Author Topic: Short answer: Yes  (Read 3126 times)

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KB7DQH

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Short answer: Yes
« on: April 10, 2010, 02:36:34 PM »
Now for a slightly longer answer ::)


Years ago a book was written:  "How to keep your Volkswagen Alive-- Step-by-Step Procedures for the Compleat Idiot"    In "plain english" explained just about everything one needed to know in order to keep their air-cooled Volkswagen vehicle properly maintained, to and including engine overhaul. 8)
Also explained which parts of the vehicle would need to be attended to by a properly equipped shop, as the tools and training needed to perform certain tasks was not economically available to a typical vehicle owner.   

SO... Does such information exist for the pipe organ?  I imagine it is "out there" but not conveniently
ordered ???   

Could reasonably  skilled tradesmen within a church congregation take care of the necessary preventive maintenance and extend the "mean time between failure" of their instrument or would this be too much to ask?  I am thinking about stuff like keeping the wind system in good order, lubricating blower motor bearings if so equipped, making sure the wildlife doesn't befoul or consume the mechanical and electrical devices,  cleaning, etc...

Just HAD to throw that bit of fat into the fire...

Now... My definition of a "Restoration" lies in the root "Restore"... That is, make the instrument function as it did when new.   If what I suggested above took place, shouldn't be too much of a job
for the local organ builder to remove pipes, open windchests, renew pallet leather and felts, etc...
clean internal components not otherwise accessible during preventive maintenance, reassemble and tune.  May require attention to wind delivery/regulation,  but that should largely be accomplished in the proactive/preventive maintenance program "within the organization" unless special, custom parts need to be procured.

Anything "beyond" that could be classified as alteration, expansion, modernization.

Modernization could include the upgrading of electrical components to devices more available/serviceable, adding of electronic combination action, but would NOT include conversion from mechanical key action to electrical, etc...  I would firmly classify that as an ALTERATION, as "tracker action"  allows for some measure of control of how the pipe speaks by the organist, whereas an "electrical" action sufficient to accomplish this would be an extremely expensive affair indeed ???  Look at the prices on servo controls for radio-controlled  stuff, you will plainly see what I mean! 

So there it is... A starting point from which I hope much discussion ensues.

Can of worms open, flame suit on ;) ;) ;) ;)

Eric
The objective is to reach human immortality—that is, to create things which are necessary to mankind, necessary to the purpose of the existence of mankind, and which have become the fruit that drives the creation of a higher state of mankind than ever existed before."

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Re: Short answer: Yes
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2010, 08:57:53 PM »
Dear Eric

Thanks

Yes - I used to have similar views on "restoration" but heritage professionals enlightened me as to the subtleties of "preservation". In the organ world, this is demonstrated by the instrument at Albi which over the years had been altered with a "romantic" bias and given modernisations and "preservation" could have been followed. But instead, Formentelli "restored" it, keeping all the original Moucherel pipework and putting all the romantic pipework into a big church 100 metres away.

J'espere que mes amis Francophone peuvent écrire ici parce que cette example est tres interessante.

Best wishes

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KB7DQH

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Re: Short answer: Yes
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2010, 05:21:58 AM »
Hmmm... Lemme think on this a bit....  You do bring up an interesting scenario...  Much depends on the
"outcome" of the planned work... and the nature of "alteration" of an original instrument over the course of time.  Maybe one has to define the nature of "de-alteration" required to "restore" an instrument ???

What distinctions need to be made as to the entropic alteration due to time and "fair wear and tear"
on an instrument when it was first placed into service  versus as the instrument exists currently?

I guess it depends on "how far you wind the clock back" with the current project.  In the case of the Albi instrument the clock was wound "all the way back"...

In the case of the "biggest organ restoration project ever"  one could wind the clock back to "day one" and not change the tonal quality of the instrument one little bit, because good or bad, better or worse, "nobody %$*#'ed with it".   Its present deplorable condition due to the total lack of
preventive maintenance coupled with damage done by hurricanes which was never repaired,  and careless work done around the instrument resulting in it at one time rendering it completely unplayable. :'(   Oddly enough, the work done to restore the hall, although damaging vital parts of the instrument (but not the pipework! 8) has allowed for proper access to parts of the instrument prevented by the presence of Asbestos in the building material.  A real double "win-lose" scenario has played out in Atlantic City...
And I do hope "we can learn from the mistakes of others" ;D

Eric


The objective is to reach human immortality—that is, to create things which are necessary to mankind, necessary to the purpose of the existence of mankind, and which have become the fruit that drives the creation of a higher state of mankind than ever existed before."

 


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