Progress of the WCF 2006 Keyboard?

Discussions on various technical aspects of carillon instruments and standards.

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Progress of the WCF 2006 Keyboard?

Postby TerryMcGee on Sun Oct 13, 2013 12:06 am

Standards, one old wag observed, are very good things. That's why we have so many!

Back in 2006, the WCF accepted a report from its Keyboard Committee defining a keyboard that combines the best features of the European and North American designs. We can probably summarise the new design as bringing together European spacing with North American pedal arrangements. Details at:

http://www.carillon.org/eng/dynamic_frame_eng.htm?http://www.carillon.org/eng/actueel/gdansk_3.htm.

I'm interested in what's happened since. I imagine adoption would be naturally slow - after all, when's the last time you bought a new keyboard? And the one before that? And the natural inclination to wait & see what others are doing before rushing in.

Are we seeing signs of adoption, and if so, is it happening in Europe, North America, Rest of the World or all of these?

Have those who have jumped any advice for those who haven't?

And if we were to shift into the hypothetical (to get around the slowing factors I mentioned above), if a meteorite took out your entire action and clavier, would you order a like-for-like replacement, or would you seize the opportunity to be part of a unified future for carillon-kind?

And, that hardest question of all, any other thoughts?

Terry
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Re: Progress of the WCF 2006 Keyboard?

Postby JohnGouwens on Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:46 am

From what I have gathered so far, there have been very few installations of such consoles in Europe, and some new installations have clung to the old way (meaning the North European standard that went before, 1.5-octave flat pedalboard and all). The number of new carillons installed since that time has not been large, but I would guess (and this is just a guess) that about half the new consoles follow that design. Of course, it is important to note that many dimensions are intentionally open-ended and flexible, so there's still plenty of room for individual preferences and solutions!

Personally, I am all for this design, and wish it would catch on more, especially in Europe. The more 2-octave, ergonomically-comfortable pedalboards we see over there, the better!
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Re: Progress of the WCF 2006 Keyboard?

Postby TerryMcGee on Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:30 am

So, I gather the tighter 23mm European spacing doesn't scare you?

It would be interesting to hear from European carillonneurs if the radial and dished American pedal board scares them, or if they would welcome it with open arms, er, legs.

Since I raised the topic, Paul Mason from Taylors mentioned that the Charterhouse School carillon will be spaced at 23mm. You can see the half-built clavier among images at http://www.taylorbells.co.uk/web/?q=node/14. Indeed, reaching over and deftly plucking a couple:


The Charterhouse School clavier under construction...

Image

Quadrants to clapper tail (still under construction):
Image

Paul also mentioned that they have plans to do the same at the foundry carillon when time permits. So it seems there is movement, at least in England.

Any other reports of migratory sightings?

Terry
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Re: Progress of the WCF 2006 Keyboard?

Postby JohnGouwens on Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:44 am

So, Taylor is building a large, all-new carillon? About time! How big is the bourdon to be?
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Re: Progress of the WCF 2006 Keyboard?

Postby TerryMcGee on Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:58 am

I've asked!
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Re: Progress of the WCF 2006 Keyboard?

Postby FrancesNewell on Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:51 pm

Hey Terry,
I just saw on Tv news that you have enormous wildfires between Canberra and Sydney.
The map looked like the fires are near you and your carillon.
Are you and your Bathurst carillon OK?
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Re: Progress of the WCF 2006 Keyboard?

Postby CarlSZimmerman on Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:37 am

In the Charterhouse School carillon, everything is new except the 37 bells, which were cast in 1921-23 for Mostyn House School, Parkgate, Cheshire. They were a World War I memorial, and were given with the provision that if Mostyn House ever closed, the carillon had to be transferred to another Charterhouse school. That is now happening, but the old frame etc. were too badly weather-worn to be reusable. I have not heard whether Taylor is doing any retuning in conjunction with the other work. The photo of the bells implies that Taylor has not cast any new bells for this instrument, although the provision of a 4-octave clavier seems to indicate that the possibility of future expansion has been considered. The original bourdon was/is E in the middloe octave, transposing up a major third from concert pitch.
Carl Scott Zimmerman
Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - home of at least 36 bell foundries or bell sellers, 1821-1961.
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Re: Progress of the WCF 2006 Keyboard?

Postby TerryMcGee on Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:45 pm

JohnGouwens wrote:So, Taylor is building a large, all-new carillon? About time! How big is the bourdon to be?


Paul Mason (Taylor Bells) advises:

"The current plan is C3 to C5, though at the moment we are at F3 to C5 with a couple missing. The others are waiting tuning. We would like to extend it both ways as and when time permits."

I imagine it's a case of "The cobbler's child runs barefoot." Always too busy looking after other people's needs. You should have seen the dodgy flute I played for years, until mounting shame made me pause and make myself a decent one!

(Ahem, there are probably similar issues in your own lives....)

Terry
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Re: Progress of the WCF 2006 Keyboard?

Postby TerryMcGee on Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:59 pm

FrancesNewell wrote:Hey Terry,
I just saw on Tv news that you have enormous wildfires between Canberra and Sydney.
The map looked like the fires are near you and your carillon.
Are you and your Bathurst carillon OK?


Yep, all good so far. But you are right, the fires are at the top middle of the triangle joining our three carillon sites, Canberra, Sydney and Bathurst. But I don't think we need fear for the instruments. The National Carillon, Canberra, is in a tall concrete-faced tower on an island in the lake in the middle of Canberra. The Bathurst Carillon is set in a lovely large lawned park in the middle of Bathurst, and the Sydney Carillon is in a sandstone building on the campus of the University of Sydney, again ringed in lawns and near the middle of the city. I can't imagine any bushfires getting to them, and they are eminently defensible.

I have shot off a note though to check on Amy Johansen, carillonist at Sydney, who lives in the Blue Mountains just outside Sydney. This is the region under attack. Today is crunch day - a blend of very high winds from the northwest (the hot inland of Australia), low humidity and high temperatures (close to 100ºF) with two fires already well out of control with an enormous combined firefront. The Rural Fire Service has been working day and nights for days to try to ring the various villages in the mountains with back-burned areas - today we find out if they succeeded.

UPDATE - the firies did very well - despite really nasty conditions, their control strategies averted what could have been a total disaster. And Sydney carillonist Amy Johansen reports in well, although some of her friends have lost their homes.

Terry
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