The pipe organ is a musical instrument that produces sound by driving pressurized air (called wind) through the organ pipes selected from a keyboard. Because each pipe produces a single pitch, the pipes are provided in sets called ranks, each of which has a common timbre and volume throughout the keyboard compass. Most organs have many ranks of pipes of differing timbre, pitch, and volume that the player can employ singly or in combination through the use of controls called stops.
A musical instrument is an instrument created or adapted to make musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can be considered a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates to the beginnings of human culture. Early musical instruments may have been used for ritual, such as a trumpet to signal success on the hunt, or a drum in a religious ceremony. Cultures eventually developed composition and performance of melodies for entertainment. Musical instruments evolved in step with changing applications.
An organ pipe is a sound-producing element of the pipe organ that resonates at a specific pitch when pressurized air is driven through it. Each pipe is tuned to a specific note of the musical scale. A set of organ pipes of similar timbre comprising the complete scale is known as a rank; one or more ranks constitutes a stop.
A musical keyboard is the set of adjacent depressible levers or keys on a musical instrument. Keyboards typically contain keys for playing the twelve notes of the Western musical scale, with a combination of larger, longer keys and smaller, shorter keys that repeats at the interval of an octave. Depressing a key on the keyboard makes the instrument produce sounds—either by mechanically striking a string or tine, plucking a string (harpsichord), causing air to flow through a pipe organ, striking a bell (carillon), or, on electric and electronic keyboards, completing a circuit. Since the most commonly encountered keyboard instrument is the piano, the keyboard layout is often referred to as the piano keyboard.
A pipe organ has one or more keyboards (called manuals ) played by the hands, and a pedalboard played by the feet; each keyboard controls its own division, or group of stops. The keyboard(s), pedalboard, and stops are housed in the organ's console. The organ's continuous supply of wind allows it to sustain notes for as long as the corresponding keys are pressed, unlike the piano and harpsichord whose sound begins to dissipate immediately after a key is depressed. The smallest portable pipe organs may have only one or two dozen pipes and one manual; the largest may have over 33,000 pipes and seven manuals.A list of some of the most notable and largest pipe organs in the world can be viewed at List of pipe organs. A list consisting the ranking of the largest organs in the world - based on the criterion constructed by Michał Szostak, i.e. 'the number of ranks and additional equipment managed from a single console - can be found in 'The Organ' and in 'The Vox Humana' .
A manual is a musical keyboard designed to be played with the hands, on an instrument such as a pipe organ, harpsichord, clavichord, electronic organ, melodica, or synthesizer. The term "manual" is used with regard to any hand keyboard on these instruments to distinguish it from the pedalboard, which is a keyboard that the organist plays with their feet. It is proper to use "manual" rather than "keyboard", then, when referring to the hand keyboards on any instrument that has a pedalboard.
A pedalboard is a keyboard played with the feet that is usually used to produce the low-pitched bass line of a piece of music. A pedalboard has long, narrow lever-style keys laid out in the same semitone scalar pattern as a manual keyboard, with longer keys for C, D, E, F, G, A and B, and shorter, higher keys for C♯, D♯, F♯, G♯ and A♯. Training in pedal technique is part of standard organ pedagogy in church music and art music.
The pipe organ is played from an area called the console or keydesk, which holds the manuals (keyboards), pedals, and stop controls. In electric-action organs, the console is often movable. This allows for greater flexibility in placement of the console for various activities. Some very large organs, such as the van den Heuvel organ at the Church of St. Eustache in Paris, have more than one console, enabling the organ to be played from several locations depending on the nature of the performance.
The origins of the pipe organ can be traced back to the hydraulis in Ancient Greece, in the 3rd century BC,in which the wind supply was created by the weight of displaced water in an airtight container. By the 6th or 7th century AD, bellows were used to supply Byzantine organs with wind. Beginning in the 12th century, the organ began to evolve into a complex instrument capable of producing different timbres. A pipe organ with "great leaden pipes" was sent to the West by the Byzantine emperor Constantine V as a gift to Pepin the Short, King of the Franks, in 757. Pepin's son Charlemagne requested a similar organ for his chapel in Aachen in 812, beginning the pipe organ's establishment in Western European church music. In England, "The first organ of which any detailed record exists was built in Winchester Cathedral in the 10th century. It was a huge machine with 400 pipes, which needed two men to play it and 70 men to blow it, and its sound could be heard throughout the city." By the 17th century, most of the sounds available on the modern classical organ had been developed. From that time, the pipe organ was the most complex man-made device — a distinction it retained until it was displaced by the telephone exchange in the late 19th century.
The water organ or hydraulic organ is a type of pipe organ blown by air, where the power source pushing the air is derived by water from a natural source or by a manual pump. Consequently, the water organ lacks a bellows, blower, or compressor.
Ancient Greece was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Roughly three centuries after the Late Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece, Greek urban poleis began to form in the 8th century BC, ushering in the Archaic period and colonization of the Mediterranean Basin. This was followed by the period of Classical Greece, an era that began with the Greco-Persian Wars, lasting from the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Due to the conquests by Alexander the Great of Macedon, Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. The Hellenistic period came to an end with the conquests and annexations of the eastern Mediterranean world by the Roman Republic, which established the Roman province of Macedonia in Roman Greece, and later the province of Achaea during the Roman Empire.
A bellows or pair of bellows is a device constructed to furnish a strong blast of air. The simplest type consists of a flexible bag comprising a pair of rigid boards with handles joined by flexible leather sides enclosing an approximately airtight cavity which can be expanded and contracted by operating the handles, and fitted with a valve allowing air to fill the cavity when expanded, and with a tube through which the air is forced out in a stream when the cavity is compressed. It has many applications, in particular blowing on a fire to supply it with air.
Pipe organs are installed in churches, synagogues, concert halls, schools, other public buildings and in private properties. They are used in the performance of classical music, sacred music, secular music, and popular music. In the early 20th century, pipe organs were installed in theaters to accompany the screening of films during the silent movie era; in municipal auditoria, where orchestral transcriptions were popular; and in the homes of the wealthy. years.The beginning of the 21st century has seen a resurgence in installations in concert halls. The organ boasts a substantial repertoire, which spans over 500
Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western culture, including both liturgical (religious) and secular music. While a more precise term is also used to refer to the period from 1750 to 1820, this article is about the broad span of time from before the 6th century AD to the present day, which includes the Classical period and various other periods. The central norms of this tradition became codified between 1550 and 1900, which is known as the common-practice period.
Religious music is music performed or composed for religious use or through religious influence. Ritual music is music, sacred or not, performed or composed for or as ritual.
Non-religious secular music and sacred music were the two main genres of Western music during the Middle Ages and Renaissance era. The oldest written secular music are songs with Latin lyrics. However, many secular songs were sung in the vernacular language, unlike the sacred songs that followed the Latin language of the Church. These earliest types were known as the chanson de geste and were popular amongst the traveling jongleurs and minstrels of the time.
The organ is one of the oldest instruments still used in European classical music that has commonly been credited as having derived from Greece. Its earliest predecessors were built in Ancient Greece in the 3rd century BC. The word organ is derived from the Greek όργανον (organon),a generic term for an instrument or a tool, via the Latin organum , an instrument similar to a portative organ used in ancient Roman circus games.
Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.
A portative organ, also known during Italian Trecento as the organetto, is a small pipe organ that consists of one rank of flue pipes, sometimes arranged in two rows, to be played while strapped to the performer at a right angle. The performer manipulates the bellows with one hand and fingers the keys with the other. The portative organ lacks a reservoir to retain a supply of wind, thus it will only produce sound while the bellows are being operated. The instrument was commonly used in European secular music from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries.
The Greek engineer Ctesibius of Alexandria is credited with inventing the organ in the 3rd century BC. He devised an instrument called the hydraulis, which delivered a wind supply maintained through water pressure to a set of pipes.The hydraulis was played in the arenas of the Roman Empire. The pumps and water regulators of the hydraulis were replaced by an inflated leather bag in the 2nd century AD, and true bellows began to appear in the Eastern Roman Empire in the 6th or 7th century AD. Some 400 pieces of a hydraulis from the year 228 AD have been revealed during the 1931 archaeological excavations in the former Roman town Aquincum, province of Pannonia (present day Budapest), which was used as a music instrument by the Aquincum fire dormitory; a modern replica produces an enjoyable sound.
Ctesibius or Ktesibios or Tesibius was a Greek inventor and mathematician in Alexandria, Ptolemaic Egypt. He wrote the first treatises on the science of compressed air and its uses in pumps. This, in combination with his work on the elasticity of air On pneumatics, earned him the title of "father of pneumatics." None of his written work has survived, including his Memorabilia, a compilation of his research that was cited by Athenaeus. Ctesibius' most commonly known invention today is a pipe organ (hydraulis), on which the invention of the piano was later based.
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of ancient Rome, consisting of large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean sea in Europe, North Africa and West Asia ruled by emperors. From the accession of Caesar Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, it was a principate with Italy as metropole of the provinces and its city of Rome as sole capital. The Roman Empire was then ruled by multiple emperors and divided into a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and later Ravenna, and an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and later Constantinople. Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when it sent the imperial insignia to Constantinople following the capture of Ravenna by the barbarians of Odoacer and the subsequent deposition of Romulus Augustus. The fall of the Western Roman Empire to Germanic kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, is conventionally used to mark the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages.
Aquincum was an ancient city, situated on the northeastern borders of the province of Pannonia within the Roman Empire. The ruins of the city can be found today in Budapest, the capital city of Hungary. It is believed that Marcus Aurelius wrote at least part of his book Meditations at Aquincum.
The 9th century Persian geographer Ibn Khurradadhbih (d. 911), in his lexicographical discussion of instruments, cited the urghun (organ) as one of the typical instruments of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire.It was often used in the Hippodrome in the imperial capital of Constantinople. A Syrian visitor describes a pipe organ powered by two servants pumping "bellows like a blacksmith's" as being played while guests ate at the emperor's Christmas dinner in Constantinople in 911. The first Western European pipe organ with "great leaden pipes" was sent from Constantinople to the West by the Byzantine emperor Constantine V as a gift to Pepin the Short King of the Franks in 757. Pepin's son Charlemagne requested a similar organ for his chapel in Aachen in 812, beginning its establishment in Western European church music.
Portable organs (the portative and the positive organ) were invented in the Middle Ages. Towards the middle of the 13th century, the portatives represented in the miniatures of illuminated manuscripts appear to have real keyboards with balanced keys, as in the Cantigas de Santa Maria.Its portability made the portative useful for the accompaniment of both sacred and secular music in a variety of settings.
In the 11th century, the monk Theophilus described in his treatise, known as Schedula diversarum artium ("List of various arts") or De diversis artibus ("On various arts"), all of the steps required for the construction of a church organ.The instrument described by Theophilus was operated by a system of knobs and drones. Air pressure was maintained by stepping on air-filled hoses positioned at the player's feet.
Large organs such as the one installed in 1361 in Halberstadt, Germany,the first documented permanent organ installation, likely prompted Guillaume de Machaut to describe the organ as "the king of instruments", a characterization still frequently applied. The Halberstadt organ was the first instrument to use a chromatic key layout across its three manuals and pedalboard, although the keys were wider than on modern instruments. It had twenty bellows operated by ten men, and the wind pressure was so high that the player had to use the full strength of his arm to hold down a key.
Until the mid-15th century, organs had no stop controls. Each manual controlled ranks at many pitches, known as the Blockwerk.Around 1450, controls were designed that allowed the ranks of the Blockwerk to be played individually. These devices were the forerunners of modern stop actions. The higher-pitched ranks of the Blockwerk remained grouped together under a single stop control; these stops developed into mixtures.
During the Renaissance and Baroque periods, the organ's tonal colors became more varied. Organ builders fashioned stops that imitated various instruments, such as the krummhorn and the viola da gamba. Builders such as Arp Schnitger, Jasper Johannsen, Zacharias Hildebrandt and Gottfried Silbermann constructed instruments that were in themselves artistic masterpieces, displaying both exquisite craftsmanship and beautiful sound. These organs featured well-balanced mechanical key actions, giving the organist precise control over the pipe speech. Schnitger's organs featured particularly distinctive reed timbres and large Pedal and Rückpositiv divisions.
Different national styles of organ building began to develop, often due to changing political climates.In the Netherlands, the organ became a large instrument with several divisions, doubled ranks, and mounted cornets. The organs of northern Germany also had more divisions, and independent pedal divisions became increasingly common. The divisions of the organ became visibly discernible from the case design. Twentieth-century musicologists have retroactively labelled this the Werkprinzip.
In France, as in Italy, Spain and Portugal, organs were primarily designed to play alternatim verses rather than accompany congregational singing. The French Classical Organ, became remarkably consistent throughout France over the course of the Baroque era, more so than any other style of organ building in history, and standardized registrations developed.It was elaborately described by Dom Bédos de Celles in his treatise L'art du facteur d'orgues (The Art of Organ Building).
In England, many pipe organs were destroyed or removed from churches during the English Reformation of the 16th century and the Commonwealth period. Some were relocated to private homes. At the Restoration, organ builders such as Renatus Harris and "Father" Bernard Smith brought new organ-building ideas from continental Europe. English organs evolved from small one- or two-manual instruments into three or more divisions disposed in the French manner with grander reeds and mixtures, though still without pedal keyboards.The Echo division began to be enclosed in the early 18th century, and in 1712 Abraham Jordan claimed his "swelling organ" at St Magnus-the-Martyr to be a new invention. The swell box and the independent pedal division appeared in English organs beginning in the 18th century.
During the Romantic period, the organ became more symphonic, capable of creating a gradual crescendo. This was made possible by voicing stops in such a way that families of tone that historically had only been used separately could now be used together, creating an entirely new way of approaching organ registration. New technologies and the work of organ builders such as Eberhard Friedrich Walcker, Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, and Henry Willis made it possible to build larger organs with more stops, more variation in sound and timbre, and more divisions.Enclosed divisions became common, and registration aids were developed to make it easier for the organist to manage the great number of stops. The desire for louder, grander organs required that the stops be voiced on a higher wind pressure than before. As a result, a greater force was required to overcome the wind pressure and depress the keys. To solve this problem, Cavaillé-Coll configured the English "Barker lever" to assist in operating the key action.
Organ builders began to lean towards specifications with fewer mixtures and high-pitched stops. They preferred to use more 8′ and 16′ stops in their specifications and wider pipe scales.These practices created a warmer, richer sound than was common in the 18th century. Organs began to be built in concert halls (such as the organ at the Palais du Trocadéro in Paris), and composers such as Camille Saint-Saëns and Gustav Mahler used the organ in their orchestral works.
The development of pneumatic and electro-pneumatic key actions in the late 19th century made it possible to locate the console independently of the pipes, greatly expanding the possibilities in organ design. Electric stop actions were also developed, which allowed sophisticated combination actions to be created.
Beginning in the early 20th century in Germany and in the mid-20th century in the United States, organ builders began to build historically inspired instruments modeled on Baroque organs. They returned to building mechanical key actions, voicing with lower wind pressures and thinner pipe scales, and designing specifications with more mixture stops.This became known as the Organ reform movement.
In the late 20th century, organ builders began to incorporate digital components into their key, stop, and combination actions. Besides making these mechanisms simpler and more reliable, this also makes it possible to record and play back an organist's performance using the MIDI protocol.In addition, some organ builders have incorporated digital (electronic) stops into their pipe organs.
The electronic organ developed throughout the 20th century. Some pipe organs were replaced by digital organs because of their lower purchase price, smaller physical size, and minimal maintenance requirements. In the early 1970s, Rodgers Instruments pioneered the hybrid organ, an electronic instrument that incorporates real pipes; other builders such as Allen Organs and Johannus Orgelbouw have since built hybrid organs. Allen Organs first introduced the electronic organ in 1937 and in 1971 created the first digital organ using CMOS technology borrowed from NASA which created the digital pipe organ using sound recorded from actual speaking pipes and incorporating the sounds electronically within the memory of the digital organ thus having real pipe organ sound without the actual organ pipes.
A pipe organ contains one or more sets of pipes, a wind system, and one or more keyboards. The pipes produce sound when pressurized air produced by the wind system passes through them. An action connects the keyboards to the pipes. Stops allow the organist to control which ranks of pipes sound at a given time. The organist operates the stops and the keyboards from the console.
Organ pipes are made from either wood or metaland produce sound ("speak") when air under pressure ("wind") is directed through them. As one pipe produces a single pitch, multiple pipes are necessary to accommodate the musical scale. The greater the length of the pipe, the lower its resulting pitch will be. The timbre and volume of the sound produced by a pipe depends on the volume of air delivered to the pipe and the manner in which it is constructed and voiced, the latter adjusted by the builder to produce the desired tone and volume. Hence a pipe's volume cannot be readily changed while playing.
Organ pipes are divided into flue pipes and reed pipes according to their design and timbre. Flue pipes produce sound by forcing air through a fipple, like that of a recorder, whereas reed pipes produce sound via a beating reed, like that of a clarinet or saxophone.
Pipes are arranged by timbre and pitch into ranks. A rank is a set of pipes of the same timbre but multiple pitches (one for each note on the keyboard), which is mounted (usually vertically) onto a windchest.The stop mechanism admits air to each rank. For a given pipe to sound, the stop governing the pipe's rank must be engaged, and the key corresponding to its pitch must be depressed. Ranks of pipes are organized into groups called divisions. Each division generally is played from its own keyboard and conceptually comprises an individual instrument within the organ.
An organ contains two actions, or systems of moving parts. When a key is depressed, the key action admits wind into a pipe. The stop action allows the organist to control which ranks are engaged. An action may be mechanical, pneumatic, or electrical (or some combination of these, such as electro-pneumatic action).The key action is independent of the stop action, allowing an organ to combine a mechanical key action along with an electric stop action.
A key action which physically connects the keys and the windchests is a mechanical or tracker action. Connection is achieved through a series of rods called trackers. When the organist depresses a key, the corresponding tracker pulls open its pallet, allowing wind to enter the pipe.
In a mechanical stop action, each stop control operates a valve for a whole rank of pipes. When the organist selects a stop, the valve allows wind to reach the selected rank.This control was at first a draw stop knob, which the organist selects by pulling (or drawing) toward himself/herself. This is the origin of the idiom "to pull out all the stops". More modern stop selectors, utilized in electric actions, are tilting tablets or rocker tabs.
Tracker action has been used from antiquity to modern times. Before the pallet opens, wind pressure augments tension of the pallet spring, but once the pallet opens, only the spring tension is felt at the key. This provides a "breakaway" feel.
A later development was the tubular-pneumatic action, which uses changes of pressure within lead tubing to operate pneumatic valves throughout the instrument. This allowed a lighter touch, and more flexibility in the location of the console, within a roughly 50-foot (15-m) limit. This type of construction was used in the late 19th century to early 20th century, and has had only rare application since the 1920s.
A more recent development is the electric action which uses low voltage DC to control the key and/or stop mechanisms. Electricity may control the action indirectly through air pressure valves (pneumatics), in which case the action is electro-pneumatic. In such actions, an electromagnet attracts a small pilot valve which lets wind go to a bellows ("pneumatic") which opens the pallet. When electricity operates the action directly without the assistance of pneumatics, it is commonly referred to as direct electric action.In this type, the electromagnet's armature carries a disc pallet.
When electrical wiring alone is used to connect the console to the windchest, electric actions allow the console to be separated at any practical distance from the rest of the organ, and to be movable.Electric stop actions can be controlled at the console by stop knobs, by pivoted tilting tablets, or rocker tabs. These are simple switches, like wall switches for room lights. Some may include electromagnets for setting or resetting when combinations are selected.
The most innovations in organ control systems connect the console and windchests via narrow data cables instead of the larger bundles of cables. Embedded computers in the console and near the windchests communicate with each other via various complex multiplexing syntaxes, comparable to MIDI.
The wind system consists of the parts that produce, store, and deliver wind to the pipes. Pipe organ wind pressures are on the order of 0.10 psi (0.69 kPa). Organ builders traditionally measure organ wind using a water U-tube manometer, which gives the pressure as the difference in water levels in the two legs of the manometer. The difference in water level is proportional to the difference in pressure between the wind being measured and the atmosphere. The 0.10 psi above would register as 2.75 inches of water (70 mmAq). An Italian organ from the Renaissance period may be on only 2.2 inches (56 mm), while (in the extreme) solo stops in some large 20th-century organs may require up to 50 inches (1,300 mm). In isolated, extreme cases, some stops have been voiced on 100 inches (2,500 mm).
With the exception of water organs, playing the organ before the invention of motors required at least one person to operate the bellows. When signaled by the organist, a calcant would operate a set of bellows, supplying the organ with wind.Because calcants were expensive, organists would usually practise on other instruments such as the clavichord or harpsichord. By the mid-19th-century bellows were also being operated by water engines, steam engines or gasoline engines. Starting in the 1860s bellows were gradually replaced by rotating turbines which were later directly connected to electrical motors. This made it possible for organists to practice regularly on the organ. Most organs, both new and historic, have electric blowers, although some can still be operated manually. The wind supplied is stored in one or more regulators to maintain a constant pressure in the windchests until the action allows it to flow into the pipes.
Each stop usually controls one rank of pipes, although mixtures and undulating stops (such as the Voix céleste) control multiple ranks. [ citation needed ] Stop names are not standardized: two otherwise identical stops from different organs may have different names.The name of the stop reflects not only the stop's timbre and construction, but also the style of the organ in which it resides. For example, the names on an organ built in the north German Baroque style generally will be derived from the German language, while the names of similar stops on an organ in the French Romantic style will usually be French. Most countries tend to use only their own languages for stop nomenclature. English-speaking nations as well as Japan are more receptive to foreign nomenclature.
To facilitate a large range of timbres, organ stops exist at different pitch levels. A stop that sounds at unison pitch when a key is depressed is referred to as being at 8′ (pronounced "eight-foot") pitch. This refers to the length of the lowest-sounding pipe in that rank, which is approximately eight feet (2.4 m). For the same reason, a stop that sounds an octave higher is at 4′ pitch, and one that sounds two octaves higher is at 2′ pitch. Likewise, a stop that sounds an octave lower than unison pitch is at 16′ pitch, and one that sounds two octaves lower is at 32′ pitch. Stops of different pitch levels are designed to be played simultaneously.
The label on a stop knob or rocker tab indicates the stop's name and its pitch in feet. Stops that control multiple ranks display a Roman numeral indicating the number of ranks present, instead of pitch. V" is a five-rank mixture.Thus, a stop labelled "Open Diapason 8′ " is a single-rank diapason stop sounding at 8′ pitch. A stop labelled "Mixture
Sometimes, a single rank of pipes may be able to be controlled by several stops, allowing the rank to be played at multiple pitches or on multiple manuals. Such a rank is said to be unified or borrowed. For example, an 8′ Diapason rank may also be made available as a 4′ Octave. When both of these stops are selected and a key (for example, c′)is pressed, two pipes of the same rank will sound: the pipe normally corresponding to the key played (c′), and the pipe one octave above that (c′′). Because the 8′ rank does not have enough pipes to sound the top octave of the keyboard at 4′ pitch, it is common for an extra octave of pipes used only for the borrowed 4′ stop to be added. In this case, the full rank of pipes (now an extended rank) is one octave longer than the keyboard.
Special unpitched stops also appear in some organs. Among these are the Zimbelstern (a wheel of rotating bells), the nightingale (a pipe submerged in a small pool of water, creating the sound of a bird warbling when wind is admitted),and the effet d'orage ("thunder effect", a device that sounds the lowest bass pipes simultaneously). Standard orchestral percussion instruments such as the drum, chimes, celesta, and harp have also been imitated in organ building.
The controls available to the organist, including the keyboards, couplers, expression pedals, stops, and registration aids are accessed from the console.The console is either built into the organ case or detached from it.
Keyboards played by the hands are known as manuals (from the Latin manus, meaning "hand"). The keyboard played by the feet is a pedalboard . Every organ has at least one manual (most have two or more), and most have a pedalboard. Each keyboard is named for a particular division of the organ (a group of ranks) and generally controls only the stops from that division. The range of the keyboards has varied widely across time and between countries. Most current specifications call for two or more manuals with sixty-one notes (five octaves, from C to c″″) and a pedalboard with thirty or thirty-two notes (two and a half octaves, from C to f′ or g′).
A coupler allows the stops of one division to be played from the keyboard of another division. For example, a coupler labelled "Swell to Great" allows the stops drawn in the Swell division to be played on the Great manual. This coupler is a unison coupler, because it causes the pipes of the Swell division to sound at the same pitch as the keys played on the Great manual. Coupling allows stops from different divisions to be combined to create various tonal effects. It also allows every stop of the organ to be played simultaneously from one manual.
Octave couplers, which add the pipes an octave above (super-octave) or below (sub-octave) each note that is played, may operate on one division only (for example, the Swell super octave, which adds the octave above what is being played on the Swell to itself), or act as a coupler to another keyboard (for example, the Swell super-octave to Great, which adds to the Great manual the ranks of the Swell division an octave above what is being played).
In addition, larger organs may use unison off couplers, which prevent the stops pulled in a particular division from sounding at their normal pitch. These can be used in combination with octave couplers to create innovative aural effects, and can also be used to rearrange the order of the manuals to make specific pieces easier to play.
Enclosure refers to a system that allows for the control of volume without requiring the addition or subtraction of stops. In a two-manual organ with Great and Swell divisions, the Swell will be enclosed. In larger organs, parts or all of the Choir and Solo divisions may also be enclosed.The pipes of an enclosed division are placed in a chamber generally called the swell box. At least one side of the box is constructed from horizontal or vertical palettes known as swell shades, which operate in a similar way to Venetian blinds; their position can be adjusted from the console. When the swell shades are open, more sound is heard than when they are closed. Sometimes the shades are exposed, but they are often concealed behind a row of facade-pipes or a grill.
The most common method of controlling the louvers is the balanced swell pedal. This device is usually placed above the centre of the pedalboard and is configured to rotate away from the organist from a near-vertical position (in which the shades are closed) to a near-horizontal position (in which the shades are open).An organ may also have a similar-looking crescendo pedal, found alongside any expression pedals. Pressing the crescendo pedal forward cumulatively activates the stops of the organ, starting with the softest and ending with the loudest; pressing it backwards reverses this process.
Organ stops can be combined in countless permutations, resulting in a great variety of sounds. A combination action can be used to switch instantly from one combination of stops (called a registration) to another. Combination actions feature small buttons called pistons that can be pressed by the organist, generally located beneath the keys of each manual (thumb pistons) or above the pedalboard (toe pistons).The pistons may be divisional (affecting only a single division) or general (affecting all the divisions), and are either preset by the organ builder or can be altered by the organist. Modern combination actions operate via computer memory, and can store several channels of registrations.
The pipes, action, and wind system are almost always contained in a case, the design of which also may incorporate the console. The case blends the organ's sound and aids in projecting it into the room.The case often is designed to complement the building's architectural style and it may contain ornamental carvings and other decorations. The visible portion of the case, called the façade, will most often contain pipes, which may be either sounding pipes or dummy pipes solely for decoration. The façade pipes may be plain, burnished, gilded, or painted and are usually referred to as (en) montre within the context of the French organ school.
Organ cases occasionally feature a few ranks of pipes protruding horizontally from the case in the manner of a row of trumpets. These are referred to as pipes en chamade and are particularly common in organs of the Iberian peninsula and large 20th-century instruments.
Many organs, particularly those built in the early 20th century, are contained in one or more rooms called organ chambers. Because sound does not project from a chamber into the room as clearly as from a freestanding organ case, enchambered organs may sound muffled and distant.For this reason, some modern builders, particularly those building instruments specializing in polyphony rather than Romantic compositions, avoid this unless the architecture of the room makes it necessary.
The goal of tuning a pipe organ is to adjust the pitch of each pipe so that they all sound in tune with each other. How the pitch of each pipe is adjusted depends on the type and construction of that pipe.
Regulation adjusts the action so that all pipes sound correctly. If the regulation is wrongly set, the keys may be at different heights, some pipes may sound when the keys are not pressed (a "cipher"), or pipes may not sound when a key is pressed. Tracker action, for example in the organ of Cradley Heath Baptist Church, includes adjustment nuts on the wire ends of the wooden trackers, which have the effect of changing the effective length of each tracker.
The main development of organ repertoire has progressed along with that of the organ itself, leading to distinctive national styles of composition. Because organs are commonly found in churches and synagogues, the organ repertoire includes a large amount of sacred music, which is accompanimental (choral anthems, congregational hymns, liturgical elements, etc.) as well as solo in nature (chorale preludes, hymn versets designed for alternatim use, etc.).The organ's secular repertoire includes preludes, fugues, sonatas, organ symphonies, suites, and transcriptions of orchestral works.
Although most countries whose music falls into the Western tradition have contributed to the organ repertoire, France and Germany in particular have produced exceptionally large amounts of organ music. There is also an extensive repertoire from the Netherlands, England, and the United States.
Before the Baroque era, keyboard music generally was not written for one instrument or another, but rather was written to be played on any keyboard instrument. For this reason, much of the organ's repertoire through the Renaissance period is the same as that of the harpsichord. Pre-Renaissance keyboard music is found in compiled manuscripts that may include compositions from a variety of regions. The oldest of these sources is the Robertsbridge Codex, dating from about 1360.The Buxheimer Orgelbuch, which dates from about 1470 and was compiled in Germany, includes intabulations of vocal music by the English composer John Dunstaple. The earliest Italian organ music is found in the Faenza Codex, dating from 1420.
In the Renaissance period, Dutch composers such as Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck composed both fantasias and psalm settings. Sweelinck in particular developed a rich collection of keyboard figuration that influenced subsequent composers.The Italian composer Claudio Merulo wrote in the typical Italian genres of the toccata, the canzona, and the ricercar. In Spain, the works of Antonio de Cabezón began the most prolific period of Spanish organ composition, which culminated with Juan Cabanilles.
Early Baroque organ music in Germany was highly contrapuntal. Sacred organ music was based on chorales: composers such as Samuel Scheidt and Heinrich Scheidemann wrote chorale preludes, chorale fantasias, and chorale motets.Towards the end of the Baroque era, the chorale prelude and the partita became mixed, forming the chorale partita. This genre was developed by Georg Böhm, Johann Pachelbel, and Dieterich Buxtehude. The primary type of free-form piece in this period was the praeludium, as exemplified in the works of Matthias Weckmann, Nicolaus Bruhns, Böhm, and Buxtehude. The organ music of Johann Sebastian Bach fused characteristics of every national tradition and historical style in his large-scale preludes and fugues and chorale-based works. Towards the end of the Baroque era, George Frideric Handel composed the first organ concertos.
In France, organ music developed during the Baroque era through the music of Jean Titelouze, François Couperin, and Nicolas de Grigny.Because the French organ of the 17th and early 18th centuries was very standardized, a conventional set of registrations developed for its repertoire. The music of French composers (and Italian composers such as Girolamo Frescobaldi) was written for use during the Mass. Very little secular organ music was composed in France and Italy during the Baroque period; the written repertoire is almost exclusively intended for liturgical use. In England, composers such as John Blow and John Stanley wrote multi-sectional free works for liturgical use called voluntaries through the 19th century.
Organ music was seldom written in the Classical era, as composers preferred the piano with its ability to create dynamics.In Germany, the six sonatas op. 65 of Felix Mendelssohn (published 1845) marked the beginning of a renewed interest in composing for the organ. Inspired by the newly built Cavaillé-Coll organs, the French organist-composers César Franck, Alexandre Guilmant and Charles-Marie Widor led organ music into the symphonic realm. The development of symphonic organ music continued with Louis Vierne and Charles Tournemire. Widor and Vierne wrote large-scale, multi-movement works called organ symphonies that exploited the full possibilities of the symphonic organ. Max Reger and Sigfrid Karg-Elert's symphonic works made use of the abilities of the large Romantic organs being built in Germany at the time.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, organ builders began to build instruments in concert halls and other large secular venues, allowing the organ to be used as part of an orchestra, as in Saint-Saëns' Symphony No. 3 .Frequently the organ is given a soloistic part, such as in Joseph Jongen's Symphonie Concertante for Organ & Orchestra, Francis Poulenc's Concerto for Organ, Strings and Tympani , and Frigyes Hidas' Organ Concerto.
Other composers who have used the organ prominently in orchestral music include Gustav Holst, Richard Strauss, Ottorino Respighi, Gustav Mahler, Anton Bruckner, and Ralph Vaughan Williams.Because these concert hall instruments could approximate the sounds of symphony orchestras, transcriptions of orchestral works found a place in the organ repertoire. As silent films became popular, theatre organs were installed in theatres to provide accompaniment for the films.
In the 20th-century symphonic repertoire, both sacred and secular,continued to progress through the music of Marcel Dupré, Maurice Duruflé, and Herbert Howells. Other composers, such as Olivier Messiaen, György Ligeti, Jehan Alain, Jean Langlais, Gerd Zacher, and Petr Eben, wrote post-tonal organ music. Messiaen's music in particular redefined many of the traditional notions of organ registration and technique.
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In music, the organ is a keyboard instrument of one or more pipe divisions or other means for producing tones, each played with its own keyboard, played either with the hands on a keyboard or with the feet using pedals. The organ is a relatively old musical instrument, dating from the time of Ctesibius of Alexandria, who invented the water organ. It was played throughout the Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman world, particularly during races and games. During the early medieval period it spread from the Byzantine Empire, where it continued to be used in secular (non-religious) and imperial court music, to Western Europe, where it gradually assumed a prominent place in the liturgy of the Catholic Church. Subsequently it re-emerged as a secular and recital instrument in the Classical music tradition.
An organ stop is a component of a pipe organ that admits pressurized air to a set of organ pipes. Its name comes from the fact that stops can be used selectively by the organist; each can be "on", or "off".
A barrel organ is a mechanical musical instrument consisting of bellows and one or more ranks of pipes housed in a case, usually of wood, and often highly decorated. The basic principle is the same as a traditional pipe organ, but rather than being played by an organist, the barrel organ is activated either by a person turning a crank, or by clockwork driven by weights or springs. The pieces of music are encoded onto wooden barrels, which are analogous to the keyboard of the traditional pipe organ. A person which plays a barrel organ is known as an organ grinder.
A theatre organ is a distinct type of pipe organ originally developed to provide music and sound effects to accompany silent films during the first 3 decades of the 20th century.
A flue pipe is an organ pipe that produces sound through the vibration of air molecules, in the same manner as a recorder or a whistle. Air under pressure is driven through a flue and against a sharp lip called a labium, causing the column of air in the pipe to resonate at a frequency determined by the pipe length. Thus, there are no moving parts in a flue pipe. This is in contrast to reed pipes, whose sound is driven by beating reeds, as in a clarinet. Flue pipes are common components of pipe organs.
A tremulant is a device on a pipe organ which varies the wind supply to the pipes of one or more divisions. This causes their amplitude and pitch to fluctuate, producing a tremolo and vibrato effect. A large organ may have several tremulants, affecting different ranks (sets) of pipes. Many tremulants are variable, allowing for the speed and depth of tremolo to be controlled by the organist. The tremulant has been a part of organ building for many centuries, dating back to Italian organs of the sixteenth century.
Tracker action is a term used in reference to pipe organs and steam calliopes to indicate a mechanical linkage between keys or pedals pressed by the organist and the valve that allows air to flow into pipe(s) of the corresponding note. This is in contrast to "direct electric action" and "electro-pneumatic action", which connect the key to the valve through an electrical link or an electrically assisted pneumatic system respectively, or "tubular-pneumatic action" which utilizes a change of pressure within lead tubing which connects the key to the valve pneumatic.
An expression pedal is an important control found on many musical instruments including organs, electronic keyboards and pedal steel guitar. The musician uses the pedal to control different aspects of the sound, commonly volume. Separate expression pedals can often be added to a guitar amplifier or effects unit and used to control many different aspects of the tone.
In an organ, "Swell" refers to the division whose pipes are enclosed in a swell box. This box has a large opening covered with moveable shades or shutters which resemble heavy venetian blinds. When open, these shutters allow the pipes' sounds to travel freely from the box to the room. When closed, most of the sound is contained in the box. Thus the moveable shades provide a means of adjusting the loudness of the sound, and perhaps more importantly, of gradual crescendo ("swelling") and decrescendo.
The electro-pneumatic action is a control system for pipe organs, whereby air pressure, controlled by an electric current and operated by the keys of an organ console, opens and closes valves within wind chests, allowing the pipes to speak. This system also allows the console to be physically detached from the organ itself. The only connection was via an electrical cable from the console to the relay, with some early organ consoles utilizing a separate wind supply to operate combination pistons.
The Minster and Parish Church of St George, Doncaster, also known as Doncaster Minster, is a parish church in the Church of England. It is one of the Greater Churches.
The organ in St. Jacobi Church, Hamburg, was built in 1689 – 1693 by the renowned organ builder Arp Schnitger. The organ boasts four manuals and pedal with 60 stops -- of which 15 are reeds -- and totalling approximately 4000 sounding pipes. All in all, from the organ's original installation and its condition today not much of its conception has changed. The old pipework and the prospect pipes have been preserved in almost original format. This is the largest organ in existence from before 1700 and is one of the most eminent Baroque instruments that have been preserved.
The Grand Organ situated in the Royal Albert Hall in London is the second largest pipe organ in the United Kingdom. It was originally built by Henry "Father" Willis and most recently rebuilt by Mander Organs, having 147 stops and 9,997 speaking pipes.
A crescendo pedal is a large pedal commonly found on medium-sized and larger pipe organs, either partially or fully recessed within the organ console. The crescendo pedal incrementally activates stops as it is pressed forward and removes stops as it is depressed backward. The addition of stops, in order from quietest to loudest, creates the effect of a crescendo. The crescendo pedal is located directly above the pedalboard, to the right of any expression pedals that may be present. In actual use, the operation of the crescendo pedal usually does not move the draw knobs or stop tabs on the console; the stops are electronically activated inside the organ. Often an indicator light or lights will be present on the console to inform the organist of when the crescendo pedal is activated and how far it is engaged.
Registration is the technique of choosing and combining the stops of a pipe organ in order to produce a particular sound. Registration can also refer to a particular combination of stops, which may be recalled through combination action. The registration chosen for a particular piece will be determined by a number of factors, including the composer's indications, the time and place in which the piece was composed, the organ the piece is played upon, and the acoustic in which the organ resides.
Casavant Frères Ltée. Opus 1841 is a pipe organ built by the famous Casavant Frères of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. The organ was first completed in 1911 as Casavant Brothers - Opus 452 for St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church at 40 Bentinck Street, Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada. St. Andrew's later became St. Andrew's United Church and is now the Highland Arts Theatre.
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