The Great Organ
This week we begin a series of ‘tweets’ about the physical parts of the TEMC organ.
Did you know that the TEMC organ is not one but seven organs? And no, this does not count the lightly-used electronic instruments you may have seen in the East Chapel and West Assembly Hall – the 6120 pipes of the Timothy Eaton Memorial Church organ are spread across seven “divisions”, by tradition also known as ‘organs’ unto themselves.
The names of these divisions are somewhat standard across all organs, although they appear in different languages, and because most organs in the world have fewer than ours, many are absent elsewhere.
The main division is called the Great Organ, and as its name suggests it holds the central set of voices in the organ’s symphony of sound. Its 17 stops live in the elevated chamber above the east side of the chancel; it is played from the second-lowest of the five manual keyboards of the console (Manual II), and its main function is to support congregational singing and to offer the fullest, and many of the loudest sounds of the complete instrument. The photo shows some of the current draw knobs for Great Stops, as well as the “Super” and “Sub” couplers that allow playing two or more octaves’ worth of pipes for each key press.