Most notably since c1750, when London publishers began issuing Handel's oratorios in two-stave reductions for solo organ, the term has denoted an abbreviated arrangement of a work for whose original instrumentation the organ stands as substitute. The practice grew in the 19th century, initially through the publications of Vincent Novello, which included organ scores of Haydn's masses. Previously, the term had two more important usages: (i) an open score (very often in four parts) of a piece of organ music, particularly of a serious or contrapuntal nature, from Frescobaldi's ricercares to Bach's Die Kunst der Fuge; (ii) an open score of a vocal or instrumental work accompanied by the organ which reproduces the sung parts. Organ-basses of the 1590s, and hence figured basso continuo parts of the next decade, are as it were shorthand organ scores, indicating harmonies rather than exact parts, though these were considered the ideal realization (Viadana, 1602). Banchieri (1607) recommended score or tablature even in works for which he supplied a so-called basso seguente part. Such organ scores as are literal in the sense of (ii) above became increasingly common from c1550 (Juan Bermudo, 1555) and serve as a church equivalent to the simple instrumental scores of contemporary secular music (e.g. Malvezzi's solo numbers in the Intermedii of 1591). The Italian term is Partitura, the German frequently Tabulatura (Scheidt, 1624; Klemme, 1631), not to be confused with Orgeltabulatur.
PETER WILLIAMS (with CHRISTOPHER KENT)
(Fr. jeu, registre; Ger. Register, Stimme).
A rank of organ pipes of a specific construction, colour or pitch; also sometimes used to refer to the knob or tablet controlling a specific rank of pipes. With regard to construction and tone-colour, organ stops fall into four basic ‘families’: principals or diapasons (the ranks of flue pipes that provide the basic ‘organ tone’), flutes (flue pipes of various constructions but wider-scaled), strings (narrow-scaled flue pipes), and reeds (differing from the other three categories in that the sound is produced by a beating metal tongue). For a full discussion of pipework see Organ, §III. Compound stops (Mixture, Zimbel, Fourniture, Sesquialtera, etc.) consist of several higher-pitched ranks under a single control, usually ‘breaking back’ to lower pitches from the middle of the compass upward. Mutation stops are single higher-pitched ranks at 5th and 3rd pitches used to colour ensembles by reinforcing a particular harmonic; the more higher-pitched mutations also usually break back towards the top of their compass (see Mutation stop). Compound and mutation stops may belong to any of the three flue categories and are never used without a suitable foundation (i.e. a flue stop of 8' pitch, occasionally 4', 2' or 16').
Just as the term ‘stop’ is of uncertain origin and meaning, so the many stop names have a complex history and usage: the evolution of stop names naturally reflects the evolution of the organ as a complex instrument. During the 15th century in northern France, the Netherlands and the Rhineland, such terms as ‘Principal’ were used to indicate the basic sound of the organ, the pleno chorus; and the case pipes (Prestant, Montre, Doif, etc.) were increasingly specified in sources, they being the first ranks to be separated off from the chorus in a big church organ. In most cases large secular organs, which had a longer tradition for separate and sometimes highly colourful ranks, have no associated verbal descriptions that specify names. By 1500, builders were making many kinds of pipes and almost without exception giving them the names of instruments or sounds which they were thought to imitate (Trumpet, Horn, Recorder, Gemshorn, etc.), sometimes picturesquely so (Old Women’s Voice, Nightingale). It is misleading to assume that the 19th-century liking for orchestral effects was in itself a sign of decadence in organ building, since the practice dates back to the Renaissance. The exceptions to these instrumental names were important, since they usually indicated the construction of pipes concerned and were thus intrinsic to the organ as an independent instrument (Gedackt, Hohlflöte, Spitzflöte, etc.). The origin of some stop names is particularly difficult to understand, including those that appear to be words taken from other contexts – musical (Diapason), architectural (Trompes), theoretical (Sesquialtera) or even onomatopoeic (Bourdon). In some cases, notably Trompes and Bourdons, it is not clear whether the use of the term in the organ context precedes any other. By the end of the 16th century, names in all countries and languages had become regular and reliable as indications of a stop’s purpose, if not always of its tone; whether such names remained in the builder’s contracts or were actually written on stop labels at the organ is less clear. Labels were hardly necessary, for instance, on Italian and English organs, and remained uncommon on chamber organs until the late 18th century.
The great organ theorists and those giving lists of specifications, such as Praetorius, Mattheson, Bédos de Celles and Hopkins, gave a somewhat misleading impression of the uniformity and reliability of stop names. Readers of Praetorius, for instance, are led to believe not only that the names of the many Regal stops were neatly codified but also that such stops were more important – i.e. common over a wider area and for a longer time – than was indeed the case. Certainly written reports must always have increased the interest of organists and builders in new or foreign stops, particularly perhaps in those cases where writers expressed doubt as to the success of a certain builder in imitating such sounds as the human voice, sea waves, orchestral horn and so on. Few stops new in name, sound or construction originated during the 18th century, and many of those so popular in the 19th century (overblowing stops, string-scale flues) were known in some form in the 17th.
The definitions or descriptions that follow have been compiled with certain points in mind: (a) transliterations of stop names (e.g. Kwinta for Quinte) are not given, nor Nordic variants of German names (e.g. Spetsfloït for Spitzflöte) unless they indicate a different kind of stop (e.g. Baarpijp and Bärpfeife); (b) a short phrase indicates the family of stops which a name indicates, flue or reed, open, closed or semi-closed, metal or wood; two stops of the same name can have a different combination of such factors, as they can also serve quite different purposes from organ to organ (chorus/solo; principal/flute/mutation); (c) examples are taken from typical instruments, and no attempt has been made to list every maker’s fanciful name or wayward invention; (d) examples may refer to a stop whose pipes are constructed in the manner normally associated with the name even when the builder’s own term is unknown; (e) only a few names are included of those families of stops invented at different periods for purposes of little relevance to idiomatic organ music, particularly Renaissance and Baroque toy stops (birds, tinkling bells, etc.), late 18th-century free reeds of the harmonium type, late 19th-century high-pressure flue or valvular reed stops; (f) stop types with names in several languages (e.g. Querflöte, Flauto traverso) are entered under the most commonly used name unless a difference in construction is implied (e.g. Nachthorn, Cor de nuit).
Cross-references within this article are indicated in the form ‘See under Cornett’; cross-references to other articles are in the usual form ‘See Cornett’.
Aeolina, Aeoline. (1) A narrow metal flue stop of soft tone first found in Germany c1820, and still found in many modern organs.
(2) A free reed of gentle tone, invented c1815 (?by Eschenbach) and popular in central Germany (Schulze etc.).
(3) With free reeds with derived names: ‘Claveoline’ 8' or 16', sometimes with wooden resonators (by Beyer, c1820), ‘Aeolodikon’ 16' (Walcker, c1840).
Baarpijp (Dutch). (1) Barem was a soft Gedackt stop during Praetorius’s period (c1620).
(2) ‘Baarpyp’ at Haarlem (1735–8) and other Dutch organs of that period was a soft stop of tapered pipes. In earlier sources (from the late 16th century), often the same as Quintadena. The name may come from baar (Middle Dutch: ‘bright’) or barem (‘to scream’), or from the German Baar (‘pole’ or ‘rod’). But see under Bärpfeife.
Bajete, Bajón (Sp.). Late 17th-century Spanish reeds: a 4' Bajete was gentle in tone, often a bass-half stop only, sometimes en chamade (projecting from the case front); Bajón was an 8' Bassoon stop (the 4' version called ‘Bajoncillo’), stronger in tone, usually with flaring metal resonators. ‘Bajoncillo y Clarín’ was a single 4' rank in two halves.
Bärpfeife (?Ger., ?Dutch). A reed stop of the mid-16th century (name first used by Niehoff ?c1540), the predecessor of Regal stops with fanciful resonators, strong in tone. The term probably has nothing to do with growling bears, however coarse the tone.
Bassflute. A 19th-century 8' pedal stop, usually of stopped wood (like the 16' Bourdon), sometimes open; ‘Flötenbass’ is an older German equivalent, of various constructions.
Basson (Fr.). See under Fagotto.
Bassoon. (1) An English reed stop of quiet tone, once found frequently from c1680 onwards (R. Harris), particularly on the Chair organ; most examples probably had small-scaled flaring resonators.
(2) An English 19th-century reed stop, usually called Fagotto, of the same construction but at 16' pitch on the Swell organ.
(3) A French 18th- and 19th-century reed stop (Basson), serving as the bass half to a treble Hautbois.
(4) On 19th-century English and American organs, the separately drawing bass octave of an Oboe or Hautboy.
Bauernflöte (Ger.: ‘peasant’s fife’). A penetrating 2' or 1' flue stop of open wide scale, sometimes stopped or as a Chimney Flute, found especially in the Brabant organ of c1550, the Fritzsche-Compenius organ of c1620 and organs of Saxony c1690; popular as a 1' solo pedal stop for cantus firmus music.
Bazuin (Dutch). See under Posaune.
Bell Diapason (Fr. flûte à pavillon). Originating in France in the 1840s, it has cylindrical pipes with a flaring cone soldered at the top; a loud Flute.
Bell Gamba. A tapered flue stop of 16' or 8' with a short, conical section at the top of the pipes, found on 19th-century continental and American organs.
Bifara, Biffaro. (1) A double Flute whose pipes have a dividing wall and two mouths at different heights, producing a soft tremulant sound; it was popular in south Germany and Austria from c1660.
(2) In Walcker’s organs (c1830) a double rank of 8' stopped and 4' open, producing a soft, string-like tone.
Blockflöte (Ger.). A wide conical metal flue stop imitating the recorder; it can be open, closed or overblowing (c1620), sometimes made of oak (late 17th-century Friesland and England), usually at 4' pitch.
Blockwerk (Ger.; Dutch blokwerk). Not strictly a stop name, it denotes the undivided chest of the medieval organ based on a ‘double Principal’ without other ‘stops’ separated off. See Blockwerk.
Bocktremulant (Ger.). See under Tremulant.
Bombardon (Fr. bombarde; Ger. Bomhard, Pommer). (1) In France, the basic manual or pedal 16' reed, from at least 1587 (Arras), of importance to the larger French classical organs, with strong tone, metal or wood resonators and sometimes its own keyboard (Notre Dame, Paris, 1733).
(2) ‘Pombarda’, according to Praetorius, was a 16' or 8' reed of strong tone and two-thirds length resonators.
(3) ‘Bombarda’ signified long pedal reeds on the enlarged Italian organ of c1820 (Serassi).
(4) ‘Bombardon’ was the name given to a rather mild-toned English Bombarde of c1850.
Bourdon (Fr.). (1) The earliest ‘Barduni’ were low-compass bass pipes not always played by keys but sometimes held on as a drone by a kind of latch (Arnaut de Zwolle, c1440) (see under Trompes).
(2) Occasionally, ‘Perduyn’ or ‘Pardoenen’ indicated case-front pipes (c1550), more often inside pipes an octave below the case pipes.
(3) The most important use of the term was for the stopped pipes of either 16' or 8' pitch in the French organ from the 17th century onwards. The scaling was narrow to medium – stopped wood for lower octaves, stopped or chimneyed metal for the upper – and such stops had a broad musical application.
(4) A medium- to large-scale 16' manual or pedal stop of stopped wood, often found in English and American organs from c1820 onwards.
Buzain (Dutch). See under Posaune.
Campanello (It.). (1) See under Carillon.
(2) A high repeating wide-scaled mutation, giving a bell-like effect (England, Germany, c1850).
Carillon. Various stops achieving bell-like effects. (1) Real bells of 4' or 2' pitch, played by hands or feet, on many organs, especially in central and south Germany from 1737–50 onwards; there were trackers to small striking hammers.
(2) A common Italian stop of the same type, popular in the early 19th century.
(3) A Dutch Tierce Mixture found c1750–1850 as a kind of Echo Cornet.
Celeste. See under Unda maris and Voix céleste.
Celestina. (1) A soft 4' open wood Flute, sometimes found in English organs after the middle of the 19th century.
(2) In late 19th-century American organs, often a soft 4' string.
Chalumeau (Fr.). (1) The same as Schalmei in some German sources of the 18th century.
(2) A small-scaled flaring reed stop in central Germany c1750, sometimes cylindrical.
Cheio (Port.). A chorus Mixture of the same type as Compuestas de lleno (Sp.).
Chimney Flute (Fr. flûte à cheminée; Ger. Rohrflöte; It. flauto a camino; Sp. espigueta). The name of an important pipe form known throughout Europe. The pipes are ‘half-stopped’, the metal canisters or stoppers pierced to allow a narrow tube to pass through. The length and width of the tube have varied from builder to builder. The resultant tone is very charming, the stopped Flute sound modified by several faint overtones. The pipe form probably originated in the Rhineland at the end of the 15th century; some early Netherlandish examples were called ‘Hohlflöte’ in the sources. Praetorius noted that such stops could be at 16', 8', 4', 2' and even 1'; Adlung (1768) added the mutations: 102/3', 51/3', 22/3' and 11/3'. In France and Spain certain pipes (e.g. the lower octaves) in a Flute rank might be Chimney Flutes, as could a complete rank in Cornets; Mersenne (1636–7) noted that the length of tube affected the sound. Some early 20th-century builders, especially in the USA, made use of internal, inverted chimneys, thought to be more stable.
Chirimía (Sp.). A kind of 4' or 2' Schalmei, imitating the shawm in 17th- and 18th-century organs, sometimes en chamade.
Choralbass, Choralflöte (Ger.). An open metal or wood 4' Flute found on the pedals of 17th- and 18th-century German organs for playing cantus firmus melodies; rarely an open manual 8' Flute.
Cimbala (Sp.), Cimball (Eng.). See under Zimbel.
Clairon (Fr.). See under Clarion.
Clarabella. The early 19th-century English and American name for an open wood Flute (used by Bishop, c1825), often in the treble only, originally replacing an 18th-century mounted Cornet and useful for solos.
Claribel Flute, Claribel. A mid-19th-century name for a fairly strong Great organ 4' Flute (Willis, c1860), sometimes harmonic for the top octave; it is also often found at 8' pitch in late 19th- and early 20th-century English and Australian organs.
Clarín (Sp.). Spanish Trumpets of various kinds, originating mostly in the later 17th century. (1) An 8' Clarín was a standard Trumpet, vertical inside the organ or horizontal at the case front. ‘Real’ Trumpets (Clarines, Trompetas) were usually vertical (not horizontal), the name indicating ‘real’ in the sense of ‘full-length resonators’; but by c1750 ‘Trompeta Real’ often meant ‘royal trumpet’.
(2) ‘Clarín de eco’ was a smaller-scaled Trumpet in an Echo or Swell box.
(3) ‘Clarín fuerte [suave]’: a strong [soft] Trumpet. Both the strong and soft stops had flaring tin resonators.
(4) Clarines usually indicates a 2' reed of soft Trumpet tone, sometimes a bass-half stop only.
(5) ‘Clarín de batalla’, ‘Clarín de compaña’: military-like Trumpet stops en chamade.
Clarinet. A reed stop of many different types and purposes. (1) Clarinette (little Clarín) was a Spanish Regal, sometimes en chamade, found in the heyday of Iberian organs (c1750).
(2) Clarinetto: an Italian Regal (18th century); or a German pedal Clarin 2' stop (c1830) or 4' (c1775).
(3) Clarinetto was occasionally a clarinet-imitating reed stop (c1790, south Germany).
(4) ‘Clarinet’, ‘Clarionet’ or ‘Cremona’ are names frequently found in English and American Choir organs from the early 19th century onwards. Having cylindrical resonators, such stops are related to the Cromorne [Krummhorn].
Clarino (It.). See under Clarion.
Clarion (Ger.; Fr. clairon; It. clarino). Reed stops. (1) A 4' Clairon is a French chorus Trumpet, supplementary to the Trompette 8', common on the main manual from at least c1580, and as such found elsewhere both in frenchified organs (England, Alsace) and those quite independent (central Germany).
(2) Clarino: a rare Italian Trumpet, of metal or wood; Trombetta and Clarone were other Italian terms used here and there from c1600.
(3) see under Clarín.
Claron (Sp.). A Nasardos or Tierce Mixture.
Compensationsmixtur. See under Mixture.
Compuestas (Sp.). A Mixture or Lleno, like the Fourniture but more varied in content.
Contra (Lat.). Used with the meaning ‘an octave below’: found especially in the latinized stop-lists of c1800. (1) Contrebasses were 19th-century French strong-toned pedal stops imitating the double bass (Cavaillé-Coll).
(2) Contrabass more generally indicates a (pedal) stop an octave below the open Principal.
(3) Contras are Spanish pedal ranks of open or stopped pipes, often without their own stop-knob; thus Contras en Bombardas denotes the 16' pedal Bombarde.
Coppel, Koppel (Ger.; Lat. copula). (1) A coupler.
(2) A stopped 16', 8' or 4' rank in eastern Europe, sometimes called ‘Koppelflöte’. In many organs, the equivalent of the Gedackt, and made of metal or wood. However, some Koppelflötes, especially in modern organs, are cylindrical metal stops, having a cone-shaped top, and usually of 4' pitch.
(3) Coppel elsewhere sometimes indicates a Gemshorn, Spillflöte or even Principal (c1540), probably so called because it was coupled to or drawn with Principals, Flutes or reeds.
Cor anglais (Fr.; It. corno inglese). 19th-century reed stop with narrow resonators shaped like the orchestral instrument (c1850); in Italy the stop is older (used by Serassi, c1820) and of coarser tone, and has wide, cylindrical resonators.
Cor de nuit (Fr.). An open or stopped flue rank of wide scale, at 8', 4' or 2', found in French organs c1850 and in those in England and the USA that they influenced, where it is usually anglicized to ‘Night Horn’.
Cornamusa (It.). A Regal toy stop once common (c1600) and producing the drone sound of two held reed pipes, thus leaving the hands free to play ‘zampogna’ or ‘musette’ music.
Cornet (Eng., Fr.; It. cornetto, corneta; Sp. corneta). Various stops imitating the Cornett. (1) A very important French solo Mixture stop, one to three examples of which were found on every classical organ from 1650 to 1850; it was treble only, from c', with five wide-scaled ranks (126.96.36.199.17) often placed on their own small chests (‘mounted Cornet’) from c1640. Examples during the second half of the 16th century were often given a distinguishing name, such as ‘Cornetz à boucquin’, ‘Nachthorn’, ‘Cornet d’Allemagne’, or stop ‘imitating the zink’. The term is not to be confused with the organ stop Cornett, though sources are often unclear on this point. Also an important stop in 18th-century English organs.
(2) Cornetto and Corneta were Italian Flute mutation ranks, from c1680 – primo might be the Tierce, secondo the Nasard, terzo the Quarte de nasard, etc.
(3) Spanish Cornet stops (‘Corneta clara’, ‘reale’, ‘tolosana’, i.e. ‘from Toulouse’) were also common but not so stereotyped in pipe content.
(4) Cornets often had fewer ranks in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (two-rank Cornettin in Sweden), or were built up of string-scaled pipes (France, England, USA).
Cornett, Kornett (Ger.). A reed stop imitating the Zink or Cornett, usually in the pedals, of 4' or 2' pitch, and found throughout central and northern Germany from 1600 to 1800. Praetorius noted that the flaring resonators are only just longer than those of the ‘Trichterregal’. ‘Singende Kornette’ were so called partly because of the smooth tone, partly because such stops were used for melodic cantus firmus lines.
Corno (It.). A name found fairly frequently for various stops. (1) Italian Cornetto, a reed stop in old sources.
(2) Corno dolce is either a soft reed stop (built by Serassi, c1810) probably developed from Venetian Regals, or a wide Flute stop in Italy (c1750–1900), sometimes in the form of an inverted cone.
(3) Corno di bassetto, like the Corno inglese, is an imitative reed stop of the 19th century, with cylindrical resonators (used by Willis).
Corno inglese (It.). See under Cor anglais.
Cornopean. An English reed stop (Hill, Willis) imitating the cornet à pistons, of rather thin tone and 8' pitch, found in Swell divisions after the middle of the 19th century.
Cremona. See under Cromorne.
Cromorne (Fr.; Ger. Krummhorn). Reed stops imitating the crumhorn; later versions of the name (Cormorne, Cremona) are corrupt. (1) German Krummhorn stops were of varied construction (Praetorius, 2/1619): they had metal or wood resonators and were open or stopped, short or half-length, cylindrical, double-cone-shaped, etc.
(2) French Cromornes appeared somewhat later, i.e. late in the 16th century, becoming the standard Positiv reed in the classical organ; usually they had medium-scaled, cylindrical, half-length, metal resonators. The tone was modified as builders in c1800 began to make it resemble the clarinet.
(3) English Cremona stops date from c1680 and presumably copied French models. They were fairly narrow in scale and appeared in English and American organs until superseded by the Clarinet in the mid-19th century.