Viol Quint (unknown)

Listed only by Irwin, who says:

A String stop of mild tone, at 5-1/3' on the manuals, and 10-2/3' on the pedals, either voiced with the orchestral timbre of the small-scale pipes or as a sort of Violone. This is the “Twelfth” of the sub-unison series of stop-pitches. It should be combined with a heavy-toned 16' on the manuals, or a 32' stop on the pedals, to keep from unbalancing the tone. The organist should remember that all of its extensive series of harmonics duplicate none of those heard from a 32', 16', or 8' rank. If of the proper loudness with the other stops, it makes the tone cleaner and the pitches more obvious; if too loud, it will make the tone too “quinty,” and the listened will lose all sense of balance between harmony and melody. It is usually heard from a large String organ.

Irwin is incorrect. If properly tuned as a separate rank (not borrowed from an octave-sounding rank), all of the harmonics of a 5-1/3' stop will duplicate harmonics of an open 16' stop. Since harmonics are integer multiples of the fundamental, and the fundamental of a 5-1/3' stop corresponds to the 2nd harmonic of an open 16' stop, it takes little math to see that integer multiples of the 5-1/3's frequency must also be integer multiples of the 16's.

See Viol, Quint.


Viol Quint 5-1/3', 2-2/3', Orchestral; Cadet Chapel, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, USA; Moller.


Irwin[1]: Viol Quint.
Copyright © 1999 Edward L. Stauff, all rights reserved.
ViolQuint.html - Last updated 31 May 2000.
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