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Electronic Organs / Five videos to help you fit El...
Last post by kaspencer - July 18, 2021, 01:10:43 PM
I have produced five videos to help to show how to install Automatic Electronic Stop Labelling for your Hauptwerk Virtual Pipe Organ.

1. The Components

2. Setting up the PCBs

3. Assembling the Stop Plates

4. Connecting the PCBs to the Controller

5. Connecting the Stop Switches & their LEDs

A sixth video is in preparation which illustrates how to setup up Hauptwerk to use the Stop labelling System.

I hope its all useful!
House Organs / Building a home organ - specif...
Last post by Light_bulb - July 07, 2021, 02:47:04 AM
Hi all,

Last year I had the opportunity to pull an organ out of a church that was about to be demolished. I'm making steady progress towards getting it rebuilt in my music room.
The original spec of the organ is this:

  • 8' Open Diapason
  • 8' Dulciana
  • 8' Clarabella
  • 4' Octave (called a gemshorn, but built like a principal)

  • 8' Violin Diapason
  • 8' Rhor Flute
  • 4' Flute
  • 8' Oboe

  • 16' Bourdon
  • 8' Bass Flute

I'm wanting people's opinions on what I'm planning on doing, which is:

  • Add a independent twelfth and fifteenth, to build up the principal chorus and to use electromagic to make a mixture
  • Add some proper strings to the swell, such as an 8' Viol and a celeste
  • Some sort of 16' trumpet for the pedal, extended to 8' for use on the great
  • Extension of one of the flutes up to 2' for the Swell
  • Making 12 pipes to extend the 8' open diapason down to 16' in the pedals (fortunately I have the room for this)

Using the various options this pipework will give me, I'm hoping for a final specification of:

  • 8' Open Diapason (A)
  • 8' Dulciana
  • 8' Clarabella
  • 4' Octave
  • 2 2/3' Twelfth (B)
  • 2' fifteenth (C)
  • Mixture - from B & C
  • 8' Trumpet

  • 16' Bourdon - from D
  • 8' Violin Diapason
  • 8' Rhor Flute
  • 8' Viol
  • 8' Celeste
  • 4' Flute (E)
  • 2' Piccolo - from E
  • Maybe some mutation from B
  • 8' Oboe

  • 16' Open Diapason 13-30 from A
  • 16' Bourdon (D)
  • 8' Bass Flute
  • 16' Trumpet/something

In the long run I want to rebuild some of the chests as they're a mix of EP sliders + offset tubular pneumatics, but finding enough cheap electromagnets is difficult.
Organs in danger / Re: ORGAN STOPS - saving the K...
Last post by Alexg - July 03, 2021, 01:42:56 PM
Hi James,

thank you for the information. That all sounds very interesting and like a good idea.

I would certainly be interested in organising something similar in my church where we have a T C Lewis organ. Lewis lived in the vicarage at one point, married in the church, and had a workshop on the next street before moving to Brixton. Please email me if you would like to discuss this further

Best wishes,

Miscellaneous & Suggestions / Asbestos in pipe organs
Last post by JJ - July 01, 2021, 12:48:13 PM
I looking to you all as my font of knowledge and hoping you may be able to help me with a little research.
It has come to my attention that a number of organs have blower boxes that are lined with asbestos.
I am aware this topic has been discussed before and there are differing opinions.
I am open to all opinions but always feel this is a subject that is often met with aggressive defence and in this case, this is not necessary.
What I really want to find out is how often this occurs, whether  asbestos fibre release through the pipes is possible, IF the asbestos lining the box is disturbed/friable.
Has anyone come across this and does anyone have any air tests that have been conducted on such an instrument.
I thank you in advance for your time and cooperation, this will help me massively in my research of this area.
Please feel free to email me directly if you do not wish to post.

The recording of the Content is derived from the line output connections on the organ, and so has no room sound, just the reverb on the organ.  That's  probably why it sounds closer.  Also, the samples Content use, although good, aren't on a par with the best (not surprising given the price of the Content).  It does the job pretty well though.

The pipe organ was recorded using the stereo mics on the camcorder (a Sony model that's really a digital audio recorder with a very basic HD video camera attached.  Position was a compromise between being reasonably close for the picture, yet far enough away to try & pick up both sides of the organ (and to try & avoid getting too much "chatter" from the others in the meeting!)

Every Blessing

the first three clips are most impressive, Nice to hear a Newly Built Pipe organ.
the Electronic Content Organ is nice in a different way ! the Electronic Sound seems to be much closer ( as in distance )  than the Pipe organ recording.

Last Saturday (26th June 2021) the Coventry & Warwickshire Organists' Association made a return visit to St. Martin, Barcheston, Warwickshire - our first "in person" meeting since Feb 2020.  We had previously visited to see this new organ when nearing completion, and last Saturday was a chance to play it.  Here's 3 pieces I recorded - apologies if the last 2 especially are a bit rough round the edges - I hadn't intended to play them.

Herschel Allegro in F major

Herschel Allegro in G major

Be still improv

Details of the organ by Henry Grove of Nottingham (Consultant Paul Hale) can be found on NPOR:-

I also recorded a couple of things at church on the Sunday morning on the Content 224Compact Digital organ.

Reading – A 1st voluntary in C Major

Soften my heart

I'd forgotten just how much real pipes sound than their digital imitations!

Every Blessing

Organ concerts / 19th June 2021 at 7.30pm - Dav...
Last post by David Pinnegar - June 17, 2021, 12:53:48 AM
Next Saturday 19th June at 7.30pm come and hear David Gammie play at St John's Duncan Terrace, Islington. Free entry with collection.

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921)
Rhapsody in D, Op. 7/2 (from 3 Rhapsodies on Breton Folksongs)
Fantaisie in E flat
​Con moto - Allegri di molto e con fuoco
'Pro Defunctis', Op 150/6 (from 7 Improvisations)
Prelude & Fugue in E flat, Op. 99/3
Marcel Dupré (1886 - 1971)
Final, Op. 27/7 (from 7 Pieces)
Prelude & Fugue in F minor, Op. 7/2
Invention in A major, Op. 50/11 (from 24 Inventions)
Deuxième Symphonie, Op. 26
​Preludio  -  Intermezzo  -  Toccata

A former Scholar of Winchester College and Balliol College, Oxford, David Gammie began playing the organ as a young teenager, and gave his first public recital in London in 1968, when he was 16. He graduated with a degree in Classical Art and Literature, but music has been the focus of his life for the past 40 years. A competition prize in the 1970s led to his joining the BBC's roster of organists in the days when Radio 3 broadcast two recitals every week; in 1977 he gave the first British broadcast of Franz Schmidt's monumental Chaconne, and in 1980 another first - the first programme to be entirely devoted to the music of Charles Tournemire. Since 2001 David has been Organist and Assistant Director of Music at the Sacred Heart Church in Wimbledon (home to another famous Walker organ, but very different from this one). His solo performances there have included some of the great masterpieces of Catholic sacred music, including Messiaen's Holy Trinity Meditations, Tournemire's Seven Last Words, Dupré's Stations of the Cross, Maleingreau's Passion Symphony, and Petr Eben's Job. He also enjoys working with other musicians; highlights have included a Handel Concerto with the London Mozart Players, the Saint-Saëns Symphony with the Wimbledon Symphony Orchestra, and in 2013 a rare performance of Franz Schmidt's spectacular Fuga Solemnis for organ and 18 brass instruments. In his parallel career as a writer, David has written booklet notes for over 100 CDs, and programme notes for all of Thomas Trotter's Birmingham City recitals since 1983. In another long-standing collaboration with the late John Scott at St. Paul's Cathedral, he has written commentaries on the complete organ works of Buxtehude, Bach, Frank, Widor, Vierne and Messiaen. This year his comprehensive survey of the music of Marcel Dupré has been reprinted in New York to accompany Jeremy Filsell's performance of the complete works at St. Thomas, 5th Avenue.
Organs in danger / Re: ORGAN STOPS - saving the K...
Last post by James Dawson - June 15, 2021, 09:17:24 AM
Hi Alex,

Thanks you for your interest. The film is showing at film festivals at the moment and then will be realised probably on a streaming website site for purchase - e.g. Amazon.

For the Autumn and Spring (hopefully once Covid is not a concern) we are trying to arrange screenings alongside organ recitals in various locations (churches/town halls etc)  - if you'd like to do that please let me know and we can arrange.  It's going to do a sort of country-wide Road-Show with key contributors coming along to the Q & A. 

Hammerwood would be a great location so I am talking to David about this possibility!

Best wishes

Organ registration / Re: Vox Humanas are horrible
Last post by David Pinnegar - June 13, 2021, 09:17:08 AM
The trouble is that sounds and techniques of achieving them change greatly.

The Italian Vox Umani is two flute pipes beating against each other.

The reed version also needs a flute to beat against. If this is done properly as at St Maximin, the sound is sublime. The pipe is very similar to the Cromorne, the transition from Krumhorn to Clarinet, and again at St Maximin built by Isnard in 1775 the sound is sublime.

If anyone has the Hauptwerk St Maximin sampleset perhaps someone might be able to demonstrate. Whilst playing the real instrument the rank of Cromorne is right behind the bench and unsuspectingly one jumps out of one's seat whilst playing.

Best wishes

David P