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the making of the victorian organ

Nicholas Thistlethwaite
Cambridge University Press, 1990
ISBN 0 521 34345 3 (hardback)
ISBN 0 521 66346 4 (paperback)
584 pages

Canon Nicholas Thistlethwaite chooses to define "Victorian" as that period between 1820 and 1870 marked by innovation and the development of the modern pipe organ as we know it. The German compass was adopted, pitch and temperament were standardised, and the patterns of inter-departmental relationships taken as standard today were established.

As a central theme, William Hill's career is particularly appropriate for this time period. Other builders and turning points such as the 1851 Exhibition are deftly woven into a scholarly tale of progress, amply illustrated with plates, cross-sections and tables of scales, mixture compositions and other data. The references run to 27 pages, but this is not just a book for academics, being readable and informative throughout.

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