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The Recent Revolution in Organ Building Being an Account of Modern Developments   By:

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Being an Account of Modern Developments



Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, Eng.; First Mus. Bac., Dunelm.; Organist of Christ Church, Pelham Manor, N. Y.; late of All Angels', New York; St. Clement's, Philadelphia, and Wallasey Parish Church, England

Second Edition

[Frontispiece: The Organ in St. George's Hall, Liverpool, Eng. Built by Henry Willis in 1855. Rebuilt 1867 and 1898. The White Marble Bust Seen in Front is That of W. T. Best.]

New York The Charles Francis Press 1913

Copyright, 1909, 1913, by George L. Miller Entered at Stationers' Hall, London

Reprinted by the Vestal Press, Vestal, N. Y. 13860 1000 copies, 1969 Second Reprinting, April 1971, 1000 copies Write for catalog of other reprinted books in the field of piano and organ literature


Some years ago the elders and deacons of a Scotch church were assembled in solemn conclave to discuss the prospective installation of a pipe organ. The table was piled high with plans and specifications and discussion ran rife as to whether they should have a two manual or a three manual instrument a Great and Swell or a Great, Swell, and Choir organ. At last Deacon MacNab, the church treasurer and a personage of importance, got a chance to speak.

"Mr. Chairman," said he, "I don't see why we should have a Great, a Swell, and a Choir organ. I think that one organ is quite enough."

Now, Deacon MacNab was a master tailor, and a good one at that; so the musical man who was pushing the thing through appealed to his professional instincts in explaining the situation by saying:

"Surely, Mr. MacNab, you would not say that a man was properly dressed with only a coat on! You would expect him to have on a coat, waistcoat and trousers!" And the day was won for the three manual organ.

Of course there had been no organ in this church before, or the worthy deacon might have known more about it. If he had read the second chapter of this book, he would have known all about it. The following pages have been written with the idea of helping those who may be placed in a similar position; who may be called upon to decide the serious question of the purchase of a new organ for their church, town hall, or an auditorium, or the rebuilding of the old one now in use; who are distracted by the conflicting plans and contending claims of rival organ builders; who are disinclined to rely upon so called "expert" opinion, but wish to look into these things for themselves and intelligently purchase an instrument which is thoroughly up to date in every particular, which will not drive the organist to the verge of profanity every time he plays upon it, and will not prove a snug source of income to its builders for repairs.

The organ student, the amateur, and eke the professional organist, will also find much here that will interest them and lead to a better understanding of the instrument.

The revolution in organ building herein described has for the most part taken place under the personal notice of the author, during the last fifty years. The organists of a younger generation are to be congratulated on the facilities now placed at their disposal, mainly by the genius and persevering efforts of four men as hereinafter described.



As It Was in the Beginning


The Organ in the Nineteenth Century


The Dawn of a New Era; the Pneumatic Lever


Pneumatic and Electro pneumatic Actions Tubular Pneumatics Division of Organs Sound Reflection Octave Couplers and Extensions


Stop keys Control of the Stops


Radiating and Concave Pedal Boards Pedal stop Control Suitable Bass Attachments


Means of Obtaining Expression Crescendo Pedal Sforzando Pedal Double Touch Balanced Swell Pedal Control of Swell by Keys Swell Boxes the Sound Trap Joint Vacuum Swell Shutters


A Revolution in Wind Supply Springs vs... Continue reading book >>

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