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  • myorgan
    replied
    Originally posted by Sathrandur View Post
    Hello all, I have been absent a while.
    You have, indeed!!!:o I've thought of you several times when certain classical topics come up. I trust you had a good Summer and are ready for Winter.

    My guess regarding why there are no 32' Contre Bourdons in some of the larger organs has to do with the presence of speech. Of course, we all know the longer the pipe, the slower the speech tends to be, however, I know some of those characteristics can be mitigated somewhat with voicing adjustments. In a stopped pipe of that length, the slowness of speech tends to be longer than a shorter pipe, no matter how good the voicing.

    I've seen many examples of a 16' Bourdon, but none of the 32' variety. They exist, of course, but only in some of the largest organs, and in those organs, there are other, more present-speaking-stops that can be employed until the 32' Contre Bourdon weighs in and provides the foundation. I could be wrong, but I think it also takes longer for the sound to stop in a larger pipe as well.

    Just my uneducated guess. Now, ask a pipe builder!

    Michael

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  • toodles
    replied
    Even a 32 ft contra bourdon is an expensive stop to build, so "assuming no cost factors" is not really a valid assumption. In addition to the cost and weight of the stop, there needs to be enough wind to support the stop. Most churches, I suspect, can handle the height of the stop.

    But a 32 stop has, for at least the bottom half of the lowest octave, if not nearly all that octave, is not easily audible to most listeners, and the listener's position in the building will change how he hears that stop. The cost and trouble to include these stops probably doesn't seem worth their benefit in many installations. Many builders have used electronic supplements for these lowest voices, though the acoustic issues still remain.

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  • Sathrandur
    started a topic Big Bourdons

    Big Bourdons

    Hello all, I have been absent a while.

    So I have been thinking about Bourdons lately and and their usefulness due to their half-length construction.

    Firstly, there are organs that have quite a number of stops, but don't seem to have the room for full-length 32s. Now I live in Queensland, Australia my cathedral of choice is St John's Anglican in Brisbane. It's in my opinion the most beautiful Cathedral in the country, and even has a the only large stone-vaulted roof in the country which obviously does not hurt the acoustics or beauty of the place! I had an opportunity to play on the organ there one night when the cathedral was closed, and it was truly exciting. But despite 82 stops over four manuals, there are no full-length 32s due to space constraints (the organ is quite elevated in the building). As such it has an acoustic 32' and an half-length 32' Contra Posaune.

    But now I have mentioned more than is necessary to the discussion, this is surely not the only church to have space constraints like this in the organ chambers.

    So firstly, assuming no cost factors, why would organs with an healthy selection of 16' stops not use a 32' Bourdon for true 32' sound (or so they can even have 32' sound)?

    Secondly, by extension, with some of the big organs in the world (ones that have a good selection of 32' ranks) not use 64' Bourdons for that extra-special bit of bass? Again, there are only two organs in the world that have full-length 64s and both of them are reeds. But I am aware of organs, and have even played one, with an acoustic 64'. So again, why not do it properly with a 64' Bourdon?
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