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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Mailbag: “Favorite pipe organ?”

April 27, 2006

Dear Michael,
I am wondering if you as man of many organs heard by your ears, have a favorite Pipe organ and for what reasons? If you Like the sound of one, or like the Architecture of another. If you do not have a favorite that is completely understandible being that you have heard so many fine instruments. The other thing I am interested in is if you could be so kind as to tell me if there is such a thing as a Pipe Organ that is subsonic and The acustical term/what the ranks are commonly named.

Thank you
Thomas Hermans
LinoLakes, MN

Dear Thomas,
No, I do not have any single favorite instruments. Just as the great teacher Arthr Poister would say while doing master classes, regarding whatever work by Bach or Franck or whomever a student had prepared to play: “This is my favorite…for the moment.” Each instrument has a different story to tell. There are so many ‘great organs’ (both large and small). You hear many of them on PIPEDREAMS…every week.

As for a sub-sonic organ, there is no such thing of which I am aware (or interested)…if you cannot hear it, it has not value to me. Some very low-pitched organ pipes (in the 32′ and 64′ range…sixteen cycles and 8 cycles per second) are perhaps more felt than actually heard, but if you listen…



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