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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Mailbag: “Sounding Off!”

July 25, 2009

Dear Michael,

A few months ago my wife and I went to a Dallas Symphony Orchestra concert featuring Pinchas Zukerman and his wife, Amanda Forsyth playing the Brahms Double Concerto for Violin and Cello. Happily Mary Preston played a pre-concert organ recital, including a Johann Rinck Rondo, and she made liberal use of the Zimbelstern and Nightengale stops. Then a while later on Pipedreams you played the premier a piece by Dan Loclair. Dan lived across the hall from us at Union Seminary in New York many years ago. That live performance included plenty of background coughs, bangs, and assorted other “noises off.” Suddenly a number of proposed new specialty stops came to mind. They would be used by organists making recordings and needing the instrument to provide some background sounds to imitate a live audience. So, to augment the Swell and the Great, here are the proposed stops for the Ambiance Division:

Diaperpasten = baby changing
Audienzkoff = coughs
Schneezenkoff = coughs plus sneezes
Boingrohr = jet flying overhead
Lockheedrohr = prop plane flying overhead
Charibang = folding chair sounds
Dortzlam = door slam
Flemklearz = throat clearing
KuppenKlinken = communion cups hit the racks
Wafferschnappen = everybody breaks communion wafers
Pagenrattle = unison page turns
Voxbravo = replaces unappreciative audiences
Kinderwailen = crying child
Gossipstern = congregational murmurs
Koinklink = unpadded offering plates
Usshershush = ushers quieting audience
Hingeaquaal = door squeak
Wrapperkrinkle = cough drop opening
Kneelerthudz = kneelers in use
Called ‘911’ = sirens
Fonzwasser = sounds of baptism

All in good fun,




These should be included in all new theatre organ specs. Thanks!





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