Tag: Pipe Organs

The Organ (ii)

Jethro, Going Postal

Wind

The accompanying image is taken from Dom Bedos’ ‘ l’art du Facteur d’ Orgues’ (1776), and shows, among other things, a single organ-blower, operating one of three ‘feeders’ – or possibly, pumping two of the levers together, while an Organist, using a Manual and the Pedals, is keeping a vigilant eye on the blower. There is a square-shaped ‘Conveyance’ to take the wind towards the pipes. Not, as it appears to be, on the wall, is a figure showing how the movement of a Pedal, through a series of levers – pull-downs, trackers, backfalls – will open the ‘Pallet’ (the dark block ‘b’), a sprung, leather-covered valve, that will allow wind into the ‘Windchest’, and to the relevant pipe, but with a ‘regulator’ interposed (‘17’), to act rather like the smoothing condenser capacitor in a power-supply, Again, as far as I know (‘despite Brexit’) the pressure is normally expressed in ‘inches of wind’(as it were, the Voltage), measured by the water-level in a simple U-tube manometer. Often, in a pipe-organ, the large amount of floor-space taken up by the instrument is because the Reservoir will be a very large set of bellows, the upper surface covered with cast-iron weights (often proudly bearing the Builder’s initials), perhaps assisted by a set of steel springs.

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The Organ (i)

Jethro, Going Postal

As, everywhere, yet more low-churchmen and liberals do what their Protestant forebears did in the sixteenth and seventeenth Centuries, cast aside as worthless and despised ‘kists of whistles’ and ‘rags of Popery’, and Organists are often seduced by salesman into doing away with real Organs, in favour of gleaming Electronics that seem to promise so much more flexibility, variety, compactness…, fearing that perhaps the day is not now far off when the Church Organ will have gone – as (very nearly) have the Theatre Organ and The Cinema Organ, and that people will not know what the Organ was, nor will have experienced one, I ventured to pen this (O, excellent Going-postallers) that you might know something of this ‘thing’.

‘Horrid Victorian things’, I hear you cry: ‘foisted on far too many innocent villages by the Tractarians, displacing the rustic bands of which Hardy so tenderly wrote.

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