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Cornell Baroque Organ

For the Press

Burning the rack to seal pipe from moisture

For the Press

Baroque Organ Fact Sheet

Total cost: approx. $ 2 million

Number of years of research, planning and construction: 7

Number of years organ is projected to last: several hundred


  • Number of pipes 1,847
  • Largest pipe; c. 16 feet long, 8 inches diameter
  • Smallest pipe – c. 1 inch long, 1/4 inch diameter
  • Materials for pipes: lead, tin, pine
  • Sheets of metal for pipes cast on beds of sand
  • Seven and a half months required to “voice” pipes (ensure each has perfect sound in the chapel, and responds correctly to pressure and speed of the touch of the performer)
  • 42 ranks (individual rows of pipes)
  • 30 stops


  • 2 manuals, each with 50 notes (C, D to d3)
  • 1 pedal, with 26 notes (C, D to d1)
  • over 740 feet of wooden trackers traveling from key to pallet


  • 4 wedge bellows (each weighing approximately 430 pounds)
  • two pumpers required to manually run the bellows
  • fastened together with cow hide and cow hide organic glue


  • lowest pitch: c. 30 Hz
  • highest pitch c. 8, 000 Hz


  • quarter-sawn fumed white oak
  • many tons of lumber in the case (estimated around 7)
  • handcrafted; every surface hand-planed rather than sanded
  • longest boards, 18 ft, imported from 300-year old sustainable forest in Germany
  • case dimensions: 25ft wide; 4 and 1/2 feet deep; 23ft high in the center
  • number of structural nails in case: zero – case held together by wooden pegs, dovetail joints, wedges, drawboard mortise and tenon
  • All nails, hinges, etc. hand-forged of solid iron in Sweden

Background on the Baroque Organ Project, including: information on the historical model,   research, collaboration and outreach,   performance and teaching,   specifications can be found at


Cornell University

Annette Richards, University Organist
  Professor of Musicology and Performance (17th-18th-century music, organ)
  Ph.D., Stanford University

Annette Richards provides the passion and organization behind the Cornell Baroque Organ project. She has managed every aspect, from coordinating the international team of builders to shoveling snow for the delivery trucks, and when the organ is ready she will be one of the primary organists to play the unique instrument. More details at: and

David Yearsley
  Professor of Musicology and Performance (17th-18th-century music, early keyboards)
  Ph.D., Stanford University

David Yearsley has provided key support for the Cornell Baroque Organ project through his expertise with organs and his skill as a performer. He also will be a primary organist when the instrument is complete. More details at:

CCSN Woodworking

Contact: Christopher Lowe Cabinet Maker
  Freeville, NY(607) 347-6633

Christopher Lowe is a local craftsman who has been a cabinet maker for 28 years, specializing in everything from barn restoration to furniture making. This is his first organ commission.

Göteborg Organ Art Center

University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  GOArt is responsible for the overall design and project coordination, the production of the pipework, and the voicing of the pipes. More details at

Contact: Munetaka Yokota
  Phone: 585-503-2644 or

Munetaka Yokota will supervise the assembly of the organ at Cornell. He is the main researcher and designer of the instrument and the primary craftsman for the organ pipes. He will bring his family to Ithaca to live for almost a year, while he installs and voices the pipes at Cornell.

Parsons Pipe Organ Builders

Canandaigua, New York
  Parsons Pipe Organ Builders was responsible for constructing the wind system inside the organ, including all the mechanicals and the bellows. More details at:

Contact: Richard Parsons
  President and owner (585) 229-5888 or (888) 229-4820 or


  • 2/2/10 Delivery of wind chest, organ case, to Anabel Taylor Chapel
        Assembly of organ begins
  • 2/8/10-2/19/10 Pipe racking (involves burning wood and making a great deal of smoke, and will happen in a little shed right outside the chapel)
  • 2/17/1 Voicing of pipes begins
  • 3/1/10 Basic organ assembly complete, though all pipes might not be in
  • 03/4-6/10 Inspection by the great Dutch organist and organ expert Jacques van Oortmerssen
  • 03/10-11/10 Final tuning of organ
  • 04/10 Open house to display assembled organ
  • 11/10 Late November concert to inaugurate organ for local audience
  • 3/11 Official inauguration of organ