Compared to some famous pipe organs, the JEUX soundfont is only mildly extravagant. How many ranks of reeds en chamade can you find on this organ case in the cathedral of Granada, Spain? (The stop list I saw gives 7 ranks each on the left and right halves of the Organo Grande, plus an additional 1/2 rank on the Cadireta. However, the stop list puts most of these ranks at 4' pitch, while other documentation suggests some should have been at 2' or even 1' pitch. As far as I know, this instrument has not been playable for a very long time, and there are no recordings.)
The table below gives the patch number, description, and technical information for the 180 melodic presets included in the JEUX SoundFont. The main group of 128 stops, the first of the two banks in the soundfont, are organized as if on a large organ with 5 manuals and a significant pedal department. Of course, the stops can be used in MIDI realizations in any way that seems expedient, but they may make better musical sense when this disposition is respected. On the other hand, the requirements of, say, Spanish organ music of the Baroque era are very different from French or German music of the same period. It may be necessary to make a mental rearrangement of the logical "manuals" to arrive at a workable scheme for realizing the music of different composers and periods. The French Romantic organ, in particular, was arranged very differently from its predecessors.
The second bank, which might be termed "JEUX Romantiques", has an additional 75 stops, most of them designed for the French Romantic repertoire, but also including some interesting items for early music, such as the higher ranks characteristic of early Italian organs, and stops for an English Baroque chamber organ. When the JEUX soundfont is loaded as recommended into bank 42 of the sound card, the additional stops will end up in bank 43. In the table below, the stops of the second bank are described at the bottom. It has been a great temptation to identify this as the "left bank".
The stops in the first bank provide the standard registrations that are needed for pre-revolutionary French organ music. In addition, there is a full complement of flutes, reeds, mutations, and effects that should allow reasonably faithful realizations of baroque organ music from other national styles. Historical niceties aside, however, the point of this collection is entertainment!
Why a French stop list? The sound of the French classical organ was a challenge for me. For my perspective on this subject, click here.
A list of the changes in the latest version of JEUX is available, click here.
For further reading and listening, I highly recommend the following links:
|040||Ripieno I (g.o.)|
|041||Ripieno II (g.o.)|
|042||Plein Jeu (g.o.)|
|081||Jeu de Cromorne IV12||8'|
|084||Jeu de Tierce V14||8'|
|086||Jeu des Flutes|
|087||Ripieno I (pos.)|
|088||Ripieno II (pos.)|
|089||Plein Jeu (pos.)|
|090||Petit Jeu (pos.)|
|091||Jeu des Anches|
|097||Voix Humaine IV17||8'|
|098||Grand Cornet V|
|099||Trompeta de Batalla18||8'|
|101||Basse de Trompette20||16'|
|106||Goblet Nazard III||4'|
|107||Echo Cornet V||8'|
|118||Posaune Pedal III||16'|
|119||Quintade III (ped.)||16'|
|120||Ripieno I (ped.)|
|121||Ripieno II (ped.)|
Additions: JEUX Romantiques
Stops of the second bank
|006||Bourdon + Principal (ped.)||16'+8'|
|007||Romantic Chorus I (g.o.)|
|008||Romantic Chorus I (pos.)|
|009||Romantic Chorus II (récit)|
|011||Principal Chorus (pos.)||16'+8'+4'+2'|
|016||Romantic Chorus II (g.o.)|
|017||Romantic Chorus II (pos.)|
|018||Romantic Chorus I (récit)|
|025||Fonds (g.o.) "lite"||16'+8'+4'|
|032||Fonds (soft, pos.)||8'|
|033||Fonds (soft, pos.)||8'+4'|
|034||Fonds (soft, pos.)||16'+8'|
|035||Fonds (soft, pos.)||16'+8'+4'|
|045||Fonds de Gros Tierce V|
|048||Pedal Reeds + Bombarde||16'+8'+4'|
|049||Quart de Nazard||2'|
|052||Trompette en Chamade||8'|
|054||Trompette du Récit Romantique||8'|
|056||Voix Humaine sans Tremblant||8'|
|059||17th Century English Chorus|
|067||Mild "English" Chorus|
|068||Ripieno III (g.o., "mean and lean")|
|069||Plein Jeu VI (Neo-Baroque)|
|070||Cymbale IV (Neo-Baroque)|
|071||Twinkly Flute Mixture|
1The Gamba is based on muted cello samples from the SHARC Timbre Database, with additional modifications. Visit the SHARC website at http://sparky.parmly.luc.edu/sharc/to explore the fascinating collection of data and sound samples for almost all the instruments of the Western symphony orchestra.
2The Principals in this combination are those used on the Grand Orgue, of relatively normal scale.
3The Principals on the Positif are derived from samples of the modern concert flute. As a result, they provide an interesting contrast with the Principals of the Grand Orgue. The sound is equivalent to a flue pipe of relatively narrow scale, voiced close to overblowing, thus producing a sound that is richer and somewhat dense. Where possible, this difference in scale has been exploited in the construction of the stops assigned to the Positif in the JEUX SoundFont.
4The Viola is based on samples from the SHARC database, though considerably modified. See Note 1, above.
5The Principals in this combination are those on the Positif, of relatively narrow scale.
6The Krummhorn rank is based on recordings of actual instruments, and has the strong raspy sound characteristic of the Renaissance instrument.
7The Cromorne rank, distinct from the Krummhorn rank, is a standard modern reed stop, with a much smoother quality than the samples used for the Krummhorn.
8The Cor Anglais is based on samples from the SHARC database, producing very interesting results when used as a solo stop. See Note 1, above.
9The Schalmei might better be termed Hautbois, as it is based on a particularly mellow Oboe note from the SHARC database, somewhat modified. It is intended mainly as a treble solo. We could go so far as to consider this rank as a divided "Basson-Hautbois" (found in many historic French organs), even though the same sample is used through the entire range. The perceived timbre difference is strictly an aural artefact, albeit a very useful one. See Note 1, above.
10The Orlos is a kind of Regal sometimes found on Spanish organs. The sample used here seems a good approximation. This stop was introduced in JEUX version 1.1, and replaces the Dulcian of the original release, which was based on a muted trumpet sample. In fact, the sounds are similar in terms of overtone structure, but the new stop should be far more useful.
11The Clarines (plural of Clarin, Spanish name for the higher, brighter trumpet stops) are included in the JEUX SoundFont to simplify registration of Spanish organ music. The combination used here is equivalent to Trompette 8 + Clairon 4.
12The Jeu de Cromorne IV provides a realization of a fairly typical usage from the late 17th Century: Cromorne 8', Bourdon 8', Prestant 4', and Nazard 2 2/3'. As the Cromorne is here assigned to the Positif, the Prestant uses the logical narrow-scaled pipes of that manual, as described in Note 4, above.
13Spanish organs frequently provide two flue choruses, one of normal scale (Lleno is one name for this), and one of wider scale, the Nazardos. The realization used here adds 16', 2', 1 1/3', 1', and 2/3' ranks to the standard Nazard III recipe. While I know of no organ with so many ranks of Nazardos, the sound seems useful and appropriate.
14The Jeu de Tierce V is a realization of a typical recipe for use in pieces labeled "Tierce en Taille" etc. The registration differs from the standard Cornet 5 in that the 4' and 2' ranks are principals instead of flutes (in this case, using the narrow-scale ranks assigned to the Positif, see Note 5, above). The Jeu de Tierce and Cornet had many uses, with or without tremulant, in "Dialogues", fugues, etc. Where the Jeu de Tierce does not seem strong enough, the Sesquialtera II or Larigot may be added.
15The Jeux Doux here includes 16', 8', and 4' bourdons, a combination that seems to balance fairly well in most situations where "jeux doux" would be specified in an original registration. Typically, this would be against a strong solo registration on the Grand Orgue or Récit, such as Grand Cornet, Jeu de Tierce, Dessus de Trompette, Basse de Trompette,etc. Other possibilities for "jeux doux" include Gedackt 8' + 4', Gedackt 8' + Prestant 4', etc., dictated by the (presumed) good taste and discretion of the performer.
16The Piffaro is the Italian equivalent of the Flute Celeste, using pipes of principal scale. Some trickery is involved in this implementation. The real pipes for Piffaro sometimes had a double mouth, one a little lower than the other,producing the characteristic slow heterodyne beats from a single rank.
17The Voix Humaine IV is a realization of a fairly typical French recipe from the late 17th Century, seemingly intended to soften the effect of the Vox Humana rank (a regal), while at the same time increasing its volume. The recipe used here adds Gedackt 8' + 4' and Nazard 2 2/3', with a mild tremulant. Similar combinations are called for in a few German registrations that have survived.
18The Trompetta de Batalla is derived from a tuba sample. It seems a reasonable substitute for the stop found on Spanish organs.
19The Gros Cromorne 8' is based on an "enhanced" sample from actual bass krummhorns. A more typical classic French registration would have used something like our Jeu de Cromorne, though there is precedent for Cromorne ranks of exceptional power in France.
20The Basse de Trompette 16' is based on a sample from a French organ. However, most classic French organs probably did not have a Trompette of this scale. Instead, the pieces labeled "Basse de Trompette" could employ a registration such as Trompette 8' + Bourdon 8' + Prestant 4' to achieve the required gravity, if the Trompette alone was too weak. Suitably toned down, the Basse de Trompette 16' sample also powers the Posaune 16' in the JEUX SoundFont.
21The "Gobletflöte" is a fanciful rank assigned to the Echo manual, derived from the sound produced by a large wine glass I found in my kitchen. I suppose the traditional warning should be repeated here, part of the lore of the Glass Harmonica, as I heard it from Bruno Hoffmann. The vibrations of the glass, transmitted through the wet fingertips, are supposed to travel up the nerves of the arm to the spinal chord and thence to the performer's brain, where they will inevitably cause madness after a long time. I do not know if Bruno ever suffered from this effect, but he certainly enjoyed recounting this story to his audiences. The Gobletflöte rank produces a very ethereal sound.
22The Resultant 32' depends on the phenomenon of the "difference tone". It is composed of bourdons at 16' and 10 2/3', capable of giving the effect of a registration of 32' + 16' + 10 2/3'. Much depends on the speaker system,and the effect is rather subtle.
23The Fagotto is based on bassoon and contra-bassoon samples from the SHARC database.
24The Zimbelstern stop is implemented so that the effect of starting and stopping the rotation of the "star" can be heard. It uses 7 tuned bells, and is transposable to all keys. The MIDI notes 60-71 generate the effect of the Zimbelstern starting up and continuing for as long as the note lasts. If the note is followed by the corresponding MIDI note one octave lower (i.e., MIDI notes 48-59), the Zimbelstern will be heard to slow down and come to a stop.
25The Nachtigal stop is found all over Europe, though there is not a lot of information on how it was used. The JEUX SoundFont features two actual male Nightingales singing from opposite sides of the virtual organ case. Our Nightingales can sing in any key, but their natural range is somewhere around Middle C, MIDI note 60. By playing much lower notes, MIDI note 48 or lower, one may begin to appreciate the complexity of their song! The song continues in stereo for as long as the MIDI note lasts. When the note is released, the song fades gradually away. The effect seems particularly à propos in certain passages of the Handel organ concertos.