Choralbass German
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.

See also Basset, Cantus Flute, Choral.


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

See the Sound Files appendix for general information.

Choralbass 4', Pedal First Baptist Church, Riverside, California, USA Schantz, 1966 arpeggio
Choralbass 4', Pedal University of Illinois, USA Buzard, 1986 arpeggio


Adlung[1]: §125 Choralbasset, Choral-Prästant. Audsley[1]: Choralbasset. Audsley[2]: I.XIII Choralbasset. Grove[1]: Choralbass. Irwin[1]: Choralbasset. Locher[1]: Octave. Maclean[1]: Choralbass. Sumner[1]: Choralbass. Wedgwood[1]: Bauerflöte; Choral. Williams[1]: Glossary: Choralbass.
Original website compiled by Edward L. Stauff. For educational use only.
Choralbass.html - Last updated 17 October 2004.
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