Clef pedal staff for Pipe Organ

• Feb 9, 2020 - 15:37

Musescore places a Bass clef 8va bassa in the third staff of a pipe organ.
That is highly unusual, I've never seen this done by publishers nor composers.

For pipe organs the bass notes are notated in a staff with a regular Bass clef. (Due to the use of a 16 foot registration (very often), the notes sound an octave lower.)

Attachment Size
pip-organ-pedal-clef.png 55.1 KB


So that 3rd staff transöoses down an octave, right?
Problem is that you can only transpose the entire instrument, not just a single staff from it

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

16 foot organ pipes sound an octave lower than notated.
Unless indicated otherwise by the composer, organists assume the use an 16 foot pedal stop, often in combination with 8 foot.
In baroque music, with the cantus firmus in the bass, the composer ususally indicates the use of (only) an 8 foot stop. Then also, it is notated in a 'ordinary' bass clef.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Indeed, 'regular' organ has it right. I still have to figure out the difference ;-)
If by 'organ' they mean electric organs (Hammond, etc.), the same applies, these organs also make use of 16 foot and 8 foot bass notes, written in a regular bass clef.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Can the lowest staff (independently) be made to sound an octave lower?
A 2 manual pipe organ with pedal consists of 3 independent 'instruments'.
When indicated (16 foot stop on the manuals), also the upper two staffs will sound (also) sound an octave lower than notated.
As for how it sounds: I value a proper notation higher than what it sounds like. That's what I use Musescore for :-)

In reply to by AWRog

Except for sounding right. And this is restriction in MuseScore, as I tried to explain, you can't transpose a single staff, just the entire instrument. So you have to make a choice, correct look or correct sound (and in that case live with that little dangeling 8)
I'm not sure though what template you are talking about?

This also has MIDI implications. Real (pipe) organs with MIDI and the virtual pipe organ products expect C2 (the C below the staff) to sound the lowest note on the pedal, regardless of whether the pedal is the normal 16', or the occasional 8 or 4 (both at times used in Bach and other chorale preludes) or even 2. The fairly-new 8va bassa causes this to fail, writing C2 produces C1, which has no pedal, and I have to have a special control in my python programs, "Octstaves", to compensate for scores with the 8va bassa.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.