• Register
  • Help
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Topic: Quick question about writing for pipe organ.

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    Quick question about writing for pipe organ.

    Hello.

    When composing for pipe organ, what is the playing range that I must limit the piece to? It is possible to play clear bass lines as low as 32' stops allow?

    Thanks.

  2. #2

    Re: Quick question about writing for pipe organ.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pipe_organ

    Note all the links & references at the end of the article.
    "An artist is someone who produces things that people don't need to have, but that he - for some reason - thinks it would be a good idea to give them."

    - Andy Warhol

  3. #3

    Re: Quick question about writing for pipe organ.

    Sorry, I can't find a clear answer anywhere I look.

    I know 16' and 32' stops make the sound 1 and 2 octaves lower, respectively. But... are those stops there to be used with other stops for timbre purposes only - "enrich" the normal keyboard range (C to c"")? Or can I actually write notes to be played specifically at that deep bass range?

  4. #4
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    California Redwoods
    Posts
    2,937

    Re: Quick question about writing for pipe organ.

    Quote Originally Posted by minowaman View Post
    Hello.

    When composing for pipe organ, what is the playing range that I must limit the piece to? It is possible to play clear bass lines as low as 32' stops allow?

    Thanks.
    Here are some useful pipe organ links. The last one is American Guild of Organists, and should be useful.

    http://nersp.nerdc.ufl.edu/~bodinew/

    http://www.organstops.org/

    http://www.agohq.org/guide/pages/chapters.html

    32 ft stops are generally not very clear, and I often augment them with 16 or 8 ft stops. The 32 ft stops are slow responding (in computer terminology, high latency!). They can add some good depth and fullness if caution is used to avoid muddying the sound. 16 ft stops can carry a melody well. I use the 16 ft stops in nearly all my organ works, 32 ft in a few, and I think, always as an augmentation device.

    Pipe organs are extremely varied. Much depends on the manufacturer and acoustics of the venue. The 32 ft stops in some modern organs are electronically produced. There are also some very good electronic organs, such as Allen and Rodgers.

    Richard

  5. #5

    Re: Quick question about writing for pipe organ.

    It's certainly possible to play on the 32 foot stop by itself (assuming the organ even has it), but I don't believe I've ever heard it done, except possibly as a special effect in certain experimental compositions.
    Dan Powers
    www.danielpowers.info

    "It's easier to be a composer than it is to compose."
    --Ray Luke (1928-2010)

  6. #6
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Chandler, Arizona
    Posts
    4,045

    Re: Quick question about writing for pipe organ.

    Not many pipe organs have 32 foot stops. Setting up registrations (combination of stops) for pipe organs is an art in itself. Most large pipe organs are custom instruments designed for the building they are in. This can cause the placement of the pipes to vary quite a bit which will affect the sound. Even temperature and humidity can affect the sound and tuning. Normally I wouldn't write for 32 foot stops although you may want to notate it for suggested registrations.

    BTW, pipe organs have quite high latencies! Recording with higher latencies on the computer hasn't never really bugged me after playing pipe organs for years where the notes sound an eighth or quarter note behind.

    Jim

  7. #7
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    California Redwoods
    Posts
    2,937

    Re: Quick question about writing for pipe organ.

    Quote Originally Posted by Haydn View Post

    BTW, pipe organs have quite high latencies! Recording with higher latencies on the computer hasn't never really bugged me after playing pipe organs for years where the notes sound an eighth or quarter note behind.

    Jim
    Well, it always bothered me with pipe organs, and more so with computers. So when I am able, I set the latency to about 2 ms, which I can tolerate!

    Richard

  8. #8
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Chandler, Arizona
    Posts
    4,045

    Re: Quick question about writing for pipe organ.

    Richard,

    I like to set my latency for around 100 ms when playing pipe organ!

    Actually, my latency is usually around 10 ms when I'm using x64 version of Sonar in Windows XP x64. Can't seem to get much lower without pops and clicks.

    Jim

Go Back to forum

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •