Images from The Abell
Pennsylvania Pipe Organ, 1808
NMM 4905. Church
organ by Christian Dieffenbach,
Bethel Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania, 1808. Gold
stencilled signature on front of 1884 nameboard (same text handwritten on
back of nameboard): Built 1808, by
Christ Dieffenbach, Berks Co., Pa. / [within unfurling
1884, by Thos Dieffenbach Millersburg, Pa.
Single manual, tracker action, C-d3 (51 keys). Six original stops; three
stops and pedalboard added by Thomas
Dieffenbach in 1884. Polychromed case pipes painted by Thomas
Dieffenbach's nephew, Jacob Dieffenbach.
Arne B. &
Jeanne F. Larson Fund and J. Laiten Weed Estate, 1990.
This early American organ is one of the
most imposing objects in the Museum, standing 11'9" (3.48 m.) tall.
The Organ in its Original Setting
Click on image above to seen an enlargement
The NMM's Dieffenbach organ was built
for Zion Lutheran and Reformed Church near Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania, for
$300, and was dedicated on October 16, 1808. While
a number of late 18th-and early-19th-century Pennsylvania-German organs
survived in churches and local historical museums, the Dieffenbach organ
at the NMM is the only example from this
tradition to be seen in a major public collection of musical
instruments. It is also one of the best preserved.
The organ has a typical Dieffenbach stoplist, here
written in the unusual
order in which the six ranks of pipes stand on the wind chest, from front
Principal 4' (bass and tenor pipes in façade)
Quint 3' (bass pipes in façade)
Gedackt 8' (wood pipes)
Floete 4' (open wood pipes)
Click here to hear an "Improvisation in G Dur" by Phil Cooper and seven versets by Johann Caspar Simon, also performed by Phil Cooper on the Dieffenbach organ.
Registrations for these excerpts:
Improvisation: Gedackt 8', Principal 4', Quint 3' and Octav 2'
Verset 1 in G Dur: Gedackt 8' and Principal 4'
Verset 3 in G Dur: Principal 4'
Verset 4 in G Dur: Gedackt 8' and Floete 4'
Verset 8 in G Dur: Gedackt 8'
Verset 6 in G Dur: Salicet 4'
Verset 5 in G Dur: Gedackt 8', Principal 4' and Octav 2'
Verset 10 in G Dur: Gedackt 8', Principal 4', Quint 3' and Octav 2'
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Postcard of this organ available from Gift Shop
National Music Museum
The University of South Dakota
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069