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  • NYCFarmboy
    replied
    this is why I think ALL organists need to practice at least on ONE Hammond with a flat 2 octave pedalboard...if gives you some practice so that your feet will learn "something different" when pedaling. this is in ADDITION to practicing on a 32 note AGO pedalboard.

    Having the flat Hammond made it very possible for me to easily acclimate to almost any pedalboard I come across because I'm used to going between the 32 note AGO and the 25 note Hammond flat.

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  • hartleymartin
    replied
    The organ I'm referring to was made around 1984 by Pinchi. It appears obvious now that the registration of the organ was heavily influenced by the Italian Baroque style, which is probably why the resident organist loves it for playing Bach's work. I'm still much more a fan of late 19th-century English organs, but I would admit that I would want a balanced swell pedal rather than a hitch down all-or-nothing pedal that most seem to have. I absolutely adore the Norman & Beard at Parramatta Cathedral.

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  • myorgan
    replied
    Originally posted by hartleymartin View Post
    A little off-track, but I'd like to mention that after studying a little introductory organ registration, I'm somewhat annoyed to discover that the Italian Organ at my church doesn't have any string stops. There are Foundations, Flutes , Mixtures and one rather loud reed, but no string stops...
    Hartley,

    Depending on the genre of the instrument, that's not uncommon. Italian Baroque organs had a fair compliment of fiery reeds, and they were used generously. I have a couple books of Italian Baroque music, and almost all of it requires reeds in both manuals, sometimes solo reeds in both manuals against each other, or as a solo. Not sure exactly why, but Italian organs didn't have many strings on them until the 1800s or 1900s.

    I wish Soubasse32 were still an active member of this Forum. He could answer this question in a moment! He was a tremendous resource when it came to this subject matter--especially French music.

    Michael

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  • Menschenstimme
    replied
    My residence organ is stringless and works just fine that way. However, my Principal 8 is gentle and if placed in a large church, would probably sound more like a Gemshorn. I realize that American church and concert organs are expected to have at least one string stop along with its celeste. I like them and find them useful; I just do not miss them in my residence organ.

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  • hartleymartin
    replied
    A little off-track, but I'd like to mention that after studying a little introductory organ registration, I'm somewhat annoyed to discover that the Italian Organ at my church doesn't have any string stops. There are Foundations, Flutes , Mixtures and one rather loud reed, but no string stops...

    Pedalling is a little easier now that I'm making a proper effort. (still need to get proper shoes for the job though). I've started out with a couple of hymns that I know so well that I don't have to think about the fingering and I can concentrate on the pedal technique. The whole heel-toe thing has started to make more sense after watching a couple of video clips. I'm getting pointers from a cathedral organist, so hopefully things will progress well without creating any bad habits.

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  • cantoris
    replied
    That's different, and I agree. Once you are used to a organ and know how different registers sound etc. then it's pretty easy to just jump on the bench and play. Most Sundays I go straight from a straight concave board to an RCO, and sometimes then off in the evening to a one-manual-20-narrow-pedal-offset-to-the-right. On the otfer hand, my colleague, who is a professional recitalist, spends many hours before a concert on a new instrument, working out registrations and setting pistons.

    Nigel

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  • andyg
    replied
    @ cantoris, I take your point, though I have been 'dropped in it' on occasion and asked to do just that, with almost no time on the instrument - due often to the 'top of the bill' organist taking 90% of the rehearsal time and 100% of the combination pistons. This was actually on theatre organ, but the situation's the same, whether playing straight or 'crooked'.

    I was meaning more that, given that I know the instruments in question, it takes me just a few minutes to acclimatise to the different dimensions of their pedalboards. After that, I feel quite capable playing anything that's in my repertoire (and playable on the instrument, of course!)

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  • cantoris
    replied
    I have to disagree with you there. Whilst you don't want 16' tone all of the time, the pedals add gravitas and weight to the accompaniment which is essential to lead the singing. It is unfortunate that the majority of English parish church organs only have one pedal stop - invariably a 16' Bourdon. A complete independent pedal division is vital for much of the repertoire.

    Nigel

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  • hartleymartin
    replied
    further to you comments, most church music tends to be at the less challenging end of the scale of musical skill at local Parish churches, where most hymns are simple enough. I think that pedalling 16' bass stops can be largely dispensed with as most hymns don't require a powerful bass. At Cathedrals on the other hand...

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  • cantoris
    replied
    There's a significant difference in being able to 'play' a different organ at short notice and in giving a professional standard recital at short notice. Any professional recitalist will spend hours before a concert familiarising themselves with every nuance of the instrument and working out registrations. Not many professionals would be willing to put their reputation on the line by giving a public performance without proper preparation. Playing for a service is a different matter - wel all do that, virtually at the drop of a hat.

    Nigel

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  • andyg
    replied
    Originally posted by indianajo View Post
    the VP explained nobody could play difficult music on a different organ without significant practice.
    I can't agree with that! If it takes more more than 5-10 minutes to acciimatise to a pedalboard, there's something wrong. I'd think that any experienced or professional player would be able to do the same. Some organs are definitely more comfy than others, and once you go outside of RCO or AGO specs, it seems anything goes. However, I always aim to just get on with it.

    I do like to be a little higher up than some players, especially when playing a spinet or a multi-keyboard set-up. I hate it when I'm sitting too low.

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  • paulj0557
    replied
    Either I'm too tall or my bench is too short...I did say bench..

    My Thomas Palace III has a radiating pedal board, meaning it fans out wider from the back of the pedals to the front. It is also a concave pedal board, meaning the pedals also raise up higher as they fan out to each side, this follows the arc of the players leg as it swings outward it also travels upward.

    The Thomas bench is the perfect height for my 6'1" height. There are no adjustments on any of my organ's benches and so with the Thomas Palace being the only bench that feels like it sits high enough from the floor it makes me wonder if the average player would have trouble reaching the pedals or not.

    One thing is for sure. None of my organs besides the Thomas Palace III have benches that are high enough for me. It does seem backwards, this whole subject of pedals and benches. If one is too short they need to sit on phone books to reach the dinner table. So how does a short person play the organ? Apparently just fine. I'm baffled though. Sure I'm 6'1", but my legs are only 32". I know lots of guys 5'10" with 34" legs. So who in the world designed these benches anyway??

    Is proper and comfortable the same thing in pedal playing? I like the idea of my leg dangling a bit and slightly reaching forward then directing my leg and then pressing slightly with the front of my foot. All without strain or having to lift the entire wight of my leg every time I reach for a pedal.

    The Gulbransen Rialto II has a soft cushion built onto a rigid panel then this is placed on the bench, glued rather. Except today I pulled this top part containing the cushion and the rigid piece it's mounted to away from the actual bench. As I pulled one of the corners I saw a manufactures invoice slip glued to the bottom rigid side of the bench cushion. The bench was made for Gulbransen on the date 6/24/75. My plan is either to sit the bench on a 2x4 block that spans the left legs- front to back, and the right legs- front to back. Or I'm considering making the bench top higher below the rigid cushion by adding a piece of hardwood to match the bench

    Maybe I could just put some wheels on the Thomas and use it for all of my organs...nope that wouldn't work (lol).

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  • hartleymartin
    replied
    Yesterday I was advised that when learning pedalboard technique I should practice with the pedals and left hand only when starting out, due to the "identity crisis" that the left hand tends to have when pedalling is introduced. There is something in this, as I was playing pedals with right-hand only and it all seemed too easy, but I couldn't play with the left hand aswell!

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  • myorgan
    replied
    Originally posted by Westminster View Post
    One quite accomplished organist after playing a recital on one of my organs said that he found that pedalboard the most comfortable that he'd ever played. We spent a few minutes trying to nail down what it was that seemed "just right" but were unable to pinpoint what it was.
    No doubt about this at all--it must have been the builder!

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  • hartleymartin
    replied
    I think I've gotten the terms "concave" and "radial" mixed up.

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