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Choralbass German (Primary)

Choralbasset German

Choralprästant German

Choralprincipal German

Choralprinzipal German


The Choralbass is nearly always a 4' pedal Principal, prominently voiced for playing the melody or cantus firmus in chorale preludes, hence its name. The prefix �Choral� was used for other stops intended for the same use, including Choralflöte. Most sources also list Choralbass as appearing at 2' or even 1' pitch, and according to Grove and Audsley it appeared at 8' or 4' pitch in the manuals, but such stops are rare. Grove and Williams date it from 17th century Germany, but describe it as a flute (as does Maclean), which does not match most modern usage. While Audsley lists Choralbasset as a synonym for Choralbass, and Irwin implies as much, Wedgwood claims Choralbasset is a synonym for Bauerflöte.


The name Choralbass is very common; Osiris contains about 300 examples, appearing in one out of every six organs. All are at 4' pitch except for one at 2'; the oldest examples are given below. Osiris contains one example each of Choralprincipal and Choralbasset. No examples of Choralprästant are known.

Choralbass 4', Pedal; Abbey Church, Schlaegl, Austria; Putz 1634. This stop may have been a later addition. Choralbass 4', Pedal; Schlosskirche, Schleiden, Germany; Konig 1770.
Choralbass 4', Pedal; Abbey Church, Neresheim, Germany; Holzhay 1797. Choralbass 2', Pedal; Grossmuenster, Zürich, Switzerland; Metzler 1960.
Choralbasset 2', Pedal; Our Lady of Czestochowa, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, USA; Austin 1990. Choral Principal 4', Pedal; Central Union Church, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA; Aeolian-Skinner 1966.

Sound Clips:


Choralbass 4', Pedal
First Baptist Church, Riverside, California, USA
Schantz, 1966,
Choralbass 4', Pedal
University of Illinois, USA
Buzard, 1986,
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Original site compiled by Edward L. Stauff. For educational use only.