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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Mailbag: “Diane Bish? Stop Nomenclature?”

December 13, 2006


Dear Michael,

First off, I love your programs. I’ve got a few questions. Could you ever do a special on Diane Bish and some of her arrangments of hymns and other pieces? Secondly, is there any way we can download your programs or buy them separately? Lastly, as a new organist I’m slightly intimidated by stop nomenclature. What’s a good way to learn how to prounounce the names of the stops?

Robert Dicks
Pewaukee, WI

Dear Robert,

Diane’s a superb ambassador for the pipe organ, but is pretty well media-present with her own TV show. I tend to open Pipedreams time up to people who are not similarly advantaged.

I’ve heard that some fellow was able to figure out how to download from our audio archive, but am not clear how he managed it. You can take the analog output of your computer and feed it into some other recordable medium…that should work.

There is an encyclopedia of organ stops to which you can link from the “Resources” bar on the right side of our online web page: http://www.organstops.org/

…but as for pronunciation, probably just listen to me butcher the names in various broadcasts, or use common sense (such as Plein Jeux…with a French accent… ‘Plawn-zhu’; Cornet is ‘kor-NAY’). Otherwise things are pretty much as they look Rohrflute is Rohrflute, Krumhorn is KRUMhorn, unless it’s Cromorne, and then it’s probably krumORN.



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