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Thread: Is It Considered A Sacrilege?

  1. #1
    ppp Pianississmo HiDesertHal's Avatar
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    Is It Considered A Sacrilege?

    Is it considered a sacrilege to not use the pump treadles and instead use a vacuum line from a source in an adjoining room?

    Have some people done this?

    Would the knee levers still control the sound volume?

    Never having owned a Pump Organ, I'm just curious about this.

    Thanks,
    Hal

  2. #2
    ff Fortissimo Silken Path's Avatar
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    Hal, bellows in good condition don't require much pumping, so it's not a great sacrifice to keep it going. I doubt it's sacrilegious to automate it, though.

    I've actually wondered if one suction pump or suction system could plumb into multiple reed organs. I don't think the organ would care where the suction came from, as long as it was sufficient and constant.

    I've recently learned that some dual pedal/vacuum pump systems have a valve that sends vacuum from the bellows if one is pumping and from the suction pump if one is not. I'd like to play with an organ that has this type of system. Since I can pump slowly to play softly and quickly to play louder, how can one do the same with a suction pump?

    And, yes, the lever should still control the sound volume, as it's actually moving the swell shutter.
    -- I'm Lamar - Rodgers W5000C - Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3
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  3. #3
    ppp Pianississmo HiDesertHal's Avatar
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    Thanks, Silken Path!

    Hal (Canvas Highway)

  4. #4
    ff Fortissimo SubBase's Avatar
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    The reason reed organs and harmoniums exist in the first place is because reeds can respond to low wind, high wind, and every gradation in between. Pipe organs cannot do this; the harmonium was first called l'Orgue espressif the expressive organ, which led to much literature being written to exploit its capacity for variable dynamics.
    Soft winding can give very great timbral contrast between powerful winding in one set of reeds.
    Playing a 2 rank RO on a blower results in a monotonous droning sound.

  5. #5
    ppp Pianississmo HiDesertHal's Avatar
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    That is sure interesting and informative, SubBass! (Do you really mean "SubBase"?)

    HDH

  6. #6
    ff Fortissimo SubBase's Avatar
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    I spelled it the way Mason & Hamlin did. It's in the dictionary, BTW.
    subbase avatar.JPG

  7. #7
    ff Fortissimo Organfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SubBase View Post
    The reason reed organs and harmoniums exist in the first place is because reeds can respond to low wind, high wind, and every gradation in between. Pipe organs cannot do this; the harmonium was first called l'Orgue espressif the expressive organ, which led to much literature being written to exploit its capacity for variable dynamics.
    Soft winding can give very great timbral contrast between powerful winding in one set of reeds.
    Playing a 2 rank RO on a blower results in a monotonous droning sound.
    I agree. My giant Mannborg was fitted with a huge blower for church use. It still has both treadles and pump lever and has a "wind meter" on the side where the bellows boy would be standing when the lever is used. I cannot see how the bellows boy (the poor fellow doing the lever thing) can regulate the wind flow when someone else is playing the keys.... He may not have the same "feel" for the music being played as the organist.

    The only reason I can see for fitting a blower system is to free the feet of the organist to play the pedals, where fitted. Those pedals operate the sub bass reeds (normally) and would require some more wind flow than the keyboards so I would be inclined to "allow" a blower for that reason only. I have not fitted the blower on mine and use the treadles happily. The pedals I cannot fit for lack of floor space but it does not really bother me at this stage.

    Incidentally the floor space is mostly taken up by my second giant 1880 Jilles van der Tak two manual pressure organ, equally fitted with 29 pedals, treadles and lever. The latter is missing. There is no coupling facility for a blower anywhere so perhaps the old folk designed and built these monsters for pumping and treadling for a reason, being the expressive nature of the sounds they wanted from them.

    Nico
    "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

  8. #8
    ppp Pianississmo HiDesertHal's Avatar
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    Thanks, SubBase...I didn't know that!

    That's a massive-looking pump organ in your avatar!

    Hal

  9. #9
    pp Pianissimo Rodney's Avatar
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    If you place a blower on a reed organ to replace the foot treadles, the knee swell will have some (or little) effect on loudness of the sound, but the monotony of a steady-full-blast wind source defeats the purpose of what these instruments are really capable of. It would be like playing a piano with full hand force at all times, and using the damper pedal for expression… or a violin using an electric rotary tool instead of a bow…

    However, there are worse things you can do to a reed organ

    If the reed organ only has a blow handle then a blower would be a nice addition.

    Rodney
    To play a reed organ or harmonium, it helps to disconnect your feet from your brain and connect them to your emotions.
    Most of all, be creative, make music and have fun...


    Website: http://www.rodneyjantzi.com/

  10. #10
    pp Pianissimo samibe's Avatar
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    It could be that I just don't know enough about pump organs or suction pumps, but it seems like an "expression" pedal could be attached to a regulator valve or a variable speed suction pump to achieve a reasonable amount of expression. It wouldn't have the pulsing that foot pumping has, but I would think that it could sound nice and have a decent dynamic range.
    Sam

    Home: Yamaha P22 (not enough pedals) and a modified Allen ADC-4500 ... for now.
    Church: Allen Protege LD-34

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