Organ In Reverse

Many things about the majority of Scandinavian organs is different in some respect to what I have been used to in the US.  The pedal board is often flat (rather than concave) and straight (rather than radiating). The mechanisms are mostly mechanical (‘tracker’ rather than electric). The stops are on opposite sides of the organ and the order of the stops is ‘upside down’ (high stops are at the top rather than the bottom). There is often no swell pedal (‘volume control’), and the couplers are foot operated levers rather than draw stops. Having said all that, the instruments I know of so far make a lovely sound and are comfortable to play having made the necessary mental and dimensional adjustments).

Tim spent a morning going through the liturgy and hymnody of the Norske Kirke, to ease my transition. It seems that Norwegians love to sing, with sometimes 8 or 9 hymns (salmer) in a service, together with sung response and even sung prayers. Some hymns are familiar translations of English, American and German ‘standards’, but many are new to me.

If you would like to hear the organ, played by Tim, there is a page of his single take recordings here.

Below are pictures of the organ at Bjerkreim and then some of the head of the valley where I’m staying.


3 responses to “Organ In Reverse

  1. Not sure why there’s a 16′ principal on the great but not the pedal. Also, are those upside down pipes right above the console?


    • Arctic Organist

      Hi Carson. The 16′ on the great works really well – a true Principle Chorus, and you can couple great to pedal. All the pipes are the right way up. I’ve just added a new ‘Organs’ section with a bit more detail and a link to the builders website.

  2. jealous 🙂 i learned on flat pedal board trackers. awesome instruments that give the player a great amount of control. enjoy!!

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