I would like to hear some input about a problem with a historic pipe
organ. Our local historical society has in their possession a very
nice 1850 Hook tracker action pipe organ. They have spent considerable
sums on its restoration.
The problem is the pedal clavier. The early pedals are not standard,
and are placed in a completely different position than modern organists
are accustomed. Since the original hand pumped bellows have been
updated by a modern blower, I suggested that the pedal clavier also be
updated to make the organ playable by trained organists.
Unfortunately none of the members of the society know a thing about
music or organ playing and insist that the organ remain completely
original. They will not hear of updating the pedal clavier.
Consequently, when guest organists are asked to perform, they are
completely puzzled by the odd position of the pedals. It is most
frustrating when he or she reaches for a pedal note and gets "floor"
instead of a note.
Since the historical society refuses to update the pedal clavier, my
suggestion is to make an additional and detachable temporary modern
pedal clavier using electric pull downs for recital purposes, that
could be attached by a cable and placed over the original pedal
clavier, and disconnected when not in use. The society will not hear
of it, and therefore no trained organist will play the organ, other
than politely playing a few notes on the manuals, and telling them
it is "nice".
I would like to hear other opinions on this subject, and will present
your comments to the board of the historical society.