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Thread: Uses of Twelth, Seventeenth, Sesquialtera mixtures and other Diapason mutations.

  1. #21
    mp Mezzo-Piano VaPipeorgantuner's Avatar
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by myorgan View Post

    P.S. Does anyone know offhand if the Sesquialtera II "breaks back" or remains the same throughout the compass of the manual? I forget. I've also never played an organ with a stop of that name or nature.
    Most of the sesquialtera stops that I run into as a tuner do break back in the sense that the pitch sometimes 'inverts' (the 1 3/5 stop goes from being above the quint to being below the quint). The pipes eventually become so short, particularly with slide-tuned pipes, that the tuning slide interferes with the pipe being able to speak properly, and the tuning is SO sensitive that it becomes impractical. This usually happens at top G, so the inversion is not very noticable, and is out of the intended range for use as a solo stop.

    The 'typical' use of the sesquialtera with a stopped flute or principal at 8' pitch is as a solo voice in baroque literature from both France and Germany. Often the baroque period organs had shorter manual compasses than is normal on a modern pipe organ.

    Rick in VA

  2. #22
    p Piano Eddy67716's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VaPipeorgantuner View Post
    Often the baroque period organs had shorter manual compasses than is normal on a modern pipe organ.

    Rick in VA
    If I remember right, the German Baroque and French classical organs only had Four octaves from C2 to C6. Cavallé Coll's organs went up to G7 and some English organs went down to F1 because they didn't have pedalboards in the baroque era. (Modern organs go from C2 up to C7).

  3. #23
    Moderator myorgan's Avatar
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    Rick,

    Thank you so much for the informative post. You understood my question exactly, and provided a comprehensive response.

    I had forgotten about the shorter manual compass in early organs, so what you posted related to that makes tons of sense too. Thanks again for such a complete response. All you left out was the specific scales of the pipes.

    Michael
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
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  4. #24
    pp Pianissimo Melos Antropon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by myorgan View Post
    Tom,

    A Sesquialtera would provide slight brilliance to a chorus--generally a Diapason Chorus of 8'4'2'. It sounds like the Sesquialtera stops you've experienced haven't been properly voiced. On a small pipe organ, a Sesquialtera II was often used as a Mixture on the Great. It can also be combined with an 8' stop for a solo. It would generally never be played in the upper octave, which is why sometimes it isn't reproduced in the upper octave--both for shrillness and due to the difficulty keeping it in tune.

    You can read more about the historical use of the Sesquialtera here: http://www.organstops.org/s/Sesquialtera.html. Another stop commonly used, but of different composition, is the Rausch Quint(e), which was used for the same purpose. Information on that stop can be found here: http://www.organstops.org/r/Rauschquinte.html. I have played an organ with a Rausch Quint(e) II in the Great as the ONLY mixture on the organ. It was a Hook & Hastings from 1906.

    Hope this helps.

    Michael


    P.S. This was my response this AM, but evidently I didn't post it before I logged out. Sorry if I missed other information.

    Just a note for the sake of completeness: The sesqialtera in some older organs, especially ones built by Ernest M. Skinner, is sometimes called a "Grave" or "Grave Mixture" (cf: Skinner original instrument in St. Philips Church, Battle Creek, MI. There is a Grave (2 2/3, 1 3/5, no breakback) in the Great division.)

    Tony
    Home: Johannus Opus 370

  5. #25
    f Forte michaelhoddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melos Antropon View Post
    Just a note for the sake of completeness: The sesqialtera in some older organs, especially ones built by Ernest M. Skinner, is sometimes called a "Grave" or "Grave Mixture" (cf: Skinner original instrument in St. Philips Church, Battle Creek, MI. There is a Grave (2 2/3, 1 3/5, no breakback) in the Great division.)

    Tony
    ...And to further complicate things, the Great Grave Mixture II is commonly 2-2/3' + 2' in other work, such as Jamison's Austin designs, among others.

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