back) Subject: Re: Re:an advert of interest From: "F. Richard Burt" <effarbee@verizon.net> Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 12:42:28 -0600   Hi, Andy:   You wrote:   > The largest organ I've been involved in maintaining is 69 ranks > (including large antiphonal). It gets tuned once a year, in about a > day if a thorough tuning is needed. (Smaller organs, naturally, requiring > significantly less time).   Wow! What a deal!!!   I have to tune the organ in my church four times a year. The reason is simple, we have four different temperature seasons AND three different temperature strata in the meeting room.   The church does not mind cooling the people most of the year (spring, summer, autuum) and warming them in winter. But the poor organ's needs go unheeded.   There have been a few periods of extreme heat, when the air conditioning was kept on (for several reasons; but not to cool the people or the organ).   The organ sustains quite well in this situation, and I don't have to tune it so much. I'm further encouraged when, as I progress with the tuning, the fine adjustments fall into place where they should from tenor G up through the soprano range, indicating that the basic temperment is well adjusted.   Even so, paying me to tune the organ four times a year is usually still quite a bit less expensive than running the air conditioning in Texas, just to stabilize the pipe organ.   <smiles> Even so, it's a keeper. <grins>   F. Richard Burt     ..      
(back) Subject: 11 yr old "child prodigy" composer Jay Greenberg [marginally on-topic, x-posted] From: "Charlie Lester" <crl@137.com> Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 10:52:01 -0800   There has been some discussion about 11-year-old child prodigy composer Jay Greenberg ("Bluejay") on these organ lists, which pretty much sailed over my radar until the same boy was brought up on another music list [for theremin players, builders and enthusiasts]. He has been discussed there at great length.   Just as organists on these lists have been musing, "Gee, wouldn't it be great if this kid would start composing for the organ," thereminists on the theremin list have been musing, "Gee, wouldn't it be great if this kid would start composing for the theremin!"   It seems we're all looking for a "Musical Messiah" to save our instruments, rather than looking within to see what we have been doing to destroy them.   (*)   Some of the comments made about him on the theremin list are excerpted herewith.   =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D   "[W]hat impresses me most about Bluejay is not so much the pure music but the fact that he is capable of producing it at all. I hope and pray that he does not get destroyed by the well-meaning adults that surround him, all of whom 'only have his best interests at heart' and think they know how best to nurture his extraordinary natural gifts."   "He seems extremely fragile - like one of those amazing creatures you see at the bottom of the ocean that withers as soon as you try to bring it to the surface. The best thing you can do for these creatures is to leave them alone, and make sure nobody else interferes with them either."   "This kid was amazing to say the least. I started to suspect he was a channeler for those famous composers that have gone on. Maybe Mozart or Beethoven?"   "He seems to have a natural gift of knowing what 'works' when handling both musical and orchestral forces. The 9/11 overture shows he can handle an orchestra (maybe with some careful help by his teachers, one of whom, if I remember correctly, is Samuel Adler, who has written an authoritative (and large) book on instrumentation)."   "The beginning of the Overture recalls Malcolm Arnold, followed by shades of Dvorak, Saint-Saens, Berlioz and some bars of Wagner. (my impressions) He still has to find his own, individual voice. I do hope he gets that time and that he finds people who guide him carefully and with no more interference than necessary to find his own way through the crucial years to come."   "One of the musical scholars who was interviewed in the course of the [60 Minutes] program, said 'This is the sort of composing talent that comes along only about every two or three hundred years, and is on the level of a Mozart, a Mendelssohn or a Saint-Saens.'"   "There was a camera shot of Bluejay writing music (a full symphony score) at his computer. Apparently, he can write music so fast, that the computer cannot keep up with him and frequently crashes! He can write music the way a good typist types. It was quite spectacular to see him. This boy is also able to hear, and accurately follow, more than one piece of music in his head - shades of Mr. Data (from STAR TREK) who could listen to, and enjoy, 5 or 6 musical compositions all playing simultaneously."   "Mrs. Greenberg, Jay's mother, who was interviewed for the show, said that at the age of 2 Jay began spontaneously drawing pictures of a cello (an instrument which she said the child could never possibly have seen or been familiar with) and insisted that his parents buy him one. They took him to a music store and found a miniature instrument for him, whereupon he immediately sat down with it in the correct cello position and began to play!"   "There was a very important segment [in the 60 Minutes broadcast] that should be emphasized. His teacher from Julliard said that this wunderkind NEVER edits anything he writes. Not once does the boy cross out even a single note or passage. It's as if everything he writes is preordained and cannot be altered. Examples of Beethoven's musical manuscripts were shown in contrast, and these were scribbled over, crossed out and, in spots totally desiccated."   "There is no doubt that this child is destined either for greatness, or will be judged as a freak of nature with burnout not too far away."   =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D   One of the theremin-group members posted a Real Audio link to a concert of young musicians that includes a performance of one of Bluejay's compositions, "Overture to 9/11," performed by the Pittsburg Symphony. Here is the link to that broadcast:   http://www.fromthetop.org/gr_pages/gr_ym_BlueJay.html   (There's also some interesting material on other young musicians on this site btw)     ~ C     -------   (*)   There are many curious parallels running through the world of the organ and the theremin, mechanical differences between the subject instruments notwithstanding.   1) Both instruments are fairly well relegated to obscure corners of the music world; the theremin more so than the organ, granted.   2) Both instruments have strong "pop culture identifiers" that their proponents generally find distasteful &/or embarrassing -- e.g., the organ : mad phantoms; the theremin : outer-space aliens.   3) Both instruments have proponents from extreme viewpoints, but many of them are attracted TO the extremes - e.g. with the theremin, there are actually "historically informed purists" who demand that the only "real theremin" is one made from vintage vacuum tube technology, and that all other types are inferior at best and fraudulent copies at worst [sound familiar??]. Then there are the "romanticists" who demand that all the rules be thrown out and that instruments be completely redefined and wrapped around modern, current technology including DIGITAL theremins with MIDI capability. (It's all so hysterically ironic!)   4) Most of the literature played on the organ, and on the theremin, that is "accessible" to the great unwashed masses is transcriptions of other music - be it classical/orchestral, light pops, opera, theatre, etc. Most music original to the organ, and most music original to the theremin, is generally only "accessible" to organ-folk, and theremin-folk, as applicable.   5) People in both worlds endlessly bemoan the paucity of good music and good instruments, soberly intoning that the death of the [organ] [theremin] is very close at hand. The reasons for that imminent demise are argued endlessly and fruitlessly with everyone pointing the finger of blame at everyone else.   And So It Goes.      
(back) Subject: Re: Re:an advert of interest From: "Andy Lawrence" <andy@ablorgans.com> Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 14:02:26 -0500   Interesting. Ideally we would too, of course, but the church seems to = feel it sounds "good enough". I tune the little 9 rank mongrel in my church about once a year (but I do tune the reed much more often) and I'm happy enough. Temperatures swing around quite a bit here in Vermont... but on = the colder side. For us, 80 is hot. In the winter, 20 is more average. Sometimes we've gone in to tune the reeds more than the one time, but not usually. Now that I'm on my own, I tune a few small organs and find that once a year is usually enough there too. But most of the organs I'm familiar with in this area are all on one level, or close to it. I've always assumed that we have the worst temperature situations here than = just about anywhere, but sounds like it must be worse down there.   In tuning, the question of "have to" is negotiable, I admit! :)   Andy   On Tue, 30 Nov 2004 12:42:28 -0600, F. Richard Burt wrote > Hi, Andy: > > You wrote: > > > The largest organ I've been involved in maintaining is 69 ranks > > (including large antiphonal). It gets tuned once a year, in > about a > > day if a thorough tuning is needed. (Smaller organs, naturally, > requiring > > significantly less time). > > Wow! What a deal!!! > > I have to tune the organ in my church four times a year. The > reason is simple, we have four different temperature seasons > AND three different temperature strata in the meeting room. > > The church does not mind cooling the people most of the > year (spring, summer, autuum) and warming them in winter. > But the poor organ's needs go unheeded. > > There have been a few periods of extreme heat, when the > air conditioning was kept on (for several reasons; but not > to cool the people or the organ). > > The organ sustains quite well in this situation, and I don't > have to tune it so much. I'm further encouraged when, as > I progress with the tuning, the fine adjustments fall into > place where they should from tenor G up through the > soprano range, indicating that the basic temperment is > well adjusted. > > Even so, paying me to tune the organ four times a year > is usually still quite a bit less expensive than running the > air conditioning in Texas, just to stabilize the pipe organ. > > <smiles> Even so, it's a keeper. <grins> > > F. Richard Burt > > . > > ****************************************************************** > "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>       A.B.Lawrence Pipe Organ Service PO Box 111 Burlington, VT 05402 (802)578-3936 Visit our website at www.ablorgans.com