• mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    Trying to overcome a grievous lack of expertise. For a recent anthem organ part, I'm specifying a two manual organ with pedal. First registration uses Swell as a manual name, no crescendo effects, for RH, Great for LH, and Pedal. Here's the labels proposed as general purpose indications in the score and following what I'm actually using in a mockup. Comments, corrections?

    Registration 1 (At beginning)
    Sw: (forte) Strings 8' 4' + Solo Reed 8'
    Gt: (forte) Full Diapason 16' 8' 4'
    Ped: (forte) Full Diapason 16' 8'

    Registration 2 (Soprano entrance, bar 13)
    Sw: (forte) Add Rohrflöte 4'

    Actually used (Cathedral Notre Dame de Budapest samples):
    Reg. 1
    Sw: Fonds 8' 4' + Flute, Bourdon, Gemshorn 8'
    Gt: Fonds 16' 8' 4'
    Ped: Fonds 16' 8' 4'

    Reg. 2
    Sw: Fonds 8' 4' + Gemshorn, Nachthorn 8' Rohrflöte 4'
  • Seems good to me (the disinclination to use mixtures is probably as well in a choir-accompanying context). What anthem is involved, I wonder? A 19th-century English one? A 20th-century English one?
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    RJ, a 21st century American one. Thanks for the review, and yes, I am very uncomfortable with the mixture stops: the tenth and twelfth above a third makes my mind reel.
    Thanked by 1R J Stove
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,123
    My mind reels a bit at the desire for the labels and the actually used stops to be different.
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,550
    Organ registrations are often unique to the specific instrument. Suggested registrations don't always work in practice.
  • "Organ registrations", CharlesW correctly notes, "are often unique to the specific instrument. Suggested registrations don't always work in practice."

    A few decades ago there seemed to be a hip fad for denouncing every single performance of Franck organ music that did not simply reproduce the Sainte-Clotilde stop-list. The mere fact that Franck himself at times resorted to registrations incompatible with this stop-list (and that even if he had never done so, most eminent composers are entirely prepared to have their own scores' indications periodically modified when they trust a particular performer, as, for instance, Debussy allowed Ansermet to alter details of orchestral balance) simply did not occur to these positivist dim-bulbs.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW CHGiffen
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,550
    Franck never played anything the same way twice, or so observers at the time have noted.
    Thanked by 1R J Stove
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    Suggested registrations ..
    give an indication of how the composer or editor imagined it, nothing more. But less than a suggestion might indicate too little?

    Is there a generally accepted way to indicate swell closed and then opening gradually?
  • Scott_WScott_W
    Posts: 456
    It just occurred to me what a thread title looks like to a non-organ player. This first thing that popped into my mind is someone unpacking a bunch of boxes and finding a card reading, "Thank you for your purchase of a Bedient Pipe Organ. Please take a moment to fill out the registration card..."
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen ZacPB189
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    Funny, Scott! Mail it in or register online.

    In a set of Adagios by W. Volckmar (Op. 357) I see a succinct general purpose registration:

    I. (Hauptmanual) Starke Stimmen
    II. (Nebenmanual) Sanfte Stimmen

    That kind of simplicity appeals to me, then the organist and the particular organ can work together to choose a registration for a particular use.

    Then for the second Adagio:

    I. Gamba 8 F. und Spitzflöte
    II. Flûte trav. 8 F. und Flûte douce 4 F.
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,115
    You have two options: be German Baroque and say nothing about registration or be French baroque and say exactly what you want. Either way you will have the organists guessing....

    From the bourbon lands
  • I'm just a bit confused as an organist, if there is a solo registration on the swell (8' trumpet) - is the solo meant to be in two voices throughout, or is the alto voice meant to be part of the accompaniment? That would be my main concern in playing this, anyway - being sure that something as assertive as an 8' trumpet is only sounding when/where it is meant to. Related to this, are there any moments before the piano section where both hands go to the accompanying manual, then the solo comes back?

    One other note - on most organs I've played, the swell principals do not balance with the great principals. Add to that, there may be only an oboe or some other quiet reed on the swell but a trumpet on the Great. So if the trumpet is meant to stand out and be very bold, it might just be best to say "Principals 16-4 (I Manual)" and "Principals 8, 4, 8' Trumpet (Solo manual)". Then refer to I and Solo throughout the score and leave the organist to figure out which particular manuals give the best trumpet vs. principal balance. My 2cents
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,574
    I say specify the sounds and volumes at the measures you want them
    and let the organist sweat the implementation.

    I prefer economical and consistent markings especially in the midst of notes,
    symbols (+ -) then division (Sw Gt)
    then stop family (only use name if particular character desired, e.g., oboe or clarinet)
    then length (16 8 4 ...).
    My starting shutter indication style (Sw=0%)(Sw<50%)
    between manual staff and pedal staff.

    Here are PDFs (only because I recently viewed them)
    with a variety of marks that suggest answers and inspire layout ...
    http://imslp.org/wiki/Organ_Sonata_No.1_(Rogers,_James_Hotchkiss)
    http://imslp.org/wiki/Advent_'First_Religious_Suite_for_Organ'_(Yon,_Pietro)

    Registration questions.
    (1) Chorus reed versus Solo reed or does it matter?
    Or does Solo imply the division, i.e., a powerful Reed?
    (2) Are you really intending String 8 and String 4 and Solo Reed 8
    or are you attempting to optimise the performance,
    at certain points (+ Reed - Reed)
    rather than alternate (String 8 4) versus (Solo Reed 8)?
    (3) How common is a Great Diapason 16?
    Do you really desire such gravity?
    (4) If you couple the Sw to the Gt with both of similar timbres
    and play both hands on Gt
    you can grow the Sw registration to full
    and finally move the shutters to grow from rumble to roar.

    m13
    needs voice volume (forte ?)

    m45
    rest allows registration change
    is this where you actually reduce the registration i.e.,
    - Solo Reed 8
    - Rohrflote 4
    or just close the shutters or both?

    m64
    marking is Swell, but to implement what?

    m78
    rest allows registration change

    m79
    marking is [-bracket (A F#) but maybe you really want L-bracket
    to indicate the Right Hand takes (D) as a solo
    and the left hand takes (D A F#) as accompaniment,
    or are you in the process of re-engraving the bass to the pedal staff
    and implying "Ped no stops, Sw Ped only".
    (I see several stretches of tenths and elevenths, ouch!)
    or is the [-bracket a typo?

    m94
    organ unchanged or is this the point of + Solo Reed 8
    or Sw < 100% to support the ff voices

    m110-m111
    asynchronous ritards ?

    m112
    rest allows registration change

    m115
    rest allows registration change
    Thanked by 1mrcopper
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,123
    Is there a generally accepted way to indicate swell closed and then opening gradually?
    It's called a hairpin.
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    Very helpful eft, thank you. I'm working through your comments.

    With regard to coupling: I mostly separated the first few measures because of the voice crossings and duplicated notes, and an intended slight distinction of timbre: if I were to couple Gt and Sw together, even with the hands on different manuals, wouldn't the re-articulations be lost, as the A, for instance, bar 5 - 6, played on both manuals?
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    Let's say for the introduction I specify Voix Celeste 8' + Salicional 8' for the swell, Diapason 8' for the Great, and Diapason 16' for the Pedal and couple Swell to Pedal. That would seem to leave the Great weak in proportion to the other two, but can I rely on each organist to work out a reasonable balance? And perhaps the Swell could be partly closed, if I say "50%" will that be understood to mean "balance the voices" and leave some room for louder swell?
  • I would remove the 16 Diapason in the accompaniment. 16 ft manual stops can and will make your pedal line less clear if the lowest stop the pedal includes is also 16 ft. EFT is correct about the gravity that a 16 Diapason will create. That would be my only suggestion, really, although it does seem like the Sw is used as a solo manual and using strings to support a reed wouldn't be my first choice, although it does work. I would recommend diapasons or flutes to support the reed.
    Thanked by 2mrcopper eft94530
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    I'm still working through eft's comments -- revoiced things so only a solo line in the swell after the intro. Eliminated 16' in manual, as you have said, and coupled swell to pedal plus a 16'. Is it "uncouple" or "decouple" when the time comes to have the Pedal go quiet? nm I'll google it.
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,574
    Articulation and crossed voices, okay got it.
    Registration at beginning, e.g.,
    Sw: Flute 8 4 String 8 4 (to balance Gt)
    Gt: Diapason 8 4
    Ped: Diapason 16 8 4

    Do not need to revoice anything,
    for variety it is good to have a manual-stops-only section,
    just make clear registration indications,
    the lowest notes are played by the feet.
    At that point it would be "Ped no stops Sw to Ped only".

    As I mentioned above,
    specify the sounds you want, at the notes you want them,
    the organist can make it work.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,628
    Will: at m 79 you have the indication Gt: Full (at forte) and then the same indication at m 95 (ff).

    What I would suggest at m 79 is to have Great: (16') 8' 4' 2' (no reeds) and FULL SWELL (with reeds) with the box shut (or 1/4 open) coupled down to Gt. (Both manuals would be coupled down to Pedal., which would also have (32') 16' 8' (no reeds)), and to open the Box starting at about mm 91-92 so that the box is open (or nearly open, 3/4) at 95. A pedal reed (Trombone 16', perhaps a 32') should also be added at m 92 (during the rest). I don't know what your intention is at the end m 112 et seq., whether to get softer, louder or not, but it might be good to take off the Pedal reed before the entrance in m 113.

    (And yes, I'm hearing and English organ in my head.)
    Thanked by 2eft94530 mrcopper
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,574
    Your version two registration plan extracted and condensed ...
    m1 = mf = (Gt Diapason 8)(Sw Salicional 8 Celeste 8)
    m12 = f = (Gt Diapason 8 4)(Sw Salicional 8 Celeste 8 Flute 4)
    m46 = p = (Gt Diapason 8)(Sw Flute 8)
    m62 = cresc = (Gt Diapason 16 8)(Sw Salicional 8 Celeste 8 Reed 8)
    m78 = f = (Gt Full)
    m95 = ff = (Gt Full)

    Hmm ... m46 (p) needs different stops to get softer than m1 (mf),
    e.g., Left Hand Sw Salicional and Celeste and Right Hand Gt Bourdon.

    Concur with Salieri on hearing English organ,
    and concur with his above suggestions.

    m64-65-66-67-68
    You indicate Swell shutters to open gradually
    while at same time indicating right foot to play Pedal.
    To help organist avoid surprise, put all shutter directions above Ped staff,
    m64 write "Sw closed"
    and follow it with long greater-sign hairpin (<) extending thru m68

    m72 remove Full, spelling Diapason
    m78 remove bracket
    m94 remove bracket

    I have played your second score a few times in the church.
    The Diapason used above middle-C is quite pronounced, adding 4' makes it even more.
    In my case m1 balance is
    (Gt Principal 8) == (Sw Rohr 8 Salicional 8 Celeste 8 Oboe 8, shades open 100%).
    Adding on Gt side requires a strong Sw increase
    (Gt Prin 8 4) == (Sw Rohr 8 Salicional 8 Celeste 8 Oboe 8 Prin 4 Flute 4).
    Pedal Bourdon 16 8 was sufficient.
    Thanked by 1mrcopper
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    I'm still behind on putting these great suggestions into the score. A revelation, obvious though it must be to the organist: one needs a foot to operate the swell! Back soon with another update ...
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,115
    Feet...operate swell....what? Yeah, you do have to do that and operate foot studs,ventils,etc.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,550
    Feet...operate swell....what? Yeah, you do have to do that and operate foot studs,ventils,etc.


    Give dirty looks to the off-key basses, give cut-offs and entrances to the choir with free hand, mouth, head, whatever, make registration changes, turn pages...what else? Did I miss anything Kevin? LOL.
    Thanked by 2mrcopper kevinf
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,628
    Talk to the server that just came up stairs to tell you that Father is going to add a renewal of vows after the post-communion collect.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW