- A keyboard played by the hands. All instruments on this
have a pedalboard, which is the keyboard played by the feet.
- A set of pipes of a particular tone color, one for each note of
Usually there are 58 to 61 pipes for a rank used by the manuals, and
for a rank used by the pedals.
- A knob or tab on the organ console that turns on a set of
If no stops are turned on, pressing a key on the keyboard will not make
- Register (Independent Stop)
- An independent speaking stop that has its own pipes that are not
from any other stops. A register is made of one or more
For example, a single rank of Trumpet pipes would be counted as one
but a Mixture IV would also be counted as one register despite having 4
ranks. See "Borrowed Stop" below for another example.
- Borrowed Stop
- A stop that does not have its own pipes, but rather reuses pipes
independent stop (register). For example, a unit flute rank might
be comprised of 85 pipes and be available to the organist as a 16'
an 8' stop, and a 4' stop. This flute would be counted as one
and one register, but would appear in the stoplist three times.
stoplist entry would be counted as an independent stop, and the other
would be counted as borrowed stops. This is usually denoted in a
specification by labelling the stop as being extended from a different
stop, and only 12 pipes will be listed, the extension which allows the
stop to appear at the higher or lower pitch.
- Total Stops
- The total number of speaking stops on the organ, whether
City Convention Hall -- Originally, it was claimed that this
had 455 ranks and 33,112 pipes. However, according to an article
written in The American Organist [1989? 1990?], these numbers
not been substantiated, and only 336 ranks had been found. This
also stated that due to many factors, including a flood, entire
sealed off because of asbestos in the chamber, etc., the organ had
been 100% operational.
More recent research by Stephen
D. Smith indicates that the instrument actually has 449 ranks, and
between 32,000 and 33,000 pipes, forming 336 independent stops, which
borrowed to form 852 stoptabs (excluding percussions and accessories)
the console. His research also indicates that most of the
was present and operational when it was dedicated.
This then brings up the continuing question of which instrument is
"larger" -- Wanamakers, or Atlantic City? Since I have chosen
arbitrarily to sort this list by number of ranks, Wanamakers obviously
ends up on top; but if sorted by number of pipes, Atlantic City would
However, Wanamakers is today mostly operational, and is undergoing a
restoration that will return it to complete working condition.
City, sad to say, only has about 150 ranks operational, and has had no
resources allocated for a restoration. Therefore, I have numbered
them both as #1, but listed Wanamakers first. Let's hope that
Atlantic City will also be restored to full operation so that there can
once again be some competition for the largest operational pipe
Church of Christ, Scientist -- A Christian Science publication
the organ as 237 ranks, 13,595 pipes, but only mentions revisions made
in 1979. The revisions to bring the instrument to 238 ranks may account
for the differing pipe count listed.
3. The instruments with less than 200 ranks
are recent additions, and I probably have missed some that belong in
Please forward any corrections to me as soon as possible
(email address embedded on main page to deter spam)! I'm trying
to limit my additions to instruments
that at least as large in some measurement as the smallest instrument
on the list. I think there are enough that fit in that category
it will take me a while to find them all. But feel free to send
any others if they're close to that size or are particularly famous.
4. I have only been able to find
reports about the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral organ. An intial
I was sent said 150 ranks, but I think that is more likely the stop
not a rank count. Another report said that it had 188 ranks with
149 stops, while a third said 185 ranks. I found two stoplists
this instrument, both of which seem to indicate that it has between 181
and 184 ranks (assuming no borrowing), making it the largest organ in
United Kingdom. This agrees with a statement to that effect on
official Royal Albert Hall
Does anyone have an up-to-date spec sheet that indicates borrowing, or
more accurate pipe and rank counts?
Original list of instruments with 200 ranks or more
by David-George Dauphinee of M.P. Moller, Inc. on 2/9/90, and revised
8/10/94 - Changed Passau builder to Eisenbarth,
to 227, and ranks to 309, per information from Timothy Tikker.
10/6/94 - Added list of CDs available
7/11/95 - Updated list of CDs available
7/14/95 - Updated First Congregational, LA, from
V/250, per information from Peter Bates.
7/14/95 - Updated USMA Cadet Chapel, West Point,
to IV/312, per information from Scott Dettra.
10/12/95 - Updated list of available CDs per
from Richard Elliott and Torsten Krallmann
10/16/95 - Added number of pipes for each entry,
on information from Peter Rodwell.
8/27/96 - Added pipe count and many CDs for Passau
information from Dr. Karl-Josef Ziegler and Arno Schuh.
7/16/97 - Added my e-mail address, as well as rank
counts for West Point, per information from Scott Dettra.
10/1/97 - Updated information and footnote for
organ, per information from Stephen D. Smith.
10/1/97 - Updated rank count for 1st
from 250 to 320, and moved it from #6 to #4, per information from Peter
10/1/97 - Expanded list beyond organs with 200
2nd Baptist, Broadway Baptist, and the Curtis Organ at the U of P.
10/6/97 - Added Longwood Gardens organ and several
10/7/97 - Added the Washington National Cathedral
updated CDs for West Point.
10/13/97 - More additions of instruments between
150 - 200
1/20/98 - Added Woolsey Hall, Yale University.
2/9/98 - Added pipe count for St. Matthews,
which also caused it to move up to #8 instead of 1st Baptist, Jackson,
9/10/98 - Corrected stale links and updated a few
Corrected contact information for Symicon thanks to Gerald Mixa.
Added many opus numbers, based on info gleaned by Bob Lockridge from Encyclopedia
of the American Theatre Organ - Volume I, List of Austin Organs (an
Austin publication from around 1967), and the E.M. Skinner /
Opus List (published by the Organ Historical Society).
10/27/98 - Added the São Paulo organ, thanks
from Werner Goebel, and the Sydney Town Hal organ.
4/20/99 - Updated Symicon web site (Gerald Mixa),
Grove (Gregg Bailey)
11/5/99 - Updated West Point data (Pat Maimone)
1/14/00 - Added columns for independent registers
stops; many other updates as well
8/31/00 - Many updates thanks to Pastor
de Lasala, Barry Caselli, Frederik
and Markus Irrgang.
9/8/00 - Lots of additions thanks to Scott L. Beatty
9/17/02 - Major overhaul with many added