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Thread: A question about the Notre Dame organ

  1. #1
    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster SilverLuna's Avatar
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    A question about the Notre Dame organ

    Hi everyone,
    I have a question that I've been pondering for quite a while, but I never got to figure it out...

    Quoted from Wikipedia, "Notre Dame de Paris" Section: "The organ":
    .......In December 1992, work was completed on the organ that fully computerized the organ under 3 LANs (Local Area Networks).
    Ok..... so I know that the latest restoration was in 1990, completed in 1992, but, is it now fully computerized? With the pipes still to fool everyone that it's real? Orr..... is there a plan to take the pipes down sometime? (NOOOOOOOOO D:< Pipe organs 4ever..... yes I guess you'll call me a purest xD) Or can the organ also work with the pipes? I'm confused.. D:

    Thanks! Hope to hear an answer!
    ~Silver
    SilverLuna: colorist and effects animator
    for the Wolf movie (www.wolfmovie.com)
    This is my art!! www.loboe.deviantart.com !!



    *~I'm a proud organist~*
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtj300j129k&fmt=18
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hczd6WKMBUc&fmt=18

    ~Silver

  2. #2
    Midshipman, Forte
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    My assumption is that the LANs are similar to the tracker/pneumatic/electric action that controls the pipes from the console, but I may be (see: probably am) wrong.

  3. #3
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Dorsetmike's Avatar
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    Hi Silver, a quick Google found this site
    http://james.chauveau.free.fr/ND/paris_nd.htm
    it would appear that the computerisation is for control, all the pipes are still in use, just the connections from console to the organ have been modernised.

    Abort the panic attack
    Cheers MIKE.

    How many roads must a man walk down ... ... before he admits he's lost?

  4. #4
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    Silva ... love your art by the way, awesome. Wonderful. So beautiful.
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

  5. #5
    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster SilverLuna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorsetmike View Post
    Abort the panic attack
    lol!!!! xD whew. There are still pipe organs in this world!!!!!! D: D: D: *winkwink *

    So, the sound isn't delayed if it's moderised? Because the pipe organ here is traditional and that sound is delayed becase the air has to travel to the pipes. And thanks for the info!
    Contra- Thanks so much!!
    SilverLuna: colorist and effects animator
    for the Wolf movie (www.wolfmovie.com)
    This is my art!! www.loboe.deviantart.com !!



    *~I'm a proud organist~*
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtj300j129k&fmt=18
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hczd6WKMBUc&fmt=18

    ~Silver

  6. #6
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Dorsetmike's Avatar
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    Not the air, but the connection from the console to the valve that allows the air to the pipe. On older organs this was mechanical, a system of rods and levers, have a look at the connection from a key to its relevant hammer on a piano, then imagine extending that from the few feet or inches in a piano to the distance between the console and the pipes of an organ.

    During the 20th century electrical connections began to replace mechanical, now computer technology is being used which needs a lot less wires and operates much faster than previous systems.
    Cheers MIKE.

    How many roads must a man walk down ... ... before he admits he's lost?

  7. #7
    Lieutenant, Associate Concertmaster
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    It's not necessarily the case that "computer technology" leads to faster operation than "previous systems", if by the latter you are referring to previous electronic control systems. If MIDI technology is in use, which is often the case these days, there can be real timing problems with pipe organs (less so with virtual organs, which are instruments where the sounds are being being generated by computer software or hardware). The problem lies in the speed allocated to the MIDI system, which seemed adequate when specified in the early 1980's, and did not have pipe organs in mind where we have multiple manuals and many stops, but the problem can be reduced by careful configuration of the MIDI arrangements.

    Analogicus

  8. #8
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    I'm sure I recall a Scientific American article about the computerisation of the Notre Dame action many years ago. But it was highly critical because the organ was essentially unplayable at the time due to one monumental stuff-up after another. Obviously things have improved since then, but it's like the old adage says: "To err is human, to totally screw things up requires a computer."
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

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    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster SilverLuna's Avatar
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    Really? Because I love to listen to recordings of Widor's symphonies by O. Latry (you can search them up on YT), and I don't know if people are just talking crap or if they might have a point, becase all the comments on the bottom of the Toccata video, people said that this recording was BEFORE the computerization in the 1990s, and at about the end of the Toccata Latry puts it on tutti..... ? Orrrr was there some sort of a prior computerization before the 1990s? And that in the 1990s they wanted it to be more modern?

    xD That what ponders me most.
    ~Silver
    SilverLuna: colorist and effects animator
    for the Wolf movie (www.wolfmovie.com)
    This is my art!! www.loboe.deviantart.com !!



    *~I'm a proud organist~*
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtj300j129k&fmt=18
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hczd6WKMBUc&fmt=18

    ~Silver

  10. #10
    Apprentice, Piano
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    NDP organ was electrified in 1965-197 by the organmakers Herman and Boisseau (36 adjustable combinations, crescendo pedal, couplers and so on). Due to bad maintenance, the electric parts of the organ have been collapsing and the combinator went down in august 1984 just after Cochereau's death.
    Example here of the combinator failure:
    Yves Devernay in the late 80's helped by his assistant!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPyrNI_rcQU

  11. #11
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso wljmrbill's Avatar
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    now that takes some co-ordination
    ....To play only what is written is the domain of science. To realize what is not written is the domain of art."
    - Jean Langlais

    I wish you the Best for each day, now and always.

    Bill

  12. #12
    Commander, Assistant Conductor mathetes1963's Avatar
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    What I'd LOVE to see happen @ N-D de P, but likely never will, is for them to totally gut the computers/chamades/added material, and reconstitute the original Cavaille-Coll specification, at least as far as how Vierne knew it. After all, the original console still exists, it could be restored. The excellent playing of Latry notwithstanding, that organ has been pretty much ruined IMHO.

    My two shekels' worth
    “The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.”
    -Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750

    "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing."
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  13. #13
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    Well, that's essentially one of the things pointed out by the aforementioned Sci Am article. The "archaic" mechanical action of an organ such as S. Sulpice really put (and possibly still does) the ND organ and plenty of others in the shade in terms of reliability.
    There's no doubting that a player of Latry's calibre can make any instrument sound good, and the many YouTube clips of his playing/improvising are nothing short of stunning. But it's clear that the instrument has been through the ringer in terms of playability.

    I keep forgetting, who was the blind organist there? Was it Devernay or Leguay? I only ask because I think it was the "talking" computer that was installed (it called out stop names and things like that) which really started to cause problems.
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

  14. #14
    Admiral Maestoso marval's Avatar
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    This is an interesting site.

    http://www.cathedraledeparis.com/-The-Great-Organ-


    Margaret

  15. #15
    Apprentice, Piano
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathetes1963 View Post
    What I'd LOVE to see happen @ N-D de P, but likely never will, is for them to totally gut the computers/chamades/added material, and reconstitute the original Cavaille-Coll specification, at least as far as how Vierne knew it. After all, the original console still exists, it could be restored. The excellent playing of Latry notwithstanding, that organ has been pretty much ruined IMHO.

    My two shekels' worth
    The organs in general have to fit to musicians aspirations and talents.
    Without the restauration Pierre Cochereau would not have been able to express his improvisator genious, nor Latry would have been able to play the more incredible piece for organ composed in the recent times: "Debout sur le soleil" by Jean-Louis Florentz specifically created for NDP and his computerized combinator!

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