Stop organ, stop organ, I don’t want to talk any more

I think this is the "Swell Box"... err... I really can't remember.

The Auckland Town Hall Organ has a lot of stops – 84, in fact. Despite having been on a tour of the instrument and consulted the fantastically comprehensive resource that is the Organ Trust’s website, I can make neither head nor tail of the stop list.

It has designations like:

  • Posaune 16 ext #14
  • Double Open Diapason 16
  • Salicional 8
  • Hohl Flute 8
  • Wald Flute 4
  • Nazard 2 2/3
  • Superoctave 2
  • Sharp Mixture IV 19.22.26.29

The numbers I mostly understand. 16 = the length in feet of the longest pipe (which is generally a C). So Wald Flute sounds an octave above Hohl Flute because the pipes are half as long, I get that. But what the hell is the difference between those two colours anyway? ‘Wald’ means ‘forest’, I know, but ‘Hohl’? The only German words like that I know are ‘Hohle’ (pit or cave) and ‘Hölle’ (hell). I didn’t know they played flutes in hellish caves. read more

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