The New Pipe Organ Stop Library


Tuesday, July 02, 2024
11:00 AM – 11:45 AM



Organists and organ builders are keenly interested in the way that individual stops contribute to a combination, and in comparing characteristic combinations from organ to organ. The relationship between the 8- and 4-foot principals on each division, for example, helps define an organ’s very nature. Comparing the full principal choruses within and between organs sheds even more light.

For the research behind this presentation, historic and modern organs were selected from builders in Germany (Schnitger, Silbermann, Trost, Ladegast, Vleugels), France (Cavaille-Coll, Clicquot) and America (Hook, Aeolean-Skinner, Fisk, Letourneau, Schoenstein). Good-quality recordings of a C-major arpeggio played on every stop were made from a central seat in the audience. Also, the same four bars of music were recorded on common combinations, and each mixture was played chromatically from bottom to top. These recordings are now available free online on the Pipe Organ Stop Library.

Many interesting details emerge from side-by-side hearings of sound clips and from line graphs of the intensity (volume) levels from bottom to top of each stop. During the workshop we will discuss and hear some of the most compelling of these comparisons. Using the Library in this manner can be of great value to organists as they register their pieces, and to organ builders and voicers as they create their instruments.