List of pipe organ stops

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For audio examples, please see the article on organ stops.

An organ stop can mean one of three things:

  • the control on an organ console that selects a particular sound
  • the row of organ pipes, used to create a particular sound, more appropriately known as a rank
  • the sound itself

Organ stops are sorted into four major types: principal, string, reed, and flute.

This is a sortable list of names that may be found associated with electronic and pipe organ stops. Countless stops have been designed over the centuries, and individual organs may have stops, or names of stops, used nowhere else. This non-comprehensive list deals mainly with names of stops found on numerous Baroque, classical and romantic organs. Here are a few of the most common ones:

Stop name Alternate name Type Notes
Aeoline Aéoline
String an extremely small scaled stop with a very delicate, airy tone; built frequently as a single-rank stop, or as a double-rank celeste.'
Blockflöte Flute German for "recorder"; a wide scaled conical or stopped flute of 4′ or 2′ pitch, taking its name from the common flute called a "recorder" which its tone closely resembles
Bombarde Reed a powerful reed-stop with cutting brassy timbre, occurring on the manuals at 16′ (and occasionally 8′), or in the pedal at 16′ or 32′ pitch
Bourdon Flute a wide-scaled stopped-flute, 16′ or 8′ on the manuals, and at 16′ (Soubasse) or 32′ (Contrabourdon)
Celeste Voix céleste String, 2 ranks an 8′ string stop composed of two pipes for each note, one being tuned slightly sharp or flat to create an undulating effect About this sound Play 
Cello Violoncelle String a string stop at 8′ or 16′;
Choralbass Principal a 4′ strongly voiced octave Diapason in the pedal division, mainly for cantus firmus -use
Clarabel Flute Claribel Flute Flute Synonym for Claribel
Claribel Melodia
Flute an 8′ open wood manual stop.
Clarinet Clarionet Reed a reed stop with a richer tone imitating the orchestral instrument, perhaps the single most successful imitative stop in organ
Clarion Clairon Reed 8′ (pedal) or 4′ (manual) chorus reed
Cornet Flute a multi-rank stop consisting of up to five ranks of wide-scaled pipes. The pitches include 8′, 4′, 2 23′, 2′ and 1 35′. Three- and four-rank cornets eliminate 8′ and 4′ ranks. This stop is not imitative of the brass instrument cornet. Or
Cornopean Reed Unison chorus reed, normally in the Swell.
Cromorne Reed Cylindrical solo reed, imitative of the historical instrument of the same name.
Diapason Principal a flue stop which is the "backbone" sound of the organ; Most commonly at 8′ on a manual, and 8′ or 16′ on the pedals.
Diaphone a special type of organ pipe, producing tone by using a felt hammer to beat air through the resonator; Common on theatre organs, not often used in classical instruments.
Doublette Principal 2' principal
Fagotto Bassoon
Reed 16' chorus reed. Inverted conical construction, softer than a trumpet.
Flageolet Flute A flute stop of 2' or 1' pitch.
Fugara String A flue stop in 4' or 8' pitch. The tone has a sharp "stringy" quality.[1]
Gamba Viol da Gamba
String one of the earliest designs of string stops; named after the Baroque instrument viola da gamba.
Gedackt Gedeckt Flute a basic stopped 8′ flute in the manuals, and stopped 16′ and/or 8′ flute voice in the pedal
Gemshorn Cor de Chamois String German for "chamois horn"; a narrow-scale, tapered stop.
Gravissima Name for a resultant 64' flue (a 32' stop combined with a 2123' stop, which is a fifth, producing a difference tone of 8 Hz on low C.)
Harmonic Flute Flute an open metal flute made to sound an octave above its length by means of a small hole at its midpoint; This stop speaks a very pure flute tone and was popularized by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll.
Hohlflöte Holpijp Flute a metal ot wooden 8' open or stopped flute.
Larigot Flute flute mutation stop at 1 13′ pitch
Mixture Principal Mixtures enhance the harmonics of the fundamental pitch, and are intended for use with foundation stops, not alone. Mixture IV, for example, indicates four ranks. Mixture" indicates the composition.
Nachthorn Night Horn
Cor de Nuit
Corno de Nacht
Flute wide-scaled flute with a relatively small mouth, produces a soft, but penetrating sound; occurring at 8′ and 4′ pitch, and also at 2′ pitch at pedal
Nasard Nasat
Flute flute mutation stop of 2 23&prime
Oboe Hautbois Reed reed stop used as both a solo stop and a chorus reed.
Octave/Principal Oktav
Principal a 4′ Principal
Ophicleide Reed powerful reed stop, much like the Bombarde; normally a 16′ or 32′ pedal reed; unusually an 8′ or 16′ on the manuals
Orchestral Oboe Reed a different stop from Oboe; intended to imitate the orchestral instrument; of smaller scale than the non-imitative oboe
Piccolo Flute 2′ flute
Posaune Reed German for "trombone", chorus reed.
Principal/Open Diapason Montre
Principal Principal.
Quarte Flute 2′ flute on 17th and 18th century French organs; short for Quarte de nasard, sounding an interval of a fourth above the nasard stop
Rankette Reed a reed stop with 132 length resonators producing a buzzy sound with low fundamental.
Rohrflöte Chimney Flute Flute German for "reed flute"; a semi-capped metal pipe with a narrow, open-ended tube (i.e. "chimney") extending from the top which resembles a reed
Salicional String an 8′ string stop.
Sesquialtera Principal Comprises ranks at 223' and 135'
Sifflöte Piccolo
Flute 1′ flute
Super Octave/Fifteenth Principal the manual 2′ Principal or Diapason; Its name merely signifies that it is above (i.e. "super") the 4′ Octave.
Tibia Clausa Tibia Flute a large-scale, stopped wood flute pipe, usually with a leathered lip; performs same function in a theatre pipe organ as a principal in a classical organ.
Tierce Seventeenth
Flute mutation stop pitched 1 35′, supporting the 8′ harmonic series
Trichterregal Reed an 8-ft reed stop on a pipe organ with funnel-shaped tubes (resonators).[3][4] A trichterregal was used by Schnitger in the Schnitger organ that he built for St. James's Church, Hamburg.
Trombone Posaune
Reed Chorus reed. simulating the trombone; most commonly in the pedal at 16′ or 32′ pitch
Trompette en Chamade Reed Solo trumpet laid horizontally
Trompette Militaire Reed powerful solo reed of the trumpet-family, with a brassy, penetrating tone
Trumpet Trompete
Reed a loud reed stop, generally a single rank, with inverted conical resonators.
Tuba Reed large-scale, high pressure, smooth solo reed usually 8′ in the manuals and 16′ (sometimes 32′) in the pedal. Tuba is Latin for Trumpet; it is not named after the orchestral tuba.
Twenty-Second Kleine Principal Principal a 1′ principal
Unda Maris Flute Latin for "wave of the sea"; a very soft rank tuned slightly sharp or flat. It is drawn with another soft rank to create a Voix céleste. Occasionally built as a double-rank stop called Unda Maris II, one rank at standard pitch and the other tuned sharp or flat.
Vox Humana Voix Humaine Reed fractional length regal supposedly intended to imitate the human voice


  1. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1906). "Fugara". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead. 
  2. ^ Peter Williams & Barbara Owen. "Organ stop". In L. Root, Deane. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press.  (subscription required)
  3. ^ Audsley, George Ashdown (2002). Organ-Stops and Their Artistic Registration. Courier Dover Publications. p. 259. ISBN 0-486-42423-5. 
  4. ^ "Trechterregal". Encyclopedia of Organ Stops. Edward L. Stauff. 

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