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  • A Discussion Ongoing Elsewhere ON Restoration rebuilding Replacement

    I will not comment on this thread. Another forum is discussing the merits of the above options when an organ is in need of more than routine care. Anyone wish to offer opinions on how a client should assess what direction to go in deciding if the organ should be restored like the one in Youngstown Ohio next year heading for Thomson-Allen in New Haven; rebuild a little or a lot; or replace most of or all of with new?

  • #2
    Re: A Discussion Ongoing Elsewhere ON Restoration rebuilding Replacement



    go the cavaille-coll route. i'm no organ builder but i wouldn't try to design all new, i would clean up,make easier the function, operation and maintenance, and add to what you have in colour and dynamic terms. a great deal would depend on how satisfied you are with what you currently have and what your vision of the future of the instrument and its enclosing building are. unless the function is radically changing, evolution is better than extinction plus new instruments look shinyand would look unusual and out of place for at least adecade until the materials have aged.</P>


    if you're gonna go down the replacement route, keep as much of the original instrument as you can, which'll save cost and maintain the general specs and sound. replace and upgrade the workings based on your maintenance requirments and revoice where possible. change the mixtures and rearange and expand the console, couplers and other performance aids, don't forget to add midi and computer control. most american organs have gone down the spanish or italian route when it comes to brass, so i would suggest heading down the german, french and english road for tone selection. try and balance the organ better, looking to enhance the different sound groups. pedals, soft and loud groupings should have extra attention paid to them since you'll likely have ample mid range support. the other thing i'd do is look at extending the range down from 32' to 64' and up from 4'to 2'.something you deffinately should dois to look for a distinctive and unique stop for the organ, such as liverpool's trumpet militaire, or notre dame's trompette en chamade. Also look at pipe positioning with the quietest stops the furthest away up towards the back of the organ, and the loudest closest to the ground. And last but not least stick a few pencils on the keys of the loudest combination, stand outside the building and see if you can hear the organ, a good dynamic range should go from indaudible at the console, to audible up to several hundred feet away through solid stone. also look at linking any bells the building has to the console for interesting concerts. and for the future you should deffinately leave extra space and wind system capacity for future upgrades and expansion. also the inner workings should be presentible so tours can be given. and of course make sure the building can support the extra weight, and see about modifying the room acoustics to better suit the new instrument.</P>
    <P mce_keep="true"></P>

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    • #3
      Re: A Discussion Ongoing Elsewhere ON Restoration rebuilding Replacement

      That is a highly unusual set of criteria; I've been involved with pipe organs and organbuilding for years and cannot say I've ever heard of some of the things you propose - especially putting loud stops at ground level and listening to the loudness of the organ from *outside* the building. On what organbuilding experiencedo you base these criteria?

      Expanding any organ to 64'seems quite peculiar indeed, and saying that the organ should be "expandedup to 2' " seems even odder, since practically every pipe organ of any sizewould already havea 2' stop on each manual.

      The advice to include the sorts of stops found on other famous organs seems a bit premature if you have never heard the organ in question or have never been in the acoustical space - that would seem to be a prerequisite.

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      • #4
        Re: A Discussion Ongoing Elsewhere ON Restoration rebuilding Replacement

        Looks like a proposition for an organ of the disco generation...

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        • #5
          Re: A Discussion Ongoing Elsewhere ON Restoration rebuilding Replacement



          Unless I'm missing the point (since I haven't read the other thread concerning this matter), I would assume it's up to the organist/music director/church officials to decide what they want from their existing instrumentwith the funds they haveavailable to achieve the desired results.</P>


          I personally believe in the restoration of an existing organ, especially if it's ofhistorical significance. Rebuilding is anessencial part for proper mainenance of any organ...tonal additions are fine as long as they're not too extreme or out of place with the overall character of an organ or how it's generally used IMO. If the music committee wants major tonal and mechanical alterations to an older instrument, or even opting for mostly new or even all new additions, then I would assume a consultant should be used for their professional expertese so asthe latest additions don't end up like a hodge-podge of misplaced parts that totally throw the entire aural balance of the instrument way off!</P>


          FWIW...my two cents...</P>

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          • #6
            Re: A Discussion Ongoing Elsewhere ON Restoration rebuilding Replacement



            as i said i will not comment on the substance of the thread</P>


            just a note on advisors</P>


            they need to be more than a person of academic standing</P>


            they need to be someone with an open mind and no personal agenda</P>


            have seen where personal agenda has trumped perhaps what would better serve the need at hand</P>


            a resume of prior organ advisory experience can aide the comm to determine if this person is the right one after they contact previous clientelle</P>

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            • #7
              Re: A Discussion Ongoing Elsewhere ON Restoration rebuilding Replacement

              [quote user="jt1stcav"]


              Unless I'm missing the point (since I haven't read the other thread concerning this matter), I would assume it's up to the organist/music director/church officials to decide what they want from their existing instrumentwith the funds they haveavailable to achieve the desired results.</P>


              I personally believe in the restoration of an existing organ, especially if it's ofhistorical significance. Rebuilding is anessencial part for proper mainenance of any organ...tonal additions are fine as long as they're not too extreme or out of place with the overall character of an organ or how it's generally used IMO. If the music committee wants major tonal and mechanical alterations to an older instrument, or even opting for mostly new or even all new additions, then I would assume a consultant should be used for their professional expertese so asthe latest additions don't end up like a hodge-podge of misplaced parts that totally throw the entire aural balance of the instrument way off!</P>


              FWIW...my two cents...</P>


              [/quote]</P>


              Restoration is fine if there is something there worth restoring, and if that is the wish of the congregation. An organ in a church is there to serve the congregation's current needs, not to serve as a museum piece. </P>


              I would say that enlargement and/orchangingof the organ specification should be undertaken cautiously, and not merely on the whim of the current organist. All (well, at least most) of us would like to have a bigger organ, but some people get carried away. And an organist can have unusual tastes that the next organist may find strange. I remember one organ I looked at several years ago. It was a new instrument in a historic church. The organist at the time that it was installed specified a twenty -plus rank organ with only one reed, and that in the pedals at 4'-for pedal solos. I am glad not to be the current organist there.</P>
              Mike

              My home organ is a circa 1990 Galanti Praeludium III, with Wicks/Viscount CM-100 module supplying extra voices. I also have an Allen MDS Theatre II (princess pedalboard!) with an MDS II MIDI Expander.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: A Discussion Ongoing Elsewhere ON Restoration rebuilding Replacement



                3 other thoughts occur. the organ can berepositioned or split up in its entierity having different stops at different locations around the room to make the most of the acoustics and architecture, also look at adding a parabolic dish to the back of any alcoves the organ will sit in to ensure thesound is projected evenly. the 3rd thought being to look at the console as a large number of differentways to play anyrank rather than the controls of specific organs on specific manuals. you should be able to play pedal stops on manuals just as easily as you can play manual stops on pedals andyou shouldbe able to do that without couplers, in other words any organist that regularly plays the instrument should have customizable controls so they can assign any stopselection to any manual or the pedal board. i'll be back with more.</P>

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                • #9
                  Re: A Discussion Ongoing Elsewhere ON Restoration rebuilding Replacement



                  [quote user="matmilne"]also look at adding a parabolic dish to the back of any alcoves the organ will sit in to ensure thesound is projected evenly.[/quote]That would have just the opposite effect; rather than dispersing the sound evenly throughout the room it would befunneled into the focal point of the parabola - a tiny point! []</P>


                  I suppose thatis wherethe organist would sit? [8-)]</P>

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                  • #10
                    Re: A Discussion Ongoing Elsewhere ON Restoration rebuilding Replacement



                    It is true that a parabolic surface focuses incoming parallel rays to a focal point, but it works in the opposite direction, too: it can take the sound from a source at its focus and form it into a parallel beam. Even more to the point, if the sound source is closer to the surface than the focal point, it will disperse the sound in a fan-shaped beam. This dispersal is also fairly effective for sources not exactly near the focal point. However, I don't think it is necessary or even desirable to use a parabolic shape when a simple cylindrical surface will work just as well. In either case, the curvature should be very shallow. (For all practical purposes, a shallow cylindrical surface is also a good approximation of other conic sections, both parabolic and hyperbolic.) If dispersion is really a problem, a convex surface might be desirable (again, very shallow).</P>


                    David</P>

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                    • #11
                      Re: A Discussion Ongoing Elsewhere ON Restoration rebuilding Replacement

                      An organ in a church is there to serve the congregation's current needs, not to serve as a museum piece.
                      Don't agree at all. You seem to forget that almost all churches receive support from the government in one form or another. Most often the buildings are classified as historical monuments and that includes the furniture (and thus the organ). So a community of musical and historical uninformed shouldn't be allowed to take any decisions about it.

                      I remember one organ I looked at several years ago. It was a new instrument in a historic church. The organist at the time that it was installed specified a twenty -plus rank organ with only one reed, and that in the pedals at 4'-for pedal solos. I am glad not to be the current organist there.
                      Seems like an organist that knew his job to me. In an organ that size you don't need a plthora of reeds. An that 4' fits the description of a Choralbas. Very usefull stop if you like to play chorals where the text is in the pedal part.

                      the organ can be repositioned or split up in its entierity having different stops at different locations around the room to make the most of the acoustics and architecture, also look at adding a parabolic dish to the back of any alcoves the organ will sit in to ensure the sound is projected evenly.
                      While I agree in principle that an organ should project as evenly as possible, the way you want to achieve this shows that you know nothing about acoustics. Splitting up will make a heck of a job of giving even projection if it doesn't give rise to interference, beatings and other dead spots. This might be fun for a theaterorgan but in a church?

                      It is true that a parabolic surface focuses incoming parallel rays to a focal point, but it works in the opposite direction, too: it can take the sound from a source at its focus and form it into a parallel beam. Even more to the point, if the sound source is closer to the surface than the focal point, it will disperse the sound in a fan-shaped beam. This dispersal is also fairly effective for sources not exactly near the focal point. However, I don't think it is necessary or even desirable to use a parabolic shape when a simple cylindrical surface will work just as well. In either case, the curvature should be very shallow. (For all practical purposes, a shallow cylindrical surface is also a good approximation of other conic sections, both parabolic and hyperbolic.) If dispersion is really a problem, a convex surface might be desirable (again, very shallow).
                      This is a very difficult subject with a sound source as large as an organ. Certainly if you take into account the very wide frequency range of an organ and the difference in projection of different ranks. This is a problem that should be taken into account when designing the organ.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: A Discussion Ongoing Elsewhere ON Restoration rebuilding Replacement



                        [quote user="Havoc"]
                        An organ in a church is there to serve the congregation's current needs, not to serve as a museum piece.
                        Don't agree at all. You seem to forget that almost all churches receive support from the government in one form or another. Most often the buildings are classified as historical monuments and that includes the furniture (and thus the organ). So a community of musical and historical uninformed shouldn't be allowed to take any decisions about it.[/quote]</P>


                        Where on earth are you writing from? In the United States, no church receives support from the government. Nor does the government dictate what the church does with its buildings or furnishings. I repeat-an organ is there to serve the congregation's current needs.

                        [quote user="Havoc"]
                        I remember one organ I looked at several years ago. It was a new instrument in a historic church. The organist at the time that it was installed specified a twenty -plus rank organ with only one reed, and that in the pedals at 4'-for pedal solos. I am glad not to be the current organist there.
                        Seems like an organist that knew his job to me. In an organ that size you don't need a plthora of reeds. An that 4' fits the description of a Choralbas. Very usefull stop if you like to play chorals where the text is in the pedal part.

                        [/quote]Again, you are showing that obviously you do not live in the U. S. Very few organists here would specifiy an organ like that, and most of us would say that the organist did not know his job, which was to specify an organ that would serve the congregation's needs, not his desire.</P>
                        Mike

                        My home organ is a circa 1990 Galanti Praeludium III, with Wicks/Viscount CM-100 module supplying extra voices. I also have an Allen MDS Theatre II (princess pedalboard!) with an MDS II MIDI Expander.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: A Discussion Ongoing Elsewhere ON Restoration rebuilding Replacement

                          this forum is international..........in the USA churchs do not pay tax on the property they own or on their income....in some countries of the EU I understand that the goverment often picks up the tab for rebuilding organs, and even for new organs where the church is the "state" religion.

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                          • #14
                            Re: A Discussion Ongoing Elsewhere ON Restoration rebuilding Replacement



                            charitable registerd w/ IRS organizations non-profit are tax-exempt thus the usa govt in effect subsidizes these tax-exempt organizations including the organs</P>


                            The TAO many years agi circa 1981-82 had an article arguing that churches should open up the organ to community use because it is govt subsidized</P>


                            the tax-exempt charities must pay taxes on any portion of real estate used for income such as rental property</P>


                            a famous church in cal was audited 20 plus years ago and found to be liable for taxes since some of its programs were not charitable but required a fee such a weight watchers etc</P>


                            in entering a church for any reason nobody can be refused that is well behaved if they dont pay including a recital</P>


                            if the recital says suggsted donation and you dont pay they cant make you go without violating the charitable status</P>


                            bottom line the usa govt is in effect subsizing organs by allowing tax-exempt donations</P>


                            the donors know that</P>


                            they write the donation off</P>


                            the govt knows that also</P>


                            they allow these things so that charitable orgnaizations can function and exist</P>

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