Understanding the Pipe Organ

A Guide for Students, Teachers and Lovers of the Instrument


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SKU: 9780786439980 Categories: ,

About the Book

The pipe organ, an instrument whose origins date to ancient Greece, is prominent in the development of secular and church music, and its builders were as artistic as the composers like Bach, Pachelbel and Handel who played them.
This book describes the mechanics, fabrication, and acoustics of all types of pipe organs. Although it is technical in nature, its design, descriptions, and language are directed to organ students, their teachers, and all persons who love the organ. The book covers the construction of several types of pipe organ, with chapters on actions, chests, pipe work, wind supply, electrical circuitry, mechanics, registration, organ placement, acoustics, and repairs.

About the Author(s)

John R. Shannon is professor emeritus of music at Sweet Briar College, and is author or editor of several books about organ composition, improvisation and music history. He is a charter member of the Southern Historical Keyboard Society and lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

John R. Shannon
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 204
Bibliographic Info: 163 photos, glossary, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3998-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5286-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

List of Figures      viii

Introduction      1

1. The Principal Components of the Organ      5

2. The Wind Supply      14

3. Mechanical Action      25

4. Electric Action      44

5. Organ Chests      62

6. Unification and Duplexing      83

7. Aids to Registration      91

8. Acoustics of Organ Pipes      109

9. Pipework      129

10. Achieving Optimal Sound Through Location and Placement      151

11. Can You or Should You Fix It Yourself?      162

Glossary      173

Bibliography      187

Index      189

Book Reviews & Awards

“a beautiful, handy, easy-to-read manual…the most useful and valuable guide to the organ to appear in any language in many years. It is hard to imagine a more thoroughly useful book than this; it should be placed in the hands of every conscientious organist and kept at the console of every organ in the country”—The Diapason; “will be useful”—ARBA.