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    What not to do to a pipe organ?



    Hi,



    First of all, i play trumpet, flute, f horn, sax and piano. I have recently started to play the organ, because i felt that i have had a good of grip on the piano to move onto the pipe organ.



    I've taught my self all i know (IQ 160+, and i take 3 other instrument lessons & i don't want to pay for more), which isn't much. But i was wondering what are things i should never do on an organ. My church is letting me use the pipe organ that they have, and i haven't played one before i did 3 weeks ago, so i don't want to damage it in anyway.



    I know not to touch the pedals until i get some organ shoes ( the normal church organists requested this), i have looked into organ-masters and tic tac toes.



    I also know not to change the pre-sets, but i don't even know how i would go about that.



    Basically, what the basic organ do/dont's?





    Thanks!


    #2
    Re: What not to do to a pipe organ?

    Don't change the piston settings, put the bench back in the same position you found it, and take your street shoes off to play the pedals. Put the music back where you found it. Do not eat or drink at the console. When othes are listening, try to be somewhat eclesiastical, some people are narrow minded about suitable music to be played in church. When no one is listening, play whatever you like, even a church organ can do surprising things.
    Allan

    My home organ
    Style D Wurlitzer pipe organ
    http://bluemoonwalkinghorses.com/Sty...tion5_rev3.htm
    Five Newfoundland dogs
    Sixteen Tennessee walking horseshoes

    Comment


      #3
      Re: What not to do to a pipe organ?



      Leave the swell boxes open. (Otherwise the enclosed division(s) will go out of tune with the rest.



      Push all the stops in. Make sure the blower is switched off.





      Don't play loudly if there are people working in the church.

      Comment


        #4
        Re: What not to do to a pipe organ?



        [quote user="Peterboroughdiapason"]Push all the stops in.[/quote]In other words, cancel all the stops. On a stop-tab organ push in might be a little ambiguous. []




        Peterboroughdiapason covered all the points I would have made... only two more that I can think of:



        • If the organ has a crescendo pedal (it adds stops when you open it) you should make sure it is fully closed.

        • Don't turn the blower back on if you have just turned it off;give it a little time to rest.
        • [/list]


          The other items are more to do with etiquette:it is good towashone's hands beforeplaying; if I have to erase markings in my score I'll do that on the bench rather than on the music desk.

        Comment


          #5
          Re: What not to do to a pipe organ?



          Never touch any of the pipes.




          Never have anyone with you who has not been briefed not to touch any pipes and/or has not been briefed on other organ etiquette.




          I only allow certain members of the parish staff to have keys to the loft. I tell the others: "It is not YOU; we don't want someone else to get up there because you happen to be up there." They have wisely responded: "No problem, I do not WANT to go up there."

          Comment


            #6
            Re: What not to do to a pipe organ?

            [quote user="Peterboroughdiapason"]

            Leave the swell boxes open. (Otherwise the enclosed division(s) will go out of tune with the rest.



            Push all the stops in. Make sure the blower is switched off.





            Don't play loudly if there are people working in the church.



            [/quote]





            Shoot xD





            I NEVER follow the last rule... D: They don't mind, though xD It's an LDS church so they're on the other side of the building XP

            Comment


              #7
              Re: What not to do to a pipe organ?



              Sorry for double-posting but I also had an idea to add here.



              No one has ever taught me the organ (people said I've already advanced in front of them, even self-taught) There really isn't a way you can break an organ, unless it's extremly old and without the proper instructions, you can do something fatal to it, or you simply are childish and go into the chambers and break everything up (which you would never do). But to be a good handler, just do lots of research before you even touch one (I've played a Lowery electronic organ for 3 years and reserched and listened to music before I got to play a pipe organ), so that you know what everything is, what it does, and what it sounds like. The first time I played a pipe organ, the organ instructor that was with me (was then the best organist in the valley, but sadly she can't teach me, she said I got everything down, I just need to learn to sightread a little faster xD) said that she was very amazed at how well I did everything, how well I played it, especilly when I've been playing on a dinky electronic organ with only an octave of pedals, that can be a little confusing, she said I did the "heel-toe" technique very well, and pretty much played this organ to it's fullest, which has never been heard before.



              My tools of trade? Knowledge and research. Especially if you're teaching yourself, which sounds like you've been doing. Watch people on YouTube, listen to the music, study the console parts a bit. Like me, you'll soon learn the "dos and donts" pretty quickly.



              Overall, the organ is just an instrument, like the flute, cello, oboe, piano, but it just has a few more bells and whistles then the rest. To take care of these beels and whistles? Teacher, music, and... GOOGLE!!! 8D





              PS: A question for all of you: Is there any kind of penalty you'll get if you don't wear the proper footwear at the organ? My feet and so wide and huge that I simply cannot fit my foot into one of those! Is it a disgrace if you don't wear them? Is it a tradition? Just wondering, because if there really is no purpose to it but just for good looks then I cooked up a lot of different techniques when you're barefoot ( foot weight balance, clean trills with just one foot, and poking three pedals down with your foot for a grace note). I don't want to disgrace the organ tradition, though! Please let me know! Thanks!

              Comment


                #8
                Re: What not to do to a pipe organ?

                I play in my socks. Street shoes pick up grit which wears the pedals. The white pedals on my organ were so worn that the pedals were dished. Replacing the pedal caps with new maple caps fixed the problem. Wearing street shoes started wearing the pedals again, so The policy of playing in socks was adopted.
                Allan

                My home organ
                Style D Wurlitzer pipe organ
                http://bluemoonwalkinghorses.com/Sty...tion5_rev3.htm
                Five Newfoundland dogs
                Sixteen Tennessee walking horseshoes

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: What not to do to a pipe organ?

                  [quote user="soubasse32"]


                  Don't turn the blower back on if you have just turned it off;give it a little time to rest.




                  [/quote]




                  You've mentioned this a few times soubasse and I have to dissagree. It really dosn't matter if you turn the blower right back on. Its not like a car engine where everything comes to a halt all at once. The blades of the blower will still be moving for several minutes after you turn the blower off. Turning it right back on would be less harmfull to the blower than if you turned it on and off over and overafter letting the blades come to a compleate rest.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: What not to do to a pipe organ?



                    I think it has more to do with the amount of electricity required to start the blower. You can fry the circuitry if the organ is turned off and on too many times in succession.





                    Regarding the type of shoes to wear, specially made organ shoes are narrower, and have more flexible soles and higher heels to assist in cleaner pedaling. Sometimes I wear an old pair of narrow loafers which work just as well. Most street shoes are too wide and the rubber soles will simply slow you down. Let's face it, if pedals are used a lot they're going to eventually wear down -- it's just a hazard of the trade. But playing in socks is not the best solution because socks would be too slippery and your feet could get stuck between pedals. In the end, I suppose whatever you're comfortable with is okay, as long as it doesn't get in the way of the music!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: What not to do to a pipe organ?



                      Interesting comments regarding turning the blower back on. I've noticed that with the blower on my home organ, a few seconds after it has been turned off the weights on the resevoir force air from the resevoir back out thru theair intake of the blower. When this happens the blades spin in reverse. I don't think it would be good to restart the blower when this is happening, so I always wait, as Soubasse said, to give it a rest. I've been practicing daily on the cathedral organ here in Merida,I'm going to check and see if the cathedral blower does the same when it is turned off. I'm guessing some organsmighthave avalve to prevent the back flow of air?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: What not to do to a pipe organ?



                        My residence organ blower makes a strange noise if I turn it off and then on again without waiting for everything to settle down. It is also better for solid state relays and combination actions - especially computerized combination actions - such as the Peterson MSP-1000 - to NOT be powered down and then right back up again. I have seen our organ at church "freak out" if it is rapidly powered down and then back up again.




                        SIGH!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: What not to do to a pipe organ?



                          Playing in socks may be slightly better for the pedalboard, but it sure isn't going to help your pedal technique.




                          Decent organ pedalboards are made of very hard wood and using organ shoes with leather solesshould not cause any undue wear (yeah after 40 years, but I think that's called "reasonable wear and tear".)




                          Also, as an organ technician, I know ofno reason where powering up a blower quickly after powerdown is going to cause a problem. Sure if you flip the power on and off rapidly many times you aregoing to stress the hell out of the circuitly and start windings, but who does that?


                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: What not to do to a pipe organ?



                            [quote user="AllanP"]I play in my socks.
                            [/quote]





                            I play in socks too, fairly thick ones though.



                            When I'm through I turn everything off, including all stops and lights. The organist who showed me the first time said to always leave the swell pedal all the way down to let humidity equalize. I don't know if that's scientifically accurate but he's a good player and I've noticed other good players do this as well, so I do too.



                            Number one bad thing not to do: play with hand lotion and leave the keys sticky. We have a woman in our church who can't seem to stop doing this, it drives everybody else nuts but she's oblivious.



                            Nice thing about being a beginner on organ, you can play it very quietly until you pick up some confidence. Just a quiet flute stop and you can practice without bothering anybody.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: What not to do to a pipe organ?

                              [quote user="timothy42b"]


                              The organist who showed me the first time said to always leave the swell pedal all the way down to let humidity equalize. I don't know if that's scientifically accurate but he's a good player and I've noticed other good players do this as well, so I do too.





                              [/quote]




                              I hope what you meant to say was that you always leave the swell pedal in the "open" position (pressing with the toe of your shoe all the way forward). It doesn't matter on some instruments, but it's a good habit to get into if you're not sure if your instrument's shades open when thepower is turned off.

                              Comment

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