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Rodgers 578 registration help

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  • Rodgers 578 registration help

    Our church just bought this new organ, Light years ahead of the old old allen we had before. Question I have is I'd like to use the chimes, but have never had any on organs I;ve played before. What sort of Regerstaion would you all use with them?


  • #2
    The most typical way to use the chimes, as a solo stop playing a melody, is to use a fairly soft registration on the opposite manual to play the accompaniment or chords, along with a suitable pedal stop. This can be done without any special musical arrangement, just play a hymn from the hymnal using the appropriate chime solo style.

    For example, your 578 has a Viola Celeste II 8' on the Swell. You could draw that stop plus the Subbass 16' in the pedal, along with the Swell to Pedal coupler. Then draw the chimes on the Great and play your melody (soprano part, one note at a time only) on the Great while playing a suitable accompaniment on the swell. This accompaniment might be, if you can manage, the tenor and alto notes, or a chord that corresponds to what the four parts make up in a given measure or count. Play the bass line on the pedals.

    Your organ doesn't have a Bourdon Doux 16 or Lieblich Gedeckt 16 in the pedal, so it's possible that the Subbass 16 will be too loud for this use. If so, you may want to try using the Bourdon 8' in the pedal instead of the 16' Subbass. That is of course a matter of taste and opinion.

    Also, you can try other combinations in the Swell to accompany your chimes. You could try adding the Still Gedackt or Spitzgeigen to the Viola Celeste for a slightly bolder sound. Another possible combination is the Spitzgeigen with the Nachthorn. And other combinations will work as well, so play around with it and use a variety.

    Another way to use the chimes is as part of a larger stop combination. Not everyone will agree with me, but I have used this in the past to good effect. It works better with some organs than with others. To do this, draw a moderately full registration, such as all three of your 8' stops in the Great plus the two 4' stops, then add the chimes. On the swell, draw all the 8' and 4' stops. In the pedal draw the Subbass 16 and the Swell to Great coupler. Be sure NOT to use the Great to pedal coupler for this!

    Now, with this registration drawn, you can play as in the other setup, with the one-note melody on the Great and the chords on the swell, bass on the pedals. But this time, instead of playing the chimes detached, play very legato and smoothly so that the notes are completely connected. This will give you an effect like distant church bells sounding along with the organ. I like to do this sometime with Christmas songs, as it is reminiscent of hearing the bells in a distant church tower while outside caroling or enjoying the crisp winter weather!

    These are my suggestions and others may offer something different and better. Don't be afraid to try your own ideas!
    *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!