Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/603

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
ORGAN.
591
 

tions, in the shape of Compound, Flute, and Reed stops, and the 'Eccho,' to cause it to create a most favourable impression on its hearers.

Smith adopted the compass of manual downwards reaching to GG, with ' long octaves,' without the GG♯; he placed the GG open diapason pipe in the centre of one of the inner towers of the case, and the AA in the middle of the other inner tower; the handsome case, which still remains, having been constructed with four circular towers, with a double tier of pipes in each of the intermediate flats. He also carried his 'Eccho' to fiddle G, though the shorter range, to middle C, afterwards became the usual compass. As the 'Swell and Echo Organ' is noticed under its separate head, no more need be said respecting it in this place.

It may be mentioned here that 'Hol-flute' was the name which Father Smith usually attached to a metal Stopped Diapason with chimneys; 'Nason' he applied to a stopped wood Flute of octave pitch; and 'Block-flute' to a metal Flute of super-octave pitch, consisting of pipes several scales burger than those of the Open Diapason.

Great organ. 10 stops.
Pipes
1. Open Diapason 53
2. Holflute 53
3. Principal 53
4. Nason 53
5. Twelfth 53
6. Fifteenth 53
7. Block Flute, metal to middle C♯ 24
8. Sesquialtera, 3 ranks 159
9. Cornet, to middle C, do. 72
10. Trumpet 53
626
 
Choir organ. 5 stops.
11. Stopped Diapason 53
12. Principal 53
13. Flute, wood, to middle C 25
14. Cremona, through 53
15. Vaux Humane 53
237
 
Eccho organ. 4 stops.
16. Open Diapason 29
17. Principal 29
18. Cornet. 2 ranks, (12 & 17) 53
19. Trumpet 29
Total  1008
 
Compass, Great and Choir, GG, without GG♯ to C in alt, 53 notes.
Eccho, Fiddle G to C in alt, 29 notes.


It is not quite certain to what pitch this first organ of Smith's was tuned, though it is supposed to have been to his high one. He made use of several different pitches. His highest, arising from placing a pipe of one English foot in speaking length on the A key, he used at Durham Cathedral. It must have been nearly identical with that afterwards adopted at New College, and mentioned below. His next, resulting from placing a similar pipe on the B♭ key, he used for Hampton Court Chapel; which pitch is said to be that now commonly used by all English organ-builders.[1] The pitch a semitone lower than the last, produced by placing the 1-ft. pipe on B♮, was used by Renatus Harris towards the latter part of the 17th century. It was Handel's pitch, and that of the organ-builders generally of the 18th and early part of the 19th centuries, as well as of the Philharmonic Society at the time of its establishment (1813). The lowest pitch of all, arising from placing the 1-ft. pipe on the C key, was used by Smith at Trinity College, Cambridge. These variations were first clearly pointed out by Mr. Alexander Ellis in his 'History of Musical Pitch, 1880.'


1661 (about). St. Georges Chapel, Windsor.

Ralph Dallam.

Divided stops on shifting movements.

Soon after the Restoration, Ralph Dallam built an organ for St. George's Chapel, Windsor, containing the recently imported novelties of Compound and Trumpet Stops (nos. 6 and 7, below). It was a single-manual organ only; and its specification, given below, is very interesting as showing that means were taken even at that early time to compensate, as far as might be, for the lack of a second manual, by the adoption of mechanical arrangements for obtaining variety of effect from a limited number of registers governed by a single set of keys. Thus there were two 'shifting movements,' or pedals, one of which reduced the 'Full Organ' to the Diapasons and Principal, and the other to the Diapasons alone. Thus two reductions of tone, in imitation of choir-organ strength, could quickly be obtained; which, in a place like St. George's Chapel, where choral service was celebrated, was very necessary. Besides this, the Compound and the Trumpet stops were both made to draw in halves at middle C, that is to say, the Treble portion could be used without the Bass, so that a solo could be played prominently with the right hand and a soft accompaniment with the left; and the solo stop could also be suddenly shut off by the foot at pleasure.[2]

Great organ. 9 draw-stops.
Pipes
1. Open Diapason to CC, then Stopped and Octave pipes 54
2. Stopped Diapason 52
3. Principal 52
4. Twelfth 52
5. Fifteenth 52
6. Cornet Treble, 3 ranks 78
Sesquialtera Bass, 3 ranks 78
7. Trumpet Treble 26
Trumpet Bass 26
Compass, GG, short octaves, to D in alt, 52 notes.


1661. New College, Oxford. Robert Dalham.

Organ tuned to lowered pitch.

Under the date 'May 10, 1661,' Dr. Woodward, Warden of New College, Oxford, made a note that

Some discourse was had with one Mr. Dalham, an organ-maker, concerning a fair organ to be made for our College Chapel. The stops of the intended organ were shown unto myself and the thirteen seniors, set down in a paper and named there by the organist of Christ Church, who would have had them half a note lower than Christ Church organ, but Mr. Dalham supposed that a quarter of a note would be sufficient.

The original specification does not appear to have been preserved, but the case was made for and received a pipe as large as the GG of the present day, which shows that the organ was of sharp pitch FFF compass; the compass remaining the same after the repair of the organ by Green in 1776. Woodward's record of the discussion as to the extent to which the organ should be tuned below the Christ Church Organ, is very valuable, as testifying not only to the prevalence of the high pitch, but also to its inconvenience. According to the 'unequal' or mean-tone temperament to which organs were then tuned, the best keys were the major of C, D, F, G, and B♭, and the minor of D, G, and A; all of which

  1. As to pitch, a pipe of this length would be about midway between the B♭ and B♮ pipes of the Temple organ.
  2. The 'Cornet' quickly became a favourite 'solo' stop, and continued to be so for nearly 150 years. [See Cornet, vol. 1. p. 403.]