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Holding notes...?

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  • Holding notes...?

    I've noticed in several videos of the Wurlitzer at the Alabama Theater (Big Bertha), usually during a “big finish,” a chord is played, and hands are lifted to do an extra flourish, but the chord struck continues to play without hands. Can someone tell me what activates this, and how does it work for release?
    Allen ADC 3500
    Hammond L100

  • #2

    I'm in no way an expert on theater organs (pipe or electronic). However, I have read that some theater organs have a sostenuto switch. I think it can take the form of some type of "pedal" in the toe-stud area. See https://gstos.org/theatre-pipe-organ...organ-console/ about 3/4 of the way down (unfortunately there's no photo). I'm sure Jay will provide you with more details and correct any wrong information that I have provided.

    Currently own: Roland Atelier AT-90, Yamaha 115D, Roland DP-90SE, Yamaha PSR-S910

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    • #3
      It is a sostenuto device. Activated by a piston, toestud, or kickswitch. Release is accomplished by releasing the switch or a 2nd pressing of it.


      • #4
        At the Alabama, the sustenuto is activated by a small switch on a swell shoe.


        • Jay999
          Jay999 commented
          Editing a comment
          It's a kick switch on the right side of the Master expression pedal. The kick switch is coming into the most generally acceptable type of "Sostenuto" control, replacing an earlier switch in the form of a button mounted in the pedal. The button tends to get in the way of your foot, and also misfire at the wrong moment. The kick switch is much better. There have been several (attempts - experiments) made, trying to figure out what's the best way to incorporate the Sostenuto control....I've seen toe studs used, and also a knee lever, much like a pump organ knee lever used. It's a great aid in freeing up the right hand for other things.