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From the Spring Newsletter
30th January 2021 at 2.15 pm – Talk by Philip Norman -
15 members joined in with 11 guests invited by Philip from Associations in the Kent and London area for another fascinating talk. The technology worked very smoothly and Philip was able to show all his slides with the aid of the screen sharing facility which Zoom provides.
Beginning before the Norman Conquest, Philip gave us a potted history of the English organ spending some time on the intricacies of the fa ut pitch to which early Tudor organs (both fixed or ‘positive’ organs and those which were designed for portable use) were constructed. Michael Whitehall has kindly provided an explanatory note on this (see below). Philip went on to talk about what we now call the early English organ builders, the Dallam family and their contemporaries and the re-
Moving into the 20th century, Philip then touched on the introduction of extension organs and their advantages and disadvantages particularly where only, say, two ranks of extended pipes are expected to accommodate all pitches between 16 ft and 2 ft and often with a Twelfth as well. Philip concluded his talk by referring to the “back to Bach” Organ Reform Movement and the “classicising” of organs in the latter part of the 20th century.
Philip then opened up for questions and a general discussion followed with some participants expressing their experiences with small extension organs and the threat to the unwary presented by general crescendo pedals.