A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Organ

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ORGAN (Fr. Orgue; Ital. Organo; Ger. Orgel). I. History. It must not be supposed that the 'organ' referred to in the Old Testament (Gen. iv. 21)—'Jubal; he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ'—bore any resemblance to the stately instrument with which we are all so familiar by that name at the present day. At the same time, there can be little doubt that the principle of the three great classes of organpipe—Stopped, Open, and Reed—was known at a very early period, as we shall have occasion to show.

It is here purposed, as far as practicable, to trace from the remotest beginnings, to its present exalted dimensions, the gradual growth of that great triumph of human skill which so justly enjoys the distinction of being the most perfect musical instrument that the ingenuity of man has hitherto devised; the impressive tones of which so greatly enrich the effect of the religious services celebrated in our great sacred edifices. The materials available for this purpose are not indeed always of the plainest kind, the accounts being not unfrequently incomplete, exaggerated, or surrounded by a somewhat apocryphal air; but much may be done by selecting the most probable, and placing them in intelligible order.

The first idea of a wind-instrument was doubtless suggested to man by the passing breezes as they struck against the open ends of broken reeds; and the fact that reeds of different lengths emitted murmurs varying in pitch may have further suggested that if placed in a particular order, they would produce an agreeable succession of sounds;—in other words, a short musical scale. A few such reeds or tubes, of varied growths or diameters, and of graduated lengths, bound together in a row, with their open tops arranged in a horizontal line, would form an instrument possessing sufficient capacity for the performance of simple primitive melodies; and of such kind doubtless was Jubal's 'organ' (ougab)[1] already mentioned. It probably was not more; and it could scarcely have been less. Necessity precedes supply; and nothing is known that would lead to the supposition that the music of the time of Jubal called for anything beyond a few tubes, such as those just described, for its complete accompaniment.

The myth that Pan was the originator of the Syrinx led to its being called 'Pan's-pipe,' under which name, or that of 'Mouth-organ,' it is known to the present day. [Pandean pipes.]

The number of tubes that in the course of time came to be used was seven, sometimes eight, occasionally as many as ten or twelve; and the Greek and Roman shepherds are recorded as being among the makers of these 'organs,' as well as the performers upon them.

Fig. 1.
The pipes of the Syrinx being composed of reeds cut off just below the knot—which knot did not permit the wind to escape, but caused it to return to the same place where it entered, thus traversing the length of the tube twice—were in principle so many examples of the first class of pipes mentioned above. They were practically 'Stopped pipes,' producing a sound nearly an octave lower than that of an Open pipe of the same length.[2]

The mode of playing upon this earliest organ must have been troublesome and tiring, as either the mouth had to be in constant motion to and fro over the tubes, or they had incessantly to be shifted to the right or left under the mouth. Some other method of directing wind into them must in course of time have been felt to be desirable; and the idea would at length occur of conducting wind into the tube from below instead of above. This result—an enormous step forward—would be obtained by selecting a reed, as before, but with a short additional portion left below the knot to serve as a mouthpiece or wind-receiver (the modern 'foot'); by making a straight narrow slit through the knot, close to the front, to serve as a passage-way for the breath; and by cutting a small horizontal opening immediately above that slit, with a sloping notch, bevelling upwards and outwards over that again. The breath blown in at the lower end, in passing through the slit would strike against the edge of the notch above, and there produce rapid flutterings, which would be communicated to the air in the tube, and would cause a sound to be emitted. In this manner a specimen of the second class of pipe mentioned above—that of the Open species—would be brought into existence.

In course of time the idea would occur of trying to obtain more than one sound from a single pipe, for which purpose first one hole to be covered or exposed by a finger—then a second, and so on, would be cut laterally, in the body of the pipe, in a line with the slit just described, which experiment would be attended with the same result on the pitch of the sound as if the tube were shortened at each hole in succession. Thus the same short succession of agreeable sounds as those of the Pan's-pipe, or any pleasant admixture of them, would be obtainable from one tube, and a rude model produced of an instrument which in its more finished form subsequently became the Flute-à-bec. Familiar examples of this kind of perforated tube are presented by the wooden and tin toy-whistles of the present day.

When the first 'squeaker' was made, such as country lads still delight to construct of osiers in spring-time, a primitive model of a pipe of the third kind mentioned above, a Reed-pipe, was produced. It consisted of a 'vibrator' and a tube; the former sounded by being agitated by compressed wind from an air-cavity, the breath from the human mouth. Reed-pipes, although freely used as separate wind-instruments in ancient times—the Bag-pipe among the number—were not introduced into organs until the fifteenth century, so far as can be ascertained, and need not therefore be further considered in this place.

A series of pipes of the second class (receiving air from below), would be less conveniently under the immediate control of the mouth than their predecessors; hence a wooden box was devised (now the wind-chest), containing a row of holes along the top, into which were placed the lower ends of the pipes; and the wind was sometimes provided by two attendants, who blew with their mouths alternately into pliable tubes, the one while the other took breath. An antique organ supplied in this manner is sculptured under a monument in the Museum at Arles, bearing the date of xx.m.viii.[3]

Fig. 2.

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This piece of carving is of the highest interest as showing the ancient organ at its first step from a state of the utmost simplicity—dismounted indeed from the breast of the player, yet still supplied by the mouth, and before the application of bellows; and it has not previously appeared in any English article on the organ.

The pipes are held in position by a cross-band, just as were those of the earlier Syrinx. The carving represents the back of the instrument, as is indicated not only by the 'blowers' being there, but also by the order of the pipes, from large to small, appearing to run the wrong way, namely, from right to left instead of the reverse. The pipes of the early organs are said to have sounded at first altogether, and those which were not required to be heard had to be silenced by means of the fingers or hands. Fig. 3.
An arrangement so defective would soon call for a remedy; and the important addition was made of a slide, rule, or tongue of wood, placed beneath the hole leading to each pipe, and so perforated as either to admit or exclude the wind as it was drawn in or out. Kircher gives a drawing, here reproduced, to show this improvement.

The wind was conveyed to the chest through the tube projecting from the right-hand side, either from the lips or from some kind of hand-bellows. In each case the stream would be only intermittent.

Another drawing given by Kircher (said to be that of the Hebrew instrument called Magrephah), exhibits the important addition of two small bellows, which would afford a continuous wind-supply, the one furnishing wind while the other was replenishing.

Fig. 4.

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It is very doubtful, however, whether this is an authentic representation. The pipes are picturesquely disposed, but on account of their natural succession being so greatly disturbed for this purpose, and their governing slides doubtless also similarly intermixed, the task to the organist of always manipulating them correctly must have been one of extreme difficulty, if not impossibility. Nevertheless, as soon as the apparatus received the accession of the two little bellows placed to the rear of the wind-box, in lieu of two human beings, the small instrument arrived at the importance of being essentially a complete and independent, albeit a primitive Pneumatic organ.

Whether the two bellows produced as unequal a wind as is sometimes supposed, is perhaps scarcely apparent. At the present day the working of the two 'feeders' of the popular house-instrument—the Harmonium—when the Expression-stop is drawn, demonstrates that it is quite possible to supply air from two separate sources alternately without any appreciable interruption to its equability; and it is quite possible that in old times, when the necessary care and attention were bestowed, a tolerably uniform current of air and a fairly even quality of tone were obtained.

At any rate, a means of producing an absolutely equal pressure of wind, and one that could not possibly be disturbed by any inexpertness of the blower, was secured in the Hydraulic organ. This variety was invented by an Egyptian of the name of Ctesibius, who flourished in the third century B.C. The title is scarcely correct, since the instrument was 'hydraulic' only so far as the method of weighting the wind was concerned. It had not a single 'water-pipe' in it, and in all respects save that just mentioned was Pneumatic. The principle of the wind-regulating apparatus, which was both simple and ingenious, was as follows. Into a cistern made to almost any convenient shape, a vessel was placed, shaped somewhat like an inverted basin, supported upon wooden wedges about two inches from the bottom, and thus leaving an opening all round. This receptacle was the wind-receiver, and was nearly or quite immersed in water. Attached to the top of the receiver was a pipe (furnished with a valve below) through which air was forced by a wind-pump. When no wind was in the receiver, water would of course pass under its rim from without, and rise as high inside as outside, upon the well-known principle that water will always find its own level. When wind was passed into the receiver, the water previously within would be partially or entirely expelled, but would in its turn press its weight upon the air that had dislodged it, which would thus acquire the elastic force required to adapt it to its purpose. A second tube then conveyed away the air thus compressed, from the receiver to the pipes.[4]

An organ thus supplied with wind could not be over-blown, because if more air were sent forward by the wind-pump than the receiver could hold, the surplus would pass under the rim of the receiver, and escape in bubbles from the surface. The general force of the wind could be increased by pouring more water into the tank, which added to its weight, and consequently to its pressure upon the air, or could be decreased by subtracting water from the previous quantity.

The Hydraulic organ occurs in the Talmud under the name of hirdaulis or ardablis; and a certain instrument is mentioned as having stood in the Temple of Jerusalem, which is called Magrephah, and had ten notes, with ten pipes to each note. This organ, however, was not a hydraulic one.[5]

Great as may have been the theoretical merits of the Hydraulic system, yet in practice it does not seem to have supplanted the purely Pneumatic. This fact would imply, in the first place, that the defects of the Pneumatic system were not of so radical a nature as has generally been supposed; and in the second, that the Hydraulic system itself was by no means free from objections, one of which certainly would be that of causing damp in the instrument, an intruder towards whom organ-builders always entertain the greatest horror. The Hydraulic organ nevertheless continued in occasional use up to about the commencement of the 14th century, when it appears finally to have died out. Its weight and size seem to have originated a distinction between portable and stationary organs, which began early, and was perpetuated in the terms frequently used of 'Portative' and 'Positive.'

Although nothing very precise can be deduced from the ancient writers as to the time, place, or manner in which some of the progressive steps in the invention of the organ already detailed were made, yet it is certain that the germ of many of the most important parts of the instrument had been discovered before the commencement of the Christian era, the period at which we have now arrived.

During the first ten centuries but little appears to have been done to develop the organ in size, compass, or mechanism; in fact, no advances are known to have been made in the practice of music itself of a kind to call such improvements into existence. Yet a number of isolated records exist as to the materials used in the construction of the instrument; the great personages who exerted themselves about it; and its gradual introduction from Greece, where it is said to have taken its origin, into other countries, and into the church; and these have only to be brought together and placed in something approaching to chronological order, with a few connecting words here and there, to form an interesting and continuous narrative.

In the organ of Ctesibius, described by Hero,[6] it appears that the lower extremity of each pipe was enclosed in a small shallow box, something like a domino box inverted, the sliding lid being downwards. Each lid had an orifice which, on the lid being pushed home, placed the hole in correspondence with the orifice of the pipe, and the pipe then sounded. When the sliding lid was drawn forward, it closed the orifice, and so silenced the pipe. With certain improvements as to detail, this action is in principle substantially the same as that shown in Figs. 3 and 4, and it continued in use up to the 11th century. But the most interesting part of this description is the reference to the existence of a simple kind of key-action which pushed in the lid on the key being pressed down, the lid being pulled back by a spring of elastic horn and a cord on the key being released. Claudian the poet, who flourished about A.D. 400, has in his poem 'De Consulatu F. Mallii Theodori' (316–19) left a passage describing an organist's performance upon an instrument of this kind, and also its effect, of which the following is a literal version: 'Let there be also one who by his light touch forcing out deep murmurs, and managing the unnumbered tongues of the field of brazen tubes, can with nimble finger cause a mighty sound; and can rouse to song the waters stirred to their depths by the massive lever.' The reference to water implies that the organ was a Hydraulic one.

A Greek [7]epigram, attributed to the Emperor Julian the Apostate (died A.D. 363), conveys some particulars concerning another kind of 4th-century organ, of which the following is a literal translation: 'I see a strange sort of reeds they must methinks have sprung from no earthly, but a brazen soil. Wild are they, nor does the breath of man stir them, but a blast, leaping forth from a cavern of ox-hide, passes within, beneath the roots of the polished reeds; while a lordly man, the fingers of whose hands are nimble, stands and touches here and there the concordant stops of the pipes; and the stops, as they lightly rise and fall, force out the melody.' This account describes a Pneumatic organ, and one which had no keyboard. Both accounts particularise the material of which the pipes were made bronze, and it is not improbable that pipes of metal were at that time a novelty.

Theodoret (born about 393, died 457) also refers to musical organs as being furnished with pipes of copper or of bronze.

On an obelisk at Constantinople, erected by Theodosius (died 393), is a representation of an organ, which is here copied.

Fig. 5.

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The pipes are eight in number, and appear to be formed of large reeds, or canes, as those of Chinese organs are said to be at the present day. They are not sufficiently varied in length to indicate the production of a proper musical scale, which is possibly an error of the sculptor. They are supported like those shown in Fig. 2. This example is very interesting as affording the earliest illustration known of a method of compressing the organ wind which some centuries afterwards became common—namely, by the weight of human beings. From the drawing it seems as if the two youths were standing on the same bellows, whereas they were more probably mounted on separate ones placed side by side. St. Jerome, a little later (died 420), is said [8]to mention an organ at Jerusalem, with twelve brazen pipes, two elephants' skins, and fifteen smiths' bellows, which could be heard at the Mount of Olives,—it is nearly a mile from the centre of the city to the top of the mount,—and therefore must have been an instrument of great power. Cassiodorus, who was consul of Rome under King Vitigas the Goth in 514, described the organ of his day as an instrument composed of divers pipes, formed into a kind of tower, which, by means of bellows, is made to produce a loud sound; and in order to express agreeable melodies, it is constructed with certain tongues[9] of wood from the interior, which the finger of the master duly pressing or forcing back, elicits the most pleasing and brilliant tones.

The exact period at which the organ was first used for religious purposes is not positively known; but according to Julianus, a Spanish bishop who flourished A.D. 450, it was in common use in the churches of Spain at that time. One is mentioned as existing 'in the most ancient city of Grado,' in a church of the nuns before the year 580. It is described as being about two feet long, six inches broad, and furnished with fifteen playing-slides and thirty pipes, two pipes to each note. Sir John Hawkins has given a drawing of the slide-box of this organ in his History of Music (i. 401). the 'tongues' of which are singularly ornate. The number of notes on the slide-box (fifteen in a length of two feet) would show that the pipes were of small diameter, and therefore that the notes were treble ones.

The advantage of using the organ in the services of the church was so obvious that it would soon be perceived; and accordingly in the 7th century Pope Vitalian, at Rome (about the year 666), introduced it to improve the singing of the congregations. Subsequently, however, he abolished the singing of the congregations, and substituted in its place that of canonical singers.

At the commencement of the 8th century the use of the organ was appreciated, and the art of making it was known in England. The native artificers had even introduced the custom of pipe decoration, for, according to Aldhelm, who died A.D. 709, the Anglo-Saxons ornamented the front pipes of their organs with gilding. Organ-making was introduced into France about the middle of the same century. Pepin (714–768), the father of Charlemagne, perceived that an organ would be an important aid to devotion; and as the instrument was at that time unknown either in France or Germany, he applied (about the year 757) to the Byzantine Emperor Constantine Copronymus the Sixth, requesting him to send one to France. Constantine not only complied with this solicitation by presenting him with a large organ, but forwarded it by a special deputation, headed by the Roman bishop Stephanus. The organ was deposited in the church of St. Cornelius at Compiégne. It was a Pneumatic organ, with pipes of lead; and is said to have been made and played by an Italian priest, who had learnt the method of doing both at Constantinople.

The first organ introduced into Germany was one which the Emperor Charles the Great, in 811 or 812, caused to be made at Aix-la-Chapelle after the model of that at Compiègne. The copy was successful, and several writers expressed themselves in terms of high praise at its powerful yet pleasing tone. What became of it is not recorded.

In 822 or 826 an organ was sent to Charlemagne by the Caliph Haroun Alraschid, constructed by an Arabian maker of the name of Giafar, which was placed in a church at Aix-laChapelle. It was a Pneumatic organ of extraordinarily soft tone.

Venice was favourably known for its organ-makers about this time; a monk of that city, of the name of Georgius, a native of Benevento, having in the year 822 constructed an instrument for Louis le Débonnaire, which was a Hydraulic organ, and was erected in the palace of the king at Aix-la-Chapelle. Its pipes were of lead.

The French and Germans were both desirous of rivalling the foreign specimens of ingenuity that had come under their notice; and so successful were they in their endeavours, that after a time the best organs were said to be made in France and Germany. The progress of Germany in making and using them in the latter half of the 9th century, particularly in East Franconia, was so great, that Pope John VIII (880), in a letter to Anno, Bishop of Friesingen, requests that a good organ may be sent to him, and a skilful player to instruct the Roman artists.

By this time organ-building had apparently made its way into Bavaria; and a large instrument, with box-wood pipes, is said to have been erected in the Cathedral of Munich at a very early date.

In the 9th century organs had become common in this country, the English artificers furnishing them with pipes of copper, which were fixed in gilt frames. In the 10th century the English prelate St. Dunstan (925–988), famous for his skill in metal work, erected or fabricated an organ in Malmesbury Abbey, the pipes of which were of brass. He also gave an organ to Abingdon Abbey, and is said to have furnished many other English churches and convents with similar instruments. In this same century Count Elwin presented an organ to the convent at Ramsey, on which he is said to have expended the then large sum of thirty pounds in copper pipes, which are described as emitting a sweet melody and a far-resounding peal.

A curious representation of an organ of about this date is given in a MS. Psalter of Edwin preserved in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge.[10] The pipes are placed within a frame, apparently after the manner referred to above. The surface of the organ is represented as being perforated to receive a second set of pipes, though the draughtsman appears to have sketched one hole too many. The two organists, whose duties seem for the moment to have been brought to an end by the inattention of the blowers, are intent on admonishing their assistants, who are striving to get up the wind-supply, which their neglect has apparently allowed to run out. {{c|Fig. 6.
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The four bellows are blown in a manner which we here meet with for the first time—namely, through the intervention of handles instead of directly by the hands; and as in so small an organ there could not have been room for four persons to compress the wind by standing upon the bellows, we may infer that they were loaded with weights in the manner that has generally been supposed not to have been introduced until some centuries later.

At the end of the 10th century several organs existed in Germany (St. Paul's, Erfurt; St. James's, Magdeburg; and Halberstadt cathedral), which, although small and unpretending instruments, were objects of much astonishment and attraction at the time.

In the 11th century we find a treatise on the construction of organs, included in a larger work on Divers Arts, by a monk and priest of the name of Theophilus, which is of considerable interest as showing the exact state of the art of organ-making at that period; the more so as even the existence of such a tract was unknown to all the historians, foreign or English, who wrote on the subject, until it was discovered by Mr. Hendrie, who published a translation of it in 1847.[11] It is too long to quote in extenso, and is also rather obscure in parts; but the following particulars may be gathered from it:—that the slide-box was made two and a half feet in length, and rather more than one foot in breadth; that the pipes were placed upon its surface; that the compass consisted of 7 or 8 notes; that the length of the slide-box was measured out equally for the different notes or slides, and not on a gradually decreasing scale as the pipes became smaller, since the playing-slides would not in that case have been of one width or at one distance apart; that the organ was played by these movable slides; that each slide worked in little side-slits, like the lid of a box of dominos; that there were two or perhaps even more pipes to each note; that the projecting 'tongue' of each slide was marked with a letter to indicate to which note it belonged—a custom that continued in use for centuries afterwards (as for instance in the Halberstadt organ finished in 1361; and in the old organ in the church of St. Ægidien, in Brunswick, built in the latter part of the 15th century, and illustrated farther on); that a hole was cut through the slide under each pipe about an inch and a half across, for the passage of the wind; that all the pipes of a note sounded together; that a note was sounded by the slide being pushed in, and silenced by its being drawn forward; and that in the front of each slide, immediately behind the handle or tongue, a narrow hole about two inches long was cut, in which was fixed a copper-headed nail, which regulated the motion of the slide and prevented its being drawn out too far.

The following illustration, deduced from Theophilus's description, shows the slide, and three passages for wind to as many pipes above. The slide intercepts the wind, but will allow it to pass on being moved so that its openings, shown by the unshaded parts, correspond with those below and above.

Fig. 7.

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Gori's 'Thesaurus Diptychorum,' 1759, vol. ii. contains a most interesting engraving, copied from an ancient MS., said to be as old as the time of Charlemagne, which shows a person playing upon an instrument of the Theophilus type.

Fig. 8.

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But of all the information given by Theophilus, the most important, because previously unknown and unsuspected, is that which relates to the finishing of the pipes so as to produce different qualities of tone. They were made of the finest copper; and the formation of a pipe being completed, Theophilus thus proceeds: 'He (the maker) can bring it (the pipe) to his mouth and blow at first slightly, then more, and then strongly; and, according to what he discerns by hearing, he can arrange the sound, so that if he wish it strong the opening is made wider; but if slighter, it is made narrower. In this order all the pipes are made.' Here we see that the means for producing a fuller tone by a wide or high mouth, and a more delicate sound by a narrower or lower one, were well known in the 11th century; and that the manner of testing the 'speech' by blowing the pipe with the mouth in various ways, is precisely that often employed by the 'voicer' of the present day, when 'regulating' or 'finishing' a stop. It is worthy of observation that although Theophilus incidentally recognises an addition to the number of pipes to a note as one means of increasing the utility of the organ, he as distinctly indicates its range or compass as simply seven or eight notes. It would have been of great importance had he mentioned the names of the sounds which formed a sufficient scale for the accompaniment of the chants of his day. His record, as a priest and monk, as well as an organ-maker, would have been most valuable.

We have intentionally introduced the account of Theophilus somewhat before its due chronological place, as it materially assists in elucidating the description of the remarkable organ erected in Winchester Cathedral in the 10th century by order of Bishop Elphege (died 951), and described in a poem by a monk of the name of Wulstan who died in 963. It is of further use in this place, since Wulstan's description has up to this time been a great puzzle to most writers on the history of the organ.

The following is a translation of the portion of the Latin poem with which we are concerned, as given by Mr. Wackerbarth in his 'Music and the Anglo-Saxons,' pp. 12–15.

Such organs as you have built are seen nowhere, fabricated on a double ground. Twice six bellows above are ranged in a row, and fourteen lie below. These, by alternate blasts, supply an immense quantity of wind, and are worked by seventy strong men, labouring with their arms, covered with perspiration, each inciting his companions to drive the wind up with all his strength, that the full-bosomed box may speak with its four hundred pipes which the hand of the organist governs. Some when closed he opens, others when open he closes, as the individual nature of the varied sound requires. Two brethren (religious) of concordant spirit sit at the instrument, and each manages his own alphabet. There are, moreover, hidden holes in the forty tongues, and each has ten (pipes) in their due order. Some are conducted hither, others thither, each preserving the proper point (or situation) for its own note. They strike the seven differences of joyous sounds, adding the music of the lyric semitone. Like thunder the iron tones batter the ear, so that it may receive no sound but that alone. To such an amount does it reverberate, echoing in every direction, that every one stops with his hand his gaping ears, being in no wise able to draw near and bear the sound, which so many combinations produce. The music is heard throughout the town, and the flying fame thereof is gone out over the whole country.

From this we learn that the organ was built in two stages, as are most of those of the present day, but of which no previous example is met with; the chief department—corresponding with the Great organ of after-time, and fed by fourteen bellows—being below, and the two smaller departments—answering to the Choir and Echo organs of later times, and each supplied by six bellows—being above. Several of the pipes were so far of an exceptionally large size, probably foreshadowing the Double Diapason of subsequent times, that some were 'conducted hither, others thither'; that is to say, in organ-builders' language, they were 'conveyanced off' pipes, and were probably brought into view and so grouped as to form an ornamental front, exactly as in the present day. The 'tongues' were perforated with 'hidden holes,' after the manner explained by Theophilus; and there were the remarkable number of ten pipes to each playing-slide 'in their due order,' whatever that 'order' may have been.

The organ had a total number of forty tongues; and as the organist had the help of two assistants, and each 'managed his own alphabet,' the lettered tongues must have been assorted into three sets. The remarks of the same writer on the voicing of pipes show it to be quite probable that the three divisions of this organ produced as many different strengths of tone, like the separate manuals of a modern instrument. The gamut of the instrument consisted of the seven diatonic sounds, with 'the music of the lyric semitone (B flat) added.' This last expression is interesting, as showing not only that the introduction of the B flat was unusual, but that its effect was musical. It modified the tritone which existed between F and B.

Sufficient is indicated in this account to enable one, after some thought, to offer a suggestion as to the most probable range of the three sets of playing-slides of this Winchester organ. A series of eleven diatonic sounds, from C to F, making with the B flat (lyric semitone) twelve, would be all that was required by the old chants as an accompaniment, and would dispose of thirty-six of the notes. The chief alphabet may not improbably have descended one note lower, to B♮ and three higher, to B♭, a compass that was afterwards frequently adopted by the mediæval organ-makers; or may have had two extra diatonic notes both above and below, extending the range to two octaves, namely from A to A, corresponding with the ancient 'Disjunct or Greater System Complete.' In either case the exact number of ' forty tongues' would thus be accounted for. These assumed ranges are exhibited in the following diagram.

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \clef bass \relative a, { \override Stem #'transparent = ##t \cadenzaOn a4 b \bar "|" c d e f g_"16 notes" a^"12 notes" bes b c d e f \bar "|" \clef treble g a  \override NoteHead #'style = #'cross bes } }

The description of the organist's opening or closing the holes 'as the individual nature of the varied sound requires,' clearly indicates that he manipulated for single notes only; in fact, with slides he could for successive sounds do no more than draw forward with one hand as he pushed home with the other.

The contrast from 'loud' to 'soft' and back, which from an organ was probably heard for the first time in this example, would be obtained by 'the organist' himself ceasing, and letting one of his assistants take up the strain, and then by his again resuming it; but whether the three, when simultaneously engaged, still played the melody only, or whether they occasionally 'battered the ears' of the congregation with some of the hideous progressions instituted by Hucbald in his 'Organum' in the 10th century, it probably now would not be easy to ascertain. If the latter, it is quite possible that the chants of the period were sometimes clothed in such harmony as the following; the 'organist' playing the plain-song, and each of the attendants one of the under parts:—

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \clef bass << \new Voice \relative d' { \cadenzaOn f1 g f \bar "|" f e c d \bar "||" }
\new Voice \relative c' { \cadenzaOn \override Stem #'transparent = ##t \tiny c4 d c c b g a }
\new Voice { \cadenzaOn \override Stem #'transparent = ##t \tiny f g f f e c d } >> }

If the din caused by the zealous organist and his 'two brethren (religious) of concordant spirit' was such that the tone 'reverberated and echoed in every direction, so that no one was able to draw near and hear the sound, but had to stop with his hands his gaping ears,' which could 'receive no sound but that alone,' it is evident that the race of noisy organ accompanyists dates much farther back than has generally been supposed, and existed before 'lay' performers were heard of.

We now arrive at a period when a vast improvement was made in the manner of constructing the organ. It has been shown that when the Winchester organ was made, and onwards to the date of the treatise by Theophilus, the method of admitting wind to, or of excluding it from the pipes of a note, was by a slide, which alternately covered and exposed the underside of the holes leading up to its pipes. The frictional resistance of the slides, at all times trying, would inevitably be increased by their swelling in damp weather and becoming tight; they would certainly have to be lengthened for every pipe added, which would make them heavier and harder to move with the hand; and they involved the twofold task, already mentioned, of simultaneously thrusting one slide back while another was being drawn out. These circumstances, added to the fact that a given resistance can be overcome with less difficulty by a blow than by a pull with the fingers and thumb, must have directed attention to the possibility of substituting pressure for traction in the manipulation of the organ. Thus it is recorded that towards the end of the 11th century huge keys, or rather levers, began to be used as the means for playing the instrument; and however unwieldy these may have been, they were nevertheless the first rude steps towards providing the organ with a keyboard. A spring-box, too, of some kind was almost of necessity also an improvement of the same period; for without some restoring power, a key, on being knocked down, would have remained there until picked up; and that restoring power would be the most readily supplied by a spring or springs. In some of the early spring-boxes a separate valve seems to have been placed against the hole leading up to every pipe of each note, where it was held in position by an elastic appliance of the nature just named. The valves were brought under outward control by strings or cords, which passed through the bottom of the spring-box, and were attached to the key lying in a direct line beneath. As the keys must have been hung at their inner end, and have had their greatest fall in front, the smallest pipes of a note were no doubt from the first placed quite inside, and the largest in front, with those of graduating scale occupying an intermediate position in proportion to their size; and thus the small valves, opening a lesser distance, were strung where the key had the least fall, and the larger pallets where they had the greatest motion.

The late Herr Edmund Schulze, of Paulinzelle, about twenty years ago made for the present writer a rough sketch of the spring-box of an organ about 400 years old which he assisted in taking to pieces when he was quite a youth; from which sketch the drawing for the following illustration was prepared.

Fig. 9.

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The early keys are described as being from three to five inches wide, or even more; an inch and a half thick; from a foot and a half to a yard or more in length, with a fall sometimes of as much as a foot in depth. They must at times therefore have been as large as the treadle of a knife-grinder's machine. Their size and amount of resistance would on first thought appear to have been most unnecessarily great and clumsy; but this is soon accounted for. We have seen that the gauge of the keys was influenced by the size of pipe necessary for the lowest note. Their width would be increased when the compass was extended downwards with larger pipes; and their length would be increased with the number of valves that had to be strung to them; while the combined resistance of the many strong springs of the larger specimens would render the touch insensible to anything short of a thump.

It was in the Cathedral at Magdeburg, towards the end of the century of which we have been speaking (the 11th), that the earliest organ with a keyboard of which we have any authentic record, was erected. It is said to have had a compass of sixteen notes,—the same range as that of our assumed 'chief alphabet' of the Winchester organ,—but no mention is made as to what the notes were.

In the 12th century the number of keys was sometimes increased; and every key further received the addition of two or three pipes, sounding the fifth and octave to the unison. According to Seidel[12] (p. 8) a third and tenth were added. Provided a rank of pipes sounding the sub-octave were present, the fifth, octave, and tenth would sound at the distance of a twelfth, fifteenth, and seventeenth thereto, which would be in acoustic proportion; but a rank producing a major third above the unison as an accompaniment to a plain-chant conveying the impression of a minor key, must have sounded so atrocious, that it would probably be introduced only to be removed on the earliest opportunity, unless a rank of pipes sounding the second octave below the unison (afterwards the 32-feet stop), were also present. Although the number of pipes to each key thus continued to be added to, no means was devised for silencing or selecting any of the several ranks or tiers. All sounded together, and there was no escaping from the strong incessant 'Full Organ' effect.

There is a curious account written by Lootens[13]—an author but little known—of a Dutch organ said to have been erected in the church of St. Nicholas at Utrecht in the year 1120. The organ had two manuals and pedals.
{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 4/1 \clef bass f,1 \clef treble bes' }
The compass of the former was from the low F of the bass voice, which would be represented by a pipe of 6 feet standard length, up to the B♭ of the soprano, namely, two octaves and a half. The chief manual had twelve pipes to each key, including one set of which the largest pipe would be 12 feet in length, [14]and which therefore was identical with the Double Open Diapason of subsequent times. The soundboard was without grooves or drawstops, consequently there were probably nearly as many springs for the organ-beater to overcome as there were pipes to sound. The second manual was described as havirig a few movable drawstops; and the pedals one independent stop,—oddly enough a Trumpet,—details and peculiarities which strongly point to the last two departments having been additions made at a much later period; for a ' double organ ' is not known to have existed for two centuries after the date at which this one is said to have been completed; still less a triple one.

In the 13th century the use of the organ in divine service was, according to Seidel, pp. 80–9, deemed profane and scandalous by the Greek and Latin clergy, just as in the 17th century the instrument was called a 'squeaking abomination' by the English Puritans. The Greek Church does not tolerate its use even at the present day.

Early in the 14th century—in the year 1312—an organ was built in Germany for Marinus Sanutus, a celebrated Venetian Patrician, which was erected in the church of St. Raphael, in Venice. It excited great admiration; and as it no doubt contained all the newest improvements, it was a pleasing return to make for the organ Bent from Venice to Aix-la-Chapelle nearly five hundred years before.

One of the greatest improvements effected in the organ in the 14th century was the gradual introduction of the four remaining chromatic semitones. F♯ was added in the early part of the century; then followed C♯ and E♭; and next G♯. The B♭ already existed in the Winchester and other medieval instruments. By Dom Bedos the introduction of these four notes is assigned to the 13th century; while others place the first appearance of three of them as late as the 15th. Prætorius gives them an intermediate date the middle of the 14th century; and he is undoubtedly correct, as they were certainly in the Halberstadt organ, finished in the year 1361.

Dom Bedos refers to a curious MS. of the 14th century in the Bibliothèque Royale, as affording much further information respecting the organ of that period. This MS. records that the clavier of that epoch sometimes comprised as many as 31 keys, namely, from B up to F, two octaves and a fifth;
{ \clef bass \override Staff.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 4/1 b,1 \clef treble f'' }
that wooden rollers, resembling those used until within the last few years in English organs, were employed to transmit the movement of the keys to the valves; that the bass pipes were distributed, right and left, in the form of wings; and that those of the top notes were placed in the centre of the instrument, as they now are.

To appreciate the importance of the improvements just mentioned, and others that are necessarily implied, it is necessary to remember that so long as it was a custom in organ-making to have the pipes above and the keys below placed parallel one to the other, every little expansion of the organ involved an aggravation of the unwieldy size of the keys, at the same time that the convenient reach of the player set most rigid bounds to the legitimate expansion of the organ, and fixed the extent of its limits. The ingenious contrivance of the roller-board at once left the dimensions of the organ free to be extended laterally, wholly irrespective of the measure of the keyboard.

This emancipation was necessary before the additional semitones could be conveniently accommodated; for as they would materially increase the number of pipes in each rank, so they would require wider space to stand in, a larger spring-box, such as was then made, to stand upon, and rollers equal in length to the sum of the distance to which the pipes were removed out of a parallel with each key.

With regard to the distribution of the pipes, they had generally been placed in a single row, as shown in medieval drawings, but as the invention of the chromatic notes nearly doubled the number in the septave—increasing them from seven to twelve—half the series would now form nearly as long a row as the entire diatonic range previously did. The two smallest pipes were therefore placed in the centre of the organ, and the remainder alternately on each side; and their general outline—spreading outwards and upwards—gave them the appearance of a pair of outstretched wings. The 'zig-zag' plantation of pipes was doubtless a subsequent arrangement.

In 1350 Poland appears in connection with our subject. In that year an organ was made by a monk at Thorn in that kingdom, which had 22 keys. As this is the exact number possessed by the Halberstadt organ, completed eleven years later, it is possible that the Thorn organ may have been an anticipation of that at Halberstadt, as far as the chromatic keyboard is concerned.

Up to this time (14th century), we have met with nothing to indicate that the organ had been employed or designed for any other purpose than the execution of a primitive accompaniment to the plainsong; but the instrument which now comes under notice breaks entirely fresh ground, and marks a new starting point in the use of the organ as well as its construction and development. The Halberstadt Cathedral organ, although, strictly speaking, a 'single organ' only, with a compass of scarcely three octaves, had three claviers, and pipes nearly equal in size to any that have ever been subsequently made. It was built by Nicholas Faber, a priest, and was finished on Feb. 23, 1361. Our information regarding it is obtained from the description of Michael Prætorius in his 'Syntagma musicum,' It had 22 keys, 14 diatonic, and 8 chromatic, extending from B♮ up to A, and 20 bellows blown by 10 men.
{ \clef bass \override Staff.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 4/1 b,1 \clef treble a' }
Its largest pipe, B, stood in front, and was 31 Brunswick feet in length, and 3½ ft. in circumference, or about 14 inches in diameter. This note would now be marked as the semitone below the C of 32 feet, and the pipe would naturally be expected to exceed the pipe of that note in length; but the pitch of the Halberstadt organ is known to have been more than a tone sharper than the highest pitch in use in England at the present day, which accounts for the want of length in its B♮ pipe.[15]

In the Halberstadt instrument a successful endeavour was made for the first time to obtain some relief from the constant 'full organ' effect, which was all that had previously been commonly produced. For this purpose a means was devised for enabling the pipes standing in front (afterwards the Principal, Praestant, or Open Diapason), and the larger pipes in the side towers (subsequently part of the Great Bass Principal, or 32-feet Diapason), to be used separately and independently of the other tiers of pipes, which were located behind, and hence called the Hintersatz, or 'hinder-position.' This result was obtained by introducing three claviers instead of one only; the upper one for the full organ, consisting of all the tiers of pipes combined; the middle one, of the same compass as the upper, and called 'Discant,' for the open diapason alone; and the lower one, with a compass of an octave, from ♮ (B♮) to H (B♮), for the lower portion of the bass diapason. The result of this arrangement was that a change from forte to piano could be obtained by playing with the right hand on the middle manual and the left hand on the lower. It was even possible for the organist to strike out the plainsong, forte, on the Hintersatz with his left fist, and play a primitive counterpoint (discant) with the right. Prætorius mentions incidentally that the large bass pipes, which sounded the third octave below the unison, would have been scarcely definable, but being accompanied by the numerous pipes of other pitches in the general mixture organ, they became effective. A rank of pipes sounding a 'third' above the unison, like that mentioned by Seidel, and already quoted, might very well have been among these.

The claviers of the Halberstadt organ presented several interesting features; and being the earliest examples of chromatic keyboards known, are here engraved from Prætorius.

Fig. 10.

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Fig. 11.

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Fig. 12.

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The keys of the Halberstadt organ were made at a time when the five chromatic notes—or as we now call them, the 'sharps and flats'—were placed in a separate row from the 'naturals,' almost as distinctly so as a second manual of the present day. The keys of the upper (Hintersatz) and middle (Discant) claviers (Fig. 10) measured four inches from centre to centre, and the diatonic notes were ornamentally shaped and lettered, thus preserving the 'alphabetic' custom observed in the 10th-century organ at Winchester, and described by Theophilus in the 11th. The chromatic notes were square-shaped, and had their surface about two and a half inches above that of the diatonic, were two inches in width, and one inch in thickness, and had a fall of about an inch and a quarter. The chromatic keys were no doubt pressed down by the three inner fingers, and the diatonic by the wrist end of the hand. The diatonic notes of the lower clavier (Fig. 11), eight in number, namely ♮ (B♮), C, D, E, F, G, A, H (B♮), were quite differently formed, being squarefronted, two inches in breadth, and with a space of about the same width on each side. These keys were evidently thrust down by the left hand, by pressure from the shoulder, like handles, the space on each side being left for the fingers and thumb to pass through. This clavier had four chromatic notes, C♯, E♭, F♯, and G♯, but curiously enough, not B♭, although that was the 'lyric semitone' of which so much is heard long before.

The contrast between the forte and piano effect on the Halberstadt organ—from the full organ to a single set of pipes—must have been very violent; but the experiment had the good effect of directing attention to the fact that a change, if less marked, would be grateful and useful; for Seidel (p. 9) records that from this time instruments were frequently made comprising two manual organs, the upper one, interestingly enough, being named 'discant'; and he further gives it as his opinion that this kind of construction probably led to the invention of Couplers.

He likewise mentions that large churches were often provided with a second and smaller organ; and Prætorius speaks of primitive little organs which were hung up against a column in the church 'like swallows nests,' and contained twelve or thirteen notes almost or entirely diatonic, thus,

B, C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C, D, E, F; or
C, D, E, F, G, A, B♭, C, D, E, F, G, A.

Dom Bedos relates that in the 14th century an organ was erected in the church of St. Cyprian, at Dijon, which not only had two manuals, but had the choir organ in front. The front pipes were made of tin, those inside of lead; there were said to be soundboard grooves, covered underneath with white leather; three bellows 4 feet 7 inches long, and 2 feet 1 inch wide; and an arrangement by which a continuous wind could be provided from one bellows only. This, however, is manifestly the account of an organ which had received improvements long after its construction, such additions afterwards coming to be described as part of the original work.

We now come to the 15th century, which was prolific in its improvements of the springbox, keys, pedals, wind-supply, etc. And first of the Spring-box.

The first endeavour was to obtain more than one strength of tone from the same manual. It appears that to establish the power of preventing some of the sets of pipes (doubtless those that afterwards constituted the mixture and other bright-sounding ranks) from speaking when required to be silent, a sliding board was placed over the valves that opened and closed the entrance for the wind at the feet of those pipes. The remaining tiers of pipes, doubtless those sounding the unison (8), octave (4), and suboctave (16), could thus be left in readiness to sound alone when desired. The effect of this contrivance must have greatly resembled that of the 'shifting movement' of subsequent times.

Two distinct effects were thus obtained from one organ and one set of keys; and the question would soon arise, 'if two, why not more?' A further division of the organ-sound soon followed; and according to Prætorius the credit of first dividing and converting the Hintersatz into an Instrument of several single sets of pipes (afterwards called registers or stops) is due to a German artificer of the appropriate name of Timotheus, who constructed a soundboard possessing this power for an organ which he rebuilt for the monastery of the Bishop's palace at Würtzburg.

The 'Spring soundboard' was formed in the following manner. The valves of each note were closed in on each side by two diminutive walls (soundboard bars) extending from the back to the front of the wind-box, and, together with the top and bottom, forming and enclosing each valve within a separate canal (soundboard groove) of its own. The entire area of the former wind-box was partitioned off in this manner, and occupied by the 'bars' and 'grooves' of the newly devised soundboard. A playing-valve (soundboard pallet) was necessary below each groove to admit or exclude wind. These were collectively enclosed within a box (wind-chest) now added to fulfil the duty of the transformed wind-box. The valves immediately under the several pipes of a note were no longer drawn down from below by cords, but were pressed down from above, as shown in the following cut, which is a transverse section of a small spring soundboard for three stops.

Fig. 13.

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A metal pin passed down through the surface of the soundboard and rested on the front end of the 'register-valve' as it was called. A movement or draw-stop was provided, on drawing which the longitudinal row of metal pins was pressed down, and the valves lowered. The combined resistance of the set of springs beneath the valves was very considerable, hence great force was necessary in 'drawing a stop,' which had to be hitched on to an iron bar to keep it 'out.' When released it sprang back of its own accord. The set of pipes of which the register-valves were open, would then be ready for use; and in the woodcut the front set is shown as being thus prepared. The wind would be admitted into the groove by drawing down the soundboard pallet, which is seen immediately below.

By this means the power was created of using each separate set of pipes, except the small ones, singly or in any desired combination, so that the organ could be played loud or soft, or at any intermediate strength between the two extremes; and they now for the first time received distinctive names, as Principal (Open Diapason, 8 feet); Octave (Principal, 4 feet); Quint (Twelfth, 2⅔ feet); Super-octave (Fifteenth, 2 feet); etc.; and each separate series was then called a Register (Stop). The smaller sets of pipes were left to be used in a group, and were called 'Mixture'[16] (Sesquialtera, etc.). The stops sounding a note in accordance with the key struck, as C on the C key, were afterwards called Foundation-stops; those which produced a different sound, as G or E on the C key, were named Mutation-stops; while those that combined the two classes of sounds were distinguished as Compound or Mixture Stops.

The spring soundboard was much admired by some Hollanders; and some organ-builders from the Low Countries, as well as from Brabant, went to see it, and constructed soundboards on the same system for some time afterwards.

The pipe-work, however, was all of one class,—open, metal, cylindrical, and of full proportionate scale—similar in general model to the second great class of pipe referred to at the commencement of this article as Open. Great therefore as was the gain resulting from the invention of the registers, the tone still remained of one general character or quality. It then occurred to some of the thinking men of the time that other qualities of tone would probably ensue if modifications were made either in the shape, proportion, outline, or material of the pipes, etc.; and the experiments justified the hypothesis.

Stopped pipes (our first great class) were made either of wood closed with a plug, or of metal covered with a sliding cap; and so a soft pleasing mild tone was obtained. Thus originated the Gedact (Stopped Diapason), Bordun (Bourdon), Klein-gedact (Flute), etc. Some Reed-stops (our third class) were also invented about this time, as the Posaune (Trombone), Trumpet, Vox humana, etc. Stops composed of cylindrical pipes of small diameter were likewise constructed, and made to produce the string-tone, which stops were hence called Violone (Double Bass), Viol di gamba, etc.; and further modifications of tone were secured by either making the pipes taper upwards, as in the Spitz-flote, Gemshorn, etc., or spread out, as in the Dolcan. Thus was brought about as great a contrast in the organ 'tone-tints' as there is between the graduated but similar tones of a photograph and the varied tints of a coloured drawing.

In the course of the 15th century the keys were reduced in size several times, as fresh contrivances for manipulating the instrument were from time to time thought of, or new requirements arose.

An early improvement consisted in combining the 'long and short keys' on one manual, and BO far reducing their size that they could be played by perhaps a couple of fingers and the thumb alternately. The manuals of the old organ in the church of St. Ægidien, in Brunswick, presented this advance; and as they are early examples, perhaps the very first to foreshadow the modern keyboard, a representation of a few notes of one of them is here given from Prætorius.

Fig. 14.

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The naturals of the Great manual were about an inch and three quarters in width, two inches and three eighths in length in front of the short keys, while the short keys, three inches long and an inch wide, stood an inch and a half above the naturals. The keys of the second manual (Rück-positif), curiously enough, appear to have been made to a somewhat smaller gauge, the naturals being an inch and a half in width. On this organ the intervals of a third, fourth, and fifth lay within the span of the hand, and were doubtless sometimes played.

It will be observed that the plan of lettering the keys was still followed; but the formation of the clavier was quickly becoming so compact, well defined, and susceptible of being learnt without such assistance, that the 'alphabet' probably fell into disuse as superfluous soon after this time.

The name given to the second manual,—Rückpositif, Back-choir organ, or, as it is called in England, 'Choir organ in front,'—is interesting as showing that at this time the double organ (to the eye) was certainly in existence.

Franchinus Gaffurius, in his 'Theorica Musica,' printed at Milan in 1492, gives a curious engraving of an organist playing upon an early clavier of this period, with broad keys, of which a copy is given on the opposite page (Fig. 15).

The illustration is of peculiar interest, as it represents the player using his hands—to judge from their position, independently of each other—in the execution of a piece of music in two distinct parts; the melody—possibly a plainsong—being taken with the right hand, which appears to be proceeding sedately enough, while the left seems to be occupied in the prosecution of a contrapuntal figure, the elbows meanwhile being stretched out into almost a flying position.

The keys of the organs in the Barefooted Friars' church at Nuremberg (Rosenberger, 1475), the cathedral at Erfurt (Castendorfer, 1483), and the collegiate church of St. Blasius at Brunswick (Kranz, 1499), were less again in size than the foregoing, so that an octave was brought within about a note of its present width. The next reduction must therefore have introduced the scale of key still in use. Seidel (p. 10) mentions that in 1493 Rosenberger built for the cathedral at Bamberg a still larger organ than his former work at Nuremberg, and with more keys. He further observes that the manual of the organ in the Barefooted Friars' church had the upper keys of ivory and the under keys of ebony. Here then we reach a period when the keys were certainly capped with light and dark hued materials, in the manner which continued to be followed up to the end of the last century, when the naturals were usually black, and the sharps and flats white. Seidel states also that all the above-named organs were provided with pedals.

The invention of the Pedals ranks among the most important improvements that were effected in the 15th century. For a long time they did not exceed an octave in compass, and consisted of the diatonic notes only—♮ (B♮), C, D, E, F, G, A, H (B♮)— and their use was for some time confined, as might have been expected, to the holding of long sustained sounds only. The manual clavier was attached to them by cords. This kind of 'pedal-action ' could only be applied conveniently when the pedals were made to a similar gauge to the manual clavier, as the clavier keys had previously been made to accord in position with the valves in the early . This correspondence of gauges was actually observed by Georgius Kleng in the pedals which he added to the organ at Halberstadt in 1495; and as those pedals were at the same time the earliest of which a representation is to be traced, an engraving has already been given of them below the Halberstadt claviers (Fig. 12, p. 582). It will be observed that in addition to the diatonic keys already mentioned, they had the four chromatic notes corresponding with those on the lower manual with which they communicated. The naturals were made of the kind that were afterwards called 'toe pedals.'

Fig. 15.

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In the early part of the 15th century—in the year 1418—the pedals received the important accession of a stop of independent pedal-pipes, and thus were initiated the 'Pedal Basses' which were destined to impart so much dignity and majesty to the general organ tone.

The manner in which the date of the construction of the first pedal stop was discovered, is thus related in the Leipsic Musical Gazette for 1836 (p. 128):—'In the year 1818 a new organ was erected in the church of Beeskow, five miles from Frankfort on the Oder, on which occasion the organ-builder, Marx senior, took some pains to ascertain the age of the old organ which he had to remove. On a careful investigation it appeared that the old organ had been built just four hundred years, the date mccccxviii being engraved on the upper side of the partition (kern) of the two principal pedal-pipes, for that these two pipes did belong to the pedal was clear from their admeasurement.'

In 1468 or 69 Traxdorff, of Mayence, made an organ for the church of St. Sebald at Nuremberg, with an octave of pedals, which adjuncts led to his being afterwards at times quoted as the originator of them.

Their invention has more usually been attributed to Bernhard in 1470 or 1471, organist to the Doge of Venice; but there can be little doubt that they were known long before his time. Several improvements connected with the pedals seem not to have been traced to their originators; such as the introduction of the semitones, the formation of the frame pedal-board as now made, the substitution of rollers for the rope-action when the breadth of the manual keys was made less than that of the pedals; the separation of the 32-feet stop from the manual, and its appropriation, together with that of other registers, exclusively to the use of the pedals, etc. Bernhard may perhaps have been the first to originate some of these alterations, and Traxdorff others, which tradition afterwards associated with the 'invention of the pedals.'

Dorn Bedos mentions that in the course of the 15th century, 16- and even 32-feet pipes began to be heard of, and that they necessitated a general enlargement of the several parts of the organ, particularly of the bellows. Pipes of 16 and nearly 32 feet were, as we have seen, in existence a century earlier than the period to which Dom Bedos assigns them. His observation therefore may be taken as applying more probably to the fact that means, which he specifies, had been taken to rectify the feebleness existing in the tones of large pipes, such for instance as those at Halberstadt. Hand-bellows were no longer adequate to the supply of wind, either in quantity or strength, and hence more capacious ones were substituted. Prætorius, in 1620, illustrates this improvement by giving a representation of the twenty bellows which he found existing in the old organ in the church of St. Ægidien in Brunswick, and which we have copied (Fig. 16, next page).[17]

Upon each bellows was fixed a wooden shoe; the blowers held on to a transverse bar, and each man, placing his feet in the shoes of two bellows, raised one as he lowered the other. Great ingenuity and constructive labour were bestowed on such bellows; but a supply of wind of uniform strength could never have been obtained from them, and consequently the organ could never have sounded in strict tune.

About the beginning of the 16th century the very ingenious but complicated spring soundboard was discontinued as being subject to frequent and very difficult repairs, and for it was substituted the soundboard with sliding registers.

Fig. 16.

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In this soundboard were ingeniously combined the chief features of the two kinds of wind-controlling apparatus that had been in use in previous centuries. Between the holes in the top of the grooves, and those now made parallel therewith in the pipe-stocks, into which the feet of the pipes fitted, were now introduced the slides, shown in profile in the following cut; which were now laid the length-way of the soundboard, instead of the cross-way as in the old spring-box; and as they were placed in the opposite direction they likewise operated in the reverse way to what they formerly did; that is, each slide opened or closed one pipe of the several notes, whereas before it acted on the several pipes of one note, as shown in Fig. 7, p. 578. The pallets and springs in the windchest were of course retained; but the forest of valves etc. which had been imbedded in the grooves was done away with, and the soundboard simplified and perfected in the form in which it still continues to be made. (Fig. 17.)

Fig. 17.

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In the early part of the 16th century (1516–1518) a large and handsome organ was erected in St. Mary's church, Lübeck, which had two Manuals from D to A above the treble stave, and a separate pedal down to C. The latter had a great Principal of 32 feet, and a second one of 16 feet, made of the finest English tin, and both 'in front.' This organ however was tuned to a very sharp pitch—a whole tone above the highest now in use. Its largest pipe therefore, although named C, really sounded D, and was therefore scarcely so long as the biggest pipe at Halberstadt, made a century and a half earlier. This organ received the addition of a third Manual (then called 'Positiv im Stuhl') in 1560 and 1561, and subsequently underwent many other enlargements and improvements; so that by the beginning of the 18th century, when the celebrated Buxtehude was organist, its disposition stood nearly as follows; though the list may possibly include a few subsequent additions of minor importance.

Hauptwerk. 13 stops.
Feet Feet
Principal 16 Rausch-pfeife (12 & 15) 2
Quintatön 16 Mixture, 7 ranks
Octav 8 Scharff, 4 ranks
Spitz-flöte 8 Trompete 16
Octav 4 Trompete 8
Rohr-flöte 4 Zink 8
Nassat 2
Unter-werk. 14 stops.
Borduu 16 Sesquialtera, (12 & 17) 2
Principal 8 Mixture, 4 ranks
Rohr-flöte 8 Scharff, 5 ranks
Viola di Gamba 8 Fagott 16
Quintatön 8 Bar-pfeife 8
Octave 4 Trichter-Regal 8
Spitz-flöte 2 Vox-humana 8
Brust-werk. 15 stops.
Principal 8 Oboe 8
Gedact 8 Cormorn 8
Octave 4 Regal 8
Rohr-flöte, 4 (In a swell)
Nassat 2 Flöte 8
Sesquialtera (12 & 17) 2 Trompete 8
Mixtur, 8 ranks Trompete 8
Cimbal, 3 ranks Vox humana 8
Pedal. 15 stops.
Principal 32 Mixtur, 6 ranks
Principal 16 Posaune 32
Sub-bass 16 Posaune 16
Octave 8 Basson 16
Gedact 8 Trompete 8
Octav 4 Cormone 8
Nacht-horn 4 Trompete 4
Octav 2

This is the organ, to visit which and to hear Buxtehude play, Sebastian Bach walked 50 miles in 1705. Two years earlier (in 1703), Handel visited Lübeck, as a candidate for the office of organist to one of the other churches in that ancient Hans town; but finding that one of the conditions was that the successful competitor must become the husband of the daughter of the late organist—an appointment for which Handel had certainly sent in no application—he excused himself from continuing the contest, and retreated to Hamburg.

Both the musicians just named, then so young and afterwards so greatly venerated, very probably not only listened to but played upon this organ; and as it contained examples of most of the varieties of stop of which mention has been made, this notice of the progress of organ-building abroad may for the present be fitly closed with the foregoing account of the enlarged form of the earliest 32-ft. C compassed organ that was ever made, so far as can be ascertained.

Having traced the history and growth of the organ in various kingdoms, attention may now be devoted to its special progress in England.

1407. Ely Cathedral.

The earliest record known to exist that gives any particulars as to the cost of making an organ in England, is that preserved in the Precentor's accounts of Ely Cathedral, under the date 1407. The items, translated from the Latin, read as follows:—

s. d.
20 stones of lead, 16 9
4 white horses' hides for 4 pair of bellows, 7 8
Ashen hoops for the bellows, 0 4
10 pairs of hinges, 1 10
The carpenter, 8 days, making the bellows, 2 8
12 springs, 0 3
1 pound of glue, 0 1
1 pound of tin, 0 3
6 calf skins, 2 6
12 sheep skins, 2 4
2 pounds of quicksilver, 2 0
Wire, nails, cloth, hoops, and staples, 1 0
Fetching the organ-builder, and his board, 13 weeks, 40 0
Total, 3 17 8

These particulars, although scanty, contain entries that help us to trace a few of the features of this early instrument. The 'ashen hoops' indicate that the bellows were of the forge kind. The '12 springs' were doubtless the 'playing springs,' and if so, denote that the organ had a compass of is notes; exactly the number required for the Gregorian Chants (C to F), with the B♭ added. The metal for the pipes, compounded of '1 pound of tin' only to '20 stones of lead' must have been rather poor in quality and texture. The circumstance of the organ-builder being fetched, and his board paid for, indicates that the useful class of artificers to which he belonged sometimes led rather an itinerant life, as we shall presently see they continued to do two centuries later.

About the year 1450, Whethamstede, Abbot of St. Albans, presented to his church an organ on which he expended, including its erection, fifty pounds—an enormous sum in those days. This instrument, we are told, was superior to everything of the kind then in England for size, tone, and workmanship; but no record is left as to where or by whom it was made, nor as to what its contents or compass were.

1500–1670. A Pair of Organs.

The term 'pair of organs,' so much used in the 16th and the greater part of the 17th centuries, has been a source of as much difficulty to the commentators, as the spelling of the words themselves became to the scribes of the period. (See note below.) It grew gradually into use; and the most interesting fact connected with it, namely that there were various kinds of 'pairs' in use, has passed without hitherto receiving sufficient notice. At York in 1419, 1457, 1469, and 1485, the instrument is spoken of in the singular number, as 'The organ,' or 'The great organ.' In 1475 it is referred to as 'An organ.' In 1463 we meet with 'ye players at ye orgenys,' and in 1482 a payment is made for 'mending of organys.' In 1501 the complete expression is met with, 'one peyre of orgynys'; and it continued in use up to the time of Pepys, who wrote his 'Diary' in the second half of the 17th century.

One commentator considered the term 'pair' to refer to the 'double bellows'; but besides the fact that a single bellows is sometimes itself called a 'pair,' a 'pair of virginals,' containing wires, required no wind whatever. Another annotator thought that a 'pair' signified two organs conjoined, with two sets of keys, one above the other—'one called the choir organ, and the other the great organ'; but this explanation is answered by an entry of the expense incurred for 'a pair of new organs' for the Church of St. Mary at Hill, in the year 1521, which, including the cost 'for bringing them home,' amounted altogether to 'xs. viijd.' only. If this were not sufficient, there would be the fact that many churches contained 'two payre of [18]orgyns'; and if they were of the bulk supposed, there would be the question how much room, if any, could have remained in the church for the accommodation of the congregation. A third writer suggested that a 'pair' meant an organ with two pipes to each note; but 'a pair of regals' sometimes had but a single pipe to each key. The term in all probability meant simply an instrument with at least one complete set of pipes. It might have more, as in Duddington's organ noticed farther on.

The most interesting question here, however, is not simply the fact that a church had frequently two pair of organs, but, when so, why one was generally 'the grete orgones' and the other 'the small orgones.' It is quite possible that the custom mentioned by Prætorius, and already quoted, may have prevailed in England, of regulating the pitch of the organ according to the prevailing pitch of the voices (whether high or low), and that when there were two organs, one was made to suit each class of voice; and as an alteration of pitch, made for this purpose, of say half an octave, would have caused one organ to be nearly half as large again as the other, their difference of size may have led to the distinction of name as a natural sequence. This opinion seems to receive support from the fact that at Bethersden they had not a 'great' but 'a base peare of organes.'

1519. All Hallows, Barking.

Antony Duddyngton.

Under the date 1519 we meet with the earliest specification of an English organ that is known to exist. It is found embodied in an 'endenture' or 'bargayn' entered into by 'Antony Duddyngton, citezen of London,' to make a 'payer of organs' for the 'P'isshe of Alhalowe, Barkyng, next ye Tower of London.' It was to have three stops, namely, a 'Diapason, containing length of x foot or more,' and 'dowble principalls throweout, to contain the length of v foote.' The compass was to be 'dowble Ce-fa-ut,' and comprise 'xxvij playne keyes,' which would doubtless be the old four-octave short octave range, in which the apparent EE key sounded CC, up to C in alt. The requisite number of 'elevated keyes' (sharps, flats, etc.) was doubtless understood. It was further specified that 'the pyppes wtinforth shall be as fyne metall and stuff as the utter parts, that is to say of pure Tyn, wt as fewe stoppes as may be convenient'; and the cost was to be 'fyfty poundes sterlinge.' It was also a condition 'that the aforesaid Antony shall convey the belowes in the loft abowf, wh a pype to the sond boarde.' It is interesting to note that although made so few years after the invention of 'stops' and the 'soundboard' abroad, the English builder had made himself acquainted with these improvements, and here inserted them.

1500–1815. Short Octaves.

As this is the first time that the term 'short octave' has been used in this article, and as it will frequently be met with in the accounts of historical organs given farther on, it will be as well to give here an explanation of the meaning of that somewhat comprehensive expression. By the end of the 15th century the manuals had in foreign organs been extended to four octaves in compass, and those of this country had most likely also reached the same range; the lowest octave however being either a 'short octave' or a 'broken octave.' In the short octave two of the natural keys were omitted, and the succession stood thus:—CC (on the EE key), FF, G, A, B, C. A short octave manual, CC to C in alt, therefore, had only 27 natural keys instead of 29. The three short keys in the lower octave were not all chromatic notes, but sounded DD on the FF♯ key, EE on the G♯ key, and B♭. The object of this device no doubt was to obtain a deep sound for the 'tonic' of as many of the scales and chords in use at the time as was practicable. When the lowest octave was made complete, the EE♭ note was present; DD occupied its correct position; and the CC♯ key sounded AA. Father Smith's organs at the University Church, Oxford, the Danish Chapel, Wellclose Square, and St. Nicholas, Deptford, were originally made to this compass. A key was sometimes added beyond CC, sounding GG, which converted the compass into 'GG short octaves.' There is a painting in the picture gallery at Holyrood, of about the date of the end of the 15th century, representing St. Cecilia playing upon a Positive Organ, which shows quite clearly the lower keys and pipes of a GG short octave manual. Both Smith and Harris sometimes constructed organs to this compass, and subsequent builders also did so throughout the 18th and early part of the 19th centuries. The FFF short octave manual, which would seem to have existed, although we have at present no record of it, might have had the note acting on the AA long key, or on a supplementary short key between the BB and CC keys.

Many entries follow closely on the date given above; but none that supply any additional matter of sufficient interest to be quoted here, until nearly the end of the century, when the list of payments made to John Chappington for an organ he built in 1597 for Magdalen College, Oxford, shows that the practice of painting the front pipes was sometimes observed at that period. It is short, and runs thus:—

l. s. d.
Paid Mr. Chappington for the organ 35 13 8
For colour to decorate the same 2 2 0
For wainscot for the same 3 14 0
41 9 8

1605–6. King's College Chapel, Cambridge.

Thomas Dallam.

A great progressive step was made when Thomas Dallam, in 1605–6, built for King's College Chapel, Cambridge, the handsome 'double organ,' the case of which remains to this day. It was a complete two-manual organ, the earliest English specimen of which we have a clear trace; and to construct it Dallam and his assistants closed their workshop in London and took up their residence in Cambridge. As this instrument is the first of importance out of several that were made before the time of the Civil War, but of which the accounts are more or less vague or incomplete, it will be worth while to follow out some of their leading particulars.

No record is known to exist of the contents or compass of this instrument. The only stop mentioned is the 'shaking stoppe' or tremulant. The compass however can be deduced with some approach to certainty. Mr. Thomas Hill, who with his father rebuilt this organ some years ago, states that the 'fayre great pypes' mentioned by Dallam still occupy their original positions in the eastern front of the case, where they are now utilised as part of the double diapason. As the largest pipe sounds the GG of the present lower pitch (nearly a whole tone below what is known to have been the high ecclesiastical pitch of the first half of the 17th century), there can be little doubt that the King's College Chapel organ was originally of FFF compass, as Father Smith's subsequent instruments were at the Temple, St. Paul's (choir organ), and Durham. Smith in that case must simply have followed an old tradition. More is said on this subject farther on. The east front pipes, as well as those in the 'Chayre Organ,' were handsomely embossed, gilded, and coloured.

1633–4. York Cathedral. Robert Dallam.

On March 20, 1632, Robert Dallam, 'citizen and blacksmith of London,' entered into an agreement with 'the right worshippfull John Scott, deane of the cathedrall and metropoliticall church of St. Peter of Yorke, touchinge the makinge of a great organ for the said church.' Most of the particulars respecting this instrument have fortunately been preserved, from which we learn that 'the names and number of the stoppes or setts of pipes for the said great organ, to be new made; every stopp containeinge fiftie-one pipes; the said great organ containeing eight stoppes,' were as follows:—

Great Organ. 9 stops.

1 and 2. Imprimis two open diapasons of tynn, to stand in sight, many of them to be chased.

3. Item one diapason stopp of wood.

4 and 5. Item two principals of tynn.

6. Item one twelft to the diapason.

7. Item one small principall of tynn. (15.)

8. Item one recorder, unison to the said principall. (15.)

9. Item one two and twentieth.

'The names and number of stoppes of pipes for the chaire organ, every stopp containeinge fiftie-one pipes, the said chaire organ containeinge five stoppes,' were as follows:—

Chaire Organ. 5 stops.

10. Imprimis one diapason of wood.

11. Item one recorder of tynn, unison to the voice.

12. Item one principal of tynn, to stand in sight, many of them to he chased.

13. Item one flute of wood.

14. Item one small principall of tynn. (15.)

Three bellows.

It will be noticed that this organ contained neither reeds nor mixtures, and but one mutation-stop, namely the 'twelfth.'

No mention is made as to what was the compass of the old York Minster organ. All that is stated is that each 'stoppe' had a series of 'fiftie-one pipes'—an unusual number, for which it would be interesting to account. The old case of the organ remained until the incendiary fire of 1829, and contained the two original diapasons; and as the largest pipes of these stops sounded the GG of the lowered pitch of the 18th century, it is quite possible that the compass was originally FFF, short octave (that note sounding on the AA key), up to C in alt, which range would have required exactly the number of notes specified in the agreement. Robert Dallam built organs similar to that at York for St. Paul's and Durham Cathedrals, the latter costing £1000. If they were of FFF compass, that circumstance would perhaps account for the schemes for Smith's new organs for both those churches having been prepared for that exceptional range.

In August and September 1634 three musical enthusiasts, 'a Captaine, a Lieutenant, and an Ancient (Ensign), of the Military Company in Norwich,' went on 'a Seaven Weekes' Journey' through a great part of England, in the course of which they occasionally took particular notice of the organs, in describing which they made use of many pleasant adjectives. At York they 'saw and heard a faire, large, high organ, newly built' the one just noticed; at Durham they 'were wrapt with the sweet sound and richness of a fayre organ'; at Lichfield 'the organs were deep and sweet'; at Hereford was 'heard a most sweet organ'; at Bristol they found a 'neat, rich, melodious organ'; while at Exeter the organ was 'rich, delicate, and lofty, with more additions than any other; and large pipes of an extraordinary length.' Some of these instruments were destined in a few years to fall a prey to axes and hammers. The organ at Carlisle however was described as being 'like a shrill bagpipe.' Its destruction as an ecclesiastical instrument was perhaps therefore a matter not to be so very much deplored.

1637. Magdalen College, Oxford.


Three years afterwards (in 1637) a maker of the name of Harris—the first of four generations of organ-builders of that name, but whose Christian name has not been traced—built a 'double organ' (Great Organ, with Choir Organ in front) for Magdalen College, Oxford. Its Manuals ranged from Do, Sol, Re (double C) without the CC♯ up to D in alt, 50 notes; and, the Great Organ had eight stops, while the Choir had five. The following was its specification:—

Great Organ. 8 stops.
1 & 2, Two open Diapasons 8
3 & 4, Two Principals 4
5 & 6, Two Fifteenths 2
7 & 8, Two Two-and-twentieths 1
Choir Organ. 5 stops.
Feet tone
9. One Stopped Diapason 8
10 & 11. Two Principals 4
12. One Recorder 4
13. One Fifteenth 2

This was the organ which Cromwell had taken down and conveyed to Hampton Court, where it was placed in the great gallery. It was restored to the college in 1660, and remained there until 1737, when it was removed to Tewkesbury Abbey. The Diapasons and Principal of the Great Organ, and the Principal in the Choir still remain, and are made of tin alloyed with about eight pounds of lead to the hundredweight.

This organ was tuned to a high pitch, as is shown by one of the items in Renatus Harris's agreement for improving it (1690), which specifies that he 'shall and will alter the pitch of the said organs half a note lower than they are now.'

This is the last organ of which we have any authentic particulars as being made previously to the outburst that checked the art of organbuilding in this country for several years.

On August 23, 1643, an ordinance was passed by the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament for abolishing superstitious monuments. On May 9, 1644, a second ordinance was passed 'for the further demolishing of monuments of Idolatry and Superstition,' in which the destruction of organs was enjoined. This ordinance has not yet been included in any history of the organ. Its wording ran as follows:

The Lords and Commons in Parlt the better to accomplish the blessed Reformation so happily begun and to remove all offences and things illegal in the worship of God Do Ordain That all representations of the Trinity, or any Angel etc., etc. in and about any Cathedral, Collegiate or Parish Church or Chapel shall be taken away, defaced and utterly demolished, etc. etc.

And that all organs and the frames and cases wherein they stand in all Churches and Chapells aforesaid shall be taken away and utterly defaced, and none other hereafter set up in their places.

And that all Copes, Surplices, superstitious Vestments, Roods, and Fonts be likewise utterly defaced etc. etc.

In consequence of this ordinance collegiate and parochial churches were stripped of their organs and ornaments; some of the instruments were sold to private persons, who preserved them; some were totally and others partially demolished; some were taken away by the clergy to prevent their being destroyed, and some few escaped injury altogether. Two extracts will be sufficient to indicate the kind of result that frequently followed on these acts of wantonness. 'At Westminster Abbey,' we are told, 'the soldiers brake down the organs and pawned the pipes at severall ale-houses for pots of ale'; while at Mr. Ferrer's house at Little Gidding in Huntingdonshire the soldiers 'broke the organ in pieces, of which they made a large fire, and at it roasted several of Mr. Ferrer's sheep, which they had killed in his grounds.'

Organs having been banished from the churches, every effort was made to discourage their use even in private houses. At a convocation in Bridgwater in 1655 the question was proposed 'whether a believing man or woman, being head of a family, in this day of the gospell, may keepe in his or her house an instrument of musicke playing on them or admitting others to play thereon?' The answer was 'It is the duty of the saintes to abstaine from all appearance of evil, and not to make provision for the flesh to fulfill ye lusts thereof.'

Among the organs that nevertheless escaped destruction or removal were those of St. Paul's, York, Durham, and Lincoln Cathedrals; St. John's College, Oxford; Christ's College, Cambridge, etc. Cromwell himself had some love of music, and 'made provision for the flesh' by having the 'double organ,' which Evelyn heard in the chapel of Magdalen College, Oxford, in July 1654, taken down and removed to Hampton Court, where it was placed in the great gallery, and frequently played upon, to Cromwell's great content. In 1660 (the date of the Restoration) it was returned to the college; £16 10s. being paid for its transference thither.

During the sixteen years that elapsed between the date of the ordinance already quoted and that of the Restoration, most of the English organ-builders had been dispersed, and compelled to work as ordinary joiners, carpenters, etc.; so that at the expiration of the period just mentioned, there was, according to Sir John Hawkins, 'scarce an organ-maker that could be called a workman in the kingdom,' excepting the Dallams (three brothers); Thamar of Peterborough, concerning whom however nothing is known; Preston of York, who repaired the organ in Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1680—and who, among other doings, according to Renatus Harris (1686), spoiled one stop and several pipes of another; and Henry Loosemore of Exeter, who built the organ in the cathedral of that city. Inducements were therefore held out to encourage artists from the continent to settle in this country; and among those who responded to this invitation were a German, Bernhardt Schmidt, known as 'Father Smith,' with his two nephews, Christian and Gerard; and Thomas Harris, an Englishman, who had taken refuge in France during the troublous times, together with his son Renatus, a young man of great ingenuity and spirit.

Smith and the Dallams had for some years the chief business of the kingdom, the Harrises not receiving an equal amount of encouragement; but on the death of Robert and Ralph Dallams, in 1665 and 1672 respectively, and of the elder Harris shortly after, Renatus Harris became a formidable rival to Smith.

Smith seems to have settled at once in London, was appointed 'organ-maker in ordinary' to King Charles II, and put into possession of apartments in Whitehall, called in an old plan of the palace 'The Organ-builder's Workhouse.' The Harrises appear to have taken up their abode at 'Old Sarum,' but on the death of the father, Renatus removed to the metropolis.

In order to follow the narrative of the successive improvements that were effected in organ-building in England, it is necessary to bear in mind that the instruments made in this country previous to the civil wars consisted of nothing beyond Flue-stops of the Foundation species with the exception of the Twelfth;—no Mixtures, Reeds, nor Doubles, and no Pedals. To illustrate the gradual progress from this starting ground, a description will now be given of a series of representative organs, the accounts of which are derived from sources not now generally accessible, including notices of many historical instruments which, since the time of their original construction, have either been much altered or removed altogether.

1660. Banqueting Boom, Whitehall.

Bernhard Schmidt (Father Smith).

Compound and Flue stops, and Echo.

Smith, immediately on his arrival, was commissioned to build an organ for the Banqueting Room, Whitehall, not for the Chapel Royal, Whitehall, as is generally stated. The Chapel Royal, where Pepys attended on July 8, 1660, and 'heard the organs for the first time in his life,' stood east of the present chapel, and was destroyed 'by that dismal fire on Jany 4th, 1697.' The Banqueting Room was not used as a Chapel Royal until 1715.

From the haste with which Smith's first English organ was put together, it did not in some respects quite come up to all expectations; but it nevertheless contained a sufficient number of novelties beyond the contents of the old English specifications, in the shape of Compound, Flute, and Reed stops, and the 'Eccho,' to cause it to create a most favourable impression on its hearers.

Smith adopted the compass of manual downwards reaching to GG, with ' long octaves,' without the GG♯; he placed the GG open diapason pipe in the centre of one of the inner towers of the case, and the AA in the middle of the other inner tower; the handsome case, which still remains, having been constructed with four circular towers, with a double tier of pipes in each of the intermediate flats. He also carried his 'Eccho' to fiddle G, though the shorter range, to middle C, afterwards became the usual compass. As the 'Swell and Echo Organ' is noticed under its separate head, no more need be said respecting it in this place.

It may be mentioned here that 'Hol-flute' was the name which Father Smith usually attached to a metal Stopped Diapason with chimneys; 'Nason' he applied to a stopped wood Flute of octave pitch; and 'Block-flute' to a metal Flute of super-octave pitch, consisting of pipes several scales burger than those of the Open Diapason.

Great organ. 10 stops.
1. Open Diapason 53
2. Holflute 53
3. Principal 53
4. Nason 53
5. Twelfth 53
6. Fifteenth 53
7. Block Flute, metal to middle C♯ 24
8. Sesquialtera, 3 ranks 159
9. Cornet, to middle C, do. 72
10. Trumpet 53
Choir organ. 5 stops.
11. Stopped Diapason 53
12. Principal 53
13. Flute, wood, to middle C 25
14. Cremona, through 53
15. Vaux Humane 53
Eccho organ. 4 stops.
16. Open Diapason 29
17. Principal 29
18. Cornet. 2 ranks, (12 & 17) 53
19. Trumpet 29
Total  1008
Compass, Great and Choir, GG, without GG♯ to C in alt, 53 notes.
Eccho, Fiddle G to C in alt, 29 notes.

It is not quite certain to what pitch this first organ of Smith's was tuned, though it is supposed to have been to his high one. He made use of several different pitches. His highest, arising from placing a pipe of one English foot in speaking length on the A key, he used at Durham Cathedral. It must have been nearly identical with that afterwards adopted at New College, and mentioned below. His next, resulting from placing a similar pipe on the B♭ key, he used for Hampton Court Chapel; which pitch is said to be that now commonly used by all English organ-builders.[19] The pitch a semitone lower than the last, produced by placing the 1-ft. pipe on B♮, was used by Renatus Harris towards the latter part of the 17th century. It was Handel's pitch, and that of the organ-builders generally of the 18th and early part of the 19th centuries, as well as of the Philharmonic Society at the time of its establishment (1813). The lowest pitch of all, arising from placing the 1-ft. pipe on the C key, was used by Smith at Trinity College, Cambridge. These variations were first clearly pointed out by Mr. Alexander Ellis in his 'History of Musical Pitch, 1880.'

1661 (about). St. Georges Chapel, Windsor.

Ralph Dallam.

Divided stops on shifting movements.

Soon after the Restoration, Ralph Dallam built an organ for St. George's Chapel, Windsor, containing the recently imported novelties of Compound and Trumpet Stops (nos. 6 and 7, below). It was a single-manual organ only; and its specification, given below, is very interesting as showing that means were taken even at that early time to compensate, as far as might be, for the lack of a second manual, by the adoption of mechanical arrangements for obtaining variety of effect from a limited number of registers governed by a single set of keys. Thus there were two 'shifting movements,' or pedals, one of which reduced the 'Full Organ' to the Diapasons and Principal, and the other to the Diapasons alone. Thus two reductions of tone, in imitation of choir-organ strength, could quickly be obtained; which, in a place like St. George's Chapel, where choral service was celebrated, was very necessary. Besides this, the Compound and the Trumpet stops were both made to draw in halves at middle C, that is to say, the Treble portion could be used without the Bass, so that a solo could be played prominently with the right hand and a soft accompaniment with the left; and the solo stop could also be suddenly shut off by the foot at pleasure.[20]

Great organ. 9 draw-stops.
1. Open Diapason to CC, then Stopped and Octave pipes 54
2. Stopped Diapason 52
3. Principal 52
4. Twelfth 52
5. Fifteenth 52
6. Cornet Treble, 3 ranks 78
Sesquialtera Bass, 3 ranks 78
7. Trumpet Treble 26
Trumpet Bass 26
Compass, GG, short octaves, to D in alt, 52 notes.

1661. New College, Oxford. Robert Dalham.

Organ tuned to lowered pitch.

Under the date 'May 10, 1661,' Dr. Woodward, Warden of New College, Oxford, made a note that

Some discourse was had with one Mr. Dalham, an organ-maker, concerning a fair organ to be made for our College Chapel. The stops of the intended organ were shown unto myself and the thirteen seniors, set down in a paper and named there by the organist of Christ Church, who would have had them half a note lower than Christ Church organ, but Mr. Dalham supposed that a quarter of a note would be sufficient.

The original specification does not appear to have been preserved, but the case was made for and received a pipe as large as the GG of the present day, which shows that the organ was of sharp pitch FFF compass; the compass remaining the same after the repair of the organ by Green in 1776. Woodward's record of the discussion as to the extent to which the organ should be tuned below the Christ Church Organ, is very valuable, as testifying not only to the prevalence of the high pitch, but also to its inconvenience. According to the 'unequal' or mean-tone temperament to which organs were then tuned, the best keys were the major of C, D, F, G, and B♭, and the minor of D, G, and A; all of which however were sounded nearly a tone higher than on a modern organ, and hence the inconvenience; for transposition on an unequally tempered organ was impracticable, on account of the 'howling of the wolf,' as the defective tuning of the other scales was termed; and equal temperament did not take its rise until 1688–93, and then only in Germany; the organ in the Church of St. Jacobi, Hamburg, being apparently the earliest one tuned according to that system.

1664–5. Wimbourne Minster. Robert Hayward.

Mutation stops (Nos. 6 and 7 below).

In 1663 (July 28) a rate was made at Wimbourne for buying a new organ; and in 1664 (Sept. 10) an arrangement was made with 'Robert Hayward, of the Citty of Bath, orgin-master, to erect and set up a payre of organs in the Church,' for £180; which contract was completed in 1665. Although this maker's name is not to be found in the list of native members of his craft contained in the standard works on the subject, yet in excellence he was not a whit behind his countrymen whose names have become better known.

The instrument originally consisted of 'Great Organ with Choir Organ in front.' The Stopped Diapasons were of metal down to Tenor F, with chimneys. Hayward anticipated Harris's type of organ to a remarkable extent, as will be perceived on comparing the following list of stops with the St. Sepulchre's specification given farther on.

Great organ. 10 stops.
1. Open Diapason, metal 52
2. Stopped Diapason, metal treble 52
3. Principal, metal 52
4. Twelfth, metal 52
5. Fifteenth, metal 52
6. Tierce, metal 52
7. Larigot, metal 52
8. Sesquialtera, 4 ranks, metal 208
9. Cornet, to middle C, mounted, 5 ranks, metal 135
10. Trumpet, metal 52
Choir organ. In front 4 stops
11. Stopped Diapason, metal treble 52
12. Principal, metal 52
13. Flute, wood, closed 52
14. Fifteenth, metal 52
Total 985
Compass, Great and Choir, GG,
short octaves to D in alt, 52 notes.

Neither Dallam's nor Hayward's organ contained an Echo.

1665–6. Exeter Cathedral. John Loosemore.

Double Diapason, Bass, etc.

The organ in Exeter Cathedral, constructed by John Loosemore, possessed a remarkable feature in its Double open Diapason, which contained the largest pipes ever made in this country. The fourteen pipes of which this stop consisted, were grouped in two separate sets of seven each, against two of the columns of the great central tower, and therefore at some distance from the main body of the organ; and were acted upon by an additional set of pallets. The dimensions of the largest pipe (GGG), were as follows:—

Speaking part, long 20 ft. 6 in.
Nose 4 0
Circumference 3 11
Diameter 1 3
Contents of the speaking part, 3 hogs. 8 gal.
Weight, 360 lbs.

The large Exeter pipes, like those at Halberstadt, did not produce much effect when tried by themselves, for an old writer, the Hon. Roger North, says of them, 'I could not be so happy to perceive that in the musick they signified anything at all'; but (like those at Halberstadt) they manifested their influence when used in combination; for another writer, at the commencement of the present century, observes respecting them, 'no effect alone, but very fine with the Diapasons and Principal.'

The following was the scheme of the Exeter Cathedral organ, in which we find the open diapason duplicated:—

Great organ. 10 stops.
1. Double Diapason 14
2. Open Diapason 55
3. Open Diapason 55
4. Stopped Diapason 55
5. Principal 55
6. Twelfth 55
7. Fifteenth 55
8. Sesquialtera, 5 ranks 275
9. Cornet to middle C, do. 135
10. Trumpet 55
Choir organ. In front, 5 stops.
11. Stopped Diapason 55
12. Principal 55
13. Flute 55
14. Fifteenth 55
15. Bassoon 55
Total 1084
Compass, Great and Choir, GG, long octaves, no GG♯, to
D in alt. 65 notes.

1666–7. Worcester Cathedral. Thomas Harris.

Chiefly Foundation-stops.

On July 5, 1666, Thomas Harris entered into an agreement with the Dean and Chapter of Worcester, according to which 'within eighteen months he shall set up in the choyre a double organ, consisting of great organ and chaire organ.' The list of the stops for this instrument has been preserved, and goes far to explain why Harris did not for some time meet with quite as much encouragement as Smith. His specification is made up simply of the same kind of stops as were in vogue in England before the Commonwealth, and presents but slight indication of its author's having profited by his sojourn abroad. The specification was as follows:—

Great organ. 9 stops.

1 & 2. two open Diapasons, of metal,
3. one Recorder, of metal.
4 & 5. two Principals, of metal.
6. one Twelfth, of metal.
7 & 8. two Fifteenths, of metal.
9. one place for another stop.

Chaire organ. 5 stops.

10. one Open Diapason, of wood, having nine pipes towards the bases beginning in A re.
11. one Stopped Diapason, of wood.
12. one Principal, of metal.
13. one Fifteenth, of metal.
14. one Two-and-20th (as they call it).

The compass of the organ is not given, but some interesting particulars occur as to the dimensions for two of the metal pipes. The two great open diapasons, which were 'to be in sight, east and west,' were to contain 'a 10-ft. pipe, as at Sarum and Gloucester, following the proportion of 8 in. diameter in the 10-ft. pipe; and 4 in. diameter in a pipe of 5ft.'[21]

Although he specified the dimensions of his largest pipe, Harris mentioned nothing as to the key upon which it was to act—whether F, F♯, or G; and the omission of this particular would have left the question as to the downward compass and consequent pitch of his organ in great uncertainty, were there not means for obtaining the information by deduction.

Thomas Tomkins, organist of Worcester Cathedral, who published his 'Musica Deo Sacra' in 1668, appended to it a recommendatory Latin note (of which Sir Frederick Ouseley has a rare copy), which, when translated, runs thus:—'let the (tenor) F pipe be 2½ feet or 30 inches in length.' Such a pipe, as being one half and one quarter the length of Harris's 5 ft. and 10 ft. pipes respectively, would give their octave and superoctave sounds. That Harris's 10 ft. pipe was attached to the F♯ key is not at all likely, since F♯ was never treated as a 'tonic' at that period. That it communicated with the G key is equally beyond belief, since that would have been identical with the pitch of the present day, which is lower by a tone than it then was; while F was one of the tonics most frequently used by the then leading church musicians. There can be little doubt, therefore, that Harris's Worcester, Salisbury, and Gloucester Organs, were all 'FFF organs,' 'short octaves' perhaps, and 'sharp pitch' by a whole tone, as already surmised.

The identity between Tomkins's and Harris's F pitch and a G pipe of the present day, is conclusively established thus. The fiddle G pipe in the Manual Open Diapason at the Temple is exactly of the specified '2½ feet or 30 inches in length,' while for the GG metal on the Pedal (made by Forster & Andrews) there is precisely a '10 ft. pipe,' which by a coincidence is also of the 'proportion of 8 in. diameter.'

The 'proportion 'for the Worcester organ, quoted above, incidentally points to a second reason why Thomas Harris was no match for Smith. To emit an even quality and strength as the tones ascend, the diameter or 'scale' of a set of pipes should not be reduced to one half until the interval of a major tenth is arrived at; whereas Harris, according to the above, made his pipe of half width as soon as it became of half length, i.e. at the octave. His tone must therefore have been either light and feeble, or thin and penetrating, in the treble part.

1670 (about). St. Sepulchre's, Snow Hill.

Thomas and Renatus Harris.

Mutation stops, Clarion, etc.

The instrument for this church consisted of Great Organ with Choir Organ in front, and was the first, so far as is known, that the Harrises built for London. The scheme differs so widely from that of the Worcester organ just noticed, as to suggest that the younger hand of Renatus took an important part in its preparation. It included, however, rather an over-amount of 'chorus stops'; and an old notice states that the general effect was fine with the reeds, but thin without them.

Great organ. 12 stops.
1. Open Diapason 52
2. Stopped Diapason 52
3. Principal 52
4. Twelfth 52
5. Fifteenth 52
6. Tierce 52
7. Larigot 52
8. Sesquialtera, 3 ranks 156
9. Mixture, 2 ranks 104
10. Cornet to mid. C♯, 5 do 130
11. Trumpet 52
12. Clarion 52
Choir organ in front. 6 stops.
13. Stopped Diapason 52
14. Principal 52
15. Flute 52
16. Fifteenth 52
17. Vox Humana 52
18. Cremona 52
Total 1170
Compass, Gt. and Chr. GG, short octaves,
to D in alt, 52 notes.

Renatus Harris probably came up to London to erect the St. Sepulchre's organ, and took up his abode there; as we find him making several organs for the metropolis and the provinces in the course of the next ten years.

1682–4. The Temple Church.

Bernard Schmidt (Father Smith).

Two quarter notes. Three manuals.

In September 1682 the Treasurers of the two Hon. Societies of the Inner and Middle Temple had some conversation with Smith respecting the construction of an organ for their church. Renatus Harris, who was then residing in 'Wyne Office Court, Fleet Street,' and was therefore close upon the spot, made interest with the Societies, who were induced to arrange that if each of these excellent artists would set up an organ, the Societies would retain that which, in the greatest number of excellences, deserved the preference. This proposal was agreed to, and by May 1684, the two organs were erected in the church. Smith's stood in the west-end gallery, and Harris's on the south (Inner Temple) side of the Communion Table. They were at first exhibited separately on appointed days, and then tried on the same day; and it was not until the end of 1687, or beginning of 1688, that the decision was given in favour of Smith's instrument; Harris's organ being rejected without reflecting any loss of reputation on its ingenious builder.[22]

Smith's organ reached in the Bass to FFF; and from FF upwards it had two additional keys or 'quarter notes' in each octave, 'which rarityes,' according to an old book preserved in the library of the Inner Temple, 'no other organ in England hath; and can play any tune, as for instance ye tune of ye 119th Psalm, (in E minor,) and severall other services set by excellent musicians; which no other organ will do.' The order of the keys ran thus: FFF, GG, AA, BB♭, BB♮, then semitones to gamut G, after which the two special quarter tones in each octave; the compass ending on C in alt, and the number of keys on each manual being sixty-one.[23]

The keys for the two extra notes (A♭ and D♯) were provided by those for G♯ and E♭ being cut across midway; the back halves, which acted on the additional pipes, rising as much above the front halves as the latter did above the long keys. Smith's organ had three complete manuals, which was also a novelty. Two complete stops were allotted to the upper set of keys, forming a kind of Solo organ, with which the 'Ecchos' acted in combination.

The following is a copy of the Schedule of Father Smith's organ as delivered to the two societies, signed, and dated June 21, 1688.

Great organ. 10 stops.
Pipes Foote
1. Prestand of Mettle 61 12
2. Holflute of Wood and Mettle 61 12
3. Principall of Mettle 61 06
4. Gedackt of Wainscott 61 03
5. Quinta of Mettle 61 04
6. Super Octavo 61 03
7. Sesquialtera of Mettle 183 03
8. Mixture of Mettle 226 03
9. Cornette of Mettle 112 02
10. Trumpet of Mettle 61 12
Choir organ. 6 stops.
11. Gedackt of Wainscott 61 12
12. A Sadt of Mettle 61 06
13. Holflute of Mettle 61 06
14. Spittsflute of Mettle 61 03
15. A Violl and Violin of Mettle 61 12
16. Voice humane of Mettle 61 12
Ecchos. 7 stops.
17. Gedackt of Wood 61 06
18. Super Octaveo of Mettle 61 03
19. Gedackt of Wood 29
20. Flute of Mettle 29
21. Sesquialtera of Mettle 105
22. Cornett of Mettle 87
23. Trumpett 29
Total 1715
With 3 full setts of Keys and quarter notes to C in alt, 61 notes.

1690. Magdalen College, Oxford.

Renatus Harris.

Compare with specification on p. 589.

Not long after this date, in 1690, Renatus Harris undertook to repair and improve the organ erected by his grandfather in Magdalen College, Oxford; and the conditions he named showed how thoroughly such renovations were sometimes undertaken in those days. He 'covenanted' to render all the mechanism 'strong, staunch, good, and serviceable,' and to make the pipes 'bear a good tone, strong, clear, and sweet.' He also undertook to 'alter the pitch of the said organs'—which had been tuned to a very high one—'half a note lower than they now are'; and to make the 'two sets of keys fall as little as can be to give the pipes their due tone; the touch to be ready, soft, and even under the finger.' Renatus Harris therefore took honest thought of the interest of his patrons, the pleasure of the listeners, the ease of the singers, and the comfort of the player.[24] Among the new stops which he introduced was a Cedirne (Cithern), doubtless a string-toned stop; and he applied the terms 'Furniture' and 'Cymbal' to the compound stops for the first time in England. Harris introduced no reeds into this organ, Its amended specification stood as follows:—

Great organ. 8 stops.
1. Open Diapason, of metal 50
2. Stopped Diapason, of wood 50
3. Principal, of metal 50
4. Cedirne, of metal 50
5. Great Twelfth, of metal 50
6. Fifteenth, of metal 50
7. Furniture of 3 ranks 150
8. Cymbal of 2 ranks 100
Choir organ. 6 stops.
9. Stopped Diapason 50
10. Principal, of metal 60
11. Flute, of metal 60
12. Nason, of metal 60
13. Fifteenth 50
Total 800
Compass, CC no CC♯, to D in alt, 50 notes. Three bellows.

1694–6. St. Paul's Cathedral.

Bernard Schmidt.

Manual to 16 feet C, and large 'Chayre.'

Father Smith's success at the Temple doubtless had much to do with his being invited to erect an organ in the Metropolitan Cathedral; the contract for which was dated and signed Dec. 19, 1694. The instrument was to consist of Great and Chayre Organs, and Echoes, it was to be completed by Lady Day, 1696, and the price to be £2000. The compass was to be the same as that at the Temple, namely 'Double F fa ut to C sol fa in Alt inclusive,' 54 notes. Smith's contract was for the inside of the organ only; the case being provided by Sir Christopher Wren. The list of stops originally agreed upon was as follows:—

Great organ. 12 stops.

  1. Open Diapason.
  2. Open Diapason.
  3. Stop Diapason.
  4. Principal.
  5. Holfleut.
  6. Great Twelfth.
  7. Fifteenth.
  8. Small Twelfth.
  9. Sesquialtera.
  10. Mixture.
  11. Cornet.
  12. Trumpet.

Chayre organ. 9 stops.

  1. Stop Diapason.
  2. Quinta dena Diapason.
  3. Principal.
  4. Holfleut.
  5. Great Twelfth.
  6. Fifteenth.
  7. Cymball.
  8. Voice Humane.
  9. Crumhorne.

Echoes or halfe stops; 6.

  1. Diapason.
  2. Principal.
  3. Nason.
  4. Fifteenth.
  5. Cornet.
  6. Trumpet.

After the contract was signed, Smith extended his design, and made the Great Manual to the compass of 16 ft., instead of 12 ft. only; and he added the six large extra notes—CCC, DDD, EEE♭, EEE♮, FFF♯, and GG♯—at his own expense. He had previously given Sir Christopher Wren the dimensions of the case he would require for his 12-ft. organ; and he now desired these to be increased, but this Sir Christopher refused, declaring that the building was already spoiled by the 'confounded box of whistles.' Smith took his revenge on Wren by letting the larger open diapason pipes in the two side towers project through the top of the case nearly a foot, which vexed Sir Christopher exceedingly, and compelled him to add ornaments several feet in height to hide the disfigurement. The Choir Organ case, too, was made so small that it had no room for the Quinta-dena, which therefore, though made, had to be left out.

1700 (about). St. John's Chapel, Bedford Row.

Renatus Harris.

Stops 'by Communication.'

Renatus Harris was very partial to an ingenious arrangement by which the lower portion of a stop, or even the stop entire, could be made to act on two different manuals 'by communication' as it was termed. He introduced this device for the first time in his organ at the Temple, and afterwards in those at St. Andrew's Holborn, St. Andrew Undershaft, St. John's Chapel, Bedford Row, etc.; but the account of the last-mentioned instrument is here selected for illustration, as it presented some other noticeable peculiarities. This organ had a 'Sesquialtera Bass' of reeds, consisting of 17th, 19th, and 22nd, up to middle B, planted on a small separate soundboard; each rank being made to draw separately. (See nos. 13, 14, and 15, below.) It was however nearly always out of order, and produced at best but an indifferent effect. The four ranks of the Cornet in the Echo (12th, 15th, Tierce, and Larigot) were made to draw separately; an arrangement evidently adopted rather for ostentation, as these sets of little pipes could scarcely have been required separately for any useful purpose.

Great organ. 15 stops.
1. Open Diapason 52
2. Stopped Diapason 52
3. Principal 52
4. Flute 52
5. Twelfth 52
6. Fifteenth 52
7. Tierce 52
8. Larigot 52
9. Sesquialtera, 5 ranks 260
10. Cornet to mid. C♯, 5 ranks 130
11. Trumpet 52
12. Clarion 52
In Reeds.
13. Tierce 25
14. Larigot 25
15. Twenty-second 25
Choir organ. 2 real stops; 4 borrowed.
a. Open Diapason. Borrowed by
from the Great Organ.
b. Stopped Diapason
c. Principal
d. Flute
16. Bassoon 52
17. Cremona 52
Echo. 10 stops.
18. Open Diapason 27
19. Stopped Diapason 27
20. Principal 27
21. Twelfth 27
22. Fifteenth 27
23. Tierce 27
24. Larigot 27
25. Trumpet 27
26. Hautboy 27
27. Vox Humana 27
Compass, Grt. and Chr. GG, short octaves, to D in alt, 52 notes.
Echo, Middle C to D in alt. 27 notes.

The above organ was standing, a few years ago, in a church at Blackheath.

1703. St. Saviour's, Southwark.

Abraham Jordan, Sen.

Double Diapason and Large Choir.

This organ is said to have been built by 'one Jordan, a distiller, who,' as Sir John Hawkins tells us in his History of Music, 'had never been instructed in the business, but had a mechanical turn, and was an ingenious man, and who, about the year 1700, betook himself to the making of organs, and succeeded beyond expectation.' He certainly built several excellent and substantial instruments. The one under notice had a 16-ft. octave of metal pipes acting on the Great Organ keys from tenor C down to CC. These large pipes originally stood in the front of the case, where they made a very imposing appearance, as their full length was presented to view, without nearly a yard of the upper part being hidden behind the case, as at St. Paul's. They however were dismounted many years ago, and put out of sight, and the instrument was enclosed in a case of inferior dimensions. This organ doubtless had an Echo; but no account of it has been preserved.

Great organ. 13 stops.
1. Double Open Diapason, CCC to CC, no CCC♯ 12
2. Open Diapason 54
3. Open Diapason 54
4. Stopped Diapason 54
5. Principal 54
6. Flute 54
7. Twelfth 54
8. Fifteenth 54
9. Sesquialtera, 4 ranks 216
10. Furniture, 3 ranks 162
11. Cornet, 5 ranks 145
12. Trumpet 54
13. Clarion 54
Choir organ. 7 stops.
14. Open Diapason, wood 54
15. Stopped Diapason 54
16. Principal 54
17. Flute 54
18. Fifteenth 54
19. Mixture, 3 ranks 162
20. Vox Humana 54
Compass, GG, short octaves, up to E in alt, 54 notes.

1710. Salisbury Cathedral. Renatus Harris.

Four manuals.

In the year 1710 Renatus Harris erected in Salisbury Cathedral, in place of the instrument put up by his father, an organ possessing four manuals (for the first time in England) and fifty stops, including 'eleven stops of Echos,' and on which 'may be more varietys express'd, than by all ye organs in England, were their several excellencies united.' Such was the glowing account given of the capabilities of this new organ, on the engraving of its 'East Front.' The instrument, however, presented little more than an amplification of the peculiarities exhibited in the St. John's Chapel organ already noticed. The extra department consisted of a complete borrowed organ of 13 stops derived from the Great organ. The Choir organ had its own real stops; and the '11 Stops of Echos' were to a great extent made up of the single ranks of the ordinary Cornet. There was a 'Drum Pedal, CC,' the 'roll' of which was caused by the addition of a second pipe sounding a semitone below the first pipe, with which it caused a rapid beat. Smith had previously put 'a Trimeloe' into his organ at St. Mary-at-Hill, and 'a Drum,' sounding D, into that at St. Nicholas, Deptford.

First Great organ. 16 real stops.
1. Open Diapason 50
2. Open Diapason 50
3. Stopped Diapason 50
4. Principal 50
5. Flute 50
6. Twelfth 50
7. Fifteenth 50
8. Tierce 50
9. Larigot 50
10. Sesquialtera, 4 ranks 200
11. Cornet, 5 ranks 125
12. Trumpet 50
13. Clarion 50
14. Cromhorn 50
15. Vox Humana 50
Second Great Organ. 13 borrowed stops.
a. Open Diapason 00
b. Stopped Diapason 00
c. Principal 00
d. Flute 00
e. Twelfth 00
f. Fifteenth 00
g. Tierce 00
h. Larigot 00
i. Sesquialtera 00
j. Trumpet 00
k. Clarion 00
l. Cromhorn 00
m. Vox Humana 00
Choir organ. 7 stops.
16. Open Diapason, to Gamut 42
17. Stopped Diapason 50
18. Principal 50
19. Flute 50
20. Twelfth 50
21. Fifteenth 50
22. Bassoon 50
Echo. 11 stops.
23. Open Diapason 25
24. Stopped Diapason 25
25. Principal 25
26. Flute 25
27. Twelfth 25
28. Fifteenth 25
29. Tierce 25
30. Larigot 25
31. Trumpet 25
32. Vox Humana 25
33. Cromhorn 25
Compass, Gt. and Chr. GG, short 8ves, to C in alt, 50 notes.
Echo, middle C to C in alt, 25 notes.

1712. St. Magnus, London Bridge. Jordan.

The first Swell.

In 1712 the Jordans (Abraham, sen. and jun.) built an organ for the church at the opposite end of London Bridge to St. Saviour's, namely St. Magnus, which deserves special notice as being the first instrument that contained a Swell. This organ also had four sets of keys, the fourth no doubt being a counterpart of the third (Echo) but 'adapted to the act of emitting sounds by swelling the notes,' so that passages played with expression could be contrasted with those played without. A list of the stops in the Swell has not been preserved; but we know from those subsequently made, that its compass and capacity must have been very limited, though sufficient to illustrate the importance of the improvement.

1716. St. Chad's, Shrewsbury.

Thomas Schwarbrook.

Swell and Choir on one Manual.

Four years after the invention of the Swell, in 1716, Thomas Schwarbrook adopted a device in his organ at St. Chad's, Shrewsbury, which afterwards became a very favourite one with the builders of the last century, namely, that of attaching to the choir manual a few treble stops enclosed in a swell-box. This, in a small way, foreshadowed the combination 'swell to choir' which remains a frequent and favourite one to this day. The Echo organ contained a 'Flageolet,' the earliest example that we have met with.

Great organ. 13 stops.
1. Open Diapason.
2. Stopped Diapason.
3. Principal.
4. Octave to middle C.
5. Twelfth.
6. Fifteenth.
7. Tierce (17.)
8. Lesser Tierce (19).
9. Cornet, treble.
10. Sesquialtera, bass.
11. Fourniture.
12. Trumpet.
13. Clarion.
Choir organ. 6 stops.
14. Open Diapason, to middle C.
15. Stopped Diapason
16. Principal
17. Flute, to middle C.
18. Fifteenth.
19. Trumpet, to middle C.
Nos. 14 and 19 were enclosed as a Swell, and the box was opened by a pedal.
Echo. 7 stops.
20. Open Diapason.
21. Stopped Diapason.
22. Principal.
23. Flageolet.
24. Twelfth.
25. Fifteenth.
26. Trumpet.
Compass, Gt. and Chr. GG, short 8ves, to D in alt, 52 notes.
Echo, middle G to in alt, 27 notes.
Drum pedal, sounding G and F♯.

Schwarbrook's masterpiece was at St. Michael's, Coventry. It originally contained a Harp, Lute, and Dulcimer; but the strings and action were so liable to get out of order that they were removed in 1763.

1722–4. St. Dionis Backchurch.

Renatus Harris, Jun.

Many Reed Stops.

This admirable organ, made by one of the fourth generation of Harrises, who died young, was remarkable for the number and excellence of its reed-stops, as well as for the general goodness of its Flue-work. [See Fluework.] This organ had several stops 'by communication,' either wholly or partially, and from different notes. The introduction of the GG♯ was an unusual feature. It appears to have been the earliest organ to contain a 'French Horn' stop. 'Tenor D' was a peculiar note for it to be terminated upon; but it nevertheless remained the standard note for special stops for many years. The Swell had no separate Principal. Where this was the case, the Principal was included in the Cornet.

Great organ. 13 stops.
1. Open Diapason 56
2. Stopped Diapason 56
3. Principal 56
4. Twelfth 56
5. Fifteenth 56
6. Tierce 56
7. Larigot 56
8. Sesquialtera, 4 ranks 224
9. Cornet to mid. C, 5 ranks 135
10. Trumpet 56
11. French Horn to tenor D 37
12. Clarion 56
13. Cremona, from Choir Organ, by communication 00
Choir organ. 7 stops.
14. Open Diapason to middle C, by communication below 27
15. Stopped Diapason to gamut G, by communication below 44
16. Principal 56
17. Flute 56
18. Fifteenth 56
19. Cremona 56
20. Bassoon 56
21. Vox Humana 56
22. Clarion, from Great Organ, by communication 00
Swell organ. 1 stops.
23. Open Diapason 32
24. Stopped Diapason 32
25. Cornet, 4 ranks 128
26. Trumpet 32
27. Clarion 32
28. Cremona 32
29. Vox Humana 32
Total 1608
Compass, Gt. and Chr. GG with GG♯ to D in alt, 56 notes.
Swell, Fiddle G to D in alt, 32 notes.

1726. St. Mary Redclif, Bristol.

First Octave Coupler.

In 1726 John Harris and John Byfield, sen. erected a fine and imposing-looking organ for the church of St. Mary Redcliff, Bristol, which had a '16ft. speaking front.' The compass of this instrument was in some respects unusually complete, the Great Organ descending to CCC, including CCC♯, and the Choir Organ going down to GG with GG♯; the Swell consisted of the unusual number of nine stops. Four of the Stops in the Great Organ descended to GG only; and one of the open Diapasons had stopped-pipes to the last four notes. There was 'a spring of communication' attached to the Great Organ, by which CC was made to act on the CCC key, and so on throughout the compass. The Redcliff organ therefore contained the first 'octave coupler' that was ever made in England; in fact, the first coupler of any kind with which any organ in this country was provided. Some old printed accounts of this organ state that the Swell originally went to tenor C, with the lower notes of the reeds very fine; and that it was afterwards shortened to the fiddle G compass; but Mr. Vowles, organ-builder of Bristol, who a few years ago reconstructed the organ, and had all its original mechanism under his eye, assures the present writer that the statenent was erroneous, and probably took its rise from the circumstance that the key-maker, doubtless by mistake, made the Swell Manual down to tenor C, and that the seven extra keys were therefore allowed to remain as 'dummies.'

Great organ. 11 stops.
1. Open Diapason 63
2. Open Diapason, metal to EEE; stopped pipes below 63
3. Stopped Diapason 63
4. Principal 63
5. Twelfth, to GG 56
6. Fifteenth, to GG 56
7. Tierce, to GG 56
8. Sesquialtera, 5 ranks, to GG 280
9. Cornet, to mid. C, 5 rks. 135
10. Trumpet 63
11. Clarion 63
Choir organ. 6 stops.
12. Stopped Diapason 56
13. Principal 56
14. Flute 56
15. Block flute 56
16. Sesquialtera, 3 ranks 163
17. Bassoon 56
Swell organ. 9 stops.
18. Open Diapason 32
19. Stopped Diapason 32
20. Principal 32
21. Flute 32
22. Cornet, 3 ranks 96
23. Hautboy 32
24. Trumpet 32
25. Cremona 32
26. Vox Humana 32
Total 1761
Compass, Great Organ, CCC with CCC♯ to D in alt. 63 notes.
Choir do. GG with GG♯ to D in alt, 56 notes.
Swell do. Fiddle G to D in alt, 32 notes.
Four Bellows.

1730. Christ Church, Spitalfields.

Richard Bridge.

Largest Organ in England.

In 1730, Richard Bridge, then a young man, made himself favourably known by the construction of a fine organ for Christ Church, Spitalfields, which was at the time the largest in England. Like the St. Dionis organ, it contained more than the average number of excellent reed-stops. The second Open Diapason had, instead of open pipes in the lowest octave, stopped pipes and 'helpers,' as they used to be termed.

Great organ. 16 stops.
1. Open Diapason 56
2. Open Diapason to gamut G, then Stopped and Principal pipes 68
3. Stopped Diapason 56
4. Principal 56
5. Principal 56
6. Twelfth 56
7. Fifteenth 56
8. Tierce 56
9. Larigot 56
10. Sesquialtera, 5 ranks 280
11. Furniture. 3 ranks 168
12. Cornet to mid. C♯, 5 rks. 130
13. Trumpet 56
14. Trumpet 56
15. Clarion 56
16. Bassoon 56
Choir organ. 9 stops.
17. Stopped Diapason 56
18. Principal 56
19. Flute 56
20. Fifteenth 56
21. Mixture, 3 ranks 168
22. Cremona 56
23. Vox Humana 56
24. French Horn to tenor D 37
25. Hautboy to tenor D 37
Swell organ. 8 stops.
26. Open Diapason 32
27. Stopped Diapason 32
28. Principal 32
29. Flute 32
30. Cornet, 3 ranks 96
31. Trumpet 32
32. Hautboy 32
33. Clarion 32
Total 2268
Compass, Great and Choir, GG, long octaves, without GG♯, to
D to alt; 56 notes.
Swell, fiddle G to D to alt; 32 notes. Drum pedal on C; 2 pipes.

1749. Foundling Hospital. Parker.

Four quarter tones.

The organ built by Parker in 1749 for the chapel of the Foundling Hospital was specially remarkable for having four quarter notes in each octave, or, in the words of a writer in the 'European Magazine' for February 1799, 'four demitones, and other niceties not occurring in other organs.' At the Temple there were two, D♯ and A♭. At the Foundling there were in addition, A♯ and D♭. These supplementary notes were not furnished with extra keys, but were controlled by certain mechanism whereby they could be substituted for four of those ordinarily in connection with the short keys. The external mechanism for this consisted of six levers, two for each manual, placed over the draw-stops on each side, moving in as many horizontal slots, and each having three places of rest. When the levers stood in the centre, the 12 sounds were those of the usual unequal temperament. If a left-hand lever were pushed full to the left, E♭ was changed into D♯; and if a right-hand lever were pushed full to the right, B♭ was changed to A♯. If however a right-hand lever were put full to the left, G♯ was changed into A♭; and if a left-hand lever were put full to the right, C♯ became D♭. There were thus two levers belonging to each of the three manuals.

Handel conducted the music at the performance given on the occasion of the opening of this organ in 1749.

Great organ. 12 stops.
1. Double-stopped Diapason, all through 76
2. Open Diapason 76
3. Open Diapason 76
4. Stopped Diapason 76
5. Principal 76
6. Principal 76
7. Flute 76
8. Twelfth 76
9. Fifteenth 76
10. Block-flute 76
11. Sesquialtera, 3 ranks 228
12. Trumpet 76
Choir organ. 5 stops.
13. Dulciana to CC 71
14. Stopped Diapason 76
15. Principal 76
16. Fifteenth 76
17. Vox Humana 76
Swell organ. 4 stops.
18. Open Diapason 45
19. Stopped Diapason 45
20. Trumpet 45
21. Cremona 46
Total 1023
Compass, Gt. and Cr. GG, long 8ves. to E in alt, 76 notes.
Swell, Fiddle G to E in alt, 45 notes.

1754. St. Margaret's, Lynn Regis.

John Schnetzler.

The first Dulciana.

Schnetzler is the fourth German organ-builder whom we have met with in England. More than one incident of interest is connected with the erection of the organ built by him for the parish church of Lynn Regis. There was an old organ in the building that was so much decayed that portions of some of the pipes crumbled to dust when they were taken out to be cleaned. The churchwardens nevertheless wished to retain this organ if possible, and asked Schnetzler to state what it was worth, and also what would be the expense of repairing it. He said the organ as it stood was worth a hundred pounds; and if they would lay out another hundred upon it, it would then perhaps be worth fifty! This answer settled the matter, and the new organ was ordered. The Lynn organ is the first that contained a Dulciana, of which it had two, one in the Choir and one in the Swell. It also had a Bourdon in the Great Organ to CC, of metal throughout, except the lowest two notes, which were of wood. The three manuals were complete, and a Bass to the Swell was obtained from three of the Choir Organ Stops, by three additional sliders and as many separate drawstops.

Great organ. 12 stops.
1. Bourdon, to CC 53
2. Open Diapason 57
3. Stopped Diapason 57
4. Principal 57
5. Twelfth 57
6. Fifteenth 57
7. Tierce 57
8. Sesquialtera, 4 ranks 228
9. Furniture, 3 ranks 171
10. Cornet to mid. C, 5 ranks 145
11. Trumpet 57
12. Clarion 57
Choir Organ. 7 stops.
13. Dulciana, of metal throughout 57
14. Stopped Diapason 57
15. Principal 57
16. Flute 57
17. Fifteenth 57
18. Bassoon up to Fiddle G 36
19. Vox Humana 57
Swell. 8 stops, and 3 borrowed Bass stops.
20. Open Diapason 36
21. Stopped Diapason 36
22. Dulciana 36
23. German Flute, to mid. C 29
24. Cornet, 4 ranks 144
25. French Horn 36
26. Trumpet 36
27. Hautboy 36
a. Stopped Bass from Choir.
b. Dulciana Bass
c. Flute Bass
Total 1860
Compass, Gt. and Chr. GG, long 8ves. no GG♯, to E in alt, 57 notes.
Swell, Tenor F to E in alt, 36 notes.

1789. Greenwich Hospital. Samuel Green.

Swell to FF.

In the organ made for the chapel of the Royal Hospital at Greenwich, Green extended the compass of the Swell down to FF, a most important improvement; and included therein not only a Dulciana but also its octave, the Dulcet or Dulciana Principal. The disposition of this organ stood as follows:—

Great organ. 11 stops.
1. Open Diapason 59
2. Open Diapason 59
3. Stopped Diapason 59
4. Principal 59
5. Flute 59
6. Twelfth 59
7. Fifteenth 59
8. Sesquialtera, 3 ranks 177
9. Mixture, 2 ranks 118
10. Cornet to mid. C, 4 ranks 116
11. Trumpet 59
Choir organ. 5 stops.
12. Stopped Diapason 59
13. Principal 59
14. Flute 59
15. Fifteenth 59
16. Bassoon 59
Swell organ. 8 stops.
17. Open Diapason 48
18. Stopped Diapason 48
19. Dulciana 48
20. Principal 48
21. Dulciana Principal 48
22. Cornet. 3 ranks 144
23. Trumpet 48
24. Hautboy 48
Total 1658

1790. St. George's Chapel, Windsor.

Samuel Green.

Great Organ in general Swell.

In the organ built for the Chapel Royal at Windsor in the following year, Green further extended the effect of the 'crescendo' and 'diminuendo' by enclosing the entire Great Organ in a large general Swell. The upper manual organ thus became 'a Swell within a Swell.' The great front pipes, east and west, were therefore all 'mutes,' but were replaced by speaking pipes when the general swell was taken away some years ago by Gray. The compass of the Great and Choir Organs was carried down to FFF, 12 ft., as in Green's organ at Greenwich, and also in those which he restored at Magdalen College, Oxford, and York Minster.

Great organ. 11 stops.
1. Open Diapason 59
2. Open Diapason 59
3. Stopped Diapason 59
4. Principal 59
5. Twelfth 59
6. Fifteenth 59
7. Sesquialtera, 3 ranks 177
8. Mixture, 2 ranks 118
9. Cornet to mid. C, 4 ranks 116
10. Trumpet 59
11. Small Trumpet (Clarion) 59
Choir organ. 6 stops.
12. Dulciana, to FF 48
13. Stopped Diapason 59
14. Principal 59
15. Flute 59
16. Fifteenth 59
17. Bassoon 59
Swell organ. 8 stops.
18. Open Diapason 36
19. Stopped Diapason 36
20. Dulciana 36
21. Principal 36
22. Dulciana Principal 36
23. Cornet, 3 ranks 104
24. Trumpet 36
25. Hautboy 36
Compass, Gt. and Chr. FFF, no FFF♯, to E in alt, 59 notes.
Swell, Tenor F, to E in alt; 36 notes.

1790. Introduction of Pedals.

Although, as we have seen, Pedals were known in Germany upwards of four hundred years ago, yet they were not introduced into England until nearly the close of the last century. Who first made them, or which was the first organ to have them, are matters of some doubt. The organs in Westminster Abbey, the German Lutheran Church in the Savoy, and St. Matthew's, Friday Street, each claim the priority. The first organ that is known for certain to have had them, was that made in 1790 by G. P. England, and erected by him at St. James's, Clerkenwell, which instrument, according to the words of the original specification, was 'to have Pedals to play by the feet.' These, like the early German specimens, were an octave only in compass, GG to Gamut G; and also, as at Halberstadt, etc., had no pipes of their own, but only drew down the manual keys. Before 1793 Avery put Pedals to the Westminster Abbey organ, together with an octave of Unison wood GG Pedal pipes; and from that date he frequently introduced both into his own instruments. In 1811 G. P. England built an organ for Lancaster with 1½ octave of Pedals, GG to Tenor C; and two couplers, Great and Choir to Pedal. He also, like Avery, became a strong advocate for separate pipes for the pedals, introducing them in 1803 into his organ at Newark, which had the FFF (12 ft.) pipe.

After a time pipes of double size, speaking down to GGG (21½ feet length) were made, as by Elliott & Hill at Westminster Abbey, etc. Besides the Unison and Double Pedal-pipe ranges, a mongrel scale crept into use, which, though most defective, was for a few years the most frequently followed. This consisted of an octave of double pipes from CC down to CCC, and then five unison pipes from BB down to GG. The five pedal keys, B to G, at each extremity of the pedal-board, were thus without any difference in the pitch of their five sounds.

1809. Composition Pedals. J. C. Bishop.

In 1809 the late J. C. Bishop effected the improvement on the old Shifting movement which afterwards became so generally known as the Composition Pedals. [See vol. i. p. 382b.] An important modification on his original mechanism is now generally made, by a long arm of iron, called a fan, extending horizontally in front of the vertical draw-rods, where by suitable mechanism it is made to wave up and down. As the fan moves it comes in contact with small 'blocks' of wood, by which it moves the rods; and the improvement consists in the facility with which these blocks can be added to, or any of them removed, and so the 'composition' be altered in a few minutes, if a change be desired.

1825. Concussion Bellows. J. C. Bishop.

These were first applied by Bishop, in 1825, to the organ which he built in that year for the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden. [See vol. i. 216.]

1829. St. James's, Bermondsey. J. C. Bishop.

Large GG Pedal Organ.

The most complete GG Pedal Organ that was ever made, both as to compass and stops, was the one erected by the late J. C. Bishop in St. James's Church, Bermondsey, in 1829. It had three stops of a range of two octaves each. The following was the general specification of it:—

Great organ. 10 stops.
1. Open Diapason 59
2. Open Diapason 59
3. Stopped Diapason 59
4. Principal 59
5. Twelfth 59
6. Fifteenth 59
7. Sesquialtera, 3 ranks 177
8. Mixture, 2 ranks 118
9. Trumpet 59
10. Clarion 59
Choir organ. 8 stops.
11. Open Diapason 59
12. Dulciana to gamut G 47
13. Stopped Diapason 59
14. Principal 59
15. Flute 59
16. Fifteenth 59
17. Cremona, treble 59
18. Bassoon, bass
Swell organ. 8 stops.
19. Open Diapason 47
20. Open Diapason 47
21. Stopped Diapason 47
22. Principal 47
23. Cornet, 5 ranks 235
24. French Horn 47
25. Trumpet 47
26. Hautboy 47
Pedal Organ. 3 stops.
27. Double Pedal Pipes, down to GGG, 21½ feet 25
28. Unison Pedal Pipes, down to GG, 10½ feet 25
29. Trombone, down to GG, 10½ feet 25
Compass, Gt. and Chr. GG, with GG♯, to F in alt, 59 notes. Swell, Gamut G to F in alt, 47 notes; Keys to GG acting on Choir Organ. Pedal Organ, GG to fiddle G, 25 notes.
Couplers, Swell to Great. Swell to Choir. Choir to Great. Great to Pedal. Choir to Pedal.
Three Composition Pedals to Great, shifting to reduce Swell to Diapason. Pedal to couple Swell to Great.

There was a keyboard on the left-hand side of the manuals, acting on the pedal organ; and the writer remembers seeing in print a copy of Handel's chorus, 'But the waters overwhelmed their enemies,' arranged for three performers,—a duet for the manuals, with the rolling bass part for a third player at the side keyboard,—prepared expressly for and played at the opening of this organ.

1832. The Pneumatic Lever. Barker.

In a large organ with several pallets to a key, and perhaps some stops on a heavy pressure of wind, the touch becomes heavier than the most muscular finger (or foot) can control without experiencing great exhaustion.[25] The number of springs in the several soundboards to some extent bring back the resistance existing in the old 16th-century spring-boxes, which resistance however can now no longer be overcome by brute force, but must be controlled by the elastic action from the knuckles or ankle. This power is supplied by the pneumatic lever. The late Mr. Joseph Booth, of Wakefield, was the first organ-builder to whom the idea seems to have occurred of establishing pneumatic agency, and of thus ingeniously turning the wind-power, one of the organist's antagonists, into his assistant. It was to some of the bass pipes of the organ he built for the church of Attercliffe, near Sheffield, in the year 1827, that Mr. Booth first applied his little invention. The lower notes of the wood open diapason of the GG manual were placed on a small separate soundboard, and to the pulldown of each pallet he attached a small circular bellows below. From the great organ soundboard-groove a conveyance conducts wind into this bellows, which, opening downwards, draws the pallet with it. These small bellows Mr. Booth used to call puff-valves.

It was in 1832 that the late Mr. Barker first thought of his invention that has since been called the pneumatic lever. On the completion of the organ in York Minster, the touch of which, in consequence of the great size of the instrument, was of course very heavy, he wrote to Dr. Camidge, then the organist of the Cathedral, begging to be allowed to attach one of his levers in a temporary way to one of the heaviest notes of his organ. Dr. Camidge admitted that the touch of his instrument was 'sufficient to paralyse the efforts of most men'; but financial difficulties stood in the way of the remedy being applied; and in 1837 he [App. p.735 "Mr. Barker"] went to France to superintend its introduction into the organ then being built by the eminent builder Cavaillé-Coll for the royal Church of St. Denis, near Paris. M. Cavaillé had, among his other experiments, made Flue and Reed pipes to produce harmonic tones by means of wind of heavy pressure, but these discoveries he had looked upon as practically useless on account of their leading to the production of a touch which no human muscles could overcome. Mr. Barker's apparatus, which simply overpowered the resistance that could not be removed, was therefore an opportune presentation; and M. Cavaillé immediately introduced it, together with several Harmonic stops, into the large organ he was then (1841) building for the Abbey Church of St. Denis, near Paris.

In 1835 Mr. David Hamilton, of Edinburgh, made a pneumatic movement, which he applied to the organ in St. John's Episcopal Church in that city; and in 1839 a paper was read at a meeting of the British Association at Birmingham explanatory of a pneumatic lever which he then exhibited.

The pneumatic lever consists of a bellows shaped very like a small concussion bellows, two or three inches in width, and about ten inches in length. The key of the clavier opens a small circular valve beneath this, and compressed air being thus admitted, the bellows rises, drawing with it a tracker that communicates the motion to the whole of the pallets and to such of the coupling movements, etc., as may be 'drawn'; all of which immediately answer to the putting down of the key. When the key is released the valve that admitted the air is closed and another opened, the bellows consequently closing. The key is thus relieved from the combined resistance of the main pallets, coupling movements, and the heavy wind-pressure; and the touch can consequently be adjusted to any degree of elastic resistance pleasant to the performer.

1834. York Minster. Elliott & Hill.

Radiating Pedal-board.

The organ in York Minster, which had been twice enlarged—about 1754, and again in 1813—was a third time altered and considerably increased in size in 1823, by Ward of York; who among other things added a Pedal Organ of thirteen stops to FFF, containing two Double Diapasons down to FFFF, 24 feet length, etc. The fire of 1829 cleared all this away; and Messrs. Elliott & Hill were then engaged to erect an entirely new organ, under the superintendence of the late Dr. Camidge.

It had been found from experience that the vast area of York Minster required an immense amount of organ tone to fill it adequately, and with the view of supplying this, Dr. Camidge seems to have selected as the foundation of his plan, the type of a large ordinary Great Organ of the period, of twelve stops, which he followed almost literally, and then had that disposition inserted twice over. The compass of the Great and Choir Manuals he extended downwards to CCC, 16 feet, and upwards to C in altissimo; and the Pedal Organ he designed to include four 'Double' Stops of 32 feet, and four 'Unisons' of 16 feet. The great fault in the scheme lay in the entire omission from the Manuals of all sub-octave Foundation-stops—i.e. stops sounding the 16-feet tone on the 8-feet key—and consequently also of all the Mutation-stops due to that sound. In spite of the great aggregation of pipes, therefore, the numerous manual stops produced no massiveness of effect, while as the Pedal had no less than four ponderous sub-octave registers,[26] and, with the manuals coupled, a total of over forty stops, the only possible result from such an arrangement was a 'top-and-bottom' effect.

The original scheme of the organ—which underwent thorough revision and improvement in 1859—is given below. This organ had a radiating pedal-board. The organ erected in Mitcham church in 1834, and originally made by Bruce of Edinburgh, also had a radiating pedal-board, of peculiar construction.

Great Organ. 24 stops.
(East soundboards.) (West soundboards.)
Feet Feet
1. Open Diapason 16 13. Open Diapason 16
2. Open Diapason 16 14. Open Diapason 16
3. Stopped Diapason 16 15. Stopped Diapason 16
4. Principal 8 16. Principal 8
5. Principal 8 17. Principal 8
6. Principal, wood (Flute) 8 18. Principal, wood (Flute) 8
7. Twelfth 19. Twelfth
8. Fifteenth 4 20. Fifteenth 4
9. Sesquialtera 7 ranks 21. Sesquialtera, 7 ranks
10. Mixture 22. Mixture
11. Trumpet 16 23. Trumpet 16
12. Trumpet 16 24. Trumpet 16
Choir organ. 9 stops.
25. Open Diapason 16
26. Open Diapason 16
27. Dulciana 16
28. Stopped Diapason 16
29. Horn Diapason 16
30. Principal 16
31. Flute 16
32. Fifteenth 16
33. Bassoon 16
Swell organ. 12 stops.
34. Open Diapason 8
35. Stopped Diapason 8
36. Dulciana 8
37. Harmonica 8
38. Principal 4
39. Principal, wood 4
40. Fifteenth 2
41. Sesquialtera, 4 ranks
42. Horn 8
43. Trumpet 8
44. Oboe 8
45. Cremona 8
Pedal organ. 9 stops.
46. Double open, wood 32
47. Double open, metal 32
48. Double stopped, wood 32
49. Open Diapason, wood 16
50. Open Diapason, wood 16
51. Open Diapason, metal 16
52. Sacbut (reed), wood 32
53. Trumpet, wood 16
54. Trumpet, metal 8
Compass, Gt. and Chr. CCC to in altmo (6 octaves); 73 notes.
Swl. CC to in altmo. (5 octaves); 61 notes.
Pedal Organ, CCC to Tenor C; 25 notes.
Manual and Pedal couplers. Radiating Pedal-board.

Not long after the completion of the York organ the late Dr. (then Mr.) Gauntlett made a praiseworthy effort to introduce some of the leading features of the Continental principle of organ-building into England; and being heartily seconded by the late Mr. William Hill, his endeavours were attended with a considerable amount of success. The 8-feet compass was gradually accepted as the proper range for the Manuals, although at times greatly opposed: the sub-octave (16 feet) manual stops, which had been essayed successively by Parker, Schnetzler, and Lincoln, at last obtained favourable recognition, together with the Twelfth thereto, viz. the Quint of 5½ feet. Double manual [27]reeds were incorporated; and the importance of and necessity for the independent Pedal Organ was also demonstrated. The weak points were the number of half and incomplete stops, which retarded the process of quick registering; and the short range of the Pedal Organ, which, instead of being, like the pedals themselves, upwards of two octaves in compass, from CCC, consisted of a single octave only, which then repeated. This defect—a continuation of the old 'return pedal-pipe' system—had to be remedied before a clear and intelligible reading of Bach's Fugues, or any other essentially organ music, could be given.

1840. Town Hall, Birmingham.

Elliott & Hill.

'Borrowed' Solo Organ.

The peculiarity in this organ, independently of its general excellence, consisted in its 'Combination or Solo Organ.' By an ingenious mechanical contrivance almost any stop or stops of the swell or choir organs could be played on a fourth manual, without interfering with their arrangement, or their own separate keyboards. The stops that could thus be used in combination were the following:—

On Solo Manual.
From Choir Organ From Swell Organ.
Feet Feet
1. Open Diapason 8 1. Open Diapason 8
2. Stopped Diapason 8 2. Stopped Diapason 8
3. Dulciana 8 3. Clarabella 8
4. Flute 4 4. Principal 4
5. Harmonica 4 5. Fifteenth 2
6. Cornopean 8 6. Horn 8
7. Cremona 8 7. Hautboy 8
8. Bells. 8. Trumpet 8
9. Clarion 4

This was the first organ that had the 'Great Ophicleide,' or 'Tuba,' on a heavy wind.

1842. Worcester Cathedral. Hill & Sons.

Non-return Pedal Organ.

In 1842 Messrs. William Hill & Sons constructed a new organ for the Choir of Worcester Cathedral, in which the Pedal Organ was made of the same range as the pedal keys; and the Swell contained an 'Echo Cornet,' then a comparatively new feature, and a development of Green's 'Dulciana Principal.' It also had a sub-octave stop (Double Dulciana) of the same species. The following is the specification of the organ just mentioned.

Great Organ. 14 stops.
1. Tenoroon Diapason 16
2. Bourdon to meet No. 1 16
3. Open Diapason, front 8
4. Open Diapason, back 8
5. Stopped Diapason 8
6. Quint
7. Principal 4
8. Wald Flote 4
9. Twelfth
10. Fifteenth 2
11. Sesquialtera, 3 ranks
12. Mixture, 2 ranks ½
13. Doublette, 2 ranks 2
14. Posaune 8
Choir Organ.
15. Dulciana 8
16. Clarabella 8
17. Stopped Diapason 8
18. Principal 4
19. Stopped Flute 4
20. Oboe Flute 4
21. Fifteenth 2
22. Cremona 8
Swell Organ. 11 stops.
23. Double Dulciana 16
24. Open Diapason 8
25. Stopped Diapason 8
26. Dulciana 8
27. Principal 4
28. Suabe Flute 4
29. Flageolet 2
30. Doublette, 2 ranks 2
31. Echo Dulciana Cornet 5 ranks.
32. Oboe 8
33. Cornopean 8
Pedal Organ. 6 stops.
34. Open Diapason 16
35. Stopped Diapason 16
36. Principal 8
Fifteenth 4
Sesquialtera, 5 ranks
Trombone 16
Compass, Gt. and Chr. CC to F in alt, 54 notes. Swell, Tenor C to F in alt, 42 notes. Pedal, CCC to Tenor E, 29 notes.
Couplers, Swell to Great. Swell to Choir. Great to Pdal. Choir to Pedal.
Five Composition Pedals.

1851. Exhibition Organ. M. Ducroquet.

In the year 1851 the first great Industrial Exhibition was held in London in Hyde Park. On that occasion, among the numerous musical instruments presented to public notice were two foreign organs (Ducroquet and Schulze), which, though moderate in size, presented several features, in the form of stops and principles of construction, that were then new to this country, and many of which were afterwards gradually introduced into the English system of organ-building. To these reference must therefore here be made.

The scheme of Ducroquet's French organ stood as follows:—

Great Organ. 10 stops.
1. Bourdon 16
2. Montre 8
3. Flûte-à-pavillon 8
4. Salicional 8
5. Bourdon 8
6. Prestant 4
7. Plein jeu, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26
8. Bombarde 16
9. Trompette 8
10. Clairon 4
Récit or Swell organ. 8 stops.
11. Flûte (Open Diapason) 8
12. Flûte Harmonique 8
13. Viola di Gamba 8
14. Bourdon 8
15. Prestant 4
16. Trompette 8
17. Hautbois et Basson 8
18. Cor Anglais 8
Pedal Organ. 2 stops.
19. Flôte (Open wood) 16
20. Bombarde, (reed) 16
Compass, Gt. and Swl. CC to C in altmo., 61 notes. Pedal CCC to Tenor C, 25 notes.
Six Mechanical Pedals: 1. Great to Pedal. 2. Great organ reeds on or off. 3. Entire Great organ on or off. 4. Swell to Great, unison. 5. Swell to Great, octave. 6. Swell to Great, sub-octave.

1851. Exhibition Organ. M. Schulze and Son.

The specification of Schulze's German Organ was as follows:—

Great Organ. 8 stops.
1. Bordun 16
2. Principal (wood bass) 8
3. Gamba, grooved into No. 2 in the bass 8
4. Gedact 8
5. Hohlflöte, grooved into No. 4 in the bass 8
6. Octave 4
7. Mixture, 15, 19, 22, 26, 29 2
8. Clarinette 8
Choir Organ. 5 stops.
9. Lieblich Bordun, to G 16
10. Geigen Principal 8
11. Lieblich Gedact throughout, and Flauto Traverso 8
12. Geigen Principal 4
13. Lieblich Flöte 4
Pedal Organ. 2 real stops.
a. Sub-bass borrowed from Gt. Bordun 16
14. Octave-bass, open wood 8
15. Posaune 16
Compass, Gt. and Cr., CC to F in alt, 54 notes. Pedal, CCC to Tenor D, 27 notes.
Couplers, Choir to Great Unison. Choir to Great Sub-Octave. Great to Pedal.

1. In Ducroquet's organ the Flûte-à-pavillon (No. 3) was composed of cylindrical pipes with a bell on the top, the tone of which stop was very full and clear. The Flûte Harmonique (No. 12) was a stop which in the upper part 'overblew,' or sounded its octave, as in the real flute, and was therefore composed of pipes of double length, to render the pitch correct. It produced a very effective imitation of an orchestral flute. The Cor Anglais (No. 18) was a free[28] reed, and gave a very good imitation of the instrument after which it was named. The reed stops in this organ were more numerous than they would have been in an English instrument of the same size, besides being most excellent. They numbered seven in a specification of twenty stops, and included two of 16 feet. The three reeds of the great organ were placed on a separate soundboard, and were supplied with wind at a higher pressure than that used for the Flue-work. They were therefore very powerful and effective, and imparted a very brilliant effect to the full organ. Of the six mechanical pedals, the titles of most of which indicate their purpose, one (No. 3) threw the Great Organ on or off its keys, so that when the Swell was coupled to the Great Manual, a sudden forte or piano could be obtained. Its effect therefore was similar to that of the English 'sforzando pedal,' though scarcely equal to it for practical purposes.

2. In Schulze's organ the Gedact (No. 4) was formed of stopped wood pipes that produced a fuller tone than the usual Stopped Diapason, at the same time that it retained the pure character of the best specimens of that class of stop. The 'Lieblichs' of 16, 8, and 4 feet (Nos. 9, 11, and 13), the invention of Schulze, in the Choir organ, were singularly beautiful in quality of tone, and formed a most effective group of stops. The 'Flauto Traverso' (No. 11), like the French 'Flute Harmonique,' was composed of pipes of double length in the upper part; and the pipes being of wood, bored and turned to a cylindrical shape, were in reality so many actual flutes. The 'Gamba' and 'Geigen Principal' (Nos. 3 and 10), were open stops, metal in the treble and tenor, and produced the 'string tone' most effectively. The Hohlflöte (No. 5) was an open wood stop, with the mouth on the broad side of the pipe, and produced a thick, 'hollow' tone; hence its name. The 'Clarinette' and 'Posaune' (Nos. 8 and 15) were reed stops of the 'free' species, the latter having zinc tubes of half length, and producing an excellent quality of tone. The pedal coupler acted on a second set of pallets in the soundboard, and did not take down the manual keys—a great convenience, as it did not interfere with the hands. The pedal clavier was made in a form then quite new to this country, with the notes at the extreme right and left somewhat higher than those in the middle—concave. This shape and Elliott & Hill's radiating plan were afterwards combined by Mr. Henry Willis, in his 'concave and radiating pedal-board.' The flue-stops, that are usually intended to have great power, possessed considerable boldness and strength in this organ of Schulze's, which was partly due to the scales having been kept 'well up.' This effect was secured without any extra pressure of wind—for the wind only stood at the ordinary pressure of three inches—but simply by allowing twice or thrice the usual quantity of wind to enter at the feet of the pipes.

The French organ, then, brought the Harmonic flutes, the Gamba, the octave and suboctave couplers, and the reed-stops on a stronger pressure of wind, into prominent notice, although this latter was also illustrated in Willis's larger organ at the west end of the Exhibition building; while Schulze's organ drew attention to the sweet-toned (Lieblich) covered stops, the Harmonic flute, the string-toned stops, and the bold voicing and copious winding of full-scaled flue-stops, on the successful imitation of which latter Mr. T. Lewis has built a part of his reputation.

3. Messrs. A. and M. Ducci, organ-builders of Florence, exhibited a small organ, the bellows of which possessed a novelty, in that the feeder, consisting of a movable board swaying parallel between two fixed ones, supplied wind both by its upward and downward motion, and in double quantity, as it moved bodily instead of being hinged on at one end.

4. Mr. Willis's great organ had three manuals and pedal, seventy sounding stops and seven couplers. There were four different pressures of wind. The Swell had its own separate bellows placed within the swell-box, as in Green's organ at St. George's, Windsor, already noticed. It also presented several novelties, the principal of which was the introduction of studs or pistons projecting through the key-slips, acting on the draw-stops, operated upon by the thumbs, and designed as a substitute for the ordinary Composition Pedals. This was effected by the aid of a pneumatic apparatus on the same principle as that applied to the keys. A stud, on being pressed, admitted compressed air into a bellows, which immediately ascended with sufficient power to act, by means of rods and levers, on the machinery of the stops, drawing those which the given combination required, and pushing in those that were superfluous. In most cases there was a duplicate stud for each combination, so that it could be obtained by using either the right or the left thumb.

The leading improvements that have been introduced since the first Exhibition, are of too recent a date to belong to the History of the organ; and more properly belong to its Description.

Of the celebrated foreign organs we may mention the four following typical specimens.

1735–8. Haarlem. Christian Müller.

This organ has long been celebrated as one of the largest and finest in the world. It was built by Christian Müller of Amsterdam, and was nearly three years and a half in course of construction, having been commenced on April 23, 1735, and finished on Sept. 13, 1738. It has 60 stops, of which the following is a list:-

Great Organ. 16 stops. 1209 pipes.
Feet Pipes
1. Prestant 16 78
2. Bourdon 16 (tone) 51
3. Octaav 8 78
4. Roerfluit 8 (tone) 51
5. Viol di Gamba 8 51
6. Roer-quint 51
7. Octaav 4 51
8. Gemshorn 4 51
9. Quint prestant 2⅔ 51
10. Woud-fluit 2 51
11. Tertian, 2 ranks 1 102
12. Mixture, 6, 8, and 10 ranks 339
13. Trompet 16 51
14. Trompet 8 51
15. Hautbois 8 51
16. Trompet 8 51
Choir, in front. 14 stops. 1268 pipes.
17. Prestant 8 95
18. Quintadena 8 (tone) 51
19. Hohlfluit 8 51
20. Octaav 4 51
21. Fluit-doux 4 51
22. Speel-fluit 2⅔ 51
23. Super-octaav 2 51
24. Sesquialtera, 2, 3, and 4 ranks 144
25. Mixtur, 6, 7, and 8 ranks. 360
26. Cimbel, 2 ranks 102
27. Cornet, 5 ranks 104
28. Fagot 16 51
29. Trompet 8 51
30. Regal 8 51
Echo. 15 stops. 1098 pipes.
31. Quintadena 16 (tone) 51
32. Prestant 8 81
33. Baar-pyp 8 51
34. Quintadena 8 (tone) 51
35. Octaav 4 51
36. Flag-fluit 4 51
37. Nassat 2⅔ 51
38. Nacht-horn 2 51
39. Flageolet 51
40. Seiqulalter, 2 ranks 102
41. Mixtur, 4, 5, and 6 ranks 246
42. Cimbel, 4 ranks 108
43. Schalmel 8 51
44. Dulcian 8 51
45. Vox Humana 8 51
Pedal. 15 stops. 513 pipes.
46. Sub-Principal 32 27
47. Prestant 16 27
48. Sub-Bass 16 27
49. Roer-quint (tone) 10⅔ 27
50. Octaav 8 27
51. Holfluit 8 27
52. Quint 5⅓ 27
53. Octaav 4 27
54. Holfluit 2 27
55. Ruis-quint, 5 ranks. 2⅔ 27
56. Buzain 32 27
57. Buzain 16 27
58. Trompet 8 27
59. Trompet 4 27
60. Cinq 2 27
Accessory Stops, Movements, etc.
1. Coupler, Choir to Great.
2. Coupler, Echo to Great.
3, 4. Two Tremulants.
5. Wind to Great organ.
6. Wind to Choir organ.
7. Wind to Echo organ.
8. Wind to Pedal organ.
Twelve Bellows, 9 feet by 9.
Compass. Manuals, CC to D in alt, 51 notes.
Pedals, CCC to tenor D, 27 notes.
Number of Pipes.
Great 1209
Choir 1268
Echo 1098
Pedal 518
Total 4088

1750. Weingarten. Gabler.

This is another very celebrated instrument among those made in the 18th century. The 32-feet stop, in front, is of fine tin. The organ originally contained 6666 pipes; and it is said that the monks of Weingarten, who were very rich, were so satisfied with the efforts of Gabler, the builder, that they presented him with 6666 florins above his charge, being an additional florin for each pipe.

Great Organ. 16 stops.
1. Prestant 16
2. Principal 8
3. Rohrflöte (tone) 8
4. Piffara 8
5. Quintaton (tone) 8
6. Octave 4
7. Rohrflöte (tone) 4
8. Flöte douce 4
9. Querflöte 4
10. Hohlflöte 2
11. Super-octave 2
12. Sesquialtera, 8 ranks 2⅔
13. Mixture, 20 ranks 2
14. Cornet, 8 ranks 2
15. Trompeten (new) 8
16. Cymbelstern.
Choir. 12 stops.
17. Bordun (tone) 16
18. Principal tutti (strong) 8
19. Violoncello 8
20. Coppel 8
21. Hohlflöte 8
22. Unda Maris 8
23. Salcional 8
24. Octav douce 4
25. Viola 4
26. Nasat 2
27. Mixture, 21 ranks 4
28. Cymbal, 2 ranks 2
Echo. 13 stops.
29. Bordun (tone) 16
30. Principal 8
31. Quintaton (tone) 8
32. Viola douce 8
33. Flauten 8
34. Octave 8
35. Hohlflöte 4
36. Piffaro 4
37. Super-octave 2
38. Mixture, 12 ranks 2
39. Cornet, 4 ranks 1
40. Clarinet (new) 8
41. Carillon, from tenor F upwards.
Positif. 12 stops.
42. Principal douce, in front 8
43. Violoncello 8
44. Quintaton 8
45. Flute douce 8
46. Piffaro 4
47. Flauto traverso 4
48. Rohrflöte (tone) 4
49. Querflöte 4
50. Flageolet 4
51. Cornet, 12 ranks 2
52. Hautbois 8
53. Voix humaine 8
Pedal. 17 stops.
54. Contra-bass, tin, in front 32
55. Sub-bass, wood (tone) 32
56. Octave-bass, wood 16
57. Violon-bass, wood 16
58. Quintaton-bass 16
59. Super-octave-bass, in front 8
60. Flöte-douce-bass 8
61. Violoncello-bass 8
62. Hohlflöte-bass 4
63. Sesqulaltera-bass, 2 & 3 ranks 2⅔
64. Mixturen-bass, 5 rks 8
65. Bombarde-bass 32
66. Posaune-bass 16
67. Trompette-bass 8
68. Fagott-bass 8
69. Cornet-bass 4
70. Carillon Pedal 4
Compass. Manuals, CC to C in alt; Pedals, CCC to tenor D.
(Flat pitch.)
Accessory Stops, Movements, etc.
1. Coupler, Echo to Great.
2. Tremulant.
3. Cuckoo.
4. Rosignol.
5. Cymbals.
6. La force.

1834. Freiburg (St. Nicholas). Aloys Mooser.

The Freiburg organ is so well known that a list of its contents as constructed by Mooser can scarcely fail to be interesting. It originally contained 61 stops, 4 manuals, and 2 pedals, and is said to have recently received additions.

Great Organ. 16 stops.
1. Montre 16
2. Bourdon (tone) 16
3. Octave 8
4. Principal 8
5. Bourdon (tone) 8
6. Gamba 8
7. Prestant 4
8. Dulciana 4
9. Doublette 2
10. Fourniture, 6 and 7 ranks.
11. Cymbale, 3 ranks 2
12. Scharf, 8 ranks 2
13. Petit Cornet, 3 ranks.
14. Grand Cornet, a Reed 16
15. Trombone 8
16. Clairon 4
Choir. 14 stops.
17. Quintadena (tone) 16
18. Principal 8
19. Principal 8
20. Gamba 8
21. Flôte douce 8
22. Octave 4
23. Flute 4
24. Flôte à cheminée (tone) 4
25. Nazard 2
26. Doublette 2
27. Flageolet 1
28. Fourniture, 4 & 5 ranks 2
29. Cornet, 5 ranks 8
30. Trompette 8
Positif. 12 stops.
31. Montre 8
32. Bourdon (tone) 8
33. Viola 8
34. Salicional 8
35. Prestant 4
36. Calcan 4
37. Flôte bouchée 4
38. Dulciana 4
39. Quint Flôte 2⅔
40. Flageolet 2
41. Cornet, 5 ranks.
42. Cromome (tone) 8
Echo. 8 stops.
43. Montre 8
44. Bourdon (tone) 8
45. Flute 8
46. Salicional 8
47. Quinte Flôte 4
48. Flageolet 2
49. Voix humaine 8
50. Cornet 8
Great Pedal. 6 stops.
51. Bass-Bourdon (tone) 32
52. Sous-bass 16
53. Octave 8
54. Prestant 8
55. Bombarde 16
56. Trombone 8
Choir Pedal. 5 stops.
57. Montre 16
58. Principal 8
59. Flute (tone) 8
60. Prestant 4
61. Trompette 8
Accessory Stops, etc.
1. Choir to Great.
2. Great to Pedal.
3. Tremulant Great.
4. Tremulant Echo.
Compass. Manuals, CC to F in alt; Pedals, CCC to tenor C.

1846. The Madeleine, Paris.

MM. Cavaillé-Coll & Co.

This organ is perhaps the best known of Cavaillé's instruments. Though not one of his largest, it is one of his most excellent and effective. It has 4 manuals and pedal, and the 48 stops mentioned below.

Clavier du Grand Orgue. 12 stops.
1. Montre 16
2. Violon-Basse 16
3. Montre 8
4. Bourdon 8
5. Salicional 8
6. Flôte Harmonique 8
7. Prestant 4
8. Quinte 2⅔
9. Doublette 2
10. Plein Jeu. 10 ranks.
11. Trompette 8
12. Cor Anglais 8
Clavier de Bombardes. 10 stops.
13. Sous-Basse 16
14. Basse 8
15. Flôte Harmonique 8
16. Flôte traversière 8
17. Flôte Octaviante 4
18. Octavin 8
19. Bombarde 16
20. Trompette Harmonique 8
21. Deuxiéme Trompette 8
22. Clarion 4
Clavier du Positif. 10 stops.
23. Montre 8
24. Viol di Gamba 8
25. Flôte douce 8
26. Voix-celestes 8
27. Prestant 4
28. Dulciana 4
29. Octavin 2
30. Trompette 8
31. Basson et Hautbois 8
32. Clarion 4
Clavier de Récit. Expressif. 8 stops.
33. Flôte Harmonique 8
34. Bourdon 8
35. Musette 8
36. Flôte Octavianto 4
37. Octavin 2
38. Voix Humaine 8
39. Trompette Harmonique 8
40. Clairon Harmonique 4
Clavier De Pédales. 8 stops.
41. Quintaton 32
42. Contre-Basse 16
43. Basse Contra 16
44. Violoncelle 8
45. Grosse Flôte 8
46. Bombarde 16
47. Trompette 8
48. Clairon 4
Combination Pedals, etc.
1. Positif to Great.
2. Great to Pedal.
3. Bombarde to Positif.
4. Pedal to Great.
5. Great Organ Sub-octave.
6. Bombarde Sub-octave.
7. Pedal octave above.
8. Tremulant to Choir and Swell.
9. Great Reeds.
10. Bombarde Reeds.
11. Choir Reeds.
12. Swell Reeds.
13. Pedal Reeds.
Compass. Manuals, CC to F in alt. 54 notes.
Pedal. CCC to tenor D, 27 notes.

Page 616 (A Dictionary of Music and Musicians-Volume 2).jpg
Great Organ.
ff Open diapason, metal, in front.
gg Stopt do.
hh Dulciana.
ll Principal.
mm Stopt wood Flute.
nn Clarionet.
oo Flautino.
kk Open diapason, wood.
ii Violin do., metal.
pp Stopt do., metal.
qq Oboe.
rr Spiltz-flöte.
ss Gamba.
vv Piccolo.
y,y Bourdon, wood, stopt.
N.B.—The Swell is shewn
shut; s,s, are the swell
shutter-arms, and v, v,
is the swell rod.

General Section of an Organ with two Manuals, Great and Swell, and Pedals.

II. Description. It has been shown in the preceding History of the organ, how that abroad tiers of pipes from nearly the largest in size to the smallest were accumulated on one keyboard before they were assorted and appropriated to different 'departments'; how that in England, on the contrary, little instruments with comparatively few pipes were dignified with the name of 'pair'; and how that an example possessing two manuals, if it also had two cases, was distinguished by the name of a 'double organ.'

Turning from the rules of the past to the custom of the present, it is found that 'an organ' of to-day sometimes consists really of as many as five separate and distinct organs—Great, Swell, Choir, Solo, and Pedal; but all being enclosed in one case, or at any rate brought under the control of one performer, they are spoken of collectively as constituting a single instrument. To describe such an organ completely and in detail would require a volume, which is impossible here, and is besides unnecessary, as the smallest specimen equally with the largest comprises a certain number of necessary parts; namely, (1) the apparatus for collecting thewind, viz. the bellows; (2) the means for distributing the wind, viz. the wind-trunk, the wind-chest, and the soundboard-grooves; (3) the mechanism for playing the organ, viz. the clavier and the key-movement; (4) the mechanism for controlling the use of the tiers of pipes, viz. the drawstop action. To these have to be added the couplers, composition pedals, etc.

1. The Bellows that collect and compress the wind have already been described in vol. i. p. 214. They are shown in the accompanying woodcut occupying their usual position in the lower part of the organ; the reservoir being marked r,r,r,r, and the feeder t,t,t. From the reservoir of the bellows the wind is conducted through a large service-pipe or 'wind-trunk' to the wind-cisterns or wind-chests z,z, where it remains for further use in smaller quantities. The wind-trunk, which could not be conveniently shown in the woodcut, is made either of wood or metal, and traverses the distance between the reservoir and wind-chest by the shortest convenient route. The wind-chest is a substantial box of wood extending the whole length of the soundboard; about equal to it in depth; and about two-thirds its width. In this chest are located the soundboard pallets (d and k), which prevent the wind proceeding any farther, unless one or more of them are drawn down (or opened) by the means next to be noticed.

2. The Key action is the system of mechanism by which the performer is able to draw open the pallets, which are otherwise far beyond his reach. In an action of simple construction this consists of a key (a), sticker (b), roller and tracker (c), communicating with a pull-down (d) attached to the pallet. On pressing down the front end of the key (a) which key works on a metal pin or centre the further end rises, lifting with it the vertical sticker (b). This sticker, lifting the first arm of the horizontal roller, causes the roller partly to revolve. At the opposite end of this roller is a second arm projecting from the back, which consequently descends (c). To this is attached a tracker made to any length necessary to reach from the second roller-arm to the pulldown (d). The course of the motion transmitted by these parts is as follows:—The keytail carries the motion inwards, the sticker carries it upwards; the roller conveys it to the necessary distance right or left, while the tracker again carries it upwards to the pallet. In modern organs of superior construction, small discs of crimson cloth are placed at each end of the sticker, to prevent any rattling between the contiguous parts of the mechanism. A pin passes down from the sticker, through the key-tail, to prevent the former from slipping off the latter. A second one is placed on the top, and passes through an eye in the roller-arm to secure the certain action of the roller. The two studs into which the roller-pins pass to sustain the roller are lined with cloth, or 'bushed,' as it is termed, also to secure silence in action; and the rollers themselves are made of iron tubing, which is more firm and rigid than the old wood rollers, and has the additional advantage of taking much less space.

It is a matter of much importance to lessen the strain on the key-movement just noticed by reducing the resistance at the pallet as much as possible, and thus also relieving the finger of the player from all unnecessary labour and fatigue. For this purpose most builders make use, under certain circumstances, of what are called relief pallets. When wind, in however small quantity, gains admission above a pallet, the wind-pressure ceases by becoming equal all round, and there remains only the elastic resistance of the spring to be overcome. To effect this relief numerous devices have been thought of, as the 'jointed pallet,' in which two or three inches of the fore part move first, and then the remainder, perhaps for nearly a foot in length. There is also the 'double pallet,' in which a small valve is placed on the back of the large one, and opens first, etc., etc. In large organs some builders use relief pallets to obviate the necessity for 'pneumatics,' though the two are sometimes used at the same time.

3. The Draw stop action is a second system of mechanism, by means of which the performer is enabled to draw-out or push-in any slider that lies beneath a separate set of pipes or stop. In the accompanying drawing each separate pipe depicted represents a single member of a different stop [see Stop], and the slider-ends are the little shaded portions that are shown immediately over the soundboard groove (e,e,e and o,o,o,o). The unshaded intermediate parts are the bearers, which sustain the weight of the upper-boards on which the pipes are seen standing, as well as of the pipes themselves; the sliders being thus left unfettered to move freely to and fro. In the small movable (Portative) organs of the middle ages, when the surface of the soundboard, or 'table' on which the pipes stood, was scarcely any higher above the keys than the top of a modern square pianoforte above its clavier, and when the soundboard measured only about a couple of feet in length, the slider-ends could be easily reached by the player, and be moved in or out with the fingers and thumb. When the soundboard became longer, and the sliders longer and heavier, a lever was added, to move them to and fro. This was the arrangement in the 16th-century organ at Radnor. At that period, and for a long time after, the stops were arranged before the playing commenced, and were not varied during the performance.

In a modern organ of what would now be considered small dimensions, the slider-ends are always beyond the reach of the performer, being, in relation to the claviers, generally farther in, considerably to the right or left, as the case may be, and at a much higher level. The 'action' to a single stop therefore consists of a draw-stop rod, which passes into the organ to the necessary extent; a movable trundle, which turns the corner; a trace-rod, which spans the distance from the trundle to the end of the soundboard; and the lever that is in connection at its upper end with the slider. These attached parts act in the following manner. The draw-stop rod is drawn forward in the direction from middle to front; the trundle partly revolves and moves the trace-rod in the direction from side to middle; and the lower end of the lever is drawn inwards, causing the upper end to move outwards, and to take the slider-end with it. The stop is now ready for use. On pushing in the draw-stop, the action of the several parts is reversed, and the stop is silenced.

The end of the draw-stop rod projects through the jamb at the side of the keys, and is finished off with a knob ornamented with an ivory shield bearing the name of the stop that it controls.

The Concussion-bellows was duly described under the head of Bellows (see vol. i. p. 216); it is only necessary therefore here to add that in the subjoined cut it is shown in position (see q) attached to the underside of the wind-chest.

Besides the two primary systems of mechanism just noticed, most organs, however small, have a greater or less number of members belonging to certain subsidiary systems, foremost among which rank the Couplers. Thus an organ with one Manual and separate Pedal generally has at the least one coupler, 'Manual to Pedal.' By means of this the lower 2½ octaves of the Manual are brought under the control of the feet, so that their sounds may materially supplement the Pedal stops, which are always moderate in number in email organs. [See Coupler, vol. i. p. 410.] A modern organ with two Manuals and separate Pedal has generally three, four, or even five couplers; 'Great to Pedal,' 'Swell to Pedal,' 'Swell to Great,' which is understood to act in the unison unless otherwise expressed; 'Swell octave,' which is understood to act in the octave above unless otherwise expressed. (It will be remembered that an octave-coupler formed part of the original work in Byfield's organ in St. Mary Redcliff, Bristol, 1726.) The 'Swell sub-octave' acts in the octave below. At first this was called a 'Double coupler,' as its effect resembled that of a 'Double diapason,' etc. In the organ built by Robson for St. Dunstan's in the West in 1834, there was a double coupler, Choir to Great, which operated by means of a second set of pallets, and therefore did not take down the Choir keys.

The 'action' of a manual-coupler of the modern improved kind consists simply of a set of levers or backfalls, one to each key. The front end of the backfall is lifted, the far end descending, and pressing down a sticker resting on the back end of the T-shaped backfall of the swell-action, which is then set in motion (g, h, i, i, k) as completely as though it had been started at f by the swell upper-manual key. An octave coupler consists of a set of diagonal backfalls, which extend sufficiently to the right to reach from any given key to the tracker of its octave. The upper backfall above h shows this. A sub-octave coupler has a set of diagonal backfalls acting on the octave below. When not required to be used, the drawstop is 'put in,' which raises the frame and backfalls from the stickers at the front end, and from the tracker-button at the other.

The Pedal-couplers are in modern examples made in manner similar to those just described, one of which may here be traced. On pressing down the pedal aa the trackers and roller-arms, bb, bb descend, drawing down the front end cc of the backfall. The far end dd is thus made to rise, lifting with it the sticker, which, communicating with the under-side of the tail (ee) of the great-organ key, lifts it and thus plays the note as exactly as though it had been pressed down by a finger.

The 'Sforzando coupler' is a movement worked by a pedal, by the aid of which the Great Organ is suddenly attached to the Swell. It reinforces the strength of the Swell to a far greater extent, and more quickly than by the 'crescendo' pedal; and is therefore useful when a quick and remarkable accent is required. It is formed of a backfall, the far end of which presses down a sticker resting on the back part of the square backfall of the Great Organ, which it depresses, and so sets the Great Organ tracker in motion. The first coupler of the kind was made by Lincoln, and introduced by him into his organ at St. Olave's, Southwark, erected in 1844. This coupler is always worked by a pedal, on pressing which the backfalls descend into position. On releasing the pedal the backfalls are raised from their work by a spring. Other subsidiary pedals are occasionally introduced, such as 'Great to Pedal, off or on, and 'Swell to Great, off or on.' These are of such constant use, that they ought to find a place in every organ of even moderate dimensions.

The Composition Pedals have already been noticed. Their use is so generally felt, that in addition to those attached to the Great Organ stops, there are usually two or three provided for the Swell of organs of even average size. In instruments that have a Pedal Organ of fair dimensions, the Great Organ composition pedals usually do, or at any rate should, act also on those of the Pedal, 'in proportion'; particularly where the latter has any Mutation, Mixture, or 16-feet Reed stops. In such cases a 'Piano Pedal' for reducing the Pedal Organ so that it may be available for use with the Swell or Choir, is very desirable.

Sometimes, instead of silencing some of the stops by composition pedals, they are rendered mute by means of a trap or ventil in the local wind-trunk, which, by closing, cuts off the supply of wind. This lessens the wear and tear of the mechanical parts of the organ. On the other hand the draw-stops, or registers, may all be duly prepared, and may announce that all is in readiness, yet if the ventils are forgotten, there may be as distinctly a false start as if there were 'no wind in.'

In his large organs Mr. Henry Willis introduces combination pistons projecting through the key-slips in lieu of composition pedals; and devotes the width over the pedal-board to pedals acting on the various couplers, etc.

Notice may now be taken of two substitutes which modern thought has devised for the first of the primary systems of organ mechanism already described under the title of 'Key-movement.'

1. In large organs the long trackers are apt to shorten in dry seasons, and to lengthen in wet ones, causing the touch in the one case to become shallow, in the other to become deep, and exposing the organ to ciphers. Protection is sought against these atmospheric disturbances, by varnishing the trackers and other woodwork; and the various mechanical parts of the instrument are also furnished with regulating screws and nuts by means of which the necessary length of these transmitters of the key-motion may be re-established when interrupted. Still, there are circumstances and distances, curves and creeping courses, which can scarcely be traversed by the rigid mechanism referred to. Seeing what had been accomplished by telegraphy, by which the most delicate movements could be transmitted with rapidity and precision, and to indefinite distances, the thought occurred as to whether it might be possible to apply the principle of electricity to the organ, in which case the keyboard would represent the manipulator and the pallets of the organ the receptors. To the late Dr. Gauntlett belongs the credit of having been the first to start this theoretical idea. His first proposal, made at the time of the Great Exhibition of 1851, was to play all the organs in the place at one and the same time; but the suggestion met with no response. When the intention of the Crystal Palace Company to build an immense organ was announced in 1852, he met the Provisional Committee and proposed the erection of facsimiles of the eight most celebrated continental organs in various parts of the Palace, and of playing them, either all together or separately, in the centre of the building; but this suggestion also remained unembodied. Dr. Gauntlett patented his invention in 1852, and in 1863 another plan was patented by Mr. Goundry; but no organs appear to have been built to illustrate the practicability of either of them.

In 1867 the late Mr. Barker erected an electric organ in the church of St. Augustin in Paris, which attracted the attention of Mr. Bryceson who was then paying a visit to the Paris Exhibition, and who made arrangements with Mr. Barker for introducing the electric system into England. Mr. Barker's English patent was taken out in January 1868. It protected his special applications for playing the manual and pedal organs; for coupling the various manuals as well as the pedals, either in the unison, or in the octave or sub-octave, and for commanding the large traps in the wind-trunks known in England as ventils, to which was afterwards added an arrangement for drawing the stops. Mr. Bryceson added in April 1868 a perfectly new form of pallet which offered no resistance in opening; and he subsequently introduced several other improvements, including an arrangement for using attenuated air instead of pressure; and Mr. Henry Willis took out a patent almost simultaneously with Mr. Bryceson for using exhaust and power alternately for actuating a 'floating valve,' in connection with a novel arrangement of draw-stop action; neither builder manifestly being aware of the conclusion arrived at by the other.

Among the electric organs erected or reconstructed by Mr. Bryceson are included St. Michael's, Cornhill; St. George's, Tufnel Park; St. Augustine's, Highbury; Milney Manor, etc.

2. A second substitute for the long tracker movements, etc., in large or separated organs, is the 'pneumatic tubular transmission system.' The germ of this application existed of course in the late Mr. Booth's contrivance (already noticed), which consisted of a tube receiving compressed wind at one end, and having a motor at the other; but there is as much difference between the primitive device of 1827 and the now perfected 'system,' as between the early trials of Papin and the stearn engines of Watt and Stephenson. It was not till 1867 that the principle was turned to practical account, when it was applied to an organ that was publicly shown at the Paris Exhibition of that year. Its importance was recognised by Mr. Henry Willia, who introduced it with improvements into his organ in St. Paul's Cathedral in 1874; and employed it extensively in that at the Alexandra Palace; and it was used by Messrs. Bryceson in the organ removed by them from St. Paul's to the Victoria Rooms, Bristol; by Mr. T. Hill in his organ at Manchester cathedral; by the Messrs. Bishop in the Yarmouth organ as rebuilt by them; by Messrs. Foster & Andrews at the City Temple; and by Messrs. Lewis & Co., for the Pedal Organ of their new instrument at Ripon.

3. It was naturally a source of considerable pleasure to an organist to have the advantage of couplers to unite from above and below, and from the right and left, to improve the effect of his performance; but this happy state of feeling was apt to be qualified by the reflection that in consequence of the demand upon the wind, and the greatly increased rapidity with which it had to be supplied, there was just the possibility of his being required at some time to attend an inquest on a dead blower, and of his being pronounced to have contributed materially to the demise of the unfortunate man. Hence the invention of some mechanical means for blowing the bellows, and for increasing or decreasing the speed of the supply, according as much or little might be required, became a matter of some concern and much importance.

The first piece of mechanism devised for this purpose was the 'Hydraulic Engine' of Joy and Holt,—afterwards David Joy, of Middlesborough. This consists of a cylinder similar to that of an ordinary steam-engine, but deriving its motion from the pressure of a column of water, admitted alternately to the top and bottom of the piston. Engines of this kind are attached to the organs at the Town Hall, Leeds; the parish church, Leeds; Rochester Cathedral; the Temple Church, etc., etc.

The 'Liverpool Water Meter,' as patented by the late Mr. Thomas Duncan, and made by Messrs. Forrester & Co., of Liverpool, consists of two cylinders, with pistons and slotted piston-rods working a short crank-shaft. There is an engine of this kind, also, at the Temple Church.

Gas Engines are also used for blowing organs. There is a large one in daily operation at York Cathedral, another at Salisbury Cathedral, and another at the Normal College for the Blind, Upper Norwood.

Among the most notable organs recently erected by English organ-builders maybe mentioned those in St. Paul's Cathedral, Albert Hall, and Alexandra Palace, by Willis; in Christ Church, Westminster Road, Newington parish church, and St. Peter's, Eaton Square, by Lewis & Co.; in the City Temple, and the Temple Church (rebuilt), by Forster & Andrews; in the Cathedrals at Manchester and Worcester, and at St. Andrew's Holborn, by Mr. T. Hill; at the Oratory, Brompton, by Messrs. Bishop & Starr; at St. Peter's Church, Manchester, by Messrs. Jardine & Co.; at 'The Hall,' Regent's Park, by Messrs. Bryceson & Co.; and in St. Pancras Church, and St. Lawrence Jewry, by Gray & Davison; etc., etc.

The eminent French builders, Cavaillé-Coll & Co. have erected some favourable examples of their work in the Town Halls of Manchester and Sheffield, etc.; while the excellent firm of Schulze & Co has constructed fine organs in the parish church at Doncaster and at St. Mary's, South Shields.—This account would be incomplete were we to omit to mention that Messrs. E. & G. Hook, and Jardine & Son, of New York, and others, have enriched a vast number of the churches and other buildings in America with fine modern specimens of organs of their construction; and that a very fine example by Messrs. Walcker & Son, of Ludwigsburg, was imported in 1863, and erected in the Boston Music Hall, United States, where it gave an impetus to the art in that enterprising country.

The following works have been consulted in the preparation of this article.

Prætorius, 'Theatrum instrumentorum.' Wolfenbüttel, 1620.—J. Schmid, 'L'Orgue d'Aloyse Mooser.' Fribourg, 1840.—Schlimbach, 'Die Orgel.' Leipzig, 1843.—Seidel, 'Die Orgel und ihr Bau.' Breslau, 1843.—'Beschrijving der groote Orgel in St. Bavo-Kerk te Haarlem.' Haarlem, 1845.—'Orgue de l'eglise royale de St. Denis, construit par MM. Cavaillé-Coll.' Paris 1846.—Dom Bedos, 'Facteur d'Orgues.' Paris, 1849 (reprint)—'L'Organiste,' Paris.—Töpfer, 'Lehrbuch der Orgel baukunst.' Weimar, 1855.—H. Jimmerthal, 'Die grosse Orgel in der St. Marien-Kirche zu Lübeck.' Erfurt und Leipzig, 1859.—E. J. Hopkins, and E. F. Rimbault, 'The Organ, its history and construction.' London, Cocks & Co., 1877.—Otto Wangemann, 'Geschichte der Orgel und der Orgelbaukunst. Demmin, 1879.

[ E. J. H. ]

  1. Rendered by Gesenius 'pipe, reed, syrinx.' The word occurs also in Job xxi. 12, Psalm cl. 4.
  2. An exact model of a Stopped Diapason pipe of wood is presented by the well-known 'pitch-pipe' of the present day.
  3. From Dom Bedos, 'L'Art du facteur d'Orgues' (Paris 1766).
  4. A drawing of a Hydraulic Organ is given in Mr. W. Chappell's History of Music.
  5. Tal. Jer., Sukkah v. 6; Tal. Bab., Arakhin 106, 11a. We are indebted to Dr. Schiller-Szinessy, of Cambridge, for this information.
  6. See Mr. Chappell's careful account, History of Music, i. 343 etc.
  7. Palatine Anthology, Bk. iv. No. 365.
  8. Kitto, Cyc. Bib. Lit. 3rd ed. ii. 255b. Kitto's reference (Ad Dardanum). however, does not appear to be correct.
  9. The term 'tongues' (linguæ) remained in use for the sliders up to the time when the slide-box was superseded by the spring-box about the end of the 11th century.
  10. Engraved from a photograph, by the kind permission of the authorities.
  11. 'Theophill, qui et Bugerus, Presbyteri et Monachi Libri III., de Diversis Artibus. Opera et Studio Roberti Hendrie. Londini, Johannes Murray, mdcccxlvii. 8vo.'
  12. Johann Julius Seidel, 'Die Orgel und ihr Bau' (Breslau 1842).
  13. 'Nouveau manuel complet de l'Organiste' (Paris).
  14. No record is known to exist as to the pitch to which the very early organs were tuned, or whether they were tuned to any uniform pitch whatever, which is extremely doubtful. In referring to the lowest pipe as being 12 feet in speaking length, a system of pipe measurement is made use of which is not known to have been adopted until centuries after the date at which this organ is stated to have been made.
  15. As the history of musical Pitch is treated of under its proper head, it is only necessary here to refer briefly to the remarkable fact that the pitch of old organs sometimes varied to no less an extent than half an octave, and that too at one and the same date, as shown by Arnold Schlick in 1511. One reason given for this great shifting of the pitch was, that the organ should be tuned to suit higher or lower voices, without the organist having to 'play the chromatics, which was not convenient to every one'; a difficulty that must have arisen as much from the construction of the keyboards, and the unequal tuning, as from lack of skill in the performer to use them.
  16. Dr. Burney. Dr. Crotch, Kiesewetter, and other writers, took considerable pains to ventilate and enforce their various theories as to the origin of the Mixture-stop in an organ; but they all omitted to remember that for centuries the whole organ was nothing but one huge stop of the kind; and that when the larger sets of pipes were separated off for use, the Mixture was self-formed out of the residue, consisting of rows of little pipes that were thought scarcely worth the trouble of 'drawing on' separately.
  17. The reader will remember that this method of compressing the organ-wind had been thought of upwards of a thousand years earlier at Constantinople.
  18. Ashford. 'Item ij payer of great organes.'
    Canterbury (Westgate). 'Item, two paire of organs.'
    Guildford (Holy Trinity). 'Item, ij paire of orgaynes.'
    Norwich (St. Andrew). Item. ij pair of orgonnes.'
    Singfield. Item. ij peyr of orgens.'
  19. As to pitch, a pipe of this length would be about midway between the B♭ and B♮ pipes of the Temple organ.
  20. The 'Cornet' quickly became a favourite 'solo' stop, and continued to be so for nearly 150 years. [See Cornet, vol. 1. p. 403.]
  21. 'The Monastery and Cathedral of Worcester, by John Noake. 1866.' p. 483.
  22. The interesting details of this musical contest are not given here, as they have been printed separately by one of the Benchers of the Middle Temple, Edmund Macrory, Esq., under the title 'A few notes on the Temple Organ.'
  23. Dr. Armes, the organist of Durham Cathedral, has brought under the notice of the present writer a very curious discovery—namely, that the organ in that Church was originally prepared for, and afterwards received, quarter notes exactly similar to those at the Temple. The original order for the organ, dated August 18, 1683, does not provide for them, the number of pipes to each single stop being specifically given, 'fifty-four,' which would indicate the same compass as the Temple organ, viz. FFF to C in alt. without the quarter tones; but the sound-boards, roller-boards, etc., were unquestionably made from the first with two extra grooves, movements, etc., for each octave from FF upwards, and the large extra diapason pipes, as being required for the east and west fronts, were also inserted. The original contract was completed by May 1, 1685; and Dr. Armes is of opinion that the 50l. paid in 1691 to Smith by 'the Worshl the Dean and Chapter of Durham for work done at ye Organ' was for the insertion of the quarter-tone pipes.
  24. Some Clavier Instruments, in the course of their numerous improvements, have had their touch deepened and its resistance to the finger increased; so that the keys of a modern 'Broadwood Grand' have now a fall of three-eighths of an inch, and a resistance in the bass of four ounces. In some modern organs, with scarcely more manual stops than the one under consideration, the fall of the keys has been as much as half an inch, and the resistance twice, or even thrice, as great as that of a Grand Piano, particularly when the coupler has been drawn. Such a touch inflicts great punishment on ladies,—the clergyman's wife, or the squire's daughter,—who in country places or remote parishes are frequently the ready but not over-muscular assistants at the smaller services. A touch with a note here and there half-an-ounce heavier than its neighbours, is even more embarrassing than a deep one.
  25. The organist at Haarlem strips like a blacksmith preparatory to giving his usual hour's performance, and at the end of it retires covered with perspiration.
  26. It was stated at the time this organ was made that the largest pedal-pipe would hold a glass of ale for every man, woman, and child then residing within the walls of the city of York.
  27. A double reed-stop (double bassoon, down to the DDD pipe) formed a portion of the Great Organ of the Instrument erected by John Byfleld, Jun., in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, in 1751.
  28. For Free-reed see vol. i. p. 502a.