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Article

Laurence Libin

Division of an organ, whose chest and pipes are spatially separated from the main pipework so as to create an antiphonal effect when this division is played in alternation with others. Further, this division can be coupled to others for simultaneous playing that surrounds listeners with sound emanating from different locations. Antiphonal ranks need not have a dedicated manual but, in modern organs, often ‘float’ among several manuals by means of console controls. Development of the Antiphonal division was facilitated beginning in the late 19th century by electric and electropneumatic actions that simplify spatial separation of an organ’s components. However, it remained uncommon and nowadays normally appears only in large instruments. The term is also applied to a separate, independent, sometimes moveable organ, subsidiary to the main one in a building and played from its own console....

Article

Martin Elste

[Ger. Bach-Cembalo, Bach-Flügel]

A two-manual instrument made after 1700 by the workshop of Harrass in Breitenbach, Thuringia. It was owned by the Voss family of Berlin at the end of the 18th century. The instrument then passed into the hands of the family of the Bach scholar Wilhelm Rust, and in 1890 it was sold by the Leipzig collector Paul de Wit to the newly founded Sammlung Alter Musikinstrumente, now the Musikinstrumenten-Museum des Staatlichen Instituts für Musikforschung Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin (catalogue no.316). During the sales negotiations it was said that the instrument had once belonged to J.S. Bach and had come into the possession of the Voss family by way of W.F. Bach. This claim, which cannot be proved, led to its being regarded from about 1900 to about 1960 as the ideal of the harpsichord, so that it was copied and imitated in all sorts of ways. It has a rather unusual disposition (8′ and 16′ on the lower manual, 4′ and 8′ with buff stop and push coupler on the upper manual), which has been followed in instruments produced by Ammer, Dolmetsch, Neupert, Sperrhake and Wittmayer. Recent research has shown that the instrument originally had a three-register disposition (4′ and 16′ in the lower manual; 8′ with buff stop and push coupler in the upper manual) which was expanded to four in the 18th century....

Article

Durward R. Center

revised by Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume

A mechanical organ (known as “fairground organ” in Europe) used to provide music for merry-go-rounds and in amusement parks, circuses, and skating rinks in Europe and the United States. The instrument originated in Europe as an outdoor version of the Orchestrion, voiced to sound above the hurly-burly of the fairground. Initially it was put near the entrance in order to attract attention. It was usually built in an elaborately carved and colorfully painted case which sometimes incorporated moving figures in its façade. All but the very largest instruments were designed to be portable, robust enough to travel around the country on rough roads. With the coming of bioscope (moving picture) theatres, the organ sometimes became the front of the show-tent, its façade incorporating entry and exit doors.

The earliest band organs, developed during the 18th century, were essentially barrel organs: they had a wooden cylinder or barrel covered with metal pins that formed a musical program. By about ...

Article

David Rowland

Name given to a strip of parchment or silk which is made to buzz against the bass strings of the piano by means of a handstop, knee lever or pedal. It was first used towards the end of the 18th century and continued to be popular on the Continent until about ...

Article

Edwin M. Ripin

revised by John Koster

(Fr. registre de luth; Ger. Lautenzug; It. sordino, liuto)

A device found on harpsichords of most periods and schools (though more rarely on Italian instruments) as well as on some pianos, especially square pianos of the 18th and early 19th centuries. It mutes the tone by lightly pressing a piece of buff leather, cloth or felt against the strings near the nut, and has the effect of damping the vibrations, especially the high harmonics, so that the sound takes on a duller, pizzicato quality. In harpsichords, the buff stop usually consists of a sliding batten fitted with a small block of material for each note. Sliding the batten to one side brings the blocks against one register of strings, usually at 8′ pitch. In harpsichords by members of the Ruckers family, the buff batten was usually divided into separate treble and bass sections. Occasionally in harpsichords but normally in pianos the buff-stop batten is covered with material along its entire length, so that all the unison strings are damped when the batten is raised or (if placed over the strings) lowered against them. The buff stop should not be confused with the ...

Article

David H. Fox

A type of pipe organ built between 1911 and 1940 specifically for the accompaniment of silent films and the performance of popular music. In the USA the term ‘theater organ’ is preferred (for earlier types of organ used in theatres, see Theatre organ). Many characteristics of the cinema organ can be traced to church organs built between 1895 and 1910 in the UK and USA by Robert Hope-Jones (1859–1914), a pioneer of the use of electricity in organs. These included the use of rapid electropneumatic action, remote consoles, numerous couplers and accessories and, in particular, unification. With this economical system, the effect of a 61-pipe rank of another octave was obtained by the addition of 12 pipes to a stop and appropriate electrical connections (see Extension organ and Organ, §VI, 4). ‘Double touch’ enabled the organist to play with a different stop arrangement when applying additional pressure to the keys. This permitted the playing of solo and accompaniment on the same manual, and other effects....

Article

(Fr. appel, pédale de combinaison; Ger. freie Kombination)

In organs, a device that allows the player to put a group of stops into operation at once. Such actions may be either fixed (unalterable) or adjustable by the player, and are found in organs with every type of key action: mechanical, pneumatic or electric. Early mechanical types of combination action were generally foot-operated, but in electric-action organs thumb-buttons between the manuals are common. ...

Article

Peter Williams

revised by Nicholas Thistlethwaite

The name given to the foot-operated lever of an organ that takes off or brings on predetermined stops, usually by operating on the draw-stop rods. J.C. Bishop was the inventor, though a counter-claim by his former master, Benjamin Flight, was dismissed by the Society of Arts in 1809. The composition pedal replaced the earlier ‘shifting movement’ which had comprised a foot-lever operating directly on the ends of the sliders in such a way that on depression the stop was taken off, and on release a spring returned the slider to the playing position. According to the builder Jordan’s trade-card of about 1720, its purpose was to put stops ‘off and on by the feet, simply or together, at the master’s discretion, and as quick as thought, without taking the hands off the keys’. Hopkins, in The Organ (1855), used the term ‘single-action’ to describe the composition pedal that ‘either draws out or thrusts in a given number of sliders’ or draw-stops, and ‘double-action’ for the pedal that did both. Such accessories were as popular by the late 1820s (John Abbey’s small organ for the Paris Exhibition of ...

Article

James H. Cook

An organ installed in a public performance hall. Owing to their intended use, concert organs stand apart from church organs on one hand and residence organs on the other. Such organs were common in the 1920s and 1930s, less so in the years following World War II. A late-twentieth-century resurgence of interest has produced some outstanding examples, including those in the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas (Fisk ...

Article

The Fingering of keyboard music with figures 1 to 5 for each hand, 1 standing for the thumb, a system in general use throughout the world today. The term was used in Britain in the 19th century in contrast to so-called English fingering (not, however, exclusively English), which provided for four fingers (marked 1 to 4) and a thumb (marked +)....

Article

Coupler  

Peter Williams

revised by John Koster and Christopher Kent

(Fr. accouplement, tirasse; Ger. Koppel, Koppelung)

The mechanism in an organ or harpsichord whereby pipes or strings of one department or manual are made to sound an octave lower or higher, or on the keys of another manual. The most common system until the early 19th century was the Schiebekoppel or shove coupler: one set of keys was pushed in or pulled out to enable some kind of wooden protuberance along the key-shafts (dogs, lugs, small vertical battens, etc.) to connect in one way or another with a second set of keys and so cause them to be depressed likewise. Usually a coupler could not be engaged while playing since both hands were required to move the keyboard by grasping blocks at each end and since (even if the motion to engage the coupler is controlled by a pedal or knee lever, as in some late 18th-century French harpsichords) the coupler dog on a key being played would, if one attempted to move it into the coupling position, block against the side of the point of contact of the key of the second manual. During the early 19th century other more easily manipulated mechanisms came into common use: (...

Article

The arrangement of different stops or registers among the keyboards or divisions of a harpsichord or organ. For example, a single unison register of a harpsichord is usually designated as 1 × 8′; an octave higher (the four foot) as 1 × 4′. A three-register harpsichord with two unisons and an octave would be designated 2 × 8′, 1 × 4′....

Article

Echo  

Murray Campbell and Mary Térey-Smith

The repetition of sound after a short time interval. In addition to the applications discussed below the term is used for a signal-processing device (also known as a delay) that produces a slightly delayed playback of sounds either by a tape loop or by digital delay; see Electric guitar §2 .

See also Organ stop .

Natural echoes arise from the reflection of a sound wave by a solid surface, such as a wall or cliff. For the echo to be perceived as distinct from the original sound, the extra path length travelled by the reflected sound wave must have a minimum value of around 17 metres, corresponding to a minimum time interval of 50 milliseconds between direct and reflected sounds.

The reverberant sound field in a concert hall is created by multiple reflections of sound waves. In a well-designed hall, the direct sound reaching a member of the audience is followed by a series of reflections within a time interval of around 35 milliseconds. These ‘early delayed arrivals’ are not heard as separate echoes; because of the ‘precedence effect’ they are perceived as a reinforcement of the direct sound. Subsequent reflections blend smoothly into the reverberation. A concave surface, focussing sound waves into a particular part of the hall, can give rise to an audible echo; a ‘flutter echo’ can arise from successive reflections between parallel walls....

Article

The Fingering of keyboard music with figures 1 to 4 representing four fingers, and + the thumb, of each hand, a system used in England and elsewhere in the 19th century and now obsolete. The term contrasted with Continental fingering, which provides the figures 1 to 5 for each hand, 1 standing for the thumb, a system in general use throughout the world today....

Article

Durward R. Center

revised by Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume

[fair organ, showground organ, band organ; Dut. draaiorgel; Ger. Kermisorgel]

A mechanical organ used to provide music for merry-go-rounds and in amusement parks, circuses and skating rinks in Europe and the USA. The instrument originated in Europe as an outdoor version of the Orchestrion, voiced to sound above the hurly-burly of the fairground. Initially it was put near the entrance in order to attract attention. It was usually built in an elaborately carved and colourfully painted case which sometimes incorporated moving figures in its façade. All but the very largest instruments were designed to be portable. With the coming of bioscope (moving picture) theatres, the organ sometimes became the front of the show-tent, its façade incorporating entry and exit doors.

The earliest fairground organs, those of the late 1870s, were of the Barrel organ type. By about 1880 such instruments were being produced in sizes containing several hundred pipes and a variety of percussion effects; these large models were powered by steam or water engines and later by electric motors. Major builders of barrel-operated organs included Gavioli of Paris, Wilhelm Bruder of Waldkirch, Limonaire of Paris, and Eugene DeKleist of North Tonawanda, New York. In ...

Article

Edwin M. Ripin

A term sometimes used today for the piano of the 18th and early 19th centuries in order to distinguish it from the 20th-century instrument. German writers sometimes use the terms ‘Hammerklavier’ and ‘Hammerflügel’ for the same purpose. See Pianoforte §I 1., Pianoforte §I 6., Pianoforte §I 7., Pianoforte §I 8....

Article

Article

Klaus Aringer

(Lat.)

In 15th-century keyboard music, a form of conclusion consisting of formulaic counterpoint over the long-held final note (ultima) of a section of the cantus firmus, before reaching a closing consonance. Octaves and 5ths frequently constitute the salient features of the figuration. This procedure was a part of organ-playing practice in the 15th century, the most extensive collections of examples being in Conrad Paumann's ...

Article

Edwin M. Ripin

Article

Peter Williams

revised by Martin Renshaw

A keyboard played by the feet, chiefly to be found in organs, but also in carillons, harpsichords, clavichords and pianos. It can be connected either to its own pipes (bells, strings) or to the manual keyboard(s) of the same instrument. Early types are for playing with the toes: short sticks protruding from the lower case-front either as simple strips of wood (Halberstadt, c 1361) or as proto-keys (Norrlanda, c 1370), small rectangular frames with short straight keys (16th-century Flanders and Italy), the same with longer keys but still for toe-pedalling (16th-century Netherlands and Germany), round or square studs into which the toe or ball of the foot presses (Iberian organs, 17th–18th centuries), flat, shallow, rectangular boxes through the upper board of which pass short separated pedal keys (France and Belgium, 18th century). Eventually, longer and thicker pedals designed for occasional playing with the heel were developed (18th-century Netherlands and Germany); these were called ‘German pedals’ in English sources from about ...