PipeChat Digest #5063 - Friday, January 7, 2005
 
Oceans of strings
  by "F. Richard Burt" <effarbee@verizon.net>
Oceans of Strings!
  by "Daniel Hancock" <dhancock@brpae.com>
Slush in church
  by <RMB10@aol.com>
Re: Oceans of strings
  by "Paul Smith" <kipsmith@getgoin.net>
Re: Slush in church
  by "littlebayus@yahoo.com" <littlebayus@yahoo.com>
Hearing strings, hearing things
  by <TubaMagna@aol.com>
Where the Pendulum Swings
  by "First Christian Church of Casey, Illinois" <kzrev@rr1.net>
Jonathon's Remarks on Worship
  by "First Christian Church of Casey, Illinois" <kzrev@rr1.net>
"More Souls Have Been Saved..."
  by "Charlie Lester" <crl@137.com>
RE: Jonathon's Remarks on Worship
  by "TheShieling" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz>
PipeChat IRC this evening,
  by "Bob Conway" <conwayb@sympatico.ca>
Audsley and pipes
  by "Nathan Smith" <erzahler@sbcglobal.net>
RE: Oceans of Strings
  by "Andy Lawrence" <andy@ablorgans.com>
Putting an end to Evil
  by <TubaMagna@aol.com>
 

(back) Subject: Oceans of strings From: "F. Richard Burt" <effarbee@verizon.net> Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2005 09:40:33 -0600   Good Morning, PipeChatters:   Let me inject something of our American past, and see if it blends in with this conversation and, perhaps, contributes to some perspectives.   My early experiences with pipe organs was at a time when I found Hammond organs in almost every church into which I was invited to lead music. I finished my college work in 1957 with a Bachelor of Arts in Church Music (enough hours to actually have a Masters degree, if I had been more diligent about what courses I was taking).   My denomination had helped fatten the bank account for Hammond by endorsing the Hammond as the most practical organ for newly planted Baptist churches.   I had been a member of Baptist churches that had pipe organs, and while I finished high school and college, the Hammond people had pulled a coup with our national church music department in Nashville. I was blind sided by this in my own experience. I had studied the literature of master musicians, who had pipe organs for their church music expressions, and used orchestras for special celebration occassions.   So, finding so many Hammond organs caused me to go into study mode and learn what made a Hammond so different that I could not get the kind of sound from it that I thought I needed for my church worship situations.   Part of that study settled around William Harrison Barnes, who had written a book called "The Contemporary Amereican Organ." Since he so willingly quoted from Audsley, I read "The Art of Organ Building," and was confident that I thought I undestood why a pipe organ sounded like a pipe, and was convinced that the Hammond organ was NOT the way we should go for improving the music in our churches. I was at odds with our national church music department in Nashville.   Barnes wrote (many times in many situations) about the facination of the American organists who liked organs with stops on them to "tickle their ears." He was rather derrogatory in his stance, . . . and I believe he helped redirect the American churches into a desire to change from the high-pressure fat organs that seemed to pervade our churches in the 1920s.   I do not believe Barnes pushed for the neo-Baroque style of sound, for he had some harsh editorials about those who wanted to go in that direction. In my opinion, Barnes was quiet satisfied with the style of sounds offered by Skinner and the sucessor Aeolian-Skinner under G. Donald Harrison. He had a lot of good opinions to say for Austin in their "new found:" directions after World War-II, and several others, not ignoring M=F6ller, Wicks, Tellers, and most of those who still had facilities to build complete organs.   The part about "ear tickling" sounds was a direct slap at organists who liked slush sounds in worship styles that were essentially outside the styles used in most of the Episcopal churches, Presbyterian, and "high Methodist" churches. He was not concerned about the Roman Catholic churches for that was not an approved style or sound by the Vatican.   So, the larger body of churches wishing to be identified as "upper crust" bodies (never ending desire to be upwardly mobile socially) began to move into the neo-Baroque style of organs, with the accompaning re-introduction of mechanical action. Incidentally, Barnes detested this kind or building style, . . . and went to his grave in opposition to it. Too bad. It more or less succeeded in spite of him. AND, that may be what set Barnes apart as being too old to be part of the Baroque revival.   We have the benefit of looking back at the world in which we grew up, observing the good, the bad, and the ugly of the new-Baroque revival (now seeing that the tracker organs that came through were not always the "great solutions" for churches who had high-pressure fat organs from the 1920s, but the penduulum is swinging again.   I caution that we do not establish our opinions so fast in worship styles that what we think becomes the authority of what is accepatable in chruch worship, for there are now huge churches with far-reaching influences among this generation of music servants. I can assure you that the staid styles of high-church are not held widely in high opinion among the contemporary generation of church "leaders."   I am among the older people on this list. I have a life-long study and experience of what worked for me and "my" people, but I cannot say that it is THE way we should go in corporate worship. A few of the younger folks who participate with us say things now and then, and I find that we "attack" them for what is happening in their churches (not like us).   Some of us have our whole financial stake built around the success of the church organ, and find it very difficult when we find a church building a large new building WITH NO PLACE TO INSTALL AN ORGAN, NOR ANY INTENT TO EVER HAVE AN ORGAN. They have chosen to go in the direction of CCM (Contemporary Christian Music), . . . we will never sell them any kind of organ (digital or pipe). These are now well established facts of life, and they are still changing.   I am among the "professional" organ builders, sales, and service group. So, I move on to find a church that wants a traditional sounding organ for an "old" style of worship. No sales; no income. That is also now a way of life.   For those of us who dare to think about what is happening in our Christian cultures, we can argue both sides of the issues (good forensic exercise), but whatever setting or style use to attack or defend, in some way it is being attacked, pro and con, vigorously among the contemporary leadership (on-staff in chruches) who are responsible for sink or swim with the demands of the people in the pews, or those church officials with sufficient authroity or power to demand whatever.   So, if I propose or argue a position in our PipeChat discussions, I may find that I am wrong (whether or not willing to publicly admit it). AND, as Ross has advocated, what some like as a musical style, I may find it to be uncomfortable.   In my opinion, that does not make it right or wrong; but I have to admit that it is at least different. In our time, we are at some level working very hard on dealing with our differences and trying to find ways to make them acceptable. That may take another five or six generations, or so.   Now, I have to wonder if I can fit all this under the concept that, as Ross said, "I can assure you that sentimentality of the kind of sound you are proposing is just sick-making to me." No. I am not threatened with that extreme, and I will listen to what Ross says, for Saint Paul said (as an example) that if "eating meat is offensive to one of my brothers, I will eat no meat." I won't go that far with the music, but I will try to keep a goodly perspective on what is at stake.   Appreciatively, F. Richard Burt Dorian Organs     ..      
(back) Subject: Oceans of Strings! From: "Daniel Hancock" <dhancock@brpae.com> Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2005 10:08:12 -0600   Bob Conway wrote:   I have said this before on these lists, - I never can hear a string sound on a pipe organ!   In my view, a noise generated by a pipe being blown by wind pressure,=20 cannot ever be said to imitate a horse haired bow being dragged across a gut string! There isn't even a similarity of any sort.   Yes, but really! I think this is far too literal an approach. In my opinion, "string" is merely the classification in nomenclature only to distinguish "string" stops from those of other classifications: principals, flutes, and reeds. =20   I'm sure there are some organists who think that the strings on such and such organs really do sound like "orchestral strings", but I'm sure more of us don't. It's a misconception to constantly test organ strings, trumpets, and flutes against the actual orchestral instruments. They may bear certain resemblance, but the best built stops of any name stand well enough on their own and don't have to resemble their orchestral namesakes. =20   This sort of thinking comes from over-comparing the organ to the orchestra. There are comparisons to be drawn, of course, but really!   Daniel Hancock Springfield, Missouri  
(back) Subject: Slush in church From: <RMB10@aol.com> Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2005 11:21:16 EST   While some churches obviously look down their noses, and cast disparaging glances at those of us who do use "full slush" juicy registrations during = church services, and who might also (God forbid) sing a chorus or two, = interspersed with traditional hymnody and classical organ literature played on a 4 = manual pipe organ, there is call for gushing strings and warbling voxes and = trobbing tremulants in certain types of church services. Not all churches require = this, or want this, I understand, but in some styles of worship, it is = necessary. In the evangelical tradition, this is part of our heritage, and a service without strings is like an Anglican Cathedral service without Full Swell = with the boxes closed.   In the evangelical tradition of service playing, it is understood that = when a minister is praying, the organist will "underscore" the prayer, softly playing while the minister is praying. This often also happens while the = Scripture is read. This is why we use the strings and the American version of the = Vox Humana to great effect. In churches where there is an Altar Call or = Invitation at the end of the service where people will come forward to join the congregation, it is an emotional time (yes, it's dramatic, bordering on = schmaltzy at times) but again, turn on the full slush and go to work. I also augment = the organ strings at times with the MIDI strings and voices from our PR300. = The congregation always remarks at how much they love it...at the same time, = they remark at how much they enjoy my postludes, which consist of things like = Bach fugues, flashy French toccatas, movements from Mendelssohn sonatas, etc.   I would hardly call using the strings "sentimental," it's just a radically =   different style. The new organ at my church will have a Celestial = division, located in the ceiling, which because of placement will be digital. = However, it is going to be a glorified String division, consisting of many different = sets of strings and celestes of different colors and pitches, and a Vox Humana = AND Chimes AND Harp. In a Baptist church these are things that get used. If = I was in a liturgical church, I would have specified the organ differently = because it would have been use in a different manner.   As Ken Potter said the sound of an improvisation fading away on the sound = of a string or flute celeste is just magical, and he's right. I think it was =   Jack Ossewaarde at St. Bart's in NYC who was known for doing = improvisations building up to full organ and then dropping down to the softest celeste in = the Dome organ and then having the choir get their pitch from that. Call it showy, =   but that was in an Episcopal church...   Celestes have their place, one can't overuse them--I don't want a steady = diet of them, I know their place and how to use them to their maximum, but as = with all things it's knowing how to balance. That's why I play "legitimate" literature for preludes and postludes to balance out the "slush" that I = will play during a service, BUT even then, the slush gets balanced out--a = traditional hymn AND a chorus, a traditional anthem AND something gospel. To cast dispersions on something that one doesn't know about or doesn't want to = learn about is very closed minded, however, and because it's something foreign it can be appreciated. The style doesn't have to be adopted, but it can be accepted = as something valid.   Monty Bennett  
(back) Subject: Re: Oceans of strings From: "Paul Smith" <kipsmith@getgoin.net> Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2005 10:42:00 -0600   I have this same arguement with my Mom, who is not an organist. She can't get beyond the fact that the stop labeled "Trumpet" is a reed and = therefore must be wrong. Just listen to the sound and forget what it is called, if that bothers you. ----- Original Message ----- From: "Bob Conway" <conwayb@sympatico.ca> To: "PipeChat" <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Friday, January 07, 2005 9:31 AM Subject: Re: Oceans of strings     >I have said this before on these lists, - I never can hear a string sound =   >on a pipe organ! > > In my view, a noise generated by a pipe being blown by wind pressure, > cannot ever be said to imitate a horse haired bow being dragged across a =   > gut string! There isn't even a similarity of any sort. > > But then, I am not an organist, and can never kid myself that there is a =   > wonderful "string" section of any kind. I am sure that I cannot be the > only person who likes listening to organs, who finds it unbelievable! > > Say it like it is, - that only electronic organs ever approach the sound =   > of strings, - and even then, only approach the sound, - to get real = string > tone, one has to have strings and bows to play them! > > Cheers, > > Bob Conway > > I am not ducking! It is only too obvious to me that the notion of = having > a "string" tone within a pipe organ is only in the pipe organist's mind! > > Bob > > > > ****************************************************************** > "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: Slush in church From: "littlebayus@yahoo.com" <littlebayus@yahoo.com> Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2005 08:52:29 -0800 (PST)     --- RMB10@aol.com wrote:     [snip]   I think it was > Jack Ossewaarde at St. Bart's in NYC who was known > for doing improvisations > building up to full organ and then dropping down to > the softest celeste in the Dome > organ and then having the choir get their pitch from > that. Call it showy, > but that was in an Episcopal church...   I'm told that it was a tradition to sing "Holy Offerings, Rich and Rare" (Hymnal 1940) in somewhat this way... building up to a climax... and then by the last line, the organist, shall we say, toned down the organ to a celeste... perhaps in the dome, perhaps in the chancel swell organ...   I'm also told the accompaniment of this particular hymn used at the presentation of the offering sent shivers up and down the spines of the members of the congregation...   Unfortunately "Holy Offerings, Rich and Rare" was proscribed from Hymnal 1982...   I still have happy memories as a junior choir member of singing this hymn at my church's 9:30 AM service as our offertory for a number of Sundays... but not each Sunday, of course... The junior choir sang this hymn not only with enthusiasm but also with much feeling...     Best wishes to all,     Morton Belcher fellow list member...   =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D > > Monty Bennett > > ****************************************************************** > "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> > >       __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Mail - now with 250MB free storage. Learn more. http://info.mail.yahoo.com/mail_250  
(back) Subject: Hearing strings, hearing things From: <TubaMagna@aol.com> Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2005 13:08:23 EST   While one may have never heard a highly effective imitation of bowed strings in an organ, it does not mean that such successes do not exist. There are a few instruments here in the United States that can very effectively suggest string tone, to the point of convincing imitation. The = effect is NOT achieved with sub- and super-coupling. Rather, the combination of = high pressure, extreme scales, superb design, voicing, and finishing, and the correct tuning all bring together, in a few instances, some remarkable = effects. They work best in the lower ranges (when the undulants are actually = full-compass), in solo lines. E.M. Skinner, W.W. Kimball, Casavant, Morton, Wurlitzer, and others achieved some fine imitative string effects during the 1920s. Hopefully you will get to hear some of these some day, if you truly desire to.   Sebastian M. Gluck New York City   ..  
(back) Subject: Where the Pendulum Swings From: "First Christian Church of Casey, Illinois" <kzrev@rr1.net> Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2005 12:16:39 -0600   Daniel said: the sort of organs that have pitch centers at 4' or higher, then no wonder that organists today are starving for 8' stops of varied character! If the pendulum could only have stopped in the middle! _____________________   I dunno, Daniel. I think it would be exceedingly difficult to use an organ centered on 6' stops! ;>)   Dennis Steckley   "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."--Dr. Seuss        
(back) Subject: Jonathon's Remarks on Worship From: "First Christian Church of Casey, Illinois" <kzrev@rr1.net> Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2005 12:20:31 -0600   Jonathan said: I imagine (yea, actually, believe quite strongly) that God could care less about our STYLE of worship, or the MUSICAL MEANS by which we accomplish   it, as long as when we DO it, it is giving to Him our best, and our hearts have the right attitude. WE (ivory-towered musicians) make the distinction that some music or style or instrumentation (registration?) is better or more "holy" than another. Throughout the biblical record, God   has shown a marked preference for the true worshipper, rather than the mens by which it is accomplished. [and a lot more]   I say, BRAVO, Jonathon! As much as I like pipe organs and organ music--and even formal music--to say that is perilously close to "essential" to proper worship makes no sense theologically. The form of worship is culturally-conditioned; what is one's best in a given culture may vary considerably in another culture; this diversity is a GOOD thing, not a bad thing. As an acquaintance of mine noted, "I have to face the fact that many people are apparently blessed by music that doesn't do a thing for me."     Dennis Steckley   "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."--Dr. Seuss        
(back) Subject: "More Souls Have Been Saved..." From: "Charlie Lester" <crl@137.com> Date: Fri, 07 Jan 2005 11:18:28 -0800   "TheShieling" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz> wrote,     >> ABSOLUTELY. It's been said, and truly so, "More souls have been saved with chimes and vox humana than any other stops in the organ." <<   > Well, maybe in some cultures. For my part, I know of no New Zealand organ that has chimes on it - not a single one [snip] <       The expression is not a LITERAL one. It does not mean, LITERALLY, souls were saved via CHIMES and VOX HUMANA IN PARTICULAR.   This old saying, as most old sayings, expresses a particular type of sentiment that is not so specific. You could substitute any variety of "pretty" stops for the two cited.   And even at that, it does not LITERALLY mean that the souls are saved of those who hear those sounds. It's just a quaint way of saying "you get more bang for your buck" with "ear candy" than with some stops that some organists love [think loud, low, high, screechy, quacky, etc.] but that everyone else [especially older church folk] loathe.   It's just like the expression, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" ---- that expression does not LITERALLY mean eating an APPLE every day will prevent the doctor from getting near you. Nor does it mean doing so will keep you free from disease. It is expressing the more GENERAL sentiment that eating HEALTHILY will HELP keep you HEALTHY. Again, substitute any number of HEALTHY FOODS in place of the APPLE.   People have used colorful expressions such as these to express and convey thoughts and ideals for as long as humanity has existed. This sort of thing is not new. So it amazes me how these kinds of expressions apparently go right over so many people's heads!   ~ C      
(back) Subject: RE: Jonathon's Remarks on Worship From: "TheShieling" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz> Date: Sat, 8 Jan 2005 09:14:05 +1300   >The form of worship is culturally-conditioned; what is one's best in a given culture may vary considerably in another culture; this diversity is a GOOD thing, not a bad thing. As an acquaintance of mine noted, "I have to face the fact that many people are apparently blessed by music that doesn't do a thing for me."   This very true, and is at least one of the reasons I raised what my experience is here in New Zealand, as the List seemed t be saying that its norms were universal ones. I've now been accused of being high-church and foolish for my comments. OK. I'm happy with that, even if I believe = neither to be true.   Let me tell you the truth of the matter in this parish. As I've said = before, we have three churches in the parish, two of them having 2m Allens and the other a 1m Ahlborn-Galanti. There is no over-all Director of Music and = about seven of us take turns playing for services. And there is a tiny "contemporary music group" of 6 men and women over the age of 60, that has one violin and an electronic piano to accompany it. There is no choir at = all in the parish. I'm the only one in the parish who uses what might be = called "classical" registration and who plays music from Bach and the "classical" periods. I'm also the only one who uses the Celestes only rarely, and who frequently uses colour reeds and mutations and Mixtures when accompanying the singing. What is the result? Well, dare I say it, the people plead for more, telling me they love the stuff I play and the way it sounds, even though I do not have the greatest technique - I'd be third in the group of us who play for services as far as technique goes.   That's more from me than you'd want to hear on this issue, I'm sure.   Ross    
(back) Subject: PipeChat IRC this evening, From: "Bob Conway" <conwayb@sympatico.ca> Date: Fri, 07 Jan 2005 15:33:25 -0500   All members of PipeChat are invited to join us in the PipeChat IRC any Friday and Monday evening - beginning at 9.00 PM Eastern Time.   To find out more about the Chat room, or how to get into it, go to PipeChat-L web page at http://www.pipechat.org/   You will find out all you need to know to join us.   Tonight at 9.00 PM, - I hope that we will see you there.   Cheers,   Bob Conway     ****************************************************************** "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: Audsley and pipes From: "Nathan Smith" <erzahler@sbcglobal.net> Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2005 15:54:34 -0500 (Eastern Standard Time)   Hi list...=0D =0D As you all know, Audsley gives a page or two in The Art of Organ Build= ing to wooden, cylindrical, orchestral flutes. I would like to know if any o= f these still exist, and if anyone has played or heard them. It goes witho= ut saying that builders have achieved success in obtaining a good, imitative sound from quadrangular or triangular pipes, but I can't help but think t= hat the idea for cylindrical pipes was not inspired in a vacuum, and that the= re was an aim behind the creation of such pipes beyond the simple novelty of the peculiar construction of the same.=0D =0D Best,=0D =0D - Nate
(back) Subject: RE: Oceans of Strings From: "Andy Lawrence" <andy@ablorgans.com> Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2005 16:37:48 -0500   On Sat, 8 Jan 2005 03:42:10 +1300, TheShieling wrote > >A perversion of what the organ is meant to be doing? What is the organ > meant > to be doing? > > I do not believe that the organ in a church is meant to provide, and > here I use someone else's word, "sentimentalty". That, to me, is not > an enhancer of worship.   I do not disagree entirely, but i think a little slush here and there is quite nice. The congregation seems to like it. I think that should count =   for something. Not everything, in fact in my church (a Baptist one, but perhaps closer to Presbyterian in personality), what the elders say goes, though congregational input is welcome and requested. I do keep the slush =   to a minimum though. I probably agree with you more than it appears to either of us... its really your blanket statements I'm having trouble = with.   > >Who has the authority to decide that? > > I believe the clergy do, to be brutally honest. At least in the Anglican > church, the Vicar is responsible for all that happens within the > church, and that includes the music.   As far as in the church, I absolutely agree. However, I'm not certain = that all clergy in all denominations necessarily would share your views.   > > >The organ has been used > for a lot of things besides worship, and worship has involved a lot > of things besides organs. > > Very true, and no objection to that. People can do with organs as > they wish, and I'd encourage them to do so, outside worship. > > >What you mean is, its not what _you're_ used to, and therefore you = don't > like > it, or anyone who does. > > Andy, that is not at all what I meant. As for dislike of someone for > doing something I'm not used to, this has to be a joke, right? > Disliking someone for their outlook on strings and Celestes? I do > hope that's not meant to be a serious idea.   No, I wasn't very serious with this statement. I meant the first half, = not really the second half. Not in the sense that I think you really don't = like them. It does seem that way sometimes when people get curmudgeony (no = idea how to spell that!) over these things. That's more what I was getting at. = I'm sure you don't hold dislike toward people just over their musical choices at the organ! I apologize.   Andy   A.B.Lawrence Pipe Organ Service PO Box 111 Burlington, VT 05402 (802)578-3936 Visit our website at www.ablorgans.com  
(back) Subject: Putting an end to Evil From: <TubaMagna@aol.com> Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2005 17:09:43 EST   Coupled strings are merely another step in the moral disintegration of =   the human race, and we must be resolute in our resolve to be resolved to = bring coupled strings to justice. Coupled strings hate us because we love = freedom, and we must be resolved and resolute in our resolution to bring the = evil-doing coupled strings to justice. Until the evil that is coupled strings is = brought to justice, people will continue to couple strings all over the world, but = it is better that we fight coupled strings on foreign soil, lest people = continue to couple strings in our "Heimat." Those who couple strings hate our = freedom, and they hate us because we want to bring liberty to the neoclassical = clarified plenum by bringing the evil that is coupled strings to justice. We will = smoke out the string couplers like the ferrets they are, and bring them to = justice, and we must be strong and resolute in our pursuit of the liberty of the = true organ in worship. To those who would use coupled strings in a worship = service to try to destroy this great nation, I say: BRING 'EM ON!!!!