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For over nineteen years the most stable and extensive resource on the Internet for pipe and electronic organs
The hub of this site is the Complete Articles page which gives you instant access to many detailed articles dealing with numerous technical aspects of both pipe and electronic organs. Use the Google search box below to quickly identify areas of interest. While browsing, why not also listen to over 4 Ĺ hours of music played on the three manual organ below and the Prog Organ virtual pipe organ here?
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!! NEW ARTICLE !! - Handel's Temperament
In about 1780 a description was published of a method for tuning keyboard instruments (a temperament) said to be by Handel. The connection with Handel is probably spurious, though the temperament is interesting in that detailed instructions for tuning it were given. However these strike us today as imprecise because they lack quantitative information such as beat rates, instead relying on vague phrases such as 'tune the fifth pretty flat'. Thus it has hitherto been impossible to recover a single, definitive version of the temperament from the instructions. This has led various authors to suggest diverse guesses as to what the temperament actually is, ranging from sixth-comma meantone to equal temperament. This article shows that the tuning instructions, although nebulous, nevertheless contain sufficient information to reject both these hypotheses. Instead it demonstrates that the temperament is a mildly unequal one whose characteristics are surprisingly well defined in view of the haziness of the instructions, to which it corresponds exactly.
The article is published in the September 2019 issue of Organists' Review.
The picture above is of a test rig used for experiments on pipe organ valves, such as those described in the articles entitled Calculating Pallet Size, Touch Relief in Mechanical Actions and Response Speed of Electric Actions. These can also be accessed from the Complete Articles page where summaries are also available.
This electronic organ is a dual purpose instrument containing both "straight" and "theatre" voices, designed and made by the author. It is tuned to the author's Dorset Temperament with the addition of some impure octaves as described in Keyboard Temperaments with Impure Octaves. A full specification is available for download here (PDF file, 117 kB).
The things they say:
These recordings span some years and they were made in various rooms and auditoria. The older tracks were made using analogue equipment and some were recorded acoustically using microphones, hence the occasional noises due to piston thuds and page turns, etc. Other tracks were captured electrically. All are of real players performing in real time - no synthetic MIDI 'performances' here. I have not got round yet to normalising the volume settings of all the tracks so they are compatible with each other, therefore you might wish to adjust the volume between tracks depending on which ones you select. Do not be alarmed if some tracks appear to start with an excessive noise level - this simply means they were recorded at a higher level than others. Just turn the volume down to suit. In any case, it is a wise precaution to always begin playing each track at a low level to protect your audio equipment and your ears from unexpectedly high signal levels when the music begins. Although the instrument has 13 ranks of theatre organ voices in addition to its 'straight' sounds (see specification), copyright considerations preclude the inclusion of much theatre-style music here. Playing time 1 hour 35 mins approx.
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