About the Hook & Hastings Organ Restoration
A Treasure From the Past – A Gift for the Future
The Hook & Hastings Organ Inaugural Recital at St. Timothy’s will be in the fall of 2014.
Using “H&H Organ” as the description, donate online here.
The picture above was created to show what the Hook & Hastings Organ
will look like in the Church when it is installed in 2014.
To follow the Hook & Hastings installation, click here.
Historical Information about the Hook & Hastings Organ
In the late years of the 19th century the Hook & Hastings Co. was in effect “America’s national organbuilding champion.” Regional builders built many instruments, some of landmark status, but if it were to be a major pipe organ in a prestigious church or institution, Hook & Hastings was often the builder of choice. These organs were splendidly designed and engineered; their tonal characteristics reflected the variety of music they were expected to manage—from transcriptions of orchestral literature to service playing and accompaniment of choral music. Of the 32 or so landmark organs by the firm, essentially no others remain intact today. Many have been radically rebuilt and altered, often several times, or broken up for parts; some have been trucked to landfills; a few have contributed some pipes to replacement instruments.–Rev. Culver L. Mowers, Organ Historian, Brooktondale, New York
St. Timothy’s organ (Opus 1801) is the only large Hook & Hastings of the late 19th century “Golden Age” of organ building which has not been significantly altered. It retains its original mechanism and appearance.
OUR 1898 – THREE MANUAL / PEDAL – HOOK & HASTINGS ORGAN
Here is a brief description of all the stops or sounds which are available on the instrument. And yes, “pulling out all the stops” means just that and a really big sound!
Great (Middle Keyboard) 61 notes, C-c4
The stops in this division reflect the power and majestic sounds the organ can produce and has the largest sonic volume as compared to the Swell or Choir keyboards. The wise organist will only use its full potential on special occasions.
1. Double Open Diapason 16`
These pipes speak at a pitch an octave below where the organist
normally plays and is the basic “organ sound” we are all familiar with.
They are the largest metal pipes in the organ, some of which are over 20‘
long and are quite prominent in the facade.
2. Open Diapason 8`
These pipes also produce the basic “organ sound” but at standard pitch and
is the primary stop in support of congregational singing. A few of the
façade pipes are from the bass octave of this rank or set of pipes.
3. Viol da Gamba 8`
A stop imitative of the stringed instrument, the Viol da Gamba.
It can be used as a solo voice, due to its rather broad character.
4. Viola 8`
Another imitative string stop, but with a smaller sound than
the Viola da Gamba.
5. Doppelflute 8`
The doppelflute is a set of wooden pipes with two mouths; one on the
front of the pipe and one on the back. It is primarily a solo stop
having a pure, strong, liquid, or round sound with great carrying power.
6. Octave 4`
A diapason set of pipes which play one octave higher than where the
organist normally plays. It is used with other diapason stops as a basic
hymn accompaniment registration adding fullness to the chorus.
7. Twelfth 2 2/3`
A mutation stop used with the diapasons to bind them together. It is
always used with other stops, never alone and imparts a nasal or 5th partial
quality to the sound.
8. Fifteenth 2`
A metal rank of pipes of the diapason family. An important part of the
terraces of sound need for good hymn accompaniment registrations, it
plays a pitch 2 octaves above the actual key played.
9. Mixture III
A rank which has three pipes for every single note on the keyboard.
These pipes are high pitched and impart a shimmering brilliance to the
main chorus and definition to the melodic line.
10. Trumpet 8`
The crowning stop of the Great chorus, it imitates the sound of an
orchestral trumpet. It can be used as a solo stop or pulled on for the last
verse of a festival hymn to encourage vigorous congregational singing.
Swell (Top Keyboard) 61 notes, C-c4 under expression
The stops in this division reflect the many solo colors and more expressive sounds the
organ can produce. The pipes are also enclosed within a large wooden box with movable
shutters, controlled by the organist, allowing the pipe volume to be increased or
decreased as desired.
11. Bourdon 16`
A sixteen foot stopped wooden pipe of large scale with a wonderful bass
timbre: dark and very blending with other stops.
12. Open Diapason 8`
The same as great Open Diapason, except with a smaller scale, used to
accompany the choir, and play the softer stanzas of hymns.
13. Salicional 8`
A string stop slightly softer than the Open Diapason but with more edge or
“buzz” to its sound.
14. Voix Celeste 8`
Used in conjunction with the Salicional to create an undulating or floating
sound, also affectionately known as “chancel echoes”.
15. Stopped Diapason 8`
A wooden stopped flute of a sweet, round sound, especially useful when
16. Aeoline 8`
The softest stop on the organ, a string stop. With the swell box closed, it is
barely audible, a whisper.
17. Flauto Traverso 4`
An open wooden flute with a relatively pure, bright sound and a
surprisingly good imitation of the orchestral flute.
18. Violina 4`
A bright toned rank of pipes, very valuable for color and useful in choral
19. Flautino 2`
An open metal rank as the top part of the swell chorus sound and having
the blended color of a flute and diapason sound.
20. Cornet III
At first glance, it appears to be a reed stop. However, it is actually a small
mixture used for brightness in the swell full chorus.
21. Oboe 8`
A reed stop, small in scale, imitation of the orchestral oboe. Hook oboes
were quite well respected in the 19th century, having a smooth and
haunting tonal color.
22. Cornopean 8`
A majestic reed stop which tops the main organ chorus, very much like the
trumpet 8’, but with a smoother, less fiery sound.
23. Vox Humana 8`
A reed stop meant to imitate the human voice having a plaintive quality.
Choir (Lowest Keyboard) 61 notes, C-c4
The stops in this division are voiced to support choral singing and to provide
accompanying colors for the other solo stops of the organ.
24. Geigen Principal 8`
The smallest scaled diapason in the organ. (Scale meaning the ratio of a
pipe’s diameter to its length.)
25. Dulciana 8`
A quiet string rank with a keen edge to the timbre.
26. Melodia 8`
An open wood flute with round, smooth, beautiful tone.
27. Flute d’Amour 4`
A stopped wooden flute sometimes with a slight stringy sound.
28. Fugara 4`
A metal stop of the string family with a mild but broad tone.
29. Piccolo Harmonique 2`
A brightly voiced metal rank used to imitate an orchestral flute.
30. Clarinet 8`
The only reed stop on the choir organ, an imitation of the orchestral
clarinet. Also used as a quiet solo stop with a strong nasal overtone.
Pedal, 30 notes, C-f1
The stops in this division are the lowest or deepest sounds the organ can produce . These
pipes are played entirely by the organist’s feet via the pedalboard.
31. Double Open Diapason 16`
Large enough for a child to crawl through, these open wood pipes are
guaranteed to shake the pews.
32. Bourdon 16`
A large scaled stopped wooden flute but much softer than the Double
Open Diapason 16`.
33. Violon Cello 8`
A singing string stop, useful as a solo stop or with the full organ.
34. Trombone 16`
A powerful large scale reed used to dramatically anchor the bass line for hymns and many pieces of traditional organ literature.