Tibia Clausa Latin

A large scale stopped wooden flute of powerful tone, nearly devoid of any harmonic development beyond the fundamental. It was invented by Hope-Jones to address what he saw as the inadequacy of the flute-work of the Swell divisions of his time. Maclean reports that it was intended as an alternative to the Doppelflöte. The pipes had a 1/2 cut-up, and thick upper lips which were leathered or, according to Audsley, rounded and polished. Bonavia-Hunt gives its scale, as used by Hope-Jones, as 7 3/4" x 5 7/8" at CC, and 2 5/8" x 1 3/4" at middle C. Audsley gives a somewhat smaller scale: 7.52" x 5.56" at CC, 4/46" x 3.3" at C, and 2.66" x 1.96" at middle C.

The Tibia Clausa is ubiquitous in theatre organs, where it is often labelled simply Tibia. There it is unified to nearly every conceivable pitch, including mutations. Strony calls it “the most important rank in a theatre organ ... it is the glue that holds the entire ensemble together.” He describes in some detail that what makes a good Tibia Clausa is the way it takes (or does not take) a tremulant, and cites Wurltizer as having made the definitive examples.

According to Grove and Williams, the name Tibia Clausa was a synonym for Gedeckt during the late 18th century.


Echo Tibia Clausa
Tibia Bass
Tibia Flute
Tibia Mollis
Tibia Profundissima


Countless examples of Wurlitzer, Kimball and other theatre organ Tibia Clausas still exist in theatres, schools, and residences. The following examples of original Hope-Jones Tibia Clausas are known to exist:

Tibia Clausa 8', 4', Swell; Tibia Clausa 16', 8', Pedal; Auditorium, Ocean Grove, New Jersey, USA; Hope-Jones 1907.

Tibia Clausa 8', Swell; St. Mary, Ambleside, Cumbria, Scotland; Hope-Jones. (May have been revoiced.)

Tibia Clausa 8', 4,' 2', Solo; 32', 16', Pedal; St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, Buffalo, New York, USA; Hope-Jones 1908?. (Rebuilt by Schlicker mid-1900's; Hope-Jones Tibia Clausa still extant in 2002.)

Tibia Clausa 8', Great, Choir, Pedal; Carlmont Methodist Church, Carlmont, California, USA; Hope-Jones 1912.

Tibia Clausa 16'; First Universalist Church, Rochester, New York, USA; Hope-Jones 1912. (Rebuilt by Wurlitzer in 1937.)

Sound Clips

See the Sound Files appendix for general information.

Tibia Clausa Paramount Theatre, Middletown, New York, USA Wurlitzer arpeggio arpeggio (trem.) St. Anne St. Anne (trem.)


Audsley[1]: Tibia Clausa. Bonavia-Hunt[1]: Stopped Diapason; Tibia. Grove[1]: Tibia. Irwin[1]: Tibia Clausa. Maclean[1]: Doppelflöte; Tibia Clausa. Strony[1]: Tibia Clausa. Sumner[1]: Tibia. Wedgwood[1]: Tibia Clausa. Williams[1]: Glossary: Tibia.
Copyright © 2001 Edward L. Stauff, all rights reserved.
TibiaClausa.html - Last updated 20 September 2006.
Full Index