update: 8-04-2009

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database harmoniums

Tienhoven & Ameide





Databases / Databanken

On the internet there are 3 seperate databases focussed on harmonium and reed organ. These three together deliver us listings of

  • extant instruments
  • stoplists
  • pictures of extant instruments and pictures of catalog pages.
  1. A Dutch database compiled by the Harmonium Vereniging Nederland (Dutch reed organ society. Contents: extant instruments in the Netherlands, with picture and stoplist    Database
  2. The database of the Reed Organ Society (USA). Contents: extant instruments in the U.S.A. with picture and stoplist    Database
  3. Robert F. Gellerman's database. Contents: Pictures and company information. Goal of this database: to collect as much pictures as possible to make a record of case styles. Effective this database is focussing on classification of models & styles. This database also show full catalogs of various builders. Database

These three share some properties. All three are based on a database model designed by Joop Rodenburg. This design was made in the old and stable format of Dbase.

On all three of the web sites you will find information how to register your instrument to be added to the database. To register your instrument in a database you need to supply the following data:


a) One or more pictures of the instrument. Preferably a **correct ** exposed digital picture. When shooting with a digital camera: Set the camera to the highest quality level. Do NOT resize or "webalize" (= save for web). Further more: take care, some or most of e-mailing programms have the nasty habit to resize your pictures when sending them through e-mail meaning that your picture will be lesser in quality.

b) All information you can find about the instrument. Brandname, name of seller, manuall compass, number of rows of reeds. Derived stops and from which row they are derived. Style name, action number, couplers and type of forteflaps (front & back or bass & treble. Try to find a serial number. Look for glued labels on the inside. Pencil remarks. The history of the instrument in your family, is the invoice still at hand?

c) The FULL stoplist. Use the accepted format to start at the left side. Play the instrument to be absolutely sure the stop is bass or treble. When the stoplabel has fallen of, mark it as [blank] Even without the label you can define it is an 8 or 4. So name it [ blank 8] or [blank 4].

d) Fill in the properties of the wind system. Footblown, handblown, windmachine.

e) In what location: home, church, or whatever.

f) Condition of the instrument: playable or not.

g) Was it restored? When? By whom?

h) Fill in your personal data ( name, address, phone, e-mail). These data are NOT shown in the database.


Tips for more brilliant pictures

Please find a moment to browse the three databases and have a good look at the quality of the pictures. Lots of them where made in the "analog era". So there was no way to check to quality. Sometimes this meant that a (long) trip was made to make pictures. And only two weeks later the prints came in, finding they were not correctly exposed. Or shaken. Or underexposed. Or not framed nicely. You will see many pictures that lack or even don't have quality. But hey!, there is no possibility to redo the pictures. So we have to avoid these mistakes. That's why you have to look at the pictures we now have.

When making new pictures with a digital camera we CAN make sure the pictures are okay for database publication.

Try these tips:

  1. Do not drink alcohol before shooting your pictures, to avoid pink elephants and shaking camera.
  2. Don't drink lots of coffee before shooting your pictures, even to much coffee will make you tremble.
  3. Whenever possible try to clear out the surroundings. Or move the instrument and place it before an empty wall of the room.
  4. Most of the time the lighting is not really good for brilliant pictures. So, use a tripod, suppress the flash of the camera. A flash on a brightly polished instrument will look like an ufo picture, in almost clear white. So, do NOT flash. You will find that longtime exposure without flash will give you much better and rather good pictures!
  5. Choose an aperture opening close to 8 or higher for better depthcontrol. (Choose the AE programm at the camera!)
  6. Make sure the camera is exactly vertical, this will lower strange perspective effects in the picture.
  7. Make lots of pictures of sides, back (!), front, top and bottom, in various angles.
  8. Imagine your mother in law steps into the room and stands next to the instrument. By "universal male cultural laws" you need to step back. :-) Now you are at the correct distance to zoom in on detailed carving. Make lots of close ups. Mind you, see these pages Harmoniumjaardag2008 and Smithstyle600 these pictures are shoots with a rather mediocre and cheap Fujifilm camera. (When the time comes we visite the Harmoniumjaardag2009 we will be using a Nikon D200 :-)
  9. Take some time (many hours) to read the manual of your camera. You male readers will obviously deny it: men are known for not reading manuals. That's why you men don't know how to record a Frasier episode, and they have to ask mum to do it for them. She knows, because she has to record "As the world turns" on a daily basis. (This is officially confirmed scientific data!)
  10. Contact mr. Kimbrell to ask what breed of cat will sit on your harmonium during a photo session. :-)









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