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Questions about pedalboards and setup

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FrankFrontera

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Questions about pedalboards and setup

PostWed May 13, 2020 2:30 pm

Hey everyone,

I have recently purchased Hauptwerk and am very happy with it. I have been looking into midi pedalboards for some time to begin practicing, and was looking for some guidance about the types and sizes of pedalboards needed for various styles. Bear with me a little bit as my questions are very much from a newbie standpoint. If any terminology needs correcting, please do so.

My main questions are:
-> Is a 32 key pedalboard needed to play all the pedalboard repertoire? What is a 32 key pedalboard mainly used for?
-> Could a 25 key suffice for most purposes? Or 17?
-> What are some good resources to look into to understand this more?

My main interest is learning baroque repertoire, and am aware that it is a considerable investment to get the right pedalboard and desk setup. I want make a budget-conscious approach to this to understand exactly what I need to invest to get things started accordingly.

Any input is appreciated.
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Purator

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Re: Questions about pedalboards and setup

PostWed May 13, 2020 4:17 pm

Hello,

when the first legendary Hammond Organs were produced in 1935, they featured a pedalboard with 25 keys. Two years later Hammond offered a concert model with a 32-key pedalboard because 25 keys were not sufficient enough.

To play Bach, 25 pedals are not enough, you need at least d' for that. So, obviously, 17 are also not enough.

I have a pedalboard with 30 keys and have not missed f#' and g', however I am sure there is literature that requests it. To be as flexible as possible, I highly recommend having a pedalboard with at least 30 keys.

For a deeper understanding what you need I recommend you take a look at the disposition of organs from the baroque, so the organs you would play baroque repertoire on. Most organs from that time have pedals to c' or d', often without C# or D#.

Kind Regards,
Rico
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profeluisegarcia

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Re: Questions about pedalboards and setup

PostWed May 13, 2020 5:23 pm

Hello¡
To play -let´s say- the 99.8% percent of organ literature -chorals included with cantus firmus in the pedal- it is enough to have a 30 notes pedalboard. If you just feel confortable following AGO instructions, get one with 32 notes; and if you expect to play like Cameron Carpenter you should extended it to 34 notes or more¡

Luis
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RichardW

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Re: Questions about pedalboards and setup

PostWed May 13, 2020 5:27 pm

Another thought:

Although I have no pieces of music that require the top two keys of a 32-note pedal board, I do use those keys quite a lot. I have them connected to the Hauptwerk buttons that control the stepper. So I can just hit top F# and change the registration.

Plan B would be to save up for some toe studs or pistons, of course. It depends on your budget. Mine is small. :(
Richard
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FrankFrontera

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Re: Questions about pedalboards and setup

PostWed May 13, 2020 6:32 pm

Ok so definitely 30/32 keys for sure. I will have to get acquainted with baroque organ dispositions, and learn some more about the setup before making some moves. Some stuff to think about. Thanks everyone!
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magnaton

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Re: Questions about pedalboards and setup

PostWed May 13, 2020 6:40 pm

FrankFrontera wrote:
My main questions are:
-> Is a 32 key pedalboard needed to play all the pedalboard repertoire? What is a 32 key pedalboard mainly used for?

How about a nice Bach transcription as shown here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4XeClV_NCQ

This has become somewhat popular having seen & heard this in person by two different organist.
(Thank you Cameron Carpenter).

Danny B.
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larason2

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Re: Questions about pedalboards and setup

PostWed May 13, 2020 11:56 pm

I agree with most of what has been said. I had a 20 note pedalboard for some time, and while I could play most pieces, I found I would have to move many of the higher notes lower and vice versa. I currently have a 25 key pedalboard, which is much better, but I still miss the upper 5 keys from time to time. Definitely better to go with more keys than less to play the repertoire as written.
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johnstump_organist

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Re: Questions about pedalboards and setup

PostFri May 15, 2020 11:50 am

For baroque 27 souls be enough. 30will more than for almost everything. I know of one piece in my repertoire that calls for the high g (Durufle third variation on Veni Creator and he provides a work around right in the score for 30 notes.). The main consideration I would think, if you're just starting out on the organ, would be, if you ever plan to play any where else besides home, having some sort of standard layout to other organs where you live. A.G.O for USA,Britain, Bdo for Europe or flat and straight if you plan to play on historic organs. Also, watch the relationship of the pedal keys to the manual keys so you have a more or less standard relationship. Otherwise, moving from organ can desconcerting. You search online for standard console measurements to start getting an idea.
John

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