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Division Names

Existing and forthcoming Hauptwerk instruments, recommendations, ...

Division Names

Postby Lougheed » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:41 am

What are English equivalents for these divisions? (Great, Swell etc):

Hauptwerk, Schwellwerk, Rückpositiv, Oberwerk, Brustwerk

Hoofdwerk, Rugwerk, Bovenwerk, Borstwerk, Zwelwerk

Thanks,

Lawrence
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Re: Division Names

Postby josq » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:27 am

Hauptwerk/Hoofdwerk: Great
Schwellwerk/Zwelwerk: Swell
Rückpositiv/Rugwerk: Positive/Choir
Brustwerk/Borstwerk: (Choir)
Oberwerk/Bovenwerk: (Echo)

However, the division names cannot always be exactly translated.

Imagine a large Baroque organ. The organist is sitting at the console, which is part of the main case, with his back to the church room. He is hidden from view by the Rückpositiv, which is situated behind him. In front of him, at eye height (breast height), there is the Brustwerk, usually only when there is no Rückpositiv. The upper part of the main case is the Oberwerk, the central and largest part of the main case is the Hauptwerk. The pedal is usually situated in two towers to the left and the right.
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Re: Division Names

Postby adri » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:50 pm

Hauptwerk/Hoofdwerk = Great
Oberwerk/Bovenwerk = Swell, but not necessarily in same location; common in old English organs, but Swell was often with one hook-down lever, operated by the foot, not infinitely variable, just forte and piano.

Zwelwerk/Schwellwerk = Swell, but location can vary; can be in bottom of organ in some cases, or behind the Great in others. Or above Great. or next to Great.

Rugwerk/Ruckpositiv: = Chair, but not very common in old English organs; many new organs use foreign nomenclature.
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Re: Division Names

Postby organsRgreat » Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:08 pm

When did the swell pedal come into use in various countries? How did this affect the tonal architecture of organs in those countries? I have a feeling that a detailed answer might be rather long, but I'd be glad of a summary, as my experience is limited to instruments playable in England. That includes theatre organs from Wurlitzer in America, as their organs used to be very popular over here.

The two extremes seem to be baroque organs – totally unenclosed; and theatre organs – usually totally enclosed, in two chambers.
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Re: Division Names

Postby IainStinson » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:35 pm

"The organ built in 1712 at St Magnus the Martyr London Bridge by Abraham Jordan, father and son, introduced for the first time the delights of the Swell Organ to English ears...
... the earliest surviving examples consisted of a wooden box over the pipes with a sliding sash front operated by a pedal which returns under gravity to the closed position when released - the "nag's head" Swell..."
{Stephen Bicknell "The History of the English Organ")

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Re: Division Names

Postby Erzahler » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:19 pm

The evolution of the Organ and the characteristics that apply to various countries and their effect on the music written is what makes the Organ such a facinationg instrument.
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Re: Division Names

Postby adri » Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:45 am

IainStinson wrote:"The organ built in 1712 at St Magnus the Martyr London Bridge by Abraham Jordan, father and son, introduced for the first time the delights of the Swell Organ to English ears...
... the earliest surviving examples consisted of a wooden box over the pipes with a sliding sash front operated by a pedal which returns under gravity to the closed position when released - the "nag's head" Swell..."
{Stephen Bicknell "The History of the English Organ")

Iain


In Noordwolde, province Groningen, the Netherlands, H.H. Freytag built a box around/over the Vox Humana in 1812, to muffle its effect. It didn't have a mechanism to lift it, but's it's interesting nevertheless. There is another early 19th century organ, I believe, in the Netherlands by another builder with a similar feature. But 1712 is quite early.

The first Swell was introduced in the Netherlands in 1821 by Johann Caspar Friederichs in 1821, when he enlarged the Bätz organ in the Lutheran church in Haarlem with a 2nd manual with a swell.
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Re: Division Names

Postby Lougheed » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:15 pm

Thank you. That's helpful.

I did first try using the Gewgule, but it wasn't helpful. :-)
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Re: Division Names

Postby BachsFugue » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:30 pm

Lawrence,

Here is an online reference you might find of some assistance. http://www.dolmetsch.com/musictheorydefs.htm

I don't find it easy to use, but it is there to get you started.

I'm enjoying your Canadian air and scenery here toward the end of August. Thank you for such a beautiful country.
Cole Votaw -- Springfield, Ohio, USA
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