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
Éolienne
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 chorus reed stop with a 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 16′ or 32′ in the pedals (where it may be called Subbass or Contra Bourdon)
Cello Violoncelle String a string stop at 8′ or 16′; has a warmer, more "romantic" tone than the Gamba
Choralbass Principal a 4′ strongly voiced octave Diapason in the pedal division, mainly for cantus firmus use
Claribel Clarabel Flute
Claribel Flute
Melodia
Flute an 8′ open wood manual stop.
Clarinet Clarinette
Clarionet
Reed a reed stop with a rich tone imitating the orchestral instrument
Clarion Clairon Reed 8′ (pedal) or 4′ (manual or pedal) chorus reed, similar tone as the Trumpet
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 orchestral cornet.
Cornopean Reed 8′ chorus reed similar to the Trumpet; normally located in the Swell division.
Cromorne Krummhorn Reed Cylindrical solo reed that has a distinct buzzing or bleating sound, imitative of the historical instrument of the same name
Diapason Montre
Open Diapason
Principale
Principal
Prinzipal
Tenori[1]
Principal A flue stop that is the "backbone" sound of the organ. Most commonly at 8′ in manuals, and 8′ or 16′ in the pedals.
Diaphone A special type of organ pipe that produces tone by using a felt hammer to beat air through the resonator. Common on theatre organs, not often used in classical instruments.
Fagotto Bassoon
Fagott
Reed 16' chorus reed. Inverted conical construction, softer than a trumpet or trombone.
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.[2]
Gamba Viola da Gamba
Viole
String A string stop that has a thinner, more cutting tone than the Cello stop. It one of the earliest designs of string stops, and is 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. It is also usually the lowest stop in the organ that has one.[3]
Gravissima Name for a resultant 64' flue (a 32' stop combined with a 21​23' 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 has a very pure flute tone and was popularized by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll.
Hohlflöte Hohlflute
Holpijp
Flute a metal or wooden 8' open or stopped flute.
Larigot Flute flute mutation stop at ​1 13′ pitch
Mixture Fourniture
Plein Jeu
Principal Multi-rank stops that enhance the harmonics of the fundamental pitch, and are intended for use with foundation stops, not alone. Mixture IV indicates that the stop has four ranks. Mixture 15.19.22.26 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
Nazard
Flute flute mutation stop of ​2 23′ (sounding a twelfth above written pitch)
Oboe Hautbois Reed reed stop used as both a solo stop and a chorus reed.
Octave Oktav
Prestant
Principal
Principal A 4′ Principal. "Prestant" often indicates ranks that have pipes mounted in the front of the organ case.[4]
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
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
Regal Reed a reed stop with fractional-length resonators; produces a buzzy sound with low fundamental frequency.
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, softer in tone than the Gamba.
Scharf Cymbale Principal A high-pitched mixture stop.
Sesquialtera Principal Comprises ranks at 2​23' and 1​35'
Sifflöte Piccolo
Sifflet
Flute 1′ flute
Super Octave Doublette
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
Terz
Tertia
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 resonators.[5][6] 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; can often be heard over full organ.
Trompette Militaire Reed powerful solo reed of the trumpet-family, with a brassy, penetrating tone
Trumpet Trompete
Trompette
Reed a loud chorus 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.
Twelfth Principal principal mutation stop of ​2 23
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 an undulating effect. Occasionally built as a double-rank stop called Unda Maris II, which has both a normal-pitched and detuned rank.
Voix céleste String An 8′ string stop tuned slightly sharp or flat to create an undulating effect when combined with another string stop. Some variants contain both a normal-pitched and detuned rank. About this sound Play 
Vox humana Voix humaine Reed fractional length regal supposedly intended to imitate the human voice

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]