Baritone English
Baritono Italian
Baryton (unknown)
Barytone (unknown)
Varitono Spanish

Authorities differ as to the tone of this rare reed stop, found at 16', 8' and 4' pitch. Audsley gives it a “singularly rich and full tone of medium strength”; Wedgwood says it has a “metallic tone, somewhat akin to Cor Anglais”; Maclean describes it as a 16' variety of Vox Humana, citing the Royal Albert Hall example (see below). Irwin describes it as a hybrid of a Vox Humana and a soft Horn; Locher calls it “powerful”. Sumner describes it as “a tenor vox humana, or an old type of tenor viola (viola di bordone)”, but he may be confusing the stop with the old stringed instrument of the same name; there is no other evidence that these names were ever used for string stops. Indeed, the instrument had long been obsolete before the stop first appeared. The name comes from Greek words meaning “heavy tone”. Baryton is also the German word for Euphonium.

Compare with Baryphon.


No examples of Barytone or Varitono are known. Contributions welcome.

Baryton 8', Positif; St. Sulpice, Paris, France. This may be the earliest known example, but the Osiris spec is unclear. It may have been part of the Clicquot instrument of 1776-81, but may have been added or renamed by Cavaille-Coll between 1857 and 1884.

Baryton 16', Swell; Royal Albert Hall, London, England; Willis 1872. According to Maclean, this example was Willis' introduction of the stop.

Baritone 8', Solo; Cathedral of the Incarnation, Garden City, Long Island, USA; Roosevelt c1880.

Baryton 8', Pedal; Propsteikirche, Beckum, Germany; Klais 1913.

Baryton 16', Great-Solo; Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA; Midmer-Losh.

Baritono 8', Pedal; Tuomiokirkko, Tampere, Finland; Kangasala 1929.

Barítono 4', Manual I; Parroquia de San Lorenzo, Pamplona, Navarra, Spain; Roqués 1920.

Barítono 4', Manual I; Parroquia de San Pedro, Errazu, Navarra, Spain; Roqués 1923.


Audsley[1]: Baryton. Audsley[2]: I.XIII Barytone. Irwin[1]: Baryton. Locher[1]: Tuba Mirabilis. Maclean[1]: Vox Humana. Sumner[1]: Baryton. Wedgwood[1]: Baryton.
Copyright © 2001 Edward L. Stauff, all rights reserved.
Baryton.html - Last updated 5 March 2002.
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