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definition of an ORGAN (particularly a pipe organ)

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  • definition of an ORGAN (particularly a pipe organ)

    Also called pipe organ. a musical instrument consisting of one or more sets of pipes sounded by means of compressed air, played by means of one or more keyboards, and capable of producing a wide range of musical effects.

    https://www.dictionary.com/browse/organ

    I'm a purist. A pipe organ should only play music mechanically by pipes as a strict aerophone. Also, it should not have fake facade pipes only for show. Every pipe on an organ, exposed or hidden, should be musically functional as it was in Bach's and Couperin's time.

    This so-called "pipe" organ has a "chimes" (percussion) stop and also some sounds which are produced by electronic means.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41QQQ9rlyiE


  • #2
    Never heard a "purist" complain about facade pipes before, so there is always a "first" as the saying goes.

    Some historical organs include facade pipes, so I really think it is arbitrary to say an organ isn't an organ if it contains them.

    Many pipe organs included percussion voices such as chimes, organ harp, and toy stops like the zimbelstern. They were sounded with pneumatic devices, but the sound production elements were pure percussion, and I don't really know why you would complain about that.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by toodles View Post
      Never heard a "purist" complain about facade pipes before, so there is always a "first" as the saying goes.

      Some historical organs include facade pipes, so I really think it is arbitrary to say an organ isn't an organ if it contains them.

      Many pipe organs included percussion voices such as chimes, organ harp, and toy stops like the zimbelstern. They were sounded with pneumatic devices, but the sound production elements were pure percussion, and I don't really know why you would complain about that.
      Well, I can't tell others how to build their organs, but if I were to have a pipe organ built, assuming I were a billionaire, I would specify that every pipe on the instrument speak and that the instrument is to be a pure aerophone in musical function. There would be exposed pipes in front and they would not be mute for all times. The only thing unorthodox I might specify is a special French Horn stop if that is technically even possible. Otherwise I would want all the necessary stops to play Bach/Couperin/Baroque Period and orchestral/Romantic Period music equally as well. I believe the great American Aeolian-Skinner organs cover all organ music kinds and composers well. My organ would need a voix celeste, a vox humana, all the traditional French stops and all the traditional German stops and maybe the novelty of a French Horn stop if that could be made feasible. I think the Germans and the French have lead the world in organ building for most of organ history.

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      • #4
        It is extremely difficult, perhaps impossible, to build an organ that is equally effective with baroque, classical, and romantic music. Its a lofty goal, but neigh onto impossible.

        Germany and France certainly had their share of fine organ builders and tradition,, but so did England, The Netherlands, Spain, and Italy, to name a few. Austria, too, and the USA.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by toodles View Post
          It is extremely difficult, perhaps impossible, to build an organ that is equally effective with baroque, classical, and romantic music. Its a lofty goal, but neigh onto impossible.

          Germany and France certainly had their share of fine organ builders and tradition,, but so did England, The Netherlands, Spain, and Italy, to name a few. Austria, too, and the USA.
          I've heard Bach and Wagner both played on the Aeolian-Skinner of St. John's The Divine, NYC. Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor sounded the sweetest to me played by E Power Biggs on the Dutch-made Flentrop at Harvard. A Skinner organ might not be the very best for Baroque but does quite well for Romantic.

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          • #6
            It is interesting that this discussion is posted in the electronic organs forum. This gives me a starting point to express with pleasure the thought of M°Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini, an important organologist, philologist and historian.
            The same etymology of the word "organo" ["organ"] presupposes that this term identifies exclusively a pipe organ, thus excluding a words "organo a canne" (noun plus adjective): this single word "organo" therefore excludes all instruments that have no pipes. Therefore, electronic derivative instruments should not even be called "electronic organs", but "electronic consoles" or something similar.
            This is because the Italian language has historically kept the word "organo" excluding the specific adjective "a canne" ["with pipes"] which was already supposed in the word "organo".

            When the firsts harmoniums began to appear, in Italy it was preferred to call them by their original name, precisely harmoniums, rather than "organo ad ancia" ["reed organs"].
            Generally, in Italy, the word "elettrofono" ["electrophone"] is used to indicate an electronic organ.
            However, even in Italy today, the words "organo elettronico" ["electronic organ"] has entered common usage, although it often has a "negative" meaning.
            For the same reason, today in Italy the word "organo a canne" is sometimes specified to distinguish it from any other instrument that has no pipes.

            I clearly agree perfectly with the thought of Maestro Tagliavini.
            Last edited by ahlborn; 07-10-2020, 02:10 AM.

            Comment


            • Admin
              Admin commented
              Editing a comment
              This topic was moved to the Pipe Organ channel after the above was posted.

            • tbeck
              tbeck commented
              Editing a comment
              Admin, you should have moved it to the Ridiculous Topics thread.

            • ahlborn
              ahlborn commented
              Editing a comment
              Mine was not a segnalation of thread in wrong section , but only a dissertation on the Italian word "organo", and that this word alone identifies a pipe organ, without the need for a specific adjective, and why the word "organo elettronico", in Italian, could be considered by some linguists an oxymoron.

          • #7
            Bah!

            Etymology and definitions are of academic interest, but often lack relevance in today's world. If instrument, like the Wanamaker organ with over 28,000 pipes isn't a pipe organ because it has chimes and a pipe façade, what it is it?

            Organs have enough of an identity crisis without splitting hairs. I can tell you that on more than one occasion a visitor to my home has looked at my three manual, double bolster theatre organ with six large speaker cabinets and 5 sets of Conn pipes and remarked, "That's some piano you have there."
            -Admin

            Allen 965
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            Comment


            • ahlborn
              ahlborn commented
              Editing a comment
              Then I think I explained myself wrong: the word "organo" identifies a pipe organ. If he also has a carillon, or a drum, he remains regarded as an "organo". If it has a facade of silent pipes, but behind it there are real pipes, it is considered an "organo". Anything that completely excludes the use of real pipes is not considered an "organ". It's just a linguistic dissertation.

          • #8
            Originally posted by Admin View Post
            Bah!

            Etymology and definitions are of academic interest, but often lack relevance in today's world. If instrument, like the Wanamaker organ with over 28,000 pipes isn't a pipe organ because it has chimes and a pipe façade, what it is it?

            Organs have enough of an identity crisis without splitting hairs. I can tell you that on more than one occasion a visitor to my home has looked at my three manual, double bolster theatre organ with six large speaker cabinets and 5 sets of Conn pipes and remarked, "That's some piano you have there."
            My Casio keyboard has been referred to as a "piano" by some and an "organ" by others. It is rather a toy than a serious musical instrument but it's fun to piddle with. What in the devil is an electric accordion anyway? You gotta squeeze it for it to be an accordion!

            Comment


            • afuller5
              afuller5 commented
              Editing a comment
              Roland makes electronic accordions. You squeeze it to produce sound but the sounds are sampled and played through speakers. It has no reeds. There are many different accordion sounds as well as non-accordion sounds on the instruments. See https://www.roland.com/us/categories...s/v-accordion/.

              Allen
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