This is a large chamber organ probably built by Thomas Parker, a maker best known for the instrument he built for the Foundling Hospital, London, with which Handel was associated. Both this and the Foundling Hospital instrument have a series of extra notes in each octave. These allow the player to choose notes that were not normally available on the keyboard. The levers can be seen on either side of the keyboard. Although the extra pipes allowed the musician to play in a wider range of keys they are difficult to use in practice without the help of an assistant.To get the most out of this pipe organ you literally have to ‛pull out all the stops’. The phrase comes from the knobs, or stops, that control the flow of air to the instrument’s pipes. Pull out all four stops on this 54-key organ and you’ll open up over 200 pipes. The resulting sound can easily fill a room in a grand house, or even a small church.
Technical description: English chamber organ. Compass 54 notes, G₁ - E₆ [GG/BB - e''']. Four extra pipes in each octave to provide enharmonic tuning for A♭, A♯, D♭ and D♯. The enharmonic pitches are pre-selected by two sliders above the stops on either side of the keyboard.
Stopped diapason (wood) 8-ft.
Open diapason (metal above C₃) 8-ft.
Principal (metal) 4-ft.
Fifteenth (metal) 2-ft.
Purchased with assistance from the Friends of St Cecilia's Hall and the National Fund for Acquisitions, 1994.