[Harp-L] pipes and organs
With all the discussion of adding pipes to harmonicas and so forth I
think one thing is being overlooked: the difference between Eastern
and Western free-reeds. Taking a look at something like Pat Missin's
harmonica history website (http://www.patmissin.com/history/
history.html) and you'll notice that most of the Asian free-reeds
have pipes, while most of the European ones don't. The main reason
for this is that the construction of the reed is different. Western
free-reeds are made separate from the reed-plate and have a distinct
offset. Most Eastern reeds were/are cut-out from the reed-plate and
have little to no offset. Thus, they often need a resonant tube in
order to speak at all. In this instance, with the zero-offset,
idioglottal (IIRC) Asian free-reed you can adjust the pitch by
shortening or lengthening the resonator, to a small degree, usually
not as much as with a beating reed.
Attaching a Western style free-reed to a specific resonant chamber
can get massive results tonally (this was the case for the Vocalion,
a very high-end reed organ where each reed had it's own resonant
chamber, these can sound remarkably un-reed like). However, you need
to match pitch and size quite well, and I would bet the results would
not be as significant for a harmonica type instrument (where the
player can already do this using their hands, as Doug Tate showed so
often and well) compared to a reed-organ, where many types of
qualifying chambers, pipes and the likes were experimented with over
the years (culminating in the Vocalion).
As for organs, well, an all free-reed instrument is usually thought
of as a reed-organ or harmonium (depending on the type of instrument)
rather than a proper organ. While some organs do have a few free-
reed stops (usually with full-sized resonators as would be used on
beating reed stops), these are exceptions to the general rule.
"I think that some organ pipes have a sleeve that clamps on at the
tip that can be moved up and down to change the effective length.
First you will tune the reed to the correct pitch and then tune the
pipe for maximum response."
Flue pipes in organs are tuned in several ways, one of which is to
put a tuning sleeve around the end of the pipe to change length
(these are called by many names: tuning sleeves, tuning collars,
slide tuners, tuning slides, etc...). Other ways are to either cone
in or flare out the end of the pipe itself as needed or having a slot
cut in the pipe which can be opened or closed. All these set the
functional length of the pipe and thus alter the pitch.
Reed pipes are usually first tuned by setting pitch at the reed
itself. Most tend to then have a slot cut into their resonator
(though some cylindrical resonators use collars) which is used
primarily to regulate the timbre and volume of the pipe, though this
does effect tuning as well (though not as easily or as much as by
tuning the reed itself).
I am a pipe-organ expert, but reserve the right to be wrong or not
say what I want accurately and clearly.
()() JR "Bulldogge" Ross
() () & Snuffy, too:)
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