Gemshorn Octave English
Octave Gemshorn English
Klein Violn German
Kleingemshorn German
Oktavengemshorn German

The name Gemshorn Octave is listed only by Irwin, who says:

An octave Foundation rank at 4' on the manuals, and 8' on the pedals, usually of smaller scale and softer voice than the unison Gemshorns. This delicate, clear, silvery timbre is an ideal soft second Octave for the Great or Choir Organ. It furnishes an inconspicuous layer of overtones, without hardness or loudness, to any combination of flues. It may be derived from a Gemshorn Chorus.

The name Kleingemshorn is mentioned only by Adlung, who does not define it, but only cites an example “in the palace organ at Gröningen”. We assume it to be a synonym. The name Klein Violn is also mentioned only by Adlung, who cites a single example of 4' pitch “in the palace at Hesse”.


All known examples are listed below. No examples of Klein Violn, Kleingemshorn or Oktavengemshorn are known, other than those cited above by Adlung. Contributions welcome.

Gemshorn Octave 4', Choir; Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA; Austin 1952.

Gemshorn Octave 4', Choir; St. David's Episcopal Church, Roswell, Georgia, USA; Austin 1933.

Octave Gemshorn 4', Great; First Unitarian Church, Oakland, California, USA; Austin 1938.

Octave Gemshorn 4', Choir; United Congregational Church, Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA; Austin 1953.

Octave Gemshorn 2', Swell; Galway Cathedral, Galway, Ireland; Rushworth & Dreaper 1965.


Adlung[1]: §153 Gemshorn, §206 Violadigamba. Irwin[1]: Gemshorn Octave.
Copyright © 1999 Edward L. Stauff, all rights reserved.
GemshornOctave.html - Last updated 20 August 2003.
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