Tertiaan Dutch?
Tertian German
Terzian German

A compound stop properly consisting of two foundation ranks pitched at an interval of a minor third (hence the name), usually 1-3/5' and 1-1/3' to reinforce the 8' harmonic series. In the pedal, they may be at 3-1/5' and 2-2/3' to reinforce the 16' harmonic series. A third rank is sometimes added: 2' + 1-3/5' + 1-1/3' or 4' + 3-1/5' + 2-2/3'. The stop is usually made without breaks in the ranks, but many examples do break back an octave at c'. According to Grove, the ranks were scaled somewhat wider than the Principal. Williams dates it from the 17th and 18th centuries in Holland and northwest Germany, and says “a Tertian on one manual and Sesquialtera on another was a characteristic and important element in a well-balanced organ of Schnitger's type”. According to Adlung, some builders incorrectly use the name Sesquialtera for what is properly a Tertian.

Compare with Sesquialtera.




Osiris contains eighteen examples of Tertian, one a single rank at 3-1/5', another of III ranks, and the rest of II ranks. It contains 33 examples of Terzian, one a single rank, one of IV ranks, and the rest of II ranks. It contains fifteen examples of Tertiaan, three of a single rank, two of III ranks, and ten of II ranks. The oldest examples of each name are given below.

Tertian II, Rückpositiv; St. Petri & Paul, Cappel, Wursten, Germany; Schnitger 1680. Another source spells this stop Terzian.

Tertian III, Brust; St. Nicolai, Hamburg, Germany; Schnitger 1682-86 (destroyed).

Tertian II, Brustwerk; Dorfkirche, Steinkirchen, Germany; Schnitger 1685-87.

Tertian II, Rückpositiv; Ludgerikirche, Norden, Germany; Schnitger 1686-92.

Terzian II, Schwellwerk; Luitpoldhalle, Nürnberg, Germany; Walcker 1936 (destroyed).

Terzian II, Kronwerk; Musikhalle, Hamburg, Germany; Beckerath 1951.

Tertiaan, Bovenwerk; Hooglandse Kerk or St. Pancras, Leyden, Netherlands; Swart 1565. The pitch and composition of this stop are unknown, but it appears to be a single rank. It may have been added by Hagerbeer in 1637.

Tertiaan II-III, Bovenmanuaal; Westerkerk, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Duyschot 1686. May have been added by Vater in 1726.

Tertiaan II, Groot-Manuaal; Laurenskerk, Alkmaar, Netherlands; Schnitger 1725.


Adlung[1]: §198 Tertian. Audsley[1]: Tertian. Audsley[2]: I.XIII Tertian. Grove[1]: Tertian. Hopkins & Rimbault[1]: § 1133. Irwin[1]: Tertian. Maclean[1]: Maclean. Sumner[1]: Tertian. Wedgwood[1]: Tertian. Williams[1]: Glossary: Tertian.
Copyright © 2001 Edward L. Stauff, all rights reserved.
Tertian.html - Last updated 16 May 2003.
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