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  • Short Compass Keyboards

    Albi Cathedral). Would this be just for aesthetic reasons, as these divisions are never fitted with couplers, or is there something more that I am missing? I would have thought that a better idea would be to have no keys other than the ones that sounded, like on this organ, so as not to confuse the organist about how much of the keyboard was actually usable. Anyway, it is an interesting comparison with old English Swell divisions which often had a short compass, and where a full keyboard was installed, there would be a 8' Stopped Bass from CC to BB permanently "on" so as to fill out the whole compass, such as this organ. I have however seen some Victorian organs with a short compass swell that merely didn't have keys below MC or TG, depending on their age.

  • #2
    Originally posted by APipeOrganist View Post
    Albi Cathedral). Would this be just for aesthetic reasons, as these divisions are never fitted with couplers, or is there something more that I am missing? I would have thought that a better idea would be to have no keys other than the ones that sounded, like on this organ, so as not to confuse the organist about how much of the keyboard was actually usable. Anyway, it is an interesting comparison with old English Swell divisions which often had a short compass, and where a full keyboard was installed, there would be a 8' Stopped Bass from CC to BB permanently "on" so as to fill out the whole compass, such as this organ. I have however seen some Victorian organs with a short compass swell that merely didn't have keys below MC or TG, depending on their age.
    I spent some time trying to find out how you were able to determine that the console of the Albi Cathedral organ has full length manuals for all the divisions. Maybe you can provide that link to save me (us) some time. Even then I am not sure I could agree that a 'lot' of organs are thus configured.

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    • #3
      You can see it here if you like http://cathedrale-albi.com/wp-content/uploads/033.jpg and the spec is here http://orgue-aquitaine.fr/Orgue-d-Al...te-Cecile.html.

      Problem is that this console tells you nothing about how it was at the time the divisions with the short keyboards were build. It started out with 4 manuals, then 5, then 4 again, was "brought to taste" in the 19th century (probably the compass was enlarged then) and brought back to specification of the late 18th century with the 5 manuals.

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