An organbuilder’s greatest challenge is to provide the organist with maximum variety and flexibility, but within the constraints of the organ’s size and location. Versatility depends on which stops it includes, their pitches, and how they are scaled and voiced. Dobson Pipe Organ Builders employs an eclectic style, drawing ideas and inspiration from many centuries and schools of organ construction.
Eastminster’s organ contains 18 stops with 19 ranks of pipes. Each stop contributes a different tonal color to the ensemble. Each stop contains at least one rank of pipes. A rank is a set of pipes which are uniformly voiced, one pipe for each key on its respective keyboard. Some stops contain more than one pipe for each key.
The organ is arranged in three “divisions.” The Great is played from the bottom manual, the Swell from the upper manual, and the Pedal from the pedalboard. The pipes of the organ are really a set of highly specialized whistles, played by wind and pressure on the keys. The entire mechanical system of levers and rods is referred to as “tracker” action. Over two thousand years old, this system has enjoyed a renaissance for the past four decades.
The Eastminster organ has a total of 1,069 pipes. Some are constructed of wood, and others of a lead/tin alloy or of zinc. Casework is constructed with a fumed and lacquered finish. Its design is based on an elongated hexagon, as are the church and sanctuary. The wooden Pedal Bourdon pipes have been painted Dobson red, the hallmark color of the firm. The façade pipes are of burnished tin with pipeshades above painted blue. Manual keys are covered with naturals of ebony and accidentals of rosewood with bone caps. Key nosings are also painted Dobson red. Stop jambs and masic rack are veneered with Carpathian elm burl and stoplevers are made of padauk.
The organ can accommodate a generous amount of the organ literature. However, it was designed primarily for use in worship: to lead in the singing of hymns and to accompany the choir. This priority in its design requires, and enables, it to produce a warm and ingratiating tone which encourages, rather than overwhelms, congregational singing.
Divisions, Stops, and facilities
|8’||Chimney Flute||58 pipes|
|IV||Mixture 1 1/3’||232 pipes|
|8’||Celeste (FF)||53 pipes|
|4’||Open Flute||58 pipes|
|2 2/3’||Nazard||58 pipes|
|1 3/5’||Tierce||58 pipes|
|8’||Bourdon via octave coupler||12 pipes|
|8’||Fagotto via octave coupler||12 pipes|
|Tremulant affects entire organ|
- Great to Pedal
- Swell to Pedal
- Swell to Great
- Pedal Unisor coupler
- Pedal Octave coupler
Two manual attached console
Mechanical key action
Mechanical stop action
Bench with height adjusting blocks
Music rack and pedalboard lights