Marceau & Associates Pipe Organ Builders, Opus 7, 1991.
Originally built by The Ernest M. Skinner Co. - Opus 217, 1913 

 

HERE'S A CRASH COURSE IN PIPE ORGAN SPECIFICATIONS FROM REV. LEE CUNNINGHAM:

Pipe organs are organized into "divisions". Our organ has four divisions: The Great, Swell, Choir, and Pedal divisions.  Three of the divisions are played by the hands on keyboards called "manuals".  The fourth is played by the feet (using both toes and heels) on the pedal board. The Great is the middle manual (keyboard), the Swell is the upper, the Choir the lower,  the Pedal is on the floor.

Each manual  has 61 keys and the Pedal has 32 keys.  Our organ has 64 ranks of pipes with 62 stops for a total of 3, 529 pipes.

A Rank refers to a "row" of pipes usually with at least one pipe per key on the keyboard or 32 pipes on the pedal.

A stop refers to the piston or in our case rockers which turns the various ranks of pipes on or off.  Some stops control more than 1 rank of pipes, such as the Great IV-VI Mixture which has between 4 and 6 ranks of pipes playing at the same time.   Sometimes stops borrow pipes from different ranks.    

The names listed in the specifications refer to stops. For example, on the Great:

"8   Principal   61".    The first number on this stop (8) refers to the height of the lowest pipe in the rank, which is 8'.  Principal is the name of the stop referring to the type of pipe, and the 2nd number (61) refers to how many pipes are in each stop, or in this case 1 per key.  Note that the aforementioned Mixture has 317 pipes. 

The 8' stops have the same pitch as a piano (440 A) and is called the "unison pitch".  A 4' stop is an octave higher, and a 2' stop is 2 octaves higher, and a 16' stop is an octave lower.   The 32' stop is 2 octaves lower than unison pitch!  

Note that some of the stops borrow pipes from other stops.  The 16' Violone on the Great borrows from the 8' Violone with the exception of the lowest octave which is an extension of the 8' rank.   Thus the 16' Violone has only 12 pipes to call its own with the rest borrowed from the 8' but sounding an octave lower.

The photo shows only all metal pipes, but there are also pipes made of wood.   

In addition to the pipes, there are two specialize stops: the Zimbelstern which is a rotating wheel of bells which produce a tinkling sound, and Chimes which is a row of orchestral bells.

One more thing about pipes, just to muddy the waters a bit.  When you "stop" a pipe (not to be confused with the switches) it means you close top of the pipe.  That will make the pipe sound an octave lower.  A stopped 4' pipe will be at the same pitch as an open 8' pipe, but usually not with the same intensity.  A stopped pipe can a different tonal quality than an open pipe as well. 

The term "Expressive" means the division is contained in a box (a really big box) with slats which look like Venetian  blinds on the front.  These are controlled by an "expression pedal" located in the consul above the pedal board, and they can make the division sound louder or softer.  The Great is not under expression which means volume is controlled by the number of stops rather than the expression pedal.  Pipes only speak at one volume! 

The Pedal is mostly not under expression, although it does have stops borrowed from the swell which are.  These are used in pieces which call for both the manual and pedal to be under expression.  On organ consul where the swell pedals are located there is also a "Crescendo Pedal." This pedal is programmed to gradually add stops as the foot moves the pedal forward (not unlike a gas pedal on a car), and take away stops when moved back.

Couplers are switches which allow you the couple together manuals; swell to great, swell to pedal, etc.  Coupling divisions adds to the volume.   

Presets allow the organist to program certain stops to turn on when the organist pushes either a finger pistons (between the keyboards) or toe studs (above the pedal board).  There are "General Presets" which can be used to program all three manuals and the pedal at once, and "Divisional Presets" which only program a division.  

Saint Paul's Organ Specifications:

Action:         E-P primary
Voices:        47
Stops:          62
Ranks:        64
Pipes:         3,529

GREAT

16   Violone 12*
8     Principal 61*
8     Rohrflöte 61*
8     Flute Harmonique 498
8     Violone 61
4     Octave 61*
4     Koppel Flöte 61*
2-2/3 Twelfth 61*
2     Fifteenth 61*
2     Blockflöte 61*
1-3/5 Seventeenth 61*
IV-VI Mixture1-1/3317*
16    Fagott 61
8    Trompete 61*
4    Klarine 24
Tremulant
Chimes
Zimbelstern

SWELL (Expressive)

16    Bourdon 61
8      Principal 61
8      Gedeckt 61
8      Salicional 61
8     Voix Celeste (tc) 49
4     Octave  61 *
4     Flute Octaviante 61
2-2/3 Nasard (tc)49 *
2     Octavin61
1-3/5 Tierce (tc)49 *
IVPlein Jeu1-1/3305
8    Trompette61 *
8     Oboe 61
8     Vox Humana 61
4     Clairon12 *
Tremulant
Swell to Swell 16
Great Unison Off
Swell to Swell 4

CHOIR (Expressive)

Vernon Greenstreet at the St. Paul's Pipe Organ

Vernon Greenstreet at the St. Paul's Pipe Organ

8     Geigen 61
8     Doppelflöte 61
8     Gedackt 49*
8     Gemshorn 61
8     Gemshorn Celeste (tc)
4    Principal61*
4    Spillflöte 61*
2    Octave 61*
1-1/3 Quinte 61
IV  Scharff2/3244*
III Cornet2-2/3(tc) 147
16    Dulzian 61*
8     Clarinet 61
Tremulant

Choir Unison Off
Choir to Choir 4


PEDAL

32    Resultant (Subbass)
16    Principal Bass 32
16    Violone (Gt)
16    Subbass 32
16    Bourdon (Sw)
8      Octave Bass 32
8      Violone (Gt)
8     Gedeckt Bass 32
4     Choral Bass 32
4     Flöten Bass 3
IV    Mixture 2-2/3  128
32   Contra Fagott (Gt)
16   Bombarde (Sw)
16   Fagott (Gt)
8     Trompette (Sw)
4     Clairon (Sw)
4      Fagott (Gt)
 

COUPLERS
Swell to Pedal   8
Great to Pedal   8
Choir to Pedal   8
Swell to Great    16,8,4
Choir to Great   8,4
Swell to Choir    16,8,4
Great to Choir    8
Choir to Swell    8

FINGER PISTONS
General 1-10
Swell1-6
Sw to ped
Sw to Chan
Sw to Gt
Great
GT to Ped
Choir
Chan to Ped
Chan to GT
SFZ
Set
Gen Can

TOE STUDS
General1 - 10
Pedal 1 - 6
Gt/Ped(rev)
Sw/Ped(rev)
Ch/Ped(rev)
Zimbel Stern(rev)

PEDAL MOVEMENTS
Swell Expression (bal.)
Choir Expression (bal.)
Crescendo(bal.)

NOTES
Stops marked with an asterisk in the text indicate new ranks at the time
of the Marceau rebuild.

Sources: Marceau opus list & files; JRS; extant organ

 [Received from James R. Stettner 2011-11-20.]