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MMD > Archives > September 2000 > 2000.09.26 > 12Prev  Next

Choosing an Organ Scale
By Matthew Caulfield

In choosing the tracker scale for a band organ you are designing,
I think there are two main things to consider: (1) the musical
capability of the scale, and (2) the availability of music for that
scale.  If you disregard the first consideration, you are apt not to be
satisfied with the sound of your organ.  If you disregard the second,
you will be hard-put to find good music to play on it.

As time goes on the second consideration becomes a little easier to
work around, as MIDI-fication (Robin Pratt, close your ears!) of organs
becomes more common and as arrangers become more skilled at computer-
assisted arranging.

A computer can assist in arranging in a couple of ways.  It can, as
Tom Meijer uses it, allow him to produce by computer printout the
pattern for any new book or roll that he arranges.  Tom, the musician,
still does the actual arranging; the computer now does the dog work of
printing all the perforation marks on the pattern.

If his customer's organ has MIDI capability, Tom can skip the
marking/punching operation entirely, supplying the customer with the
arrangement on disk, ready to play the organ.  Additionally, computer
involvement in the arranging process greatly simplifies the task of
making tempo adjustments in a tune while it is still in draft form.

I am not the expert in this area, and it would be very interesting to
hear Tom, himself, talk to us about the impact the computer has had on
an arranger's work.  Tom?

Another factor that has made the choice of tracker scale a little
less of a straight jacket on the music available for that scale is the
computer-assisted capability, such as Keller & Kern advertise, to
convert a tune arranged for one scale to the customer's particular
scale and to provide the converted arrangement either in book or roll
form or on MIDI disk.

Matthew Caulfield

(Message sent Tue 26 Sep 2000, 14:11:44 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  an, Choosing, Organ, Scale

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