Tibia Clausa

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A Tibia Clausa is a type of pipe organ pipe. It is a large-scale, stopped wood flute pipe, usually with a leathered lip. The rank was invented by Robert Hope-Jones. Tibia Clausas provides the basic foundation tone of the organ with few overtones or harmonics. The Tibia Clausa is arguably the most important rank of pipes in a theatre pipe organ, [1] with some organs having as many as 5. The stop shares similarities with the Bourdon and the Gedackt found in some church pipe organs. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Tibia Clausa was sometimes used as an alternate name for Doppelflöte. Most tibias are made from wood, as by Wurlitzer etc., although examples of metal tibias may be found made by the John Compton Organ Company.

Pipe organ wind instrument that produces sound by driving pressurized air (called wind) through pipes selected via a keyboard

The pipe organ is a musical instrument that produces sound by driving pressurized air 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.

Robert Hope-Jones Organ inventor

Robert Hope-Jones was an English musician, who is considered to be the inventor of the theatre organ in the early 20th century. He thought that a pipe organ should be able to imitate the instruments of an orchestra, and that the console should be detachable from the organ.

Overtone Tone with a frequency higher than the frequency of the reference tone

An overtone is any frequency greater than the fundamental frequency of a sound. Using the model of Fourier analysis, the fundamental and the overtones together are called partials. Harmonics, or more precisely, harmonic partials, are partials whose frequencies are numerical integer multiples of the fundamental. These overlapping terms are variously used when discussing the acoustic behavior of musical instruments. The model of Fourier analysis provides for the inclusion of inharmonic partials, which are partials whose frequencies are not whole-number ratios of the fundamental.


The Tibia Clausa, or Tibia, is generally found at 16, 8, 4 and 2 pitches as a unified rank. [1] The mutation ranks Tibia Quint 5⅓, Twelfth 2⅔ and Tierce 135 are also drawn from this unified rank of 97 pipes. In some larger organs, a second Tibia rank may be present, extended to 1 instead of 16, allowing a 1⅓ Nineteenth mutation and a 1 Piccolo to be drawn from this rank. A few of the largest theatre organs, and some church organs, may have a separate 32 Tibia Clausa rank of 12 pipes. In smaller organs, a Bourdon or Stopped Diapason may be substituted for a Tibia Clausa at 16 pitch.

Bourdon, bordun, or bordone normally denotes a stopped flute/flue type of pipe in an organ characterized by a dark tone, strong in fundamental, with a quint transient but relatively little overtone development. Its half-length construction make it especially well suited to low pitches, economical as well, and the name is derived from the French word for 'bumblebee' or 'buzz'.

The Tibia may be voiced on wind pressures from 10 to 25. The Tibia is generally used as a chorus stop, with or without tremulant; it is not normally used as a solo stop due to its relatively dull tone.

Other variants of the Tibia Clausa include: Tibia Bass, Tibia Flute, Tibia Major, Tibia Plena (open tibia) and Tibia Rex.

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Organ stop musical instrument part

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Organ pipe musical instrument part

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  1. 1 2 Strony, Walt (1991). "Tibia Clausa". Encyclopedia of Organ Stops. Self-published. Retrieved 8 November 2015.

Further reading

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.