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Crescendo Expression Pedal - what for???

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  • nullogik
    replied
    Re: Crescendo Expression Pedal - what for???



    Well I hope this thread has been interesting. I'll certainly attempt to use the crescendo pedal more - I'm sure I'm not the only one on here that has never used it!</p>

    Quite what I'll use it for I don't know, but I think I might start playing around with it during improvisation just to see what it can do. </p>

    I'm luckily in that I plenty of pistons and user memories on my regular instrument so I won't need to use the Cres pedal that much, but if I come across an instrument that doesn't have many pistons (or any at all) then I'll already have gained the experience of using the crescendo pedal.
    </p>

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  • soubasse32
    replied
    Re: Crescendo Expression Pedal - what for???



    Nice to hear from you again, ReedGuy! []</P>

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  • ReedGuy
    replied
    Re: Crescendo Expression Pedal - what for???



    I have just stumbled upon this most interesting thread. </P>


    While I do not use the crescendo pedal frequently, I have found some uses for it. Some examples:</P>


    - Toccata in D Minor, Opus 59 No. 6 by Max Reger. The last three bars of this piece say among other things "sempre crescendo." My hands are too busy at this point and I am busily manipulating the tempo to achieve my desired effect. Using the crescendo pedal here is very helpful with the final and last bar culminating in Full Organ. </P>


    - If I wish to get the organ to really kick it for a dramatic effect in my playing. </P>


    - I gave an organ dedication recital for an organ that had very few pistons. With all the pieces I was playing, it was not possible to program the few pistons I had. So I did a lot of piston changes by hand, plus the crescendo pedal came in handy too. </P>


    Cheerio! </P>

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  • soubasse32
    replied
    Re: Crescendo Expression Pedal - what for???



    I suppose this is the heart of the issue:not everyorgan has a verysuccessful crescendo pedal. The builders that give some attention to the crescendo are usually the ones that give an organist a better experience. If a builder doesn't think the crescendo is important it is more likely that it will not be as effective.</P>


    The good thing about a 16-stage crescendo is that there are fewer changes of registration (so it should be easier to hit a particular level). Also with less stages there is less chance of thecrescendo "hunting" for the next higher or lower setting. In older crescendo mechanisms this meant stops would toggle off and on rapidly, but newer mechanisms should not have this problem.</P>


    With a larger number of stages finding the rightone becomes less critical, because the crescendo should be much more seamless.</P>


    I agree that every organ should have a display - it really is a requirement.</P>


    Some Skinner organs I've played do have a nifty crescendo limiter. You can see a small row of vertical pistons on the organ in this link: http://aeolian-skinner.110mb.com/Specs/Op00477.html Click on the small picture of the console to view a larger image.</P>


    It is a very simple but effectivemechanism - when you pressoneof those pistons it blocks the travel of the crescendo shoe. The pistons are numbered so you can crescendo to a specific level as needed.</P>

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  • nullogik
    replied
    Re: Crescendo Expression Pedal - what for???



    Point taken.</P>


    The only problem I have is precise control over the crescendo pedal. I have 16 "gradations" over about 45 degrees. </P>


    So for example, trying to get"gradation no.8" when you're on 2 in the middle of a piece is very difficult and more often that not you end up agrade or two higher or lower. The crescendo pedal really needs some kind of gentlenotch system which you could feel through you're feet so you could kind of count them up in you're mind without having to take your eyes of the music. Unfortunately all of them seem to have a smooth action which makes "hitting" the precise stage difficult.</P>


    Of course you could just watch the digital readout or LEDS, but not all instruments have this.</P>

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  • soubasse32
    replied
    Re: Crescendo Expression Pedal - what for???

    [quote user="nullogik"][quote user="radagast"]


    As has been said by another, if you are playing a complex piece and both hands are very busy, the crescendo pedal comes in handy.</P>


    Bill</P>


    [/quote]</P>


    That would assume that you're feet aren't that busy if you're able to operate the crescendopedal. </P>


    In which case, you could just hit a foot piston (or a series of them) to get a similar effect to the crescendo pedal. [*-)]</P>


    [/quote]</P>


    That assumes you have plenty of foot pistons, which is sometimes not the case. And what if you are playing a pedal part when the crescendo needs to happen?</P>


    Also, what if you are playing a recital that requires specialized registrations on each general piston? If you don't have a lot of general pistons, you can't very well use them to effect a crescendo if they are being used for something else.</P>


    I've played quite a number of very small instruments - these may have three or four generals (or none). But if there is a crescendo pedal, there are many morepossibilites for registration (providing it is done tastefully).</P>

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  • radagast
    replied
    Re: Crescendo Expression Pedal - what for???

    [quote user="nullogik"][quote user="radagast"]


    As has been said by another, if you are playing a complex piece and both hands are very busy, the crescendo pedal comes in handy.</P>


    Bill</P>


    [/quote]</P>


    That would assume that you're feet aren't that busy if you're able to operate the crescendopedal. </P>


    In which case, you could just hit a foot piston (or a series of them) to get a similar effect to the crescendo pedal. [*-)]</P>


    [/quote]</P>


    It would have to be a series of piston hits to get the same effect as a crescendo. Now if you have plenty of pistons to use, fine. If all the pistons are programmed for something else, then the crescendo pedal comes in handy. There is nothing wrong with having that preference, but one must wonder, why the reluctance to use a crecendo pedal. Someone could just as easily say that using pistons can be a substitute for good registration, if an organist simply uses what is already set up on them. The point of pistons and crescendo pedals are to make it easier to do the main function, which is to play music. If it doesn't help, don't use it.</P>

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  • nullogik
    replied
    Re: Crescendo Expression Pedal - what for???

    [quote user="radagast"]


    As has been said by another, if you are playing a complex piece and both hands are very busy, the crescendo pedal comes in handy.</P>


    Bill</P>


    [/quote]</P>


    That would assume that you're feet aren't that busy if you're able to operate the crescendopedal. </P>


    In which case, you could just hit a foot piston (or a series of them) to get a similar effect to the crescendo pedal. [*-)]</P>

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  • m&m's
    replied
    Re: Crescendo Expression Pedal - what for???



    Diane Bish loves the crescendo pedal, and makes very liberal use of it. I have noticed other famous name organists using it occasionally, if not frequently.</P>

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  • Don Furr
    replied
    Re: Crescendo Expression Pedal - what for???



    I often find that the crescendo pedal is abused. Some organist get really lazy and instead of bringing on the proper stop to build a crescendo, they are content with using what ever is programmed on the pedal and it's "pedal-to-the-metal" full steam ahead. And sometimes the results are not pretty.</p>

    When I installed my 3m Reuter console here at home I programmed the crescendo pedal to start with strings and build to full organ bringing on the manual and pedal couplers. I did make the decision to NOT program the reeds. I had rather bring on the reeds to match the need.</p>

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  • soubasse32
    replied
    Re: Crescendo Expression Pedal - what for???



    Acrescendo pedal exists on nearly every American organ built in the last 100 years-I'm surprised that so many organists seem to have no use for it without really askinghow orwhyitbecame suchstandard equipment (in North America, at least).</P>


    [quote user="arie v"]Soubasse, </P>


    These composers you mention, do they actually call for the use of a crescendo in their music scores? I certainly have never seen it. I would assume that these organ pieces are not to be played on organs without a crescendo pedal.[/quote]</P>


    I'm so glad you asked. [] Some examples: </P>
    <UL>
    <LI>Richard Purvis: Divinium Mysterium - gradually open crescendo Pedal</LI>
    <LI>Leo Sowerby: Symphony (one of the greatest 20th century organ works) - increase gradually with crescendo pedal</LI>
    <LI>Sowerby: Comes Autumn Time - Full Organ - reduce by closing crescendo pedal</LI>
    <LI>Sowerby:Requiescat in Pace- graduallyincrease withCrescendo Ped.</LI>
    <LI>Sowerbyageant (an encore piece played by virtuosi around the world) - Crescendo pedal open (at start); close crescendo pedal</LI>[/list]


    These pieces can be played without the crescendo pedal, but it would be quite awkward indeed.</P>


    As MarkS mentioned, the works of Reger demand some sort of device similar to a Rollschweller. The crescendo pedal is a pretty good substitute.</P>


    Arie, I've programmed a 60-stage crescendo - it is very time consuming but the results can be amazing!</P>


    I just thought of another great use for the crescendo pedal - I use it to bring on/take off all of the unison couplers. Often times there is an indication to couple all manuals to pedal. Unless you have an organ with couplers specifically for pistons (rather rare), you would have to either moveall thecouplers simultaneously (awkward), or use up a general piston (which is a waste). The crescendo pedal (if programmed to do so) will make this very easy.</P>

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  • MarkS
    replied

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  • diaphone32
    replied
    Re: Crescendo Expression Pedal - what for???



    I have come across a piece which requires the use of a crescendo pedal. The Carillon by Herbert Murrill says on the very final bar to suddenly turn the crescendo pedal right down, then pull it right up for the final beat. It also says to try using the swell pedal if there is no crescendo.</P>


    Doesn't the organ in Atlantic City have a crescendo pedal as well?</P>

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  • Menschenstimme
    replied
    Re: Crescendo Expression Pedal - what for???



    The crescendo system in the Peterson MSP-1000 has 60 stages. And yes, it is really not practical to think that you are going to advance the stages one number at a time. It also requires careful programming to add stops very gradually so that you do not run out at stage 45 rather than 60. However, one trick is to make two or three sequential stages (i.e., 30, 31,32) the exact same registration. Moreover, Peterson gives you the option of changing the program to 30 stages while still maintaining full pedal travel, since it is done in the computer.</P>


    I hope that I explained that clearly and in a helpful manner.</P>

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  • radagast
    replied
    Re: Crescendo Expression Pedal - what for???

    [quote user="nullogik"]


    Heres something that has been puzzling me for some time...</P>


    Nearly all new digital organs and a lot of older analogue organs come with a "crescendo" expression pedal - I don't know about pipe instruments since I don't get to play many of them.
    </P>


    What exactly is the "crescendo" pedal for? </P>


    [/quote]</P>


    As has been said by another, if you are playing a complex piece and both hands are very busy, the crescendo pedal comes in handy.</P>


    As far as being a substitute for knowing how to register, I have seen newer organs (digital) with programmable crescendo, meaning the organist can select what stops come in and out, and when they do so. So that refutes the idea that they are meant as a substitute for good registration.</P>


    Bill</P>

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