Corno d'Amore Italian
Cor d'Amour French

In The Composition of the Organ, Skinner describes the Cor d'Amour as follows:

A reed developed by the author. Normally of 8' but occasionally of 16' pitch, scaled as a very slender Trumpet and capped. The Cor d'Amour is useful throughout the scale, singly or with other stops, and is a perfect solo voice without qualifying characteristics. It is best on a ten-inch pressure. It is entirely successful on pressures of 4 1/2" and above. It is sometimes referred to as an Oboe with the defects removed. The first example of the Cor d'Amour appeared in St. Paul's Church, Cleveland, Ohio.
The pipes of the Flugel Horn, or Cor d'Amour, are scaled as diminutive Trumpets and capped. The shallots are the same as those of the conventional Oboe. The scale and cap impart a tranquil tonality, making an ideal solo voice. An example on a ten inch wind, in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City, is given a somewhat intense or dramatic character by the unusual pressure. On account of its more musical character, the Cor d'Amour has replaced the Oboe in all Skinner organs. In small organs having but one reed, it is ideal.

Skinner's claim of the first example of his Cor d'Amour is difficult to corroborate. According to Kinzey & Lawn's Skinner opus list, the only Skinner organ for St. Paul's was installed in its parish house in 1927, while earlier Skinner organs are known to have the stop (see below). The Flugel Horn appears even earlier. Volume 1 #3 of Stop, Open and Reed (1922) contains the following description, believed to have been written by Skinner:

The Corno d'Amour is a singer. It has the warmth and temperamental qualities peculiar to the violin although it is not imitative of this instrument except in the upper register. It is an ideal solo voice and at the same time useful in the ensemble and as a soft trumpet. It has a very helpful influence in the quality of full organ.

Irwin, the only other writer to describe this stop, says:

A solo Reed stop of 8' on the manuals, having a warm “singing” sound of unusual sweetness for a Reed stop. It is soft and not at all pungent, like the Oboe, or plaintive, like the Musette. Some examples have a considerable body of tone, but most sound like a soft horn inclined towards a smooth voicing. The better specimens have a noticeable amount of inner resonance, but this is unfortunately something one pipe can have and not another. This resonance comes from a maximum of interplay between all the pipe's dimensions, the sound wave meeting as little inner friction as possible. This produces a surprising strength in the tone, sometimes as great as four to six times that expected, and without any hardness or brittleness. This Horn reinforces the softer flue stops in an ensemble. It may be a Solo or Echo stop. Small-scale resonators with full caps and wide slots are often found.

The words amore and amour both mean “love”.


Corno Clarion
Flugel Horn


Osiris contains 17 examples, six by Skinner, all at 8' pitch except for one each at 16' and 4', both extensions of 8' ranks.

Cor d'Amour 8', Main Swell; National Cathedral, Washington D.C., USA; Skinner 1939.

Cor d'Amour 8', Echo; Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA; Midmer-Losh.

Cor d'Amour 8', Solo; Hammond Castle Museum, Gloucester, Massachusetts, USA.

Cor d'Amour 8', 16', Solo; Culver Academies, Indiana, USA. (See below for sound clips.)

Corno d'Amore 8', Swell; St. Ambrose R.C. Church, Endicott, New York, USA; Skinner 1922. This is the earliest known example; the date of the Cleveland instrument mentioned above is not known.

Corno d'Amore 8', Choir; Woolsey Hall, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA; Skinner 1928.

Corno d'Amore 8', Echo; St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, Hanover, Pennsylvania, USA; Austin 1925. A note in the specification says “(Waldhorn)”, which may indicate that this stop is an extension of the 16' Waldhorn in the same division.

Corno d'Amore 8', Swell; Irvine Auditorium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Austin 1926. 5" capped.

Corno d'Amore 8', Swell; Portland City Hall, Portland, Maine, USA; Austin 1912, 1927. This stop was added in 1927.

Corno d'Amore 8', Swell; St. John's Episcopal Church, Waterbury, Connecticut, USA; Charles W. McManis 1957.

Corno d'Amour 8', Swell; Congregational Church, New Haven, Connecticut, USA; Skinner 1926. Narrow-scale, capped, single-taper Hoyt metal; flues from #57.

Corno d'Amour 8', Swell; Temple Emanu-El Sanctuary, San Francisco, California, USA; Skinner 1925.

Corno d'Amour 8', Swell; Westgate Baptist Church, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA; Skinner 1929. Originally built for the Brooklyn Art Museum, Brooklyn, New York, USA.

Sound Clips

See the Sound Files appendix for general information.

Cor d'Amour 8', Choir Culver Academies, Indiana, USA Fabry 2007-08; Eastern Organ Pipes see 16' St. Anne St. Anne (solo)
Cor d'Amour 16' (ext. of 8'), Choir Culver Academies, Indiana, USA Fabry 2007-08; Eastern Organ Pipes arpeggio


Irwin[1]: Corno d'Amore. Kinzey&Lawn[1]. Skinner[1]: 57; XII Cor d'Amour.
Copyright © 1999 Edward L. Stauff, all rights reserved.
CornoDAmore.html - Last updated 21 August 2009.
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