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From: LeliaLoban
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000 20:17:41 EDT
Subject: [CB] Mother Church of CS, Boston

Chuck Guzis wrote,
>You mean there are no diaphones, physharmonicas, or electronic stops
>in the USA with a 64' voice?  Amazing!

No, that Atlantic City Convention Hall Midmer-Losch *does* have a full-length
64' stop, and there are several resultants and electronic 64' foot stops.
The resultants are acoustic basses, produced by pairing a 32' rank with a
quint rank.  But AFAIK the ACCH organ is the only one in the USA with a
full-length 64' speaking rank.


Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000 08:12:23 -0700
From: "Timothy J. Tikker"
Subject: Re: [CB] organ 64's

List Server wrote:
> > This organ, built 1951-52 by Aeolian-Skinner of Boston and designed by Lawrence Phelps, originally
> > had 235 ranks, including four at 32' pitch, none at 64'.
> Then are there no 64' pipes in North America?  Will I have to go to Europe to hear the real thing?

Actually, there are no real 64's in Europe!  There's one in North America:  the huge Midmer-Losh organ
at the Atlantic City Convention Hall, a Diaphone Profunda (full-length wood, 35" wind pressure).  There
are also some partial 64's:  one Bombarde to low A (apparently later completed with electronic
tones...?) at National Cathedral (Episcopal) in Washington DC;  Old South Church in Boston, a 64'
Gravissima which is stopped pipes down to low G, and independent resultant-quint pipes (i,e, 21-1/3'
pitch, also stopped woods) below that (a modified E. M. Skinner organ;  he may have done some other
64's like this...?);  the former organ at Grace Chuch, Utica, NY, by Gilbert Adams, now dismantled in
North Carolina (?), with a Bombarde down to G, (minus G#, I think).

Also, United Church of Christ in Claremont, CA has a Glatter-Goetz/Rosales organ with just B of the 64'
octave on its 32' Bombarde rank.  Diane Meredith Belcher's CD on the JAV label (check the JAV website,
or uses it a couple of times.  Oddly enough, when I made my CD there this past May (should
be released early next year) the 64' pipe didn't seem to be connected, though I couldn't find a use for
it in my program anyway!  But it was working when I tried the organ some months earlier, and it really
was a magnificent sound.  Rosales told me he wished he could have the B-flat of the 64' octave there as
well, and he has dreamt of making a complete 64' reed in a suitable church someday.

Even resultant (i.e. via difference tones of combined harmonics) 64' are rare in Europe.  A few British
organs have them, e.g. Hull City Hall (Compton) and Liverpool Anglican Cathedral (Willis III).  In
Germany, there's the 1975 Gerhard Schmid organ at the Mariahilfkirche in Munich (Akutiskbass 64' and
21-1/3' Grossquinte), amd there are possibly others.  At the St. Fridolins-Muenster in Bad Saeckingen,
the recent Klais organ has a novelty stop called "Vox balanae" (Whale voice!), which is a lone 21-1/3'
quinte pipe for just low C (stopped wood, retained from the old organ, I believe).

Also in Germany, just two weeks ago I gave a concert at the Dom in Schwerin, whose magnificent 84-stop
1871 Ladegast organ has a rare 12-4/5' Terz in the Pedal, giving a less thunderous yet still effective
64' resultant tone.  I used it a number of times, of course!  That organ has three Pedal 32's:  open
wood Violon, stopped wood Untersatz, and wooden free-reed Posaune.  There is also a 32' Bordun on the
main manual (!), though it starts only at 16' C, not playing for the low 12 notes.  It really enriches
the large ensemble registrations with a wonderful depth.

Back to the USA:  there's a huge church in Charlotte, North Carolina with Moeller's last really large
organ.  The donor wanted to have a tin 64' in the façade!  Moeller discussed it at length, finally
deciding that, since there was no precedent, they didn't know if it'd work, so they instead proposed
putting two tin 32' ranks (Principal and Violone) in the façade!  But organ does have a 21-1/3' quint
in separate pipes, as well as a 64' Fagotto with the bass octave synthesized from harmonic pitches
taken from flue ranks (so out-of-tune, unfortunately).

> >  Has anyone seen a mention of the organ in Sidney?
> Is that the one in Centennial Hall mentioned in Audsley?

Yes, that's it.  There are recordings of that organ, notably two by David Drury, also some by resident
organist Robert Ampt.  That's the 64' Contra Trombone, with full-length wood resonators, on 4.5" wind
as I recall.

> P.S.  You mean there are no diaphones, physharmonicas, or electronic stops
>  in the USA with a 64' voice?  Amazing!

Again:  Atlantic City has the lone 64' Diaphone.  Check the site for the Atlantic City Convention Hall
Organ group.  Free reeds:  I know of none anywhere.  Electronics:  as mentioned above, I know of at
least one, and I suspect there are others, but they're by no means common.

- Timothy Tikker

P.S.:  Though it will have no 64', contrabass buffs should be on the lookout for the new organ which
Glatter-Goetz & Rosales are now building for the Los Angeles Philharmonic's new locale, Disney Concert
Hall.  It will have four 32' ranks, all open (three full-length, one Haskell-length, i.e. with an
interior qualifying tube), two flues and two reeds.  The wooden 32' Violone and Basson will be in the
faÁade, an extremely unconventional pipe-display devised in collaboration with the hall's architect,
the controversial Gehry.  These ranks will also be available on the main manual!  I saw this organ
under construction while visiting Glatter-Goetz's shop in Owingen, Germany about a month ago, and saw
the huge 32' Haskell Flute -- wow!

See the GG website


Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000 10:05:08 -0800
From: Andrew Stiller
Subject: Re: [CB] organ 64's

All this talk of low organ stops reminds me of R. Murray Schafer's
theory of "holy noise."  In The Untuning of the Sky he suggests
that loud notes in the contrabass range trigger religious
emotions--that sounds like that are evolutionarily awe-inspiring
because they belong to powerful and dangerous natural phenomena
(thunder, heavy surf, volcanoes...) that our pre-technological
ancestors would need to treat with caution and respect.

With the first large organs (11th c.?) this "holy noise" was captured
by the church and kept as its pretty much exclusive preserve until
the advent of the Romantic orchestra, which thereby literally stole
some of the church's thunder.  In the past 50 years, the electric
bass guitar has completely democratized "holy noise" by taking it out
of the control of institutions and putting it in the hands of

Neat concept, I think.

Andrew Stiller
Kallisti Music Press

Ut Sol inter planetas, Ita MUSICA inter Artes liberales in medio radiat.
--Heinrich Schuetz, 1640

Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000 16:10:56 -0400
From: Chris Rubenacker
Subject: [CB] (no subject)

Yes, there are only two organs in the world with true 64' stops, the
Atlantic City organ and the one in Sydney, Australia. There are 64'
resultants but these two are the only "real" 64' ranks (to my
knowledge). I have a friend who has a recording of the Atlantic City
organ, and on it there's a demonstration of the 64' diaphone. It's
amazing! It's more of a rumbling than a pitch because it is just about
out of human hearing range. The lowest C is about 8 Hz. This pipe is
actually 64' long. This stop (diaphone) is reed-like in design. There is
a hole in the side of the pipe where a wood "stopper" fits over. There
is a immense spring attached to this stopper. So as air moves past, it
pushes on the stopper which moves it back and forth, covering and
uncovering the whole with regularity. This is what causes the frequency.
The spring is adjusted so the vibrations produce an actual pitch. The
actual pipe acts as a resonator. I don't know that much on the organ in
Sydney. As for the synchronized swimmers, I have no idea.

Chris Rubenacker


From: Heliconman
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000 17:38:16 EDT
Subject: Re: [CB] (no subject)

In a message dated 9/29/00 4:10:53 PM Eastern Daylight Time, cjrubes writes:

<< Yes, there are only two organs in the world with true 64' stops, the
 Atlantic City organ and the one in Sydney, Australia. There are 64'
 resultants but these two are the only "real" 64' ranks (to my
 knowledge). I have a friend who has a recording of the Atlantic City
 organ, and on it there's a demonstration of the 64' diaphone. It's
 amazing! It's more of a rumbling than a pitch because it is just about
 out of human hearing range. The lowest C is about 8 Hz. >>

If I remember the technical explanation of "Sensurround" <tm>, the effect
used in the movie "Earthquake", the frequency used for that was about a fifth
above at 12 Hz, amplified fairly substancially through ElectroVoice 30 inch
woofers using a bank of Crown amps. Yikes!
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