Archive for category Music

Lake Masonic Center’s Organ

The Lake Masonic Center  has an Allen Digital Computer Organ:

The Allen Digital Computer Organ console

The Allen Digital Computer Organ console

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Happy May 1!

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Irony in action

This weekend, Taylor and I went to visit some Asian markets near Chicago.  We sampled every bit of food we could.  Fish cakes, pastries, breads, Eel, beef, pork, sushi, etc.  We were feeling great!  We went to Denny’s for supper and by the time we got back to the hotel room, we were both sick to our stomachs…   We determined that since we both felt great before eating the Denny’s, it must have been what did it.  I then proceeded to have a MASSIVE panic attack…  But two dramamine fixed that.  I should have had some clonazepam with me but I didn’t.  😦

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The Hunt

I was reflecting on the different voices that I hear in 19th and 20th century German-English hybrid organs and, with an idea planted by Taylor, came up with different forest animals and people to represent them.

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Wanted: Organ Parts

If anyone has any used pipe organs/parts, I might be interested.  Thanks!

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Pipe Organs in plain English

One thing that I noticed about the organ building industry is that a lot of terminology is somewhat inaccessible to the common person.  I’m here to try and remedy that.

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Chapter N, wherein an experienced organ builder levels with Joshua

I spoke with the owner and founder of the organ builders that maintain our church organ.  He and I had a good long talk about why I want an organ in my house and what I want to do with it.  Here are some things we came up with:

  • My voicing ideas are solid and would play many a baroque and classical piece very well.
  • My pipe designs are rudimentary but accurate and should sound pretty nice if I can get them all voiced properly.
  • My “coupling tracker” idea (of which I didn’t share details – only a rough outline since I’d like to patent it if it works) sounds interesting but only for very small instruments before the mechanical complexity gets out of hand.
  • In all truth, I really don’t want to build a 17 rank, 33 stop organ myself.

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Plans for the Opus 2

The 33 stop, 17 rank organ I’ve been working on I’ve named the Schumacher Opus 1.  I’ve come up with a stoplist for a smaller one-manual 7 stop, 4 rank organ that I’m going to designate the Schumacher Opus 2.

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What I can do and what is practical

I got a chance to sit down and play (ha-ha) an organ other than the one at church.  It sounded GREAT!  Then I got to see what made it sound so great.  Entire ROOMS and floors of the building filled with pipes, miles of pneumatic relay tubing, and 3 massive 65hp blowers.  It helped me understand that the one at church is MUCH closer to what I’m going to be looking at for a residence organ.  Corners are cut, definitions are bent, and distinctions are blurred.

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Organ Pipe Designs

I finally sat down to sketch out the designs for the three types of organ pipes I’ll be building on graph paper.

Face view of the pipe mouths

Face view of the pipe mouths

 

Side view of pipe cross sections

Side view of pipe cross sections

Diapasons have simple mouths – a 10 degree upper lip over a 15 degree lower lip.  Flutes have ears – faceplates that stick out on either side of the mouth which ensures prompt speech with a 10 degree upper lip over a flat lower lip.  Strings have beards – wooden dowels placed in front of the mouth that slows speech over a 10 degree upper lip over a 15 degree lower lip.

The languids are all different shapes – diapasons have angular windways while flutes have slightly rounded windways.  Strings have fully rounded windways.

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