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Toy Positiv

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  • Toy Positiv

    What can possibly be the use of such puny little division on such grand organs. For those who dont know what Im talking about, look at some of the old Aeolian Skinner stop lists and you will see. Here you will find a huge great division complete with an open 16, 16-4 reeds, and ten ranks of mixtures. Then theres this little Positv with a spec of something like:

    8 Bourdon
    4 Principal
    4 Koppleflote
    2 Gemshorn
    1 1/3 Quinte
    III Zimbel
    8 Regal

    How could this form a foil to the great? Looks to me like an attempt to add a few extra ranks to the organ. Could anybody enlighten me on its use?

  • #2
    Re: Toy Positiv

    It is nowhere written that you always have to pull ALL the stops of the great. Then there is the intonation. It isn't because there are a lot of stops on the great that it will sound loud. Very likely for an organ of that character, it will sound "thicker", not louder if you pull more stops (possibly except if you pull reeds). So yes, it can form an oposite to the great. But it depends on concept and use.

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    • #3
      Re: Toy Positiv

      For playing Bach and other early music you would indeed use a subset of the Great.
      Then the Positiv would form a true foil to the Great.
      For larger works the Swell would be the secondary division and the Positiv the tertiary.
      Frequently the location of the Positiv made it sound bigger than it is.
      This dichotomy is even more startling at the Atlantic City Convention Hall,
      where the Main Great is 63 ranks and the Unenclosed Choir is 10 ranks.
      But it worked.

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      • #4
        Re: Toy Positiv

        OK. I understand now how the small positiv might be able to foil the volume of the great, but how about tone? Many of these little guys do not even have a 4 principal, sometimes not even a 2. Going from a mostly principal chorus on the great to a chorus of chiffy flutes seems a little drastic.

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        • #5
          Re: Toy Positiv

          I am not refering to any specific organ. From the stops lists I have read they Positiv is usually on much lower pressure than the great.

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          • #6
            Re: Toy Positiv

            Most of the time, I hear the positiv accompanying the choir, or in the background of another instrument playing.

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