There is a trial version of the 45 stop model available which is fully playable. However, it is limited to 2 octaves for the manual stops and 1 octave for the pedal. This is sufficient to enable those interested to ascertain the quality and suitability of the various sets. The original 8 stop edition is no longer available for free. The link for the 45 stop trial set is as follows:-
The new Georgian Series is so named because it aims to represent organ sounds found in England after the Commonwealth up to the advent of the Victorian organ.
The series – in general - does not claim to represent any particular instrument or specification of the historical period in question. However, the majority of samples used in the series are sourced from organs containing pipework which pre-dates the Victorian period.
In some ways this series could be considered as the developing of a direction which the pre-Victorian instrument might have taken had the English organ of the 19th century not been exposed to various mechanical developments plus the growing desire to fill an entire church or cathedral with sound. These included higher wind pressures, pneumatic and other assisted actions, orchestral voicing, detached consoles, placement in chancel chambers, suppression of upperwork and the escalating popularity of transcriptions.
Some of the smaller instruments sampled represent "complete" instruments of the period. Although some stops from "complete" instruments will form a part of the larger conjectural designs, facsimile sets of smaller existing instruments will be released as self-contained entities within the series.
The stop nomenclature used in the series is for the guidance of organists. Whilst unauthentic in some cases, it is there to differentiate between similarly named stops. For example, if an instrument contains two "Stopped Diapason" ranks, one may be renamed with a more modern title.
Most organs in Britain were destroyed during the Commonwealth period of our history. It wasn't until the Restoration of the Monarchy under Charles II in 1660 that organs appeared again in the British Isles. Initially, organ builders from the Continent re-established British organ building as no indigenous builders remained. Some of these new organ builders were English by birth but learned their craft working overseas – for example, the Harris family in France. Others such as “Father” Bernard Smith (Germany) and John Snetzler (Switzerland) emigrated from their homelands to settle in England. Marriage, business partnerships and training saw the rise of many organ builders whose influence would span the next couple of centuries. Whilst the kings and queens of England during this time included Charles and James from the Stuart dynasty, along with William & Mary and Anne, the subsequent Monarchy was established under the Hanoverians from George I to George IV and finally the short reign of William IV. Although George IV died in 1830 it took nearly a quarter of a century for the characteristic tonal quality heard in organs throughout the previous two centuries to change markedly. It wasn't until about 1850 - 1855 that organ builders such as Willis and Hill started producing instruments which sounded markedly different from what had gone before. Indeed, the complaint about many of the "lesser" builders even until quite late in Victoria's reign was that their instruments were still being built and voiced to Georgian ideas of tonal design.
The development of the Victorian organ introduced innovations both mechanical and tonal. While its emergence addressed some of the perceived shortcomings of earlier instruments, it also resulted in the loss of much musical heritage. The qualities of gentle speech and a delicate quality gave way to powerful flues, thicker-toned dominating reeds and a desire to create a more Romantic or Symphonic sound. Mixtures and other higher pitched stops were reduced in number whilst those of unison tone increased. With just a few exceptions, this trend steered organ sounds towards those of the Edwardian era, considered by many to be the nadir of the English organ in tone colour and repertoire.
Although relatively few English organs exist from which to obtain an accurate idea of what the organs between 1660 and about 1840 were really like as complete instruments, written historical observations (Thistlethwaite, Williams, Anderson, Norman, Wilson, Clutton and Niland et al.) together with some extant pipework from this period can be used to try and create a modern day instrument in Georgian style through Hauptwerk.
A typical instrument of the pre Victorian period would have had two manuals. The Great organ would have been relatively complete up to several mixtures, though it is unlikely to have contained any stops of 16' pitch. The second manual would have been the Chair organ – often like a miniature version of the Great but not as extensively developed as the German Rückpositif. If a third manual was provided it would probably have been an Echo organ. Pedals would have been rare, but if provided would most likely have been permanently coupled to the Great without separate pedal stops, but taking advantage of the extended bass manual compass. Later instruments might have included "Pedal Pipes" of 16'.
Following the introduction of the "adjustable" Swell organ by Abraham Jordan in 1712 the echo division nomenclature disappeared until its reappearance in late Victorian times as something rather different. By 1730, the average English organ had a Swell keyboard, though this mainly melodic division would have been of short compass. It took almost another century for the Swell to displace the Chair organ as the main secondary division, in the process gaining a full-compass keyboard and developing into the Swell as we know it today.
Tonally, the typical post Restoration organ would have pipes on low pressure due mainly to the restrictions of blowing technology of the time plus the use of tracker action to the keys. Diapasons and Principals were characterised by being gentle, warm, melodious but often rather slow of speech. The Flutes would be slightly more chirpy, thanks to the legacy of “Father” Smith and their construction from "wainscott" oak. Although stop names such as Salicional, Gamba, Viol etc. were being used as early as the 1700's (though not generally in England), string stops as we know them today would have been non-existent. Reed tone was usually limited to free toned and often thinner sounding trumpets, hautboys, bassoons and cremonas - quite unlike their equivalents today tonally - and would most likely have tried to emulate the existing orchestral instruments of the time. The only other stop which was found on a fairly regular basis was the Vox Humana - a development of the earlier Regal.
We have been fortunate enough to gain access to several organs which include original old pipework, some of it dating back to 1696 and 1760. Other stop samples have been taken from several organs with pipework dating from the late 1700's to about 1840 and beyond. Comparison with pipework from Iberian instruments (which share many of the characteristics of the old English organ) has helped in the creation of a series of instruments which are markedly different from those of Willis, Hill and other later Victorian organ builders. Of course, we have bent the rules considerably to provide instruments on which the complete organ literature can be played and which include modern playing aids such as combination pistons. Interesting though it might be to create instruments based exactly on historical examples including features such as short key compasses and minimal or non existent pedal divisions, we felt that this would have a very limited appeal. Therefore, the instruments have full compass manual and pedal divisions plus stoplists which - although historically inaccurate - are more useful to the player of today.
We have chosen to provide Quint mixtures as opposed to the more typical mixtures found in typical instruments of the period and which usually contained the seventeenth either as 17 or as 24 in some part of their composition. The provision of a tierce rank in mixtures of the time was often to strengthen the chorus reeds, which tended to be weaker in the treble relative to the bass. In other cases they were used to provide a reedy timbre where there was no actual reed stop. We have however retained the third rank in the Sesquialtera or separately as an independent Seventeenth or Tierce in the larger specifications. The Cornet - either mounted or otherwise - has not been provided as an individual stop although it was very common, as exemplified by the Cornet voluntaries of the time. However, Cornet effects are available through combining the Sesquialtera with other ranks, or from the “cornet separé” in the Choir division of the larger instruments. These separate ranks also allow for the voicing of different toned Cornets as required.
There are several models available in different sizes, ranging from 8 stops through 15, 25, 35, 45 and 55 speaking stops. Larger instruments may also be produced, depending on demand and interest. The smaller models tend to represent something closer to a "Georgian" instrument in terms of specification. However, we have endeavoured to keep all sample sets - no matter how large - faithful to the same basic tonal character of the smallest instruments.
The Great keyboard compasses of the time would most likely have been "long" extending to GGG and just short of five octaves whilst the Swell compass would have been very much shorter - in some cases as little as two octaves. Pedals where provided would have commenced at GGG and extended for an octave or perhaps a little more. However, we have provided full compasses of 61 and 32 notes commencing on C.
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Some Features of the Georgian Series
1. Sourced from historical pipework or modern copies from the period
With the exception of the Swell and Great String stops all of the organs use pipework dating from between 1695 and 1830. Where this has not been possible, pipework has been sourced from modern instruments based on the same period.
2. Independent ranks throughout without borrowing or extension
Unlike many sample sets, there is no duplication or extension of stops. Each stop is tonally separate from the other stops in the organ. The only exception to this is the En Chamade Royal Trumpet found in the 45 and 55 stop instruments which is a transmission available separately on both Choir and Great.
3. All ranks close sampled
Where possible and practical, stops are recorded as closely as possible to the pipes - usually from within the instrumentt. This allows the original source sound to be captured accurately without acoustical modification from the environment thus allowing natural room ambience or artificial reverberation to develop the correct sound. This makes the samples suitable for use in church environments or pipe hybrid installations.
4. Minimal or zero noise reduction
Instruments were selected for their low level of ambient noise such as blower and action thus enabling low noise samples to be taken. This allows fro the full attack and release transients to be heard which are normally considerably altered by the use of noise reduction techniques. It also means that there are no burbling sounds (a bi-product of most noise reduction programs) in the sustained note or its release. Where noise reduction has had to be used in exceptional circumstances, it is applied at the lowest level possible.
5. Wind Modelling
Now that the HW wind modelling feature is available worldwide, (previously not available in the USA) this feature has been incorporated into the 45 and 55 stop sample sets. It will be incorporated into the smaller models in due course.
6. Scaled detuning
Unlike previous sample sets, we have incorporated a small amount of scaled detuning into each stop so that there is a little more movement in the choruses. This can be increased or decreased using the HW voicing tools and in conjunction with stretched tuning temperaments.
7. Independent Mixture ranks
All the mixtures in the series consist of separate ranks thus allowing greater flexibility of regulation between the ranks.
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PLEASE NOTE THAT THE SAMPLE SETS BELOW ARE LICENCED FOR PRIVATE HOME USE ONLY.
PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU WISH TO USE ANY OF THE SETS FOR NON DOMESTIC USE WHICH ARE SUPPLIED IN A DIFFERENT FORMAT.
Our graphical screens are designed to be functional rather than fancy. When using typical split 22" touch screens, drawstop and piston controls are similar in size and layout to a real console. The centre picture in the first row shows the whole organ when displayed on a single "landscape" format screen. The two side pictures show left and right splits for horizontal screens and the two pictures below show the splits when displayed in a portrait format.
This is designed as a single manual and pedal instrument capable of fulfilling the demands of a chamber organ at the time of Handel. However, it provides a full 61 note compass keyboard as well as a separate pedal department which would not have been typical of the time. There are two versions of the instrument available - both having the same specification but in one case, the stops are split into bass and descant halves.
The specification is as follows:-
Open Diapason 8', Stopped Diapason 8', Principal 4', Chimney Flute 4', Fifteenth 2', Sesquialtera II Rks. 12;17, Mixture III Rks. 19;22;26, Pedal Bourdon 16'.
Thanks to Andrew Grahame for the provision of the demonstrations below
This is a very basic two manual instrument suitable for home practice or small chapels. The specification provides for an usable two manual and pedal instrument with examples of all of the stop families together with coherent choruses for each manual. Whilst it is limited, it offers more than most pipe instruments of a similar size which are to be found in churches or homes. (See also remarks about design under the subsequent instruments below). All of the pipe work used is from a single Joseph Walker instrument of 1830 so this can be considered to be a facsimile Georgian instrument. Despite having identical stop names on both Great and Swell manuals, the choruses on each are different. Although there are no octave and sub-octave couplers on the original instrument the provision of these allows for a a "full Swell" effect. The Swell "Horn" has more in common with a Cornopean type stop and its physical construction confirms this. The original instrument has 3 combination pedal levers for each division plus a reversible Great to Pedal coupler.
All ranks including the Mixtures are independent and can be altered using the Hauptwerk voicing tools to suit differing rooms and equipment. Tuning of the instrument is at A440 Equal Temperament but can be altered by loading one of the many different ones available or via the HW voicing tools on a stop by stop / note by note basis.
This is a small but comprehensive two manual and pedal instrument with sufficient resources for performing much of the organ repertoire. The specification is designed to provide most of the facilities that would have been found in a slightly earlier instrument than the 1830 Walker above with some unauthentic additions to allow for greater versatility. The provision of a string toned stop, Celeste, III rank Mixture and 16' reed in the Swell division would not have been found in an English instrument of the Georgian period. It is quite likely that there would have been an additional higher pitched Mixture on the Great Organ either with or without a third sounding rank or perhaps in part of the composition only. A Cornet would have been very likely and the Sesquialtera is designed to provide this effect. The Swell organ would have been very unlikely to have any form of Mixture and the 16' reed might have been a Vox Humana 8'. Such an instrument would only have been found in the larger parish churches and cathedrals perhaps with a third manual containing a similar specification to the Swell Organ here. The pedal organ (where provided) would either have been coupled to the Great permanently without separate pedal pipes or would have been provided with a single small compass 16' stop. We have named the string stop in the Swell Viola da Gamba as opposed to the singular Viola or Gamba (leg). The Vox Celeste would definitely not have been found on any English instrument until at least half way through the 1800's. The instrument is fundamentally based on the Walker instrument above and the additions are designed to blend in accordingly.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details of the link to the trial download. The trial download presents two octaves of each stop from the Great and Swell organs together with one octave of the Pedal stop.
The additional 10 stops of this model provide for additional unison tone in all divisions along with 16' flue tone in the Great organ for body. The Swell organ also gains a Vox Humana 8'. The main additions are to the Pedal Organ which becomes a more comprehensive division with a 32' stop for added gravitas. The two manual flutes by Walker from 1830 have been replaced by earlier examples from 1760 / 1780. The Open Diapason No. II is from the same period. The Vox Humana is of unknown provenance. The Pedal Trumpet is believed to be from 1820 whilst the Pedal Shawm is from the last century.
This model is almost identical to the 35 stop model with an additional 10 stops to provide for a Choir organ. This new division features a flute based Cornet Separee, plus a couple of Solo stops including the relocated Great Basset Horn. The Royal Trumpet was sampled from an en chamade stop with copper resonators which is also available separately on the Great. The Great Mixture is remodelled to become IV ranks.
This model is also available as a trial download with two octaves of manual stops and one octave of pedal stops playable. The download link is available at the top of this page.
The Great organ Sesquialtera is deconstructed into independent ranks. The Swell Organ gains a 16' to add body plus a 4' Clarion. The Pedal organ gains a 32' reed and a couple of extra 16' stops and the Choir organ gains an undulating rank, a 2' Principal and high pitched Sharp Mixture at 29:33:36.
Prices shown are for domestic use ONLY and are licenced through the Hauptwerk dongle protection system (included in the price). They are available as downloads from this website or on DVD's / USB pen drives at extra cost. These sets are also available including an user editable CODM file for more flexible or commercial usage on request.
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