On 27/12/10 14:04, Jörn Nettingsmeier wrote:
Agreed. The organ I learnt on is a 1908 English model, with two manuals
and around 20 stops. With all stops, great- coupler, swell-great
coupler, and swell-great octave coupler engaged, it was almost too stiff
to play a large chord. By the end of a hymn, my forearms would be burning.
A quick calculation shows that a large final chord might engage over 200
The organ was fully mechanical, with the keys pulling strings that
flowed over a series of pulleys to work the valves that opened the
pipes. This action was supposed to be balanced with counterweights to
make it light, but the weights hadn't been adjusted for a long time. The
age of the organ meant that the strings, pulleys and wooden joints were
stiffer than they once were, so the action of the keys was very heavy.
Playing hymns was hard, playing fast scales in Bach was much harder.
Many of the air pipes in the organ were made of leather, which also
began to split with age. Some of the reeds on reeded stops cracked, so
the clarinet and oboe stops would buzz instead of speaking normally.
Unfortunately, in 2008 the church was faced with a
multi-hundred-thousand-pound overhaul bill for the organ. They didn't
have much money and decided to donate the organ to a church in France
after 100 years of use, and raised a much lower sum to cover the cost of
a digital organ. It's a nice digital organ and it sounds quite
realistic, not to mention being much more reliable. It's perfectly
acceptable for church use, and has many more stops, but it's not the
same as a real antique instrument.
I realise this is all a bit OT for a Linux mailing list but maybe
somebody will find it interesting :)
Systems Support Specialist
ResNet | Wireless & VPN Team
University of Bristol
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