Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Strings

  1. #1
    Commodore con Forza
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    544
    Post Thanks / Like

    Strings

    I'm not referring to string ranks here, but rather to the kind used to tie things. Sometimes, in looking at pictures showing inside pipe chambers, one sees ranks witrh strings or narrow ribbons tied around them. Given that most people don't see these, they can't be for decoration, so what is the reason?

    Having lived in Los Angeles County for 39 years (but no longer), I'm well aware that things get shaken up once in a while. I think it was the October 1989 one that pretty well ruined the organ in Royce Hall at UCLA. But I don't recall that First Congregational had much of a problem. And there are lots of organs not located in L.A. County.

    So why do they tie strings around pipes?

  2. #2
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    7,952
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    3
    There is a horizontal board located above the chest, and inline with a rank of pipes, used primarily to help support the larger/longer pipes with ties or hooks depending on the builders preferences. The horizontal board (where the string ties are) has felt on them to prevent possible rattles.

    These also help reed pipes stay in tune by reducing movement from vibration, and of course prevents accidental overturning of pipes while being tuned.

  3. #3
    Commodore con Forza
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    544
    Post Thanks / Like
    Well and good -- but you often see 32s in facades that don't seem to have any visible means of support. But notice I said visible -- there has to be something holding those monsters in place. Probably what appear to be decorative parts of the case. And there are some around that have been standing there for centuries, as witness St. Bavo in Haarlem, Netherlands. That justly famous case must be a real eye opener.

    I've many times seen the copper-colored 32s in the gallery organ at
    First Congregational, L. A. They ae back against a wall, which I'm sure helps. The Crystal Cathedral, or whatever its name is now, also has a set of 32s between the two tower cases. Something has to be there holding them up. And it ain't string.
    Last edited by dll927; Oct-08-2014 at 18:00.

  4. #4
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    7,952
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    3
    I've heard First Congo many times (1969-1980) when I lived in So California. Lloyd Holzgraf (d.2001) was the organist at the time and the rear gallery had just been completed. Heard Biggs in concert as well as many other artists. Found the best place to sit was on the center aisle, about 11 rows from the front .

    Those larger pipes are held in place by permanent pins mounted to the back (unseen) of the pipes which slides into a backboard either freestanding or mounted to a wall.

    The 16' Bourdon and 8' Principal pedal extension pipes in my church are secured from the rear with these kinds of pins, but from the front they appear to be standing freely without supports.

  5. #5
    Captain of Water Music pcnd5584's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    252
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Krummhorn View Post
    There is a horizontal board located above the chest, and inline with a rank of pipes, used primarily to help support the larger/longer pipes with ties or hooks depending on the builders preferences. The horizontal board (where the string ties are) has felt on them to prevent possible rattles.

    These also help reed pipes stay in tune by reducing movement from vibration, and of course prevents accidental overturning of pipes while being tuned.
    The horizontal board which stands above the upper-board (on which the pipe feet stand) is called the rack-board. It is supported with wooden pillars and secured with large wooden nuts. It stands just below the mouths of the pipes and is used to support all pipes, except (for example) basses on off-note chests. The holes are usually only felted if, again for example, at some point one rank was replaced with another of a slightly smaller scale. Very few of the holes in any of the rack-boards of English organs are lined with felt. Thus it is to cushion thinner pipes, as opposed to preventing rattling. The cotton ties themselves would have no effect on the tuning of ranks. In fact, there is usually little vibration, except from large basses - notably Pedal Open Wood stops (16ft. or 32ft.) and major reed stops. In such cases, it is usually portions of the organ case - or leaded windows in the vicinity of the instrument - which produce unwanted vibrations.

    The cotton ties are in fact to secure the larger pipes (often reeds or the basses of string ranks - e.g., Violes) to the stays - not the rack-boards. The stays are wooden frames (usually of square-section wood), which support reeds. They are constructed of a vertical piece at the edges of the sound-board, a much shorter piece, towards the centre of the soundboard and a cross-piece, which follows the descending tops of the pipes. As a general rule, ranks are disposed on soundboards in C and C# sides; that is to say that the compass of a clavier department is split with pipes sounding the notes C-D-E-F#-G#-A# on one side and C#-D#- E-F-G-A-B on the other, largely to balance the weight of bass pipes on the building frame. There is also what is termed the 'village organ method', in which only the lowest octave is so split, the rest of the compass being arranged chromatically. In addition, certain ranks (for example some powerful solo reed stops) have the pipes disposed chromatically, with the basses to the rear (if the chest is perpendicular to the case-front).

    The reason that you cannot see cotton ties on the large case-front pipes of an organ, is that these would be inadequate to support the weight of large pipes - and in any case, it would look unsightly. In some cases, if the case pipe tops are covered with carving, the pipes are held between this and largely invisible support-work, placed behind the case. More normally, as Krummhorn observes, show pipes (case-front pipes) are held in place with a U-shaped piece of metal, firmly soldered on to the back of the pipe, not far from the top. This, in turn, is threaded onto a thick vertical wire, which is fixed to the stay-frame, behind the pipes, as they are put in place in the instrument.
    Last edited by pcnd5584; Oct-11-2014 at 10:11.
    Pierre Cochereau rocked, man.

  6. Likes Krummhorn, Nikam liked this post
  7. #6
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    7,952
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    3
    Thank you, Sean, for a far superior explanation.

  8. #7
    Captain of Water Music pcnd5584's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    252
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Krummhorn View Post
    Thank you, Sean, for a far superior explanation.
    That is kind of you, Lars.

    If I can get in to the Minster tomorrow night to practise, I shall try to take a few pictures, if possible. I do not know how to post them here, but I can put them on my own site, and then provide a link.
    Pierre Cochereau rocked, man.

  9. #8
    Captain of Water Music pcnd5584's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    252
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by pcnd5584 View Post
    That is kind of you, Lars.

    If I can get in to the Minster tomorrow night to practise, I shall try to take a few pictures, if possible. I do not know how to post them here, but I can put them on my own site, and then provide a link.
    Here is a link to one of my photographs, for a start:

    http://pub21.bravenet.com/photocente...6572/1/104992/

    Pierre Cochereau rocked, man.

  10. #9
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    7,952
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    3
    Great picture ... thanks for sharing with the community here.

Similar Threads

  1. Adagio for organ and strings
    By musicalis in forum Pipe Organ Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Dec-12-2012, 06:36
  2. Video of guitar strings
    By Dorsetmike in forum Musical Instruments Forum
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Jul-17-2011, 15:01
  3. Trying to find a fine tuner for strings
    By Povster in forum Musical Instruments Forum
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: Aug-26-2010, 08:55
  4. Samuel Barber - Adagio for Strings
    By Mat in forum Classical Music Forum
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: Feb-04-2008, 15:43

Posting Permissions

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