Allen Organ Company
The Allen Organ Company is the largest and best-known American maker of church organs. Allen Organ builds classical digital and combination digital and pipe organs, as well as digital theatre organs. Its factory is located in Macungie, Pennsylvania.
Allen Organ Company was founded in 1937 and named after its birthplace, Allentown, Pennsylvania. The Company was incorporated in 1945, after interruption by World War II. Since its beginning, Allen has been managed by the same family. Steve Markowitz, the Company's current President, is the son of the Company's founder, Jerome Markowitz.
The company had its first patent in 1938. Allen was responsible for the first three-manual electronic organ and the first electronic drawknob console.
1947: Allen installed the world's first three-manual electronic organ in St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Catasauqua, Pa.
1949: full-range, high-fidelity stereo audio equipment was incorporated in Allen installations.
1950: "Purely Electronic Carillon," "Harp Percussion" and sustain effects were introduced.
1952: "Chromatic Voicing" was introduced.
1953: Manufacturing was relocated to Macungie, Pennsylvania to expand capacity.
1954: Allen built the first four-manual electronic organ.
1955: Allen developed the first electronic 32' stops used with pipe organs.
1958: the TC-1 was the world's first transistor church organ.
1959: Solid State Tone Generation (transistors) replaced vacuum tube oscillators in the entire Allen line.
1960: Allen introduced its patented "Random Motion Electronic", or "Whind".
1963: First European representation established in Zurich, Switzerland.
1969: Allen entered into a joint-venture with North American Rockwell for digital sound research and development. The Digital Computer Organ employed LSI (Large Scale Integration) circuits.
Using the technical knowledge co-developed with Rockwell International, in 1971 Allen presented to the world digital organs fully capable of reproducing authentic pipe organ sound. That same year, Sharp introduced its hand-held calculator. Together, these were the world's first two digital consumer products. Both of these products would revolutionize their respective industries in the years to come.
2004: The world's first digital musical instrument, built by Allen Organ Company, became part of Smithsonian's collection of musical instruments.
2010: Allen Organ Company Honored by United States Congress
The Quantum organ line uses a digital processing technique called the convolution reverb, a technique widely used in both software and hardware musical instruments. In Allen's implementation of the technique, the acoustics of the sampled room become an integral part of the organ's sound. An 8-second stereo convolution reverb requires about 35 billion calculations per second; Allen patented a technique to reduce the computation amount to about 400 million calculations per second. A digital organ that produces Compact Disc quality sound without convolution reverb would require only about 100,000 calculations per second for each sound. Quantum organs include about 4,000 times that capacity to create convolution reverb.
- Carlo Curley — was an Allen organist
- Virgil Fox played an Allen organ on his Heavy Organ tours.
- Walt Strony — an Allen organist; also, Allen had Mr. Strony design a digital organ for them, the Allen STR-4.
- Leonard Bernstein's 1971 MASS: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers score calls for two Allen organs.
- "Virgil Fox Allen Touring Organ". Allen Organ Company. Retrieved 2011-01-19.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Allen Organ Company.|
- "The Largest Builder of Church Organs in the World". Allen Organ Company.
- NAMM Oral History Interview: Martha Markowitz reflects on the early days of the Allen Organ Company September 11, 2005
- NAMM Oral History Interview: Steve Markowitz talks about his father's development of the first Allen electronic organs September 11, 2005
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