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Thread: If reed organs were still manufactered.

  1. #1
    pp Pianissimo Eddy67716's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Somewhere in the hills of Adelaide

    If reed organs were still manufactered.

    I wander what playing the organ would be liked if they still made reed organs. It's a pitty they went obselete after the electric osilater and hammond organs took over. I love the sweet sould they make and no electric instrument I've played has a decent reed organ effect. In my perfect world I'd have a new reed organ with this registration,

    Range; F1 - F6

    Bass Coupler, Diapason 8, (Cor Anglais 8), Principal 4, (Viola 4), Piccolo 2, Aoline (Celeste) 2 and a Subbass 16.

    Forte, (Opens the back swell with the 8' Diapasons and Clarinet next to the latter mentioned), Vox Humana

    Treble from ten A,
    Clarinet 16, (Krumhorn 8), Voix Celeste 8, Piccolo 2, (Gemshorn 4), Principal 4, (Oboe 8), Diapason 8, and a Treble coupler.
    All stops in brackets borrow from the stop to the left in the bass and to the right in the treble.

    The 8' Diapasons, and the Clarinet 16 would be in the rear swell and the rest would be in the front. The Swell leaver would open both the front and the back swells and the grand organ leaver would add the 8 (Inc celeste), 4, 2 (excluding the celeste) stops and the subbass.

    What do you think would happen if reed organs were still made?
    Last edited by Eddy67716; 04-20-2018 at 07:51 AM.

  2. #2
    ff Fortissimo SubBase's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Well, they are not going to make them, not to a niche specification as you list above. I could see Yamaha or some Asian manufacturer ramping production back up, but it would be a two row 8 + 4, or an 8/4 + 8/8 stoplist.
    Find a good Estey Artist's organ, or a Mason & Hamlin that will have the sounds you want, learn to restore and tune, or pay somebody to restore it, and enjoy.
    Search "Mason & Hamlin 93bf" (also 86K) or "Estey Artist's Organ" on youtube.

  3. #3
    ff Fortissimo Havoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003

    Compared to what the real great repertoire that was written for those instruments, you will need something far more impressive than that. It would be such a niche product that it would be very expensive. Even when they were at their height it was a niche product.

  4. #4
    pp Pianissimo Rodney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Ontario Canada

    I like your specification, it has some colourful aspects to it for freelance or improvisational work. Your description has some flavour of a Dominion Organ Co. chapel organ with 17 or more stops. Those larger organs often had the Diapason/Melodia rank at the rear which would not be in a swell, but speaking into qualifying tubes. A muted Diapason would not make sense for the player if it was labelled Oboe or Cor Anglais though, as an Oboe will have a thin, reedy sound, and the CA will have a loud reedy sound - the mute will round the tone off to more of the quieter flute sound.

    If reed organs were still made, I think they would be even harder to sell than the old used ones. Price will be in the tens of thousands of dollars or euros or whatever, since the equipment required for reeds would have to be made again, then to find someone that has spent years voicing reeds could be another issue. It never hurts to dream though...

    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...


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