Chorus and solo reeds

The heavier, louder reeds on a theatre organ are used either to reinforce the ensemble or provide telling solos, accents or counterpoints. Their use is not unlike the brass section in an orchestra or band, and if truly useful need to be able to blend with as well as stand apart from the ensemble.

John Compton provided his theatre organs with large reeds (Tubas, Trumpets) which as well as fulfilling the above functions could equally stand apart, to provide telling choruses of the kind of glorious majesty associated with large cathedral instruments – and this from organs with as few as eight or ten ranks.

Wurlitzers, in common with most American builders, eschewed the more powerful British reed voicing customs (Hope-Jones’ more strident speciality stops were generally developed by British emigre voicers) and the subtler blending tones of Wurlitzers large reeds reflect this.


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English Horn