Viola Pomposa Italian?

Irwin lists this stop with the following description:

The loudest Viola in the organ, at 8' manual pitch, perhaps on the Solo or String division. This variety of Viola has the greatest harmonic development of any of this tribe, and is intended to be a solo stop, but it quite usable with all classes of tone. It has just a litle keenness and orchestral pungency, but even as a loud stop it never approaches the Viols in keenness.

Skinner dismisses it by saying “a string stop of the time of Bach; of little account according to present day standards”. However, no examples are known earlier than the 1930's, and over one third of the examples listed in Osiris are by Skinner or Aeolian-Skinner. Grove provides some additional information: “A broad and fairly strong string-toned stop, developed by G. D. Harrison in the 1930's, and used since in large American organs.” Skinner's remark may have been influenced by his falling out with Harrison over tonal issues.

See Violoncello Pomposa.


Osiris[1] contains 32 examples, most at 8' pitch, but a few at 4' pitch.

Viola Pomposa 4', Hauptwerk; Luipoldhalle, Nürnberg, Germany; Walcker 1939. This is the earliest known example.

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Grove[1]: Viola Pomposa. Irwin[1]: Viola Pomposa. Maclean[1]: Viola. Skinner[1]: XII Viola Pomposa.
Copyright © 1999 Edward L. Stauff, all rights reserved.
ViolaPomposa.html - Last updated 29 December 2001.
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