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History of the Pipe Organ 4 of 6: 1500 - 1800 AD

The 16th and 17th centuries brought remarkable advances in organ building. Mechanisms called stops were invented making it possible for the organist to select which set of pipes could be use alone or in combination with other sets. Multiple keyboards, called manuals, began to appear, each manual controlling its own set of pipes. Also, pedals for the feet began to appear, particularly in the Germanic regions. By the time of Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), majestic pipe organs with advanced pedal systems were scattered across Europe. It would be said of Bach during his lifetime, that he could play more notes with his feet than most organists could play with ten fingers and two hands. By the end of the 1700s the pipe organ had taken on most of the form we know today. But there was still one organ builder not yet born, who was destined to turn the organ world upside down. Stay tuned!


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