First ... English
Second ... English
Third ... English
Fourth ... English
1st ... English
2nd ... English
Première ... French
Deuxième ... French
1re ... French
2me ... French

These numeric prefixes are occasionally used in large divisions which contain more than one stop of the same name, the most common example being First Open Diapason, Second Open Diapason, etc. Depending on the instrument, such a set of stops may be intended for use individually as the basis for different choruses, or they may be intended to be used together to build up a large body of fundamental tone. In the first case, the “First” stop is usually the loudest one. Even in the latter case each stop is voiced differently from the other, otherwise phase cancellation would cause them to interfere with rather than augment each other.

There is another stop which goes by the name Third.


Osiris contains 100 examples of “First” and “Second”, one third of which are in the organ in the John Wanamaker Store, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Osiris contains 30 examples of “Third”, of which 13 are in the Wanamaker organ, and 14 examples of “Fourth”, of which 10 are in the Wanamaker organ. That instrument is also the only known instrument to use “Fifth” and “Sixth” as stop name prefixes. Over half the examples of “First”, “Second” and “Third” are Open Diapasons.

Osiris contains a dozen exampels of “1re” and “2me”, all used for Trompettes, and all but one in French instruments.


Copyright © 2002 Edward L. Stauff, all rights reserved.
FirstSecondEtc.html - Last updated 1 September 2002.
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