Last updated: 11 October 2019. Click About This Website for update list.
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For over 20 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 4Ĺ hours of music played on the three manual organ below and the Prog Organ virtual pipe organ here?
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!! NEW ARTICLE !! - More on Handel's temperament
In 2016 I posted an article on this site about the keyboard temperament which is popularly associated with
Handel. In the article I presented a mildly unequal temperament, one which enables all keys to sound well-intonated while retaining some variation in key flavour across the keys, which matched the tuning instructions reasonably well. Since then some further work has been done, leading to the development of more precise criteria which can be used to assess how well any temperament corresponds to the vague tuning instructions. In particular it was found possible to rank temperaments objectively against each other using a numerical scoring system. In this way a further mildly unequal temperament emerged, different in detail to that described in the earlier web article. The characteristics of the new temperament turned out to be surprisingly well defined in view of the haziness of the tuning instructions, to which it corresponds in every particular.
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 can be downloaded here (PDF file, 717 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.