Kinura English?

An 8' or 4' reed stop of the Regal class, invented by Hope-Jones and found almost exclusively on theatre organs. Few sources outside the theatre organ world have anything complimentary to say about the tone of the Kinura, likening it to a thin or poorly voiced Oboe. Irwin describes it as “a great mass of inharmonic as well as harmonic partials that merely approximate the pitches of the notes”. Strony describes it as follows:

This stop is the clown of the theatre organ. Its “bee in the bottle” sound has been the essence of many a novelty tune for many years. Every theatre organ over ten ranks has one. Examples range from the extremely “pushy” sets built by Gottfried and Morton; to the middle of the road sound built by Wurlitzer; and finally, to the more transparent and delicate sound favored by Kimball. This stop is rarely, if ever, used alone by itself.

Wedgwood provides the following information regarding the construction of the Kinura:

The original experiments in the construction of this stop were conducted with cylindrical brass tubes continued through the block and forming the shallot or reed. They were made of brass tubing, with a long “flat” filed through a considerable part of one side. On to this was soldered a brass plate, against a slit in which the tongue was seated. In other cases this shallot extended about one-third the distance up into the reed tube. The bore at middle C was about 1/4 in. diameter; but the tongues were so thin that it was practically impossible to complete the compass. Eventually the stop was made like the Oboe, or of small-scaled half-length tubes, pierced at the top and surmounted by an adjustable hood-shaped lid.

Irwin describes it as having extremely short inverted-conical resonators with extremely wide flare. The name Kinura is a Greek word meaning a 10-string harp.


Kinura 8', Choir, Swell; Auditorium, Ocean Grove, New Jersey, USA; Hope-Jones 1907. (This is the earliest known example, but it may be a later addition and not the work of Hope-Jones.)

Kinura 8', Orchestral Chamber; Fisher Theatre, Detroit, Michigan, USA; Wurlitzer 1928.

Kinura 8', Orchestral Organ; John Wanamaker Store, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Kinura 8', Great-Solo, Choir; Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA; Midmer-Losh. (The two divisions each have an independent Kinura rank.)

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Audsley[1]: Kinura. Grove[1]: Kinura. Irwin[1]: Kinura. Maclean[1]: Kinura. Sumner[1]: Kinura. Wedgwood[1]: Kinura.
Copyright © 2001 Edward L. Stauff, all rights reserved.
Kinura.html - Last updated 7 November 2001.
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