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The Cambridge Companion to the Organ
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  • 31 b/w illus. 8 tables 70 music examples
  • Page extent: 356 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 0.66 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 786.5
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: ML550 .C35 1998
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Organ (Musical instrument)
    • Organ music--History and criticism
    • Country life--Poetry
    • Pastoral poetry, Greek

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521575843 | ISBN-10: 0521575842)

This Companion is an essential guide to all aspects of the organ and its music. It examines in turn the instrument, the player and the repertoire. The early chapters tell of the instrument's history and construction, identify the scientific basis of its sounds and the development of its pitch and tuning, examine the history of the organ case, and consider the current trends and conflicts within the world of organ building. Central chapters investigate the practical art of learning and playing the organ, introduce the complex area of performance practice, and outline the relationship between organ playing and the liturgy of the church. The final section explores the vast repertoire of organ music, focusing on a selection of the most important traditions.

• This is the most authoritative reference book about the organ currently available • The contributors are all experts in their field • The volume examines in turn the instrument, the player and performance practices, and the repertoire


1. Origins and development of the organ Nicholas Thistlethwaite; 2. Organ construction Stephen Bicknell; 3. The physics of the organ John Mainstone; 4. Temperament and pitch Christopher Kent; 5. The organ case Stephen Bicknell; 6. Organ-building today Stephen Bicknell; 7. The fundamentals of organ playing Kimberly Marshall; 8. A survey of historical performance practices Kimberly Marshall; 9. Organ music and the liturgy Edward Higginbottom; 10. Italian organ music to Frescobaldi Christopher Stembridge; 11. Iberian organ music before 1800 James Dalton; 12. The French classical organ school Edward Higginbottom; 13. English organ music to c.1700 Geoffrey Cox; 14. Catholic Germany and Austria before 1800 Patrick Russill; 15. The north German organ school before 1800 Geoffrey Webber; 16. The organ music of J. S. Bach David Yearsley; 17. German organ music after 1800 Graham Barber; 18. French and Belgian organ music after 1800 Gerard Brooks; 19. British organ music after 1800 Andrew McCrea; 20. North American organ music after 1800 Douglas Reed; Appendix The church modes Christopher Stembridge.


' … this Companion implements in every respect the claims its publishers make for it as 'an essential guide to all aspects of the organ and its music'. Perhaps unusually for so valuable a book of reference, much of it also makes engrossing reading.' Church Times

' … never less than readable, and sometimes positively compelling … an extremely valuable book that should be on every musician's bookshelf.' The Musical Times

'… editors of this Companion have done an excellent job in producing a sharply-focused, coherent set of essays within 330 pages … this is a book that can usefully, indeed should, be read by anyone interested in the organ and its music. Students will need their own copies for constant reference, while the more experienced will be stilumated, informed and challenged.' Music and Letters


Nicholas Thistlethwaite, Stephen Bicknell, John Mainstone, Christopher Kent, Kimberly Marshall, Edward Higginbottom, Christopher Stembridge, James Dalton, Geoffrey Cox, Patrick Russill, Geoffrey Webber, David Yearsley, Graham Barber, Gerard Brooks, Andrew McCrea, Douglas Reed

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