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Is it possible to make a mixture with Reeds?

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    Is it possible to make a mixture with Reeds?

    is it entirely possible to make a mixture with reeds?
    22/8 Button accordion.

    Question and some comments:

    FIRST - What thought did you have that made you ask this? Did you hear or read something that made you think this could be worth doing?

    SECOND - comments about mixtures and reeds.
    -- These typically contain multiple ranks of unison and non-unison (most commonly pure fifths) pipes.
    -- Historically, the Medieval Blockwerk was a large mixture, which could include ranks as large as 8' and 16'. Today, mixtures are more likely to start at 2 2/3' or higher, though there are exceptions, notably in pedal mixtures.
    -- Even taking mixture breaks into account, all the pipes are very small. Eg. Assume a Mixture IV 2 2/3'. On bottom C, the 4 pipes would be 2 2/3', 2', 1 1/3', and 1' long. They would continue to get smaller as you go up the keyboard. The next octave up, the pipes would be 1 1/3', 1', 2/3' and 1/2'.

    -- It is common for the top pipes of a reed rank to be replaced with flues because the flue tunings are more stable, and flues at that pitch are easier to tune in the first place. The substitution is acceptable because at that very high pitch, it can be hard to tell a flue from a reed.

    If you did decide to make a reed mixture, by the time you got to the second or third octave, you would be replacing the reeds with flues anyways.


    • Ben Madison
      Ben Madison commented
      Editing a comment
      i was working on a theatre organ spec for fun and i decided to add both a Cymbale and Cornet and i thought i work out something novel to have in case i wanted to go out and actually build it

    • myorgan
      myorgan commented
      Editing a comment
      Don't bother. Mixing Mixtures is generally a very bad idea. Often you end up with major or minor 2nds that never resolve. One needs to know how each Mixture is derived to mix them successfully.


    A Mixture made with reeds would be the most raucous thing imaginable. Reeds have so many overtones that you would end up with just a cacophony of sound. (There. I got to use some words that I don't normally find any use for.)

    There were some people, including a few organ builders, in the early 1900's that thought mixtures could be eliminated and strings used instead to give the overtones needed for a full chorus.

    My home organ is a circa 1990 Galanti Praeludium III, with Wicks/Viscount CM-100 module supplying extra voices. I also have an Allen MDS Theatre II (princess pedalboard!) with an MDS II MIDI Expander.


    • samibe
      samibe commented
      Editing a comment
      That's what I do on my theatre organ (which doesn't have mixtures). I have an 8' diapason and 4' octave on one of my divisions that I use to prepare for church. If I want something more mixture-y, I'll add the 4' string, which is turned the same as the diapasons. It works pretty well.

    Occasionally builders have incorporated reed ranks into large mixture stops, though these would be of 16', 8' or 4' pitch in addition to the principal scaled unisons and quints (and occasionally tierces). The effect is that of a miniature "full organ". The big 4 manual Compton in Downside Abbey has such a stop on the Bombarde section.


    • samibe
      samibe commented
      Editing a comment
      Could it be the grand cornet? or is that something else?
      Last edited by samibe; 09-23-2019, 08:56 AM.

    • regeron
      regeron commented
      Editing a comment
      A Cornet is traditionally made of flue pipes. The most common type of Cornet (Cornet V) is made of 5 ranks of flutes: 8', 4', 2 2/3', 2 and 1 3/5'. The Grand Cornet might be a Cornet based an octave lower: 16', 8', 5 1/3', 4' and 3 1/5' - but it would still be based on flue pipes, not reeds.
      People are often confused because of the brass instrument from the Trumpet family - the Cornet. They assume that because the Trumpet translates to the organ as a reed stop, the Cornet does the same.
      This also creates pronunciation issues:
      - the organ stop is pronounced "cor-NAY"
      - the brass instrument is pronounced "COR-net"
      Last edited by regeron; 09-23-2019, 08:43 AM.

    • Jay999
      Jay999 commented
      Editing a comment
      Probably a bear to keep in tune! Flues go sharp and flat with the slightest temperature changes...but reeds pretty well stay on the pitch they were tuned to.

    The Midmer-Losh has Trumpet mutation ranks, probably on 50" wind.


      My information on the Grand Cornet at Downside comes from an article in "The Organ" published shortly after it was installed. It was labelled as XV ranks, not XII, and was described as a "miniature full organ". When I last played it I worked out that the reeds were derived from the two Posaune ranks - at different pitches from those employed on the Great.