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Friday, December 23, 2011

LDS Church History no. 7 - The Salt Lake Tabernacle Organ

Salt Lake Tabernacle Organ
The Salt Lake Tabernacle Organ is, according to, an 11,623-pipe organ.  It is one of the largest in the world.  The Organ was constructed by Joseph Ridges, with (originally) 700 pipes.  The Organ has since been expanded (1915) to it's current width, and enlarged (1948) to to current pipe number.  The work of enlargement having been completed by the Æolian-Skinner Organ Co. of Boston, Massachusetts.

pre-1915 expansion
For the expansion of the Tabernacle Organ in 1915, Goodwin's Weekly wrote that "the newer, greater organ . . . would so far eclipse the old as to leave its sweetness, its majesty and its power, only as a memory.  That work is nearly finished now, and the world will again marvel at what these men of the west have accomplished" (Guy La Coste, “The Great Organ,” Goodwin’s Weekly, April 8, 1916, p. 4).

It must be noted herein the inspiration the original builders' received: the Boston Music Hall Organ, seen below.
The Boston Music Hall Organ was the first concert pipe organ installed in the United States of America.  The organ now stands in the Methuen Memorial Music Hall outside Boston.  

The Salt Lake Tabernacle Organ is a beautiful instrument.  The Mormon people have always espoused the arts as pre-eminent with them, and the example of the Tabernacle Organ is a first-rate example.  I know sacred music is important, fulfilling the scripture in which Jehovah saith, "For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads" (D&C 25:12).  May it ever be so.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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