The Recent Revolution in Organ Building

George Laing Miller
The Recent Revolution in Organ
Building, by

George Laing Miller
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Title: The Recent Revolution in Organ Building Being an Account of
Modern Developments
Author: George Laing Miller

Release Date: April 22, 2007 [eBook #21204]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
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Transcriber's note:
This book contains a number of references to organ notes in form "c3",
where the "3" is superscripted. In the text version of this e-book, the
superscripted characters are surrounded with the vertical bar symbol "|",
e.g. "c|3|".

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,

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
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
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