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Suitable Bass

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  • Suitable Bass

    I was reading a paper by someone who, i read before on the topic of Tibia's and other matters. He wrote about the initial works of Robert Hope Jones before he emigrated to the states, something in the reading caught my eyes.

    It was something that Hope Jones created that i think went defunct, it work like this, Each stop was assigned an electrical "Weight" when the performer selected this system. A primitive computer then selected a suitable set of Pedal stops in acordance that was already set.

    Why is this not in pipe organs of today? I know that their are combination pistons and buttons, why cannot be set from a computer? but golly what about a system that can think for itself and select other stops from other manuals?

    For instants Lets say that I walk up select the stops for the first division and then a computer can select a suggestion, let me play through with it, If I like it i can store it into the computer or reject and it offers a new suggestion.


    A system that listens to a combination and adjusts to a given set of parameters by the organist.

    I know that i have been in disagreement with computer control relays but i feel this could be a game changer and work on the entire instrument, and schedule changes to the music without having to memorize when and where to change registration.

    Or work on the pedals stops alone?
    22/8 Button accordion.

  • #2
    As Hope-Jones is best known today in the theatre organ world, and as I believe "suitable bass" was more common to theatre organs than church organs, I've moved this thread here.

    To answer your question, "suitable bass" never worked very well and you'll frequently see it referred to as "unsuitable bass." I'm sure with today's technology a more "suitable" implementation could be devised, but the fact of the matter is that it's not needed on small organs and too limiting on large ones.

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


    • #3
      Hope-Jones's tonal ideas have never been widely accepted in the world of church & classical music, and it's pretty obvious why if you understand those types of music--Hope Jones's voices just don't work right in that realm of music.

      Hope Jones didn't even do very well with some of his original thoughts on theatre organs, often included pretty much useless stops on the Accompaniment division such as many of the stops that worked well only as solo voices.

      For theatre organ music, "suitable bass" can often just be "Accomp to Pedal" coupler with one or two 16 ft stops added as needed. It hardly takes any type of computer to handle this.

      So much of the art of organ music is centered around registration, which is highly personal and creative--something a fixed computer isn't likely to do well.