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Organ Console layout

Great swell

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#1 [email protected]

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Posted 24 August 2021 - 13:54

I recently visited a church with a digital organ and asked to give a (polite) opinion.  After a few minutes, I was convinced that something was seriously wrong, but all became clear once i worked out that the lower of two manuals was the swell, and the upper was the great organ.  I am no expert and know that some European organs have different dispositions of the manuals but they are usually configured to the the conventional UK layout when installed here. This one is from the Italian firm, Ahlborn, dated 1988, using the Bradford computing synthesised sound. 
Does anyone know whether this is usual, or whether perhaps there has been an electrical switchover somehow?   It is certainly confusing to play! The organ does need some attention, failed contacts etc, but otherwise is not bad for a church that can't afford a new model. 
Damian


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#2 LoneM

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Posted 24 August 2021 - 14:26

Our church has a much later Ahlborn, from about 2004 - it’s possible to set it up as you describe. Presumably some people have a reason to do this. Can you/they find an instruction manual?
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#3 fsharpminor

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Posted 24 August 2021 - 14:49

I have never seen an organ with the Swell below the Great ! How weird. Id be totally confused.  My profile pic is me at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, the largest organ in the country. Imagine what would happen if the 5 manuals were all switched round.


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#4 LoneM

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Posted 25 August 2021 - 08:41

??? I’ve never seen a 2-manual organ where the Swell WASN’T above the Great!
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#5 elemimele

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Posted 25 August 2021 - 16:08

Typo from fsharpminor I think!

If you can set it up either way, it might be that someone liked the swell for accompaniment and had short arms, and no one else has read the instructions since.


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#6 fsharpminor

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Posted 25 August 2021 - 20:29

??? I’ve never seen a 2-manual organ where the Swell WASN’T above the Great!

Oops , have corrected !!!   Silly me.    :(


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#7 LoneM

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Posted 25 August 2021 - 21:22

If you can set it up either way, it might be that someone liked the swell for accompaniment and had short arms, and no one else has read the instructions since.

 

Or maybe it was only played by a pianist, who wanted constant volume control without having to reach for the upper manual.


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#8 jch48

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Posted 26 August 2021 - 14:03

i occasional play for funerals on a 'Nigel Church' organ. I can't remember the order of the manuals. The 'great'  is definitely enclosed and the other manual is behind you so a 'ruck positif'. Maybe the stops are arranged with the 8' at the top of the jamb. When you're just playing hymns on coupled manuals it's quick to adapt to.

i like all the stops. It has a very satisfying plenum and a pedal 16' reed. 10 stops in all so everything pulls its weight. 8,4,mix,8; 8,4,2; 16,8,16


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