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  • mixtures!!!

    I have seen alot of organs being built (mostly trackers) they have ALOT
    of mixtures! Is this necessary? On a small 3 manual organ do you need a
    V cornet, IV forniture and a III cymbal to top the great off? God help

  • #2
    Re: mixtures!!!

    mixtures are the only way of getting any sound out of a low wind pressure tracker (if you want the organ heard over the congregation anyhow)

    The funny thing is what was once seen as a limitation of hand pumped organs (low pressure etc/tracker action) became all the rage in the 1950's again, thus we get all these horrid mixtures that for the most part are about as musical as ice picks being pounded thru your ear drum.


    ....seriously though mixtures do sound nice when used on occasion in a VERY reverberant building but for in a typical American church end up being icepicks thru the ears...and not the "frosting on the cake" they can be in the right situation.



    • #3
      Re: mixtures!!!

      I agree about having a few mixtures on an organ. In Portland, ME there
      is a 5 manual 104 rank? austin that had no mixture on the great and
      full organ was loud enough, but it was missing something. A few years
      ago they added a IV mixture and it sounds more complete.

      However, I hate the organs (like G. Donald Harrisons "designs") that
      have few 8' stops, lots of 4' 2 2/3' 2' and LOTS of mixtures. Its not
      an organ!


      • #4
        Re: mixtures!!!

        My church in Schenectady obtained a new neo-baroque organ with the usual mixtures. The organist used the mixtures extensively for congregational singing (at first). He began to leave off the mixtures for hymns because the congregation could not easily follow the pitch line of the individual parts due to the loudness of the mixtures and the fifth components. []

        My teacher (now) told me that the congregation gets the pitch from the 4' Diapason primarily. The addition of stops that cover up the 4' tends to make it hard for the singers to establish the pitch. Of course, expert singers do not really need this clear pitch line, but the relatively unskilled do need a clear pitch standard.[:O]

        My home organ
        Style D Wurlitzer pipe organ
        Five Newfoundland dogs
        Sixteen Tennessee walking horseshoes


        • #5
          Re: mixtures!!!

          That's interesting about pitch coming mostly from 4' Diapason... makes sense though

          I like mixtures if they are done right. Having a good selection of them is nice for different types of literature. The III Cymbal should only be used in certain situations and NEVER if it's in a 60's Casavant. :-O


          • #6
            Re: mixtures!!!

            I'm turned off mixtures specifically because of the choir organ (casavant) at Holy Name in Chicago..it is just horrid.

            my opinion only, but that place has really bad accoustic despite its size.


            • #7
              Re: mixtures!!!

              Actually, I believe the Fourniture V and the Cymbal III are supposed to be used together, to make a Plein Jeu. Dont bet my life on it, but I tthink thats right. A Cornet doesnt count as a mixture in my book, that counts as a solo stop. And an organ can never have enough solo stops.


              • #8
                Re: mixtures!!!

                AllanP, I agree with youabout the congregation getting the pitch from the 4' Diapasons. I've heard that said before and it does make a difference.

                I like mixtures as long as they are used appropriately and judiciously. I've got a Casavant built in 1991 that's got a IV Fourniture on the Grande Orgue and a Cymbal III on the Recit. I've also got a Cornet II on the Grande Orgue, but like LifeWithLoopy said, I don't considerthe Corneta mixture either. When combined with another appropriate stop or two, that Cornet is delightful. I love solo stops too: Krummhorn, Oboe, Cornopean, etc. Lots of fun with those.


                • #9
                  Re: mixtures!!!

                  [quote user="LifeWithLoopy"]Actually, I believe the Fourniture V and the Cymbal III are supposed to be used together, to make a Plein Jeu. Dont bet my life on it, but I tthink thats right. [/quote]

                  That is correct - you wina prize! [<)]

                  A Fourniture (of however many ranks) and Cymbale (ditto) do combine to make a Plein Jeu.

                  However, you don't have to use them together. Sometimes a nice texture can be obtained from the Cymbale (or Scharff) alone (with suitable foundation stops), especially if the scale and composition are well done.

                  A Cornet is traditionally used as either a solo stop, or as treble reinforcement forchorus reeds (such as Trumpets, Bombardes, etc.). The exception being a Dulciana Cornet (or some other such string Cornet), which can be used with massed string tone.

                  An important point to remember about mixtures - their function is to clarify what would otherwise be a muddy 8' bass line, also to play LOWER pitches in the treble (even if they are only resultant tones). This helps to lower the center of gravity in the treble and make it less 'shrieky', not more.

                  All of this assumes that the mixtures are correctly scaled for the room, and are in correct relationto the other stopsin the organ.

                  The fact that so many people complain about mixtures is a sign that they are often not correctly scaled, not correctly used, and notadequately tuned.

                  Ok, now the homework (heh heh)... Listen to recordings of some of the ancient Dutch organs - some with over 60 ranks of mixtures! The sound is very full. Actually in person, these organs can be surprisingly gentle.


                  • #10
                    Re: mixtures!!!

                    Jesus! "told me that the congregation gets the pitch from the 4' Diapason primarily?"


                    Ok, so I'm back. This stupidity has to end.


                    • #11
                      Re: mixtures!!!

                      welcome back Buzzy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                      • #12
                        Re: mixtures!!!

                        Welcome back buzzyreed!!!!

                        What AllanP said about the 4' Diapason, I recall reading the same sort of thing in an issue of The American Organist. I can't recall off hand which one, but if I still have it around I'll share what it said. The article made sense to me, but as a young organist I know I have plenty to learn. Perhaps I misunderstood the article. In any event, I'll see if I can find it.

                        Ciao for now.


                        • #13
                          Re: mixtures!!!

                          Sorry, I meant to take the Lord's name in vain, concerning the mixtures, although I don't believe the 4 foot thing, I can see how someone could becuase it is heard over the rest of the ensemble, but remember that it is difficult to process the octave displacemnt while sinigng (after hearing several hundred choral auditions at Cheap Bastard Lutheran College this past May, I know that it is difficult to switch octaves when confronted with a new melody). I love what the guy whose username I forget and can't get back to due to my lack of computer savy said about the various mixtures. It all has to do with the right mixtures for the right organ for the right archetecural space.

                          This is most certainly true.



                          • #14
                            Re: mixtures!!!

                            If you were referring to me, thanks (I'm Soubasse32 []).

                            I think the topic of a4' diapason leading singing, may havecome from G. Donald Harrison's assertion that the 4' Principalshould bethe largest scaled stop of a principal chorus. He "hung" the entire chorus around the 4' pitch, for clarity's sake.

                            Of course, many builders followed suit and we've hadhalf a centuryof that.

                            Now we are finding organs scaled around the 8' Diapason, which is as it should be (usually). []


                            • #15
                              Re: mixtures!!!

                              Again, repeated from an earlier post, and only because I like Sumner:

                              William Leslie Sumner writes: "Mixtures supply to an organ a tonal quality in the chorus which can be obtained in no other way and is peculiar to the instrument. Mixtures have been misunderstood and abused in England for nearly one and a half centuries and it is only in recent years in Britain and the USA that their nature and function as an essential part of even a small organ have been grasped. The loud screaming voices of so many of the nineteenth century mixtures in cheap commercial organs culminated in the final heresy of Hope-Jones who swept them away from his organs and thereby took away from the organ its main distinguishing feature, that of a proper chorus of open flue pipes". (emphasis added)