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Thread: The Mixture stop

  1. #1
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    The Mixture stop

    Hi all

    Can anyone actually explain the misture stop and tell me more about the stop on my organ which is MIXTURE III 15.19.22.

    What does this actually mean?

    Bit of an embarrassment really as I've been playing this organ for a while and never really thought about it!
    When I do continuous improvisation it tends to screech. This stop is on the swell and I do have swell super octave on as well.

    Any explanation first and then tips on how to get a better sound?

    thanks!
    Nicht Bach sondern Meer

  2. #2
    Captain of Water Music
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    Mixture III 15.19.22 means a mixture rank made up of three pipes each note (tone) and it has a composition of a fifteenth = 2', a nineteenth = 1 1/3' and a twentysecond = 1' counting the "white" keys counting from great C = 8'.

    To make it sound better (not screechy)? Have an organ builder change the intonation and adjust it properly...

  3. #3
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    Without the benefit of hearing your instrument, I suspect that the octave coupler could be the cause of your woes! A three rank mixture on the swell is typically used to bind the sounds of the swell reeds to the flue stops. (I am assuming the mixture is on the Swell).

  4. #4
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    Forgot about a few basic things. A mixture as such is a compound stop, it's made up from more than one pipe sounding for each key pressed. It's mainly a stop for giving the sound of the organ brilliance and splendour.

    The earliest organs were basically one big mixture with no possibility of separating different ranks from each other. Over time the windchests were modified to enable different sounds, but the higher pitched stops were kept in the combined state forming the compound stops (mixtures) as we know it.

    Normally the mixture type of stops repeats, that is the composition of pipes changes throughout the compass of the instrument. (the starting pitches could be 2, 1 1/3, 1 from C to f#, from g to c2 it could be 2 2/3, 2, 1 1/3 and from c#2 and up it could be 4, 2 2/3 and 2. But this is just an example...) This is partly because it's impractial to continue very high pitched pipes all the way up to the highest notes. The notes where the repetition occurs can be different for each organ, and the amount of repetition (how much lower the next note gets) varies also (a fifth is most common but an octave can also be the case).

    In some cases there are no repeats, that's normally not a mixture kind of stop but rather a compound stop like the Cornet or Sesquialtera.

  5. #5
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    I'm with QFE on this one. Only with a very poorly or unevenly voiced mixture rank would I consider using a super octave coupler as well.

    Admittedly I can think of one instrument on which I have done this, but for the above reasons. It was actually one of the quietest mixtures I'd ever heard (or almost not heard) and was very unevenly voiced. The piece I was playing was around the middle register of the manual, and initially the super-octave coupler worked well producing the customary mixture "brightness" to the foundations. However, as the register became higher, the aformentioned "screechy" sound became obvious so the octave coupler was taken off.

    While we're talking about Mixtures, I've never properly examined a mixture rank inside an organ (despite the number of times I've been inside one) and I'm curious as to how the break-backs work. Do builders just continue to use individual pipes which drop back the octave or fifth or whatever, or is a there a mechanism that enables the upper keys of the manual to play pipes lower down in the same rank? I realise the latter would assume that each pipe within the mixture rank would be on a separate windchest, which seems impractical, so I therefore guess that it's the former. Can anyone shed any light on this before I go climbing inside our school instrument to answer my own frustration?
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

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    Rear Admiral Appassionata (Ret) Ghekorg7 (Ret)'s Avatar
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    Hallo Bach>Meer !

    Go here to see some sort of explanation on mixture stops (Rauchsquinta is like a mixture II, for example). Is the English version , but if you know french hit the French flag. The French version is more informative and accurate ! Also gives more paradigms of different mixture set-up by organ builders.

    http://decouverte.orgue.free.fr/e_jeux.htm

    Have fun
    Panos
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    It's just the pipes that change pitch, at least in every mechanical slider windchest I've seen.

    I'll try to clarify with an example image that I've constructed and attached. Remember it's just an example to show how the usual repetition could be seen.

  8. #8
    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster FinnViking's Avatar
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    There in the three front rows you see a 3-rank mixture, where the repeating points can clearly be seen (the points where the next pipe is suddenly bigger than the previous one).

  9. #9
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    Couldn't be clearer - molto thanks Finn!
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

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    Rear Admiral Appassionata (Ret) Ghekorg7 (Ret)'s Avatar
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    Great photo FinnViking !
    Thank you for sharing.
    This leads me to think, can we have a sticky thread here with photos like this of all ranks ?
    Will be a great reference index or so....

    What you think?

    Cheers
    Panos
    *It's like a fight with women, which always ends in .... bed.*
    F.Kafka, Aphorisms.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.Palo View Post
    Mixture III 15.19.22 means a mixture rank made up of three pipes each note (tone) and it has a composition of a fifteenth = 2', a nineteenth = 1 1/3' and a twentysecond = 1' counting the "white" keys counting from great C = 8'.

    To make it sound better (not screechy)? Have an organ builder change the intonation and adjust it properly...

    Hi all

    Can I clarify this that 15.19.22 means 15 notes up from middle C, 19 notes up from middle C and 22 notes up from middle C - is this correct?

    thanks
    Nicht Bach sondern Meer

  12. #12
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    That's correct, so it's a C-G-C chord two octaves higher.
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

  13. #13
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    Actually, both yes and no. Depending on what you mean.

    Yes, it's a C - G - C chord two octaves higher (than the pressed key). If you press middle c (c1) then you have c3 - g3 - c4 sounding pitches.

    But the counting is from great C (or maybe it's called CC in english nomenclature?) with 8' basis for manuals. That's how one can say that 15 notes up (white keys) from great C at 8' will be equal to c1 or a 2' pitched pipe.

    At least, this is how I've understood the system, but again I'm not so into the english system beyond the basics. As I've understood even the stops in english organs are named so that a 2 2/3 Quinta will be called a Twelfth, a 2' Octave will be called a Fifteenth etc. It's the same system anyway. I'm more used to give the pitches in foot for the compound stops instead as it's the norm here.

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