Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/identity of organ stops

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Question
My wife inherited a Chute Butler reed organ and we have successfully restored it.  Well, almost. We don't know where the stop labels go.  There are eleven stops.  We have determined where the Bass and Treble Coupler labels go - Bass Coupler on the extreme left and Treble Coupler on the extreme right, but we don't where the other nine go.

The remaining labels are:

Diapason, Diapason Forte, Vox Humana, Melodia, Piano, Echo, Dolce, Viola, and Dulciana.

Thanks for any help that you might be able to give us.

Ruth and Ray Irwin
170 Applewood Dr.
Chillicothe, OH  45601-1946


Answer
Hello Ray!  The name placements depend purely upon what the linkage of each stop does.  I will describe what each stop name implies and describe what the most likely function of each respective linkage does where possible.

Vox Humana - most commonly hooked to the tremulant or tremolo linkage
Diapason -  usually a loud stop on the keyboard
Diapason Forte - opens the volume shutter in front of the Diapason reed rank
Melodia - usually a loud stop on the keyboard.
Piano - Denotes a softer stop than the Melodia or Diapason
Echo - Denotes a softer stop than the Melodia or Diapason
Dolce - Denotes a softer stop than the Dulciana (which is already a soft stop)
Viola - a major stop such as the Diapason or Melodia

I suggest you listen to the effect of each stop linkage and decide which are the loud stops and which are the softer stops then simply assign the stop faces appropriately.  

Reed organ builders used two methods to affect the reed sounds in their instruments.  One is to either lift the mute rail half way up or full up.  The second way was to open the volume shutter in front of a specific reed rank.  These are known as non-speaking stops and are used to affect the speech of the speaking stops.  I am fairly certain the latter affect is what is happening with the Diapason Forte linkage, so you will need to choose a loud stop for the Diapason that has a non speaking stop linkage that raises the volume shutter in front of the Diapason.  

The Dulciana and Dolce are probably similar except I suspect the mute rail is lifted in front of the same soft reed rank in place of the volume shutter.  

This should help you narrow down at least some of the stop placements.  Because some of the names are assigned arbitrarily in the factory, you will need to do the same.  Soft stops to soft ranks and loud stops to loud ranks.  

Piano, Organ, and Keyboard

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I am a full time organ/piano technician who has been actively involved with the design, building, repair, maintenance and installation of organs and pianos for 35 years. I began as a keyboard instrument apprentice and hold degrees in music and electronics. If you need a piano's date of manufacture, please go to http://www.pianoexchange.com/howold.htm or http://www.bluebookofpianos.com/pianoage.html I am happy to answer musical or technical questions, however, I CANNOT offer appraisals on pianos or organs. Please do not ask what an instrument is worth. For this service please contact an experienced local appraiser or try the following links: https://mmm1100.verio-web.com/blueb1/appraisal.html or http://www.57piano.com/questions.htm

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I am a full time organ/piano technician who has been actively involved with the design, building, repair, maintenance and installation of organs and pianos for 35 years. I began as a keyboard instrument apprentice and hold degrees in music and electronics.

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I am a full time organ/piano technician who has been actively involved with the design, building, repair, maintenance and installation of organs and pianos for 35 years. I began as a keyboard instrument apprentice and hold degrees in music and electronics.

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