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Dictionary of Pipe Organ Stops

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  • #31
    Re: Dictionary of Pipe Organ Stops



    I personally don't think there could be a "perfect" single dictionary written about organ stops and their exact tonality and characteristics. You have too many people involved to make it come down as an exact science, or even an artistic empirical rule in some examples of stops. There are too many people. Too many opinions.</P>


    Soubass is right in saying that experimentation with stops is crucial. Listening, observing the sameness in construction of pipes, and settling on the general ideals observedin most stops that are made the same way....these are the ways to learnhow certain stops are supposed to sound. </P>

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    • #32
      Re: Dictionary of Pipe Organ Stops



      <U>a typical Pedal Bourdon</U></P>


      At Austin Organs Inc was there a single pedal bourdon scale or several depending on the specified need by the tonal director?</P>

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      • #33
        Re: Dictionary of Pipe Organ Stops



        Hi Sesqui. That's an interesting question! I like to think that I've seen all the Austin examples that are out here. I think you're probably right, but I'd like to hear Ed Odell add to that. He's seen a lot of Austins too.</P>


        When I think back to the ones I've seen, if there is an obvious change of scale, it's always a different pedal stop, like an open wood, or a gedeckt, or a subbass.</P>


        Dave Broom was Austin's tonal director up to about 1999. Anybody know how to touch base with him?</P>

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        • #34
          Re: Dictionary of Pipe Organ Stops



          "Dave Broom was Austin's tonal director up to about 1999. Anybody know how to touch base with him?"</P>


          Ask and ye shall receive:</P>


          http://www.reedvoicers.com/</P>

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          • #35
            Re: Dictionary of Pipe Organ Stops



            Hi Sesqui. That's an interesting question! I like to think that I've seen all the Austin examples that are out here. I think you're probably right, but I'd like to hear Ed Odell add to that. He's seen a lot of Austins too.</P>


            Who??</P>

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            • #36
              Re: Dictionary of Pipe Organ Stops

              Sesqui....Ed Odell. He's our friend at "Odell Organs". He already left an earlier post (2/18/08) on this thread. Judging by the hour of that post, he's a night owl, like me! He worked for Austin Organs, and knows them well.

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              • #37
                Re: Dictionary of Pipe Organ Stops



                [quote user="Jay999"]Sesqui....Ed Odell. He's our friend at "Odell Organs". He already left an earlier post (2/18/08) on this thread. Judging by the hour of that post, he's a night owl, like me! He worked for Austin Organs, and knows them well.[/quote]</P>


                That notwithstanding many people have been at Austin over that firms long tenure. However the question has to do with the dimensions of ''typical pedal bourdons'' and subasses. What is the the ''typical pedal bourdon scale''? Supply houses offered numerous scales of pedal bourdons over the years. Austin had some enormous scales that were close to tibia scale and yet they were a pedal bourdon as did EM Skinner. </P>

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                • #38
                  Re: Dictionary of Pipe Organ Stops



                  Hi Sesqui. I've honestly not paid that much attention to any Austin pedal (wood) stop. I walk past them, I tune on top of them; but I haven't run into a Bourdon, or an Open Wood, or a Gedeckt, that seemed to grab my attention because it was bigger than normal. Typically, when I encounter a BIG wood pedal stop, it will be open on top, like an Open Wood.</P>


                  True, there are enormous pedal pipes out there. The ones that I recall are on Mollers, usually. But I haven't encounted any "head turners" in Austins. Even a 100+ rank instrument that I have serviced in the past.</P>


                  If you are aware of some HUGE scaled Austin pipes, why not share it with us? Best wishes.....</P>

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                  • #39
                    Re: Dictionary of Pipe Organ Stops

                    The original opus 37 1900 of 3-36 in Ohio was rebuilt in 1960. The old open bass 16 no1 scale became the 32 untersatz with several new bottom pipes so that the scale is enormous and at 16 as a bourdon the effect is awe-inspiring as it sits under any combination and mimmics the effect; that rolling effect that normally the open bass 16 can produce. Ihe addition of the newer contrabass 16 of both wood and metal and louder is almost not needed.

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                    • #40
                      Re: Dictionary of Pipe Organ Stops

                      well, it isn't a heade turner or an Austin, in fact it isn't even a bourdon. The Stop I'm talking about is the "32' Compton Polyphone." Not much of a head turner. Correct me if I'm wrong on this, but John compton would sometimes just put a couple of 32' pipes in, wire up x number of pipes to one so they all play the same note, for the effect of the rumble. I ran across it on a Holtkamp, built by Sr. for a Cleveland heights church. anyone else run across one of these?

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                      • #41
                        Re: Dictionary of Pipe Organ Stops

                        In the interest of clarity (something not at the forefront of my mind last night) I was wondering if anyone else has run across a Compton Polyphone, and if so, would they please describe it??

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                        • #42
                          Re: Dictionary of Pipe Organ Stops



                          Here is a description ofpolyphone pipes, asthey were installed at the famous Casavant in St. Paul's Anglican Church in Toronto:</P>


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                          • #43
                            Re: Dictionary of Pipe Organ Stops



                            Theoretically, couldn't such a mechanism be designed to produce as many as 4 different pitches from one pipe? I realize that this would introduce more problems with playing two or more nearby notes (I presume only the highest one activated would sound), but is there a reason it would not work? (Pipe spacing might be a problem.)</P>


                            David</P>

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                            • #44
                              Re: Dictionary of Pipe Organ Stops

                              Well in my not so exhaustive research, it was my understanding that the polyphone (at least as implemented by Compton) was really just designed to create something of a rumble, pitch be damned. My understanding was that when space or money were an issue, sometimes Compton would wire up one pipe to play for say the bottom five notes of the pedal, to create a satisfying rumble, since 32' pitch in the pedal is difficult to discern.

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                              • #45
                                Re: Dictionary of Pipe Organ Stops



                                I know the sourcewhere you found that info(the late Stephen Bicknell's website); however, I'm a bit perplexed by it as it differs from what I understand about polyphone pipes.</P>


                                From my understanding, a true polyphoneinvolves some sort of mechanism to alter the pitch of the pipe.</P>


                                A32' bottom octavewith only a few low pipes- which rumble indistinctly without a discernable pitch - seems to be something altogether different. Maybe a new word is needed... something like monophone comes to mind. [8-|]</P>


                                Here is a photo of an actual polyphone - six pipes which provide the bottom octave of a 32' rank: http://www.theatreorgans.com/norcal/dia32.htm</P>

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