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25-note Pedalboard is sufficient for Playing Baroque organ words like JS Bach ?

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  • 25-note Pedalboard is sufficient for Playing Baroque organ words like JS Bach ?

    25-note Pedalboard is sufficient for playing Baroque organ works like JS Bach ?

  • #2
    Most of them that I have looked at can and one can adapt for others that require that last 1/3 8va or so. Of course "run what ya brung" applies and do what you need to in order to make it work. ;)

    mike
    If it is Caesar that you worship, then Caesar you shall serve.

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    • #3
      Most of the JSB that I LIKE requires 25 pedals.
      city Hammond H-182 organ (2 ea),A100,10-82 TC, Wurlitzer 4500, Schober Recital Organ, Steinway 40" console , Sohmer 39" pianos, Ensoniq EPS, ; country Hammond H112

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      • #4
        While you can make do with 25 notes, that becomes very frustrating and limiting over time. Also, if the pedal has a solo line that extends above middle C, then working around it becomes even more difficult.

        25 note pedalboards also tend to not be AGO standard in other regards, so you have to adapt to a basically inferior pedalboard.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by crapwonk View Post
          While you can make do with 25 notes, that becomes very frustrating and limiting over time. Also, if the pedal has a solo line that extends above middle C, then working around it becomes even more difficult.

          25 note pedalboards also tend to not be AGO standard in other regards, so you have to adapt to a basically inferior pedalboard.
          What he said! While you may be able to play most of J.S. Bach, other composers would be impossible to play the pedal notes because they are required.

          For starting classical music, the 25-note pedal board might be OK to start, but there will be a fairly steep learning curve when it comes time to switch to a 32-note pedalboard. Don't feel bad, though. I started with a 13-note stick pedals on a spinet, and never had a 32-note pedal board until I went to college as an organ performance major.

          Hope that helps you decide.

          Michael
          Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
          • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
          • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
          • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

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          • #6
            Originally posted by myorgan View Post
            What he said! While you may be able to play most of J.S. Bach, other composers would be impossible to play the pedal notes because they are required.

            For starting classical music, the 25-note pedal board might be OK to start, but there will be a fairly steep learning curve when it comes time to switch to a 32-note pedalboard.
            Nope! Been there. done that. Transition from 25-note pedalboard to 32, only took about 3 days.

            Nothwithstanding, amongst older organs, about the only 25-note Bach-capable pedalboard out there with enough definition is on the ghastly Hammond H-100 series. There are probably only about three Bach compositions that require more than a 25 note pedalboard.

            With the abundance of old Allens and Rodgers with full 32ft pedalboards being chucked/given away by churches these days, that would probably be the best option.
            2008: Phoenix III/44

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Clarion View Post
              With the abundance of old Allens and Rodgers with full 32ft pedalboards being chucked/given away by churches these days, that would probably be the best option.
              32 foot pedalboard? Good lord, what size shoe do you wear?

              I play on a 27 note straight flat pedalboard (originally built as 25 note) as well as a 32 note AGO. Going back and forth takes about 15 minutes each time. I don't know know how many pedals are required, as my repertoire is very limited, but certainly not all the organs in Bach's time had 32 notes, so it would stand to reason that most of his work was intended for less than 32 pedal notes.

              Non-AGO is not necessarily inferior.
              “There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.”
              “What I have achieved by industry and practice, anyone else with tolerable natural gift and ability can also achieve.”
              Johann Sebastian Bach

              (at Home) Conn 645 Theater Deluxe
              (at Church) 1836 E. & G.G. Hook Bros, Opus 26

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              • #8
                I did not find the transition between 25 note and 32 note pedal boards to be difficult at all. I started organ lessons on a church organ with an AGO pedal board, then downgraded to a 13 note Hammond M-100 spinet that my parents bought for me, then moved to a 25 note Hammond B-3, and back to 32 note AGO boards on various pipe and electronic instruments alternating with Hammonds in between. As Clarion said, the initial adjustment was few days but once made, forever instantaneous and automatic.

                I played Bach for years on 25 note Hammonds and I'd estimate that close to 95% of the repertoire of all composers I've encountered fits or is easily adapted to a 25 note board.

                Of course, if you can get a 32 note compass, go for it.
                -Admin

                Allen 965
                Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
                Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
                Hauptwerk 4.2

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                • #9
                  So, my ADHD popped out and I went through my 8 volume Schirmer/Schweitzer set of Bach Organ to see what the usage of pedal-notes above mid-C (i.e., C# +) is. I counted each movement separately, but did not count any incomplete movements. If a movement had ANY notes that went above mid-C, it was counted as such.

                  Using this methodology, I counted a total of 323 movements. 79 do not use pedal at all (most of these are chorale variation movements). Of the 244 that do use pedal, 153 do not extend above mid-C; 91 do extend above mid-C, or 37% of the movements that use pedal.

                  However, if I omit the chorale-based movements (Volumes 6 - 8) and the 8 Little Preludes and Fugues in Volume 2, that percentage moves up to 54% of Bach's free organ works (based on all the above caveats, of course) that need more than a 2 octave pedalboard.

                  Here is the full set of data:
                  V1 V2 V3 V4 V5 V6 V7 V8 Total
                  No Pedal 1 4 0 0 1 28 12 33 79
                  Pedal to Mid C 11 24 13 7 7 27 39 25 153
                  Pedal to Mid C#+ 11 7 5 9 21 8 17 13 91
                  Total 23 35 18 16 29 63 68 71 323
                  Total with Pedal 22 31 18 16 28 35 56 38 244
                  % of Total with Pedal that need Mid C#+
                  50% 23% 28% 56% 75% 23% 30% 34% 37%

                  V1 Youthful Period Prelude & Fugues
                  V2 1st Master Period Prelude & Fugues (including the Little 8)
                  V3 Mature Master Period Prelude & Fugues, 1
                  V4 Mature Master Period Prelude & Fugues, 2
                  V5 Organ Concertos & Sonatas
                  V6 Misc. Compositions on the Chorale
                  V7 Orgelbuchlein & Catechism Hymns
                  V8 Schubler Chorales, 18 Chorales, & Chorale Variations

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                  • #10
                    Crapwonk,

                    Thank you so much for the information! We now have at least some factual information to then theorize on.

                    Of course, if you wanted to take it a step further, you could list the organ he was playing at the time he composed the pieces in each volume. That would provide us with the information about the compass of the keyboards (56 or 61 notes), the types of pedals (short vs. long vs. straight vs. radiating, etc.), and the stops on the organ he would have had at his disposal.

                    OK, I guess it's a giant leap!;-) These questions are the stuff of masters and doctorate's degrees in Organ Performance. One of my instructor's doctorates degree was on the authentic ornamentation of Bach's 6 Schübler Chorales. It was fun learning Wachet auf with him as he pointed out the differences between editions and how not all were created equal. That's where I developed a healthy skepticism of certain editors.

                    Michael
                    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                    • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Michael,

                      I was thinking along the same lines: someone with more knowledge and research access could extend such a basic survey into at least a research paper.

                      Two related rambles:

                      I don't know how much detail there is available regarding when the different compositions were written, or even for what organ, especially considering that movements we think of as paired together may not have been composed that way. I know there can be minor (i.e., only small wars were fought) differences in notes between editions, but I don't think that would have a significant effect on the statistics. I have great respect for anyone who can puzzle through the original manuscripts so that we can read from clean mechanically set scores.

                      An additional potential extension even further afield would be to look at compositions where Bach went near or to pedal mid-C, but did not cross that boundary, and then try to puzzle out whether he was limited by the pedal compass or it just made compositional sense (although for a skilled composer the two are not necessarily incompatible). His advocacy of an even tuning would have allowed him more leeway in picking a key (at least on a suitably tuned instrument) to allow fitting within the available pedal compass than previous composers might have had.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by crapwonk View Post
                        there is available regarding when the different compositions were written, or even for what organ, especially considering that movements we think of as paired together may not have been composed that way. I know there can be minor (i.e., only small wars were fought) differences in notes between editions, but I don't think that would have a significant effect on the statistics. I have great respect for anyone who can puzzle through the original manuscripts so that we can read from clean mechanically set scores.
                        At the risk of diverting this thread from its original topic, I'll make one more post on this topic of ornamentation.

                        One of the biggest lessons I learned from my professor is that much of the ornamentation of the German Baroque era (including French) was more improvisational than we would like to believe. Most of the performers of the era would "understand" the ornamentation indicated by a particular notation sequence, and would insert it without it being written. In some cases, I think this may have even extended to "understood" registrations.

                        For the Germans, I believe there are some Bach autographs/manuscripts (not that Wikipedia is an authority on the subject), which provide the "understood" ornamentations that have been reproduced. You do need to have the original manuscripts with the ornamentation hints, though. The French, however, were more detailed in their documentation, and documents regarding their ornamentation do exist. The only difference is that the same mark in French Baroque music could be interpreted in more than one way.

                        That reminds me--on topic. It's interesting that the Nöel Suisse final movement uses pedal notes that don't exist on our current 32 note pedal boards (A below the lowest C). Of course Cameron Carpenter's organ is excepted, as well as those with a 64' stop.

                        Michael
                        Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                        • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                        • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                        • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

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