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Messages - Jonathan Lane

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Organs Preserved / Re: Sheffield Cathedral
« on: September 15, 2016, 12:47:35 AM »
It is indeed sad that there is no pipe organ, however it is a very difficult building, and perhaps the  answer is a three manual at the west end and the electronic for accompaniment of the choir. Myself, I'd put a pipe organ in for the choir too, even if was in the way! Perhaps a solution similar to Blackburn is the answer.

No reply, so, before coughing up and collecting, I
checked with the Winchester Diocese, and found there not to be any.

Incidentally, it is in Salisbury Diocese.

Organ Builders / Re: Computer programme for soundboard and pallet layout
« on: January 04, 2014, 09:47:58 PM »
Hello Sébastien,

Thence to imagine they please share their work under the aegis of Open Source or Creative Commons licenses... We can dream. Is this forum haunted by organbuilders? Are there (a little bit) programmers ? Am I alone in this world ?

I work on the principle of open source, I think we should share knowledge. We are working on a switching system at present, based on the Raspberry Pi, for which the software will be open source.

Anyway, thanks for posting, and I'd be keen to discuss further.


Organs wanted / Re: Looking for a 2-3 manual organ
« on: October 18, 2013, 08:06:51 PM »
Have you managed to find anything yet? Do you have specifics about action, etc.?

Best wishes,


I agree with the sentiment Simon, however, I would say its always worth saving pipework, and if we had time I would just go to collect that.  Biggest problem here is we don't know the provenance, it may well be Hill, G&D, etc., in which case, we could easily use the pipework in various organs we are currently working on.

We would usually have no hesitation in taking this, however, we have no time until at least October and currently no storage space left, currently storing seven organs including a 48 speaking stop three manual Nicholson.

Organ building and maintenance / Re: Reinstating a pipe organ.
« on: June 10, 2012, 10:45:49 PM »
Best number to get me on is 07836 299025.  We're having new phones put in at work, they'll be a new landline number soon, but the present one isn't the best!

In answer to the question, we are being offered a lot of organs and turning most of them down.  Some of them are excellent, so very reliable and reasonably good instruments and some need too much work for their re-use to be economical.  However, my advice would be to find another Methodist church with an organ they are disposing of and which suits your requirements, usually a mutually acceptable price is found (ignore some of the stupid prices found on eBay), then find a friendly organ builder (a lot are, we certainly are!) and raise sufficient sums to get them to do the transplant and any restoration work.  If all things work out, and there is no reason why they shouldn't, you could have a very fine instrument at the end of the process.

I'd be interest to know more and if you want further information please feel free to email me:


Electronic Organs / Re: One organ not enough???
« on: October 29, 2011, 10:44:00 AM »
I can think of a few more too.  This is one way around the needs of a good recital/congregational instrument and a suitable choir accompaniment instrument.


Electronic Organs / Re: A "misleading" headline...
« on: October 29, 2011, 10:42:08 AM »
More likely, that in fifteen years time they will be looking to replace it with another electronic, however, we can all hope!


Hi Stefano,

If you would like to get in touch directly I may be able to help or source something for you.  We are offered organs every week and cannot take most of those which come to us because of time and space constraints.

My contact details are on our website at

Best wishes,


Organs on eBay or for urgent sale / Re: On Ebay tonight - Wales
« on: September 28, 2011, 04:12:10 PM »
Grossly overpriced!


The latter suggestion sounds very sensible, if they need someone to talk to, I would be happy to.


Performance technique, style and practice / Re: Extemporisation help
« on: September 20, 2011, 08:09:36 PM »
I think the trick, as previously mentioned, is not to get hung up on any formula, and that includes AB harmony or anything like it.  It is important to have some structure, but this is much easier to achieve with rhythm and phrase length than with any harmonic device.  If something is in D and ends in on a D major chord, don't be afraid to move to F major or C major, or some unrelated key immediately, it can be very effective, and free you from what has gone before (and the 'audience'), then you can reintroduce fragments of the tune in the new key, or gradually modulate back to the old key.  Time is of course key, as unless you have a very big church, with a very large congregation, and a very short hymn, you don't have much time to play with!



In view of the Zurich Resolution, which firmly links the decline of the organ with the decline of appreciation of churches,

I have to wonder whether it isn't the other way round, the decline in appreciation of churches being caused directly by the decline in interest in the organ!


Performance technique, style and practice / Re: Extemporisation help
« on: September 20, 2011, 08:51:26 AM »
There are two approaches, one is to sit down and 'free up' by just playing, trying to get out of the Associated Board harmony approach.  The other is to use a number of books; the hardest but best (and most expensive) is the Cours Complet d'Improvisation a l'Orgue.  There is an excellent book, which is much easier, by Gerre Hancock, ex of St Thomas, Fifth Avenue. Its called Improvising: How to Master the Art.  They can be found at the OHS and Amazon respectively at: &

Above all, enjoy!


I haven't heard it lie, but the recordings I have heard are impressive!


This is excellent news for the Priory and festival, however, they have the great advantage that the festival is so well known and so well supported.  If only some of our other country churches could enjoy such an instrument!



It looks as though with the failures of 20-30 year old electronics, now is the time to become a pipe organ builder . . .

I hope you're right David!


I hadn't put two and two together.  Unfortunately I have a full weekend among full weeks at present.  I hope someone can do something, as I believe it is essential we preserve all technology, even if the prove there are better things now!


Where are they?

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