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Italian Organs registration advice needed...

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pat17

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Italian Organs registration advice needed...

PostTue Mar 31, 2020 12:13 pm

Hi all,

I've recently downloaded the Serina organ as a first personal step to Italian organs. Not surprisingly, I'm a bit lost when it comes to registration, since the organs in the peninsula are built in a somewhat different way from the 'northern' instruments... I understand the concept of split stops - the same did exist in Spain and did also exist in France till the 17th century if not mistaken - yet rather than that, I don't know how to proceed.

Here below a screenshot of the registration panel -

Image

On 'Manuale I' I understand the concept of 'Bassi' and 'Soprani' which is equivalent of 'Basse' and 'Dessus' in the French classic organs. I do not understand what 'XXVI-XXIX' correponds to beside the fact there are Roman numerals standing for '26-29'. Other stops on the Great Organ have similar Roman numeral stop names.
On 'Manuale II' I don't understand why all the stops have this 'C.L.' mention that can be clicked - drawn - independently or together with the stop itself. I do not feel any difference when clicked or not.
On the 'Pedale', same point for the 'C.L.'.

Beside these generic questions, I have a more specific one. I have a music sheet with the below organ registration suggestion -

Image

Does anyone know which stops to useon the Serina organ to be as close as possible to this recommendation?

Thanks in advance for any tip / suggestion and sorry I am so illiterate when it comes to Italian organs...
Last edited by pat17 on Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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josq

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Re: Italian Organs registration advice needed...

PostTue Mar 31, 2020 1:15 pm

Not an expert on Italian organ music and neither do I have this sample set, but maybe I can give a few hints.

C.L. is Combinazione Libera (Free Combination). The stops for which you have selected C.L. will be activated when you activate the "Comb. Libera G.O." button. I guess any other stops will be deactivated.

"XXVI-XXIX" is a two rank mixture I guess, at 2/3 and 1/2 pitch. Why 26 and 29 in Roman numerals? If you use a 8' stop, start counting at the lowest C of the keyboard, go 26/29 white keys up, and press those keys (g2 and c3), then you will hear approximately the same pitches.
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larason2

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Re: Italian Organs registration advice needed...

PostTue Mar 31, 2020 2:48 pm

I'm also not an expert, but I will try to help with what I can. As for the XXVI-XXIX, I don't think it coincides with the semitones above the base note. Rather, they are numbers of the harmonics above the base note. For example, Quintadecima (Fifteenth) is number 15, but is 24 semitones higher. Going up 15 semitones would give you an E flat. Here are some other translations:

2 2/3' (Quint) (Twelfth) (Duodecima) XII
2' (Superoctave)(Fifteenth) (Quintadecima) XV
1 3/5' (Tierce) (Seventeenth) (Decima Settima) XVII
1 1/3' (Larigot) (Nineteenth) (Decima Nona) XIX
1 1/7' (Septieme) (Twenty-first) (Vigesima Prima) XXI
1' (Octave) (Twenty Second) (Vigesima Seconda) XXII
8/9' (None) (Twenty Third) (Vigesima Terza) XXIII
4/5' (Tierce) (Twenty Fourth) (Vigesima Quarta) XXIV
8/11' (Quart) (Twenty Fifth) (Vigesima Quinta) XXV
2/3' (Quint) (Twenty Sixth) (Vigesima Sesta) XXVI
8/13' (Tredezime) (Twenty Seventh) (Vigesima Settima) XXVII
4/7' (Flat Twenty Eighth) (Vigesima Ottava Bemolle) XXVIII
8/15' (Twenty Eighth) (Vigesima Ottava) XXVIII
1/2' (Octave) (Twenty Ninth) (Vigesima Nona) XXIX

These numbers seem very high, but remember that Italian organ builders generally never built organs with pipes shorter than about a foot. So, while the base notes would have the exact makeup you see above, once the pipes became about a foot long, the builder would have the next note start an octave below. This is what forms the "Ripieno" of Italian organs.

In terms of the CL, I think the way it works is that you can select the CL beside the stop, but it will only sound if you activate the "Comb Libera GO." I don't think it would deactivate the other stops - but to know for sure, you would have to try for yourself. The idea is that if you want to change the texture by adding stops, you activate the "Comb. Libera GO"

As for the registration, I would register the following:
Organo Eco: L: Principale 8, Flauto in VIII Sopr. 4'.
-The CL seems to mean you can add a dulciana or any other soft flute, but it doesn't look like this organ has any other ones. I would consider adding the Flauto in XXII 2 2/3 for a CL.

Grande Organo: Principale I Bassi 8', Principale I Sopr. 8
-If you want a bigger sound, you could also activate the Principale II stops with them.
-For CL, you could add the Flute Sopr 8, Flauto in VIII 4' (click CL beside them, then activate Comb. Libera GO when you want a bit of a different texture to the piece)
-There don't appear to be any 8' stopped flutes (Bordone) on this organ, but I think the registration text means you can use a bordone instead of a principale, or add it to the Principale's)

Pedale: Contrabassi e Rinforzi 16'-8', Violone 8'

Note that the organ you are playing on is more of a Romantic Italian organ (it has a lot of reeds and imitative stops), whereas the piece you are trying to register appears to be meant more for a Baroque Italian organ (which would have had less reeds and more foundation stops like the bordone, flauto/flauta, dulciana). You should still be able to register it, but you won't have as many options. Also, sometimes in Baroque organs with split keyboards they consider principals as flutes as well. This would give you more options to add 8' and 4' stops to suit the piece you are playing. As always in registration, there is some leeway, so try different combinations out and see what works.

Hopefully this helps! If anyone else is more knowledgeable, would appreciate any further clarification.
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josq

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Re: Italian Organs registration advice needed...

PostTue Mar 31, 2020 4:14 pm

larason2 wrote:I'm also not an expert, but I will try to help with what I can. As for the XXVI-XXIX, I don't think it coincides with the semitones above the base note. Rather, they are numbers of the harmonics above the base note.


Thank you for your useful comments. Considering the details of the numbering:

Indeed those numbers do not refer to the semitones. But neither do they refer to the harmonics (Quint is third harmonic, not twelfth, etc). They do seem to refer to the common diatonic scale (hence I referred to the white keys). So Octave/Ottava corresponds to the 8th white key when you start counting from the base note, Quint/Twelfth/Duodecima to the 12th white key, etc.
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larason2

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Re: Italian Organs registration advice needed...

PostTue Mar 31, 2020 7:31 pm

I see your point, it looks like I was mistaken! I guess you learn something new every day.
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NickNelson

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Re: Italian Organs registration advice needed...

PostWed Apr 01, 2020 1:44 am

I'm not sure what period you're interested in, but Barbara Owen, in 'The registration of Baroque Organ Music' has sections on Italian organs at various periods. To continue the harmonic sequence, she also offers (based on the Principale at 8 feet):

Trigesimaterza (33rd) 1/3 '
Trigesimasesta (36th) 1/4 '

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pat17

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Re: Italian Organs registration advice needed...

PostWed Apr 01, 2020 10:46 am

Thanks to all for your detailed explanation! 8)

josq wrote:"XXVI-XXIX" is a two rank mixture I guess, at 2/3 and 1/2 pitch. Why 26 and 29 in Roman numerals? If you use a 8' stop, start counting at the lowest C of the keyboard, go 26/29 white keys up, and press those keys (g2 and c3), then you will hear approximately the same pitches.


Hi josq, I understand you might be right based on the below excerpt from Audsley's Organ-Stops and Their Artistic Registration -

Image

larason2 wrote:In terms of the CL, I think the way it works is that you can select the CL beside the stop, but it will only sound if you activate the "Comb Libera GO." I don't think it would deactivate the other stops - but to know for sure, you would have to try for yourself. The idea is that if you want to change the texture by adding stops, you activate the "Comb. Libera GO"


Hi larason2, you are right there. Activating the C.L. is adding to the other stops, whenever you remove it the other stops remain only. I've tried it on the organ.

larason2 wrote:As for the registration, I would register the following:
Organo Eco: L: Principale 8, Flauto in VIII Sopr. 4'.
-The CL seems to mean you can add a dulciana or any other soft flute, but it doesn't look like this organ has any other ones. I would consider adding the Flauto in XXII 2 2/3 for a CL.

Grande Organo: Principale I Bassi 8', Principale I Sopr. 8
-If you want a bigger sound, you could also activate the Principale II stops with them.
-For CL, you could add the Flute Sopr 8, Flauto in VIII 4' (click CL beside them, then activate Comb. Libera GO when you want a bit of a different texture to the piece)
-There don't appear to be any 8' stopped flutes (Bordone) on this organ, but I think the registration text means you can use a bordone instead of a principale, or add it to the Principale's)

Pedale: Contrabassi e Rinforzi 16'-8', Violone 8'


I will try it, thanks!

NickNelson wrote:I'm not sure what period you're interested in, but Barbara Owen, in 'The registration of Baroque Organ Music' has sections on Italian organs at various periods.


Hi Nick, thanks for the tip (I feel all the more stupid as I own it... :oops: ).

Given her classification, the organ is indeed a 'late baroque to classical' instrument, whereas the music is supposed to belong to the 'High Baroque' era. 'Supposed to' since the adagio in G Minor for which I quoted the registration, originally attributed to Tommasi Albinoni some time within the first half of the 18th Century has actually been composed by Remo Giazotto during the second half of the 20th Century.

Despite the fact she's quite knowledgeable and interesting in her text, unfortunately I don't see much that may help for the points I am concerned with. :oops:
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Anto800

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Re: Italian Organs registration advice needed...

PostMon Apr 13, 2020 1:30 am

pat17 wrote:Hi all,

I've recently downloaded the Serina organ as a first personal step to Italian organs. Not surprisingly, I'm a bit lost when it comes to registration, since the organs in the peninsula are built in a somewhat different way from the 'northern' instruments... I understand the concept of split stops - the same did exist in Spain and did also exist in France till the 17th century if not mistaken - yet rather than that, I don't know how to proceed.

Here below a screenshot of the registration panel -

Image

On 'Manuale I' I understand the concept of 'Bassi' and 'Soprani' which is equivalent of 'Basse' and 'Dessus' in the French classic organs. I do not understand what 'XXVI-XXIX' correponds to beside the fact there are Roman numerals standing for '26-29'. Other stops on the Great Organ have similar Roman numeral stop names.
On 'Manuale II' I don't understand why all the stops have this 'C.L.' mention that can be clicked - drawn - independently or together with the stop itself. I do not feel any difference when clicked or not.
On the 'Pedale', same point for the 'C.L.'.

Beside these generic questions, I have a more specific one. I have a music sheet with the below organ registration suggestion -

Image

Does anyone know which stops to useon the Serina organ to be as close as possible to this recommendation?

Thanks in advance for any tip / suggestion and sorry I am so illiterate when it comes to Italian organs...


The Italian organs, unlike the French or Germans who have stops like "plen jeux, mixture, cimbal", have a sound pyramid called "Ripieno". This "ripieno" is made up of several files that can be activated individually. For example "Duodecima" (you can also find it under the Roman numeral XII) means twelfth, or the twelfth interval from the 8-foot tonic. the Italian "Ripieno" has only eighth and fifth intervals. Generally the last rows of "Ripieno", the more acute ones, are joined by two for each stop. This division allows you to take advantage of all the sound colors: "Principal" 8 basses and sopranos with decimanona will have a fun character, "Principal and octave with quintadecima, decimanona, vigesimaseconda, is a brilliant" ripieno "for eighteenth-century music, and so on. The human voice is a lip stop, it can only be put with "Principal 8". C.L. is a diminutive of free combination. By enabling this function in the various stops, you can recall them whenever you want with the pedal that you find at the bottom right of the console (the innermost one), while the pedal the outermost one is called "Tiraripieno", which is a fixed combination to recall all the ripieno

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