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The Box of Whistles: Organ Case Design - Its History and Recent Development [Hardcover]

John Norman
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 40.00
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Book Description

20 Sep 2007
In the last 40 years, the revival of interest in organ case design has almost equalled the glorious flourishing of the art in the late seventeenth century. This recent development in which the battle between Modernism and Tradition remains quite unresolved is fully assessed in John Norman s comprehensive historical survey. Lavishly illustrated, the volume features 250 photographs and line drawings, in colour and black and white.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Azure (20 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1902694317
  • ISBN-13: 978-1902694313
  • Product Dimensions: 18.6 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,072,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

John Norman comes from an organbuilding family and his early experience included work on the instruments in Gloucester Cathedral and the Royal College of Organists. He is Chairman of the British Institute of Organ Studies and a former member of the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England. He has advised the Diocese of London on organs for the past 30 years and is an accredited member of the Association of Independent Organ Advisers. His professional work as a consultant includes the new organs for Worcester Cathedral and the organ in the chapel of the Houses of Parliament, where he persuaded the members to commission the realization of a design created by Pugin for a book illustration.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Box of Whistles - an appreciation 25 July 2008
This splendidly illustrated work, which focusses upon Britain and British-built organs, traces the development of organ case design from the Gothic and Renaissance period up to the present day. The illustrations derive from many sources ranging from A.G. Hill's, H.T. Lilley's and Herbert Norman's excellent drawings (the latter the author's father), historic engravings and photographs, and many contemporary pictures of fine quality. A large number are in colour and are a delight to view. The choice of title is interesting, harkening back to that of John Norbury's book of 1877.

The illustrations are accompanied by informative text - John Norman brings his organbuilding background here to the fore and provides valuable explanations of why many cases appear the way they do. The introductory chapters describe the component parts of an organ case and give excellent examples of decorated and embossed pipes and of pipe materials and pipe mouth formations, such as the `ogee' mouths used by Hill (and Fincham in Australia) - sometimes referred to as `cow mouths' by organbuilders.

I was particularly taken by the discussion of organ cases in the 17th and 18th centuries. Here, organ cases by different builders are juxtaposed together so that one can easily compare them and perceive similarities and differences. It is good to see some of the splendidly restored older instruments in London and elsewhere illustrated here.

Moving on to the 19th century, the use of pipe racks is discussed, some not unattractive, especially those containing nicely stencilled pipes although others containing unadorned zinc pipes certainly appear less felicitous!
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