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  • WHAT are they used for??



    Seriously, What are the Lowery 'organs' used for? I am not trying to sound sarcastic. What are they used for? </p>

    </p>

    buzzy</p>

    </p>

  • #2
    Re: WHAT are they used for??

    Entertaining eighty year old ladies. [:D]

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: WHAT are they used for??



      Edited in favour of this more considered response - plus the fact that the Forum went down as I posted the original!</P>
      <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt">Hey guys, hold on just a cotton-picking minute! This thread sounds like it might get into home organ bashing!<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
      <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt"><o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
      <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt">Please don’t knock this type of organ just for the sake of it. The electronic home organ (regardless of make) has given a tremendous amount of pleasure to countless listeners and players alike since the 1930’s, and still continues to do so. To belittle the instrument is unfair on the hundreds of thousands of its players, and the many thousands of teachers who have taught them, often to very high standards.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
      <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt"><o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
      <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt">If played properly – with both hands and feet – they are perfectly valid musical instruments. Both London College of Music and Trinity Guildhall College offer a syllabus for these organs that goes from pre-Grade 1 right up to Fellowship level Diplomas, and these exams are certainly not the ‘poor relations’ of those for other instruments. The UK’s QCA (Qualifications and Curriculum Authority) requires full accreditation status for these exams before they can bear the QCA logo – same as all the exams from Associated Board and, indeed, just about every UK exam of any type. Music exams with this accreditation are very much on a level playing field, between different instruments and different exam boards. In addition, the London College of Music is also a faculty of Thames Valley University, and the exams also have to meet the approval of the university’s own exam board. They have to be approved, as sections of the diplomas are interchangeable with parts of their Music degree courses. The next practical exam I take, RSI permitting, will be FLCM on electronic organ. I don’t ‘need’ any more qualifications, I just want to do it. So, I disagree totally with those that say that ‘it’s not a proper instrument’.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
      <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt"><o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
      <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt">OK, the ‘golden years’ of the electronic home organ – from the 60’s to the early 80’s – are long gone now. There aren’t that many home organ companies left and some of those are indeed deliberately targeting the older (retired) generation, especially in the USA, I’ll accept that. I’ll also accept that there are plenty of people who do play using all the gimmicks – reading E-Z Play music and playing with one finger in each hand and no feet. That’s their choice and they obviously wouldn’t pass any exams like that! However, although it’s certainly not the way I would do things, I’d honestly prefer them to do things like this rather than make NO music at all. (You’ve read my signature at the bottom of my posts – now read it again and take in what I mean!)<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
      <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt"><o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
      <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt">I teach people to play electronic home organ properly, with both hands and both feet. (Yes, that right foot is coaxed off the expression pedal at times, even though many players do leave it there, as that’s what the playing style usually requires). I have, for example, two students with large Rodgers Atelier instruments. They’ve worked their way up from smaller organs over the years that they’ve been with me. Both play in all five of what I consider to be the main styles that you can apply to these organs. Here’s a little of what they (and all my other home organ students) have been up to.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
      <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt"><o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
      <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt">1) Classical Organ – they’ve done things from Bach preludes and Fugues (allowing for the restricted 25 note pedals) to more modern fare like Young’s Prelude in Classic Style, as well as organ transcriptions of Elgar, Debussy and Grieg etc.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
      <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt">2) Theatre Organ – just about everything that’s going for this type of instruments, from soft ballads (think Buddy Cole, perhaps) to real ‘curtain-up’ showstoppers – a la George Wright.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
      <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt">3) Standard ‘electronic’ organ – making the kind of sounds that a 1960’s instrument would have made when playing any of the ‘standards’ from the 1930’s onwards. <o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
      <P class=MsoBodyText style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">4) Hammond stylings, using the drawbars to play that same ‘standards’ type of music OR to let their hair down with some jazz a la Jimmy Smith. </P>
      <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt">5) Orchestral, Symphonic and Big Band style. They’ve done everything from Beethoven, Debussy and Elgar, to Glenn Miller, Mantovani, James Last and Bert Kaempfert, and plenty of movie scores from Out of Africa to Dances with Wolves and Titanic. Currently, both are working on my arrangement of the ‘concerto’ from the movie Dream of Olwen. No multi-tracking, they’ve got to do the piano and the orchestral parts together and get as near as is physically possible to the original. The arrangement is a no-holds barred b*****d of a piece, and they are going to have to really work their socks off to get it right. I’m confident in their playing (and my teaching) and they’ve never let me down yet. Both are in their 70’s and wouldn’t dream of using automatic features, other than a little rhythm here and there (like a solo snare drum rhythm in the opening part of Dances with Wolves)</SPAN></P>
      <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt"><o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
      <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt">If you turn off all the automatics and any other gimmicks on the latest organs, including Lowrey, there’s still plenty there to be used properly, in any of the five above styles.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
      <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt"><o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
      <P class=MsoBodyText style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">So to answer your original question, though I can’t speak for other players and teachers, this is what they CAN be used for.</P>
      <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt"><o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
      <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt">Like I said, please don’t knock them, or their players, for the sake of it. Don’t consider them as just ‘cheese’, as some contributors to this forum have done, and please, please don’t be so narrow-minded to think that the classical pipe organ is the only type of organ. Even though some people consider the ‘home plug-in’ to be on the lowest rung of the ‘toaster’ ladder, I’d prefer people to think of them as just another branch in the wide family of the King of Instruments.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
      <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt"><o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
      <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt">Andy G<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
      <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt">(Now climbing off soapbox!)<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
      <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt"><o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
      <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt"><o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
      <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt"><o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
      <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt"><o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
      <P mce_keep="true"></P>
      It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

      New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com

      Current instruments: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition, Yamaha Genos, Yamaha PSR-S970, Kawai K1m
      Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond L122, T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball Temptation.
      Retired Leslies, 147, 145 x 2, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.
      Retired synths: Korg 700, Roland SH1000, Jen Superstringer, Kawai S100F, Kawai S100P, Kawai K1

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: WHAT are they used for??



        Hi Andy,</p>

        Your tremendous knowledge, experience and wisdom is a great asset to the forum. I am sure many forum members including myself look forward your postings and would like to express our appreciation for your time and effort!</p>

        So please stay on the soapbox as long as you can!</p>

        Regards,</p>

        oliver</p>

        </p>

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: WHAT are they used for??

          [quote user="buzzyreed"]


          Seriously, What are the Lowery 'organs' used for? I am not trying to sound sarcastic. What are they used for? </P>
          <P mce_keep="true"></P>


          buzzy</P>
          <P mce_keep="true"></P>


          [/quote]</P>


          buzzyreed,</P>


          They have been used for years the same as all of the rest. I find the greater part of the Lowrey's vice nice sounding organs, and even I prefer them so a good many of the others.</P>


          We do need positive input as well as realize we all have our own opinions as I have said before. Buzzyreed, have you played any Lowrey organs? If so, surely there was something on them you like.</P>


          James</P>
          Baldwin Church Organ Model 48C
          Baldwin Spinet 58R
          Lowrey Spinet SCL
          Wurlitzer 4100A
          Crown Pump Organ by Geo. P. Bent, Chicago, Illinois


          Organs I hope to obtain in the future:

          Conn Tube Minuet or Caprice even a transistor Caprice with the color coded tabs
          Gulbransen H3 or G3, or V.
          Wurlitzer 44, 4410, 4420, ES Reed Models, 4300, 4500, Transistor Models

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: WHAT are they used for??

            I"ve used the smallest of Lowreys, the Teenie Genie single manual in children's programming at my library for about two years. The patrons love it and they really think its neat. I also play country gospel sometimes on my Lowrey Mardi Gras. Both organs were given to me. I like them because they have keys similar to those of a Hammond.They are plentiful on my local craigslist and they are a good way to go if you don't have much money.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: WHAT are they used for??



              We weren't born playing the organ; at some point we had to hear one--or a reasonable imitation--to fall in love with the instrument. For those of us whogrew up during thehome electric organ craze of the 1950s-80s, the Lowrey organ, and its relatives, may have been our first experience hearing something that looked and sounded like a pipe organ.</P>


              Younger Forum members will find it hard to believe, but, at one time, every shopping mall and main streethad a music store filled with organs, and people who wanted to learn how to play them. (In fact, those folks probably stillmake up a good percentage of the 20 people who generally show up fororgan recitals today!) </P>


              The good thing about these instruments, at least the larger ones with full keyboards and 25-note pedalboards, is that they contained the basic hardware to practice any style of music that required two hands and two feet. </P>


              Now some of us may have started out playing Blue Hawaii on the Hawaiian guitar stop, but there was nothing to prevent us from learning Part III of the Clavierubung (except for those missing pedal notes) either. As a kid, I started with pop and theatre organ lessons which later evolved into a lifelong study of and interest in classical organ repertoire. My evolving understanding of classical music also led to anappreciation ofthe great jazz organists like Jimmy Smith. A lifetime devoted to classical music emerged from the purchase of a Lowrey organ. </P>


              To this day, when I visit home,my oldnon-working Lowrey Coronation still serves asa large silent practice keyboard. Just recentlyI was practicing Durufle's Sicilienne (sure do miss those pedal notes 26-32!)and all kinds of Bach, but maybe, just maybe, I'll play a little Blue Hawaii, too!</P>

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: WHAT are they used for??



                Now would probably be the time to say that I have no ill feelings about electronic organs, or even Lowreys for that matter. [;)] Electronic organs to me, are just another scrumptious flavor of what will always be my favorite instrument. My Lowrey joke was more reference to this:</p>

                </p>

                than this:</p>

                </p>

                If look at my posts and my gallery you will see that I like many different types of organ. I'll be honest, I have a hard time not bringing home every electronic organ offered me. There are so many types, I have found at least one sound that I thought was enjoyable on every organ I have ever played. Just this month alone I have had to turn down eleven free, working, organs! It's a hard thing to do, because I liked them all, but it's not as hard is it would be to send one of my current ones to the dump, never to make beautiful music again.
                </p>

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: WHAT are they used for??



                  Cheers Clavier</P>


                  I didn't mean to imply that you were home organ bashing. The reason for my postwas that I have seen a good few posts go down that road over the years and wanted anyone thinking of taking it that way to at least have a think about it first. We're all entitled to our opinions, thank heavens, and the forum is a good place to express them (with the more extreme ones preferrably kept in the Grease Pit) but sometimes we form opinions through lack of knowledge and experience, and that's not a good thing.</P>


                  Andy</P>
                  It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

                  New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com

                  Current instruments: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition, Yamaha Genos, Yamaha PSR-S970, Kawai K1m
                  Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond L122, T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball Temptation.
                  Retired Leslies, 147, 145 x 2, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.
                  Retired synths: Korg 700, Roland SH1000, Jen Superstringer, Kawai S100F, Kawai S100P, Kawai K1

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: WHAT are they used for??

                    [quote user="andyg"]


                    Cheers Clavier</P>


                    I didn't mean to imply that you were home organ bashing. The reason for my postwas that I have seen a good few posts go down that road over the years and wanted anyone thinking of taking it that way to at least have a think about it first. We're all entitled to our opinions, thank heavens, and the forum is a good place to express them (with the more extreme ones preferrably kept in the Grease Pit) but sometimes we form opinions through lack of knowledge and experience, and that's not a good thing.</P>


                    Andy</P>


                    [/quote]</P>


                    My concern about these organs are the price. I have heard they go for $70,000 to $80,000. I don't believe for a second that those organs cost more than $5000 to make. I suppose since their market is so smallm they have to charge such high prices to stay in business.</P>

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: WHAT are they used for??

                      <P mce_keep="true">I for one totally agree. What really gets me (and not to change the subject) is that a 50-year old Hammond organ, regardless of the fact that it's ancient, has low technology, and can never compete with today's fabulous digital organs, can go for 10 grand or more. Talk about major fraud. I don't know much about reburbishing organs but it's not worth it to pay 10k or more for a vintage B-3</P>

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: WHAT are they used for??



                        Firstly, I've not seen a Hammond go for quite that much on this side of the pond, but your point is well made. You're buying a bit of history, like a vintage car in a way, so factor that into the price and only pay whatyou think something is worth. There's a post very near here where a guy has just picked up an A100 for free, so the market is not all in favour of the seller.</P>


                        As for the cost of new organs, this subject's been done to death over on the Lowrey Forum and you only have to look at ebay or Craigslist to see what sort of prices these organs are fetching secondhand a few years later. Do I think they're over-priced? I do think they're very expensive, but I have to take issue with the comment that they cost around $5K to build. No they don't. I still work in this industry and I therefore won't divulge what margins are made and where, but I can tell you thatthe build cost is aheck of a lot more than $5K. The cabinets on those Lowreys are hand-made and take weeks to produce, with all that solid wood being steamed into curves, for example. The actual unit costs of the parts that make up the'innards' are reasonable enough, but theR&amp;D costs to produce them (and they're all custom made) are another major factor. It's OK with something like a synth or digital piano, when you're going to sell perhaps tens of thousands of units and the same basic chipset goes in all of the models in that range, you can spread that cost out thinly. Lowrey don't make that many organs, we're talking a few hundred a year at most, I suppose. (Compare that with the golden era of the home organ, when the US alonewould eat up several thousand, and then some). That R&amp;D costs them dear, and please don't say 'Oh, they're part of Kawai, they're subsidised from Japan', because they are not! Then add on a manufacturer's margin, an allowance for repair of faulty units/parts, then shipping, dealer margins, local taxes etc. and it all starts to add up! Everyone needs to make a reasonable margin, by the way, would you run a company that wasn't allowed to make a profit? And your quite accurate point about them having to charge a certain price to stay in business as they're asmall companyshould make even better sense now.</P>


                        Incidentally, someone recently told me that the Roland AT90SL sells for around $80K in the US. Over here, it's £20K. Work that one out! It's normally us Brits that get ripped off, when the US $ sticker becomes a £ sticker here. The price doubles as it crosses the pond.</P>


                        Food for thought.</P>


                        Andy</P>
                        It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

                        New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com

                        Current instruments: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition, Yamaha Genos, Yamaha PSR-S970, Kawai K1m
                        Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond L122, T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball Temptation.
                        Retired Leslies, 147, 145 x 2, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.
                        Retired synths: Korg 700, Roland SH1000, Jen Superstringer, Kawai S100F, Kawai S100P, Kawai K1

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: WHAT are they used for??



                          Mak1457,</P>


                          With musical instruments, and everything else in life, there are winners and losers. As the not-so-lucky owner of a worthless old Lowrey Coronation organ, I picked a loser.</P>


                          Back in the 1960s, when the home organ craze was reaching its peak, the Hammond B3 was viewed by some, myself included, as a vibrato-laden, little-old-lady instrument that was suitable for accompanying soap operas or playing the Third Man Theme on the Lawrence Welk Show. </P>


                          The "cooler" organs, at least in some circles, were thebrands that combined traditional organ stopswith all sorts of new novelty stops. Eventually, these gimmickyitems overwhelmed the electric organ, resulting in the kind of Lowrey organ that Clavier posted above. (That thing looks more like thecontrolsto the space shuttle than an organ.)</P>


                          With the development of synthesizers and digital keyboards, and their increasing use byjazz and rock musicians, the home organ was looking mighty dated...</P>


                          ...Except for the Hammond B3 which, thanks to the genius ofJimmy Smith,was reborn as a legit jazz instrument with a new and absolutely unique sound. Smith completely re-imagined the musical potential of the Hammond drawbars and percussion. He created a sound so hip and unmistakable that for jazz--and many rock--organists,the Hammond is as indispensableto them as a trumpetis to Wynton Marsalis.</P>


                          I am more and more convinced that were it not forJimmy Smith and a few others, the Hammond B3 would have been relegated to the dust bin of electric organ history, like my old Lowrey. Smith obliterated Hammond's fuddy-duddy image and turned the B3 into a new instrument. Smith made Hammond a winner!</P>


                          The Hammond B3 is the Stradivarius of electric organs, and I completely understand why people are paying up to $20,000(!) for one that is in mint condition.Everything about those instruments is special, quirky, and lovable. </P>


                          When it comes to vintage Hammonds, I am reminded of an ancientGreek saying: "Things of quality have no fear of time." </P>


                          While we're at it: Anybody want to trade their RT3 or D152 for my Lowrey? I didn't think so.[:'(] </P>

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: WHAT are they used for??



                            [quote user="mak1457"]I for one totally agree. What really gets me (and not to change the subject) is that a 50-year old Hammond organ, regardless of the fact that it's ancient, has low technology, and can never compete with today's fabulous digital organs, can go for 10 grand or more. Talk about major fraud. I don't know much about reburbishing organs but it's not worth it to pay 10k or more for a vintage B-3[/quote]</P>


                            If I were in the market for a Hammond B3 I would absolutely buy one. There is nothing like owning - or playing - the real thing!</P>


                            Sure a digital keyboard can imitate anything. But it in no way can come close to the experience of playing whatever instrument it is attempting to imitate.</P>


                            I think a good musician senses this sort of deep connection with their chosen instrument.</P>

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: WHAT are they used for??

                              True. Very true. In all seriousness, since I don't have the 10k or the room nor the will to cart around an old antique, I've decided I'm going to settle for an XB-3. At least I'll still have a little bit of the magic.

                              Comment

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