Contra Gamba Italian
Contre Gambe French
Grossgamba German

A Gamba stop pitched an octave lower than normal, at 16' (manuals) or 32' (pedal). According to Hopkins & Rimbault, it was frequently used by Henry Willis. Irwin describes its tone as �rich, brilliant, but not especially loud�; Audsley calls it �string-like ... but not so pronounced as to be imitative�. According to Audsley, it is constructed from cylindrical open metal pipes of medium scale.

The name Contre Gambe does not appear in the literature, but we assume it to be a synonym. Irwin alone lists Grossgamba as a synonym, but other information shows it to be a different stop; see Grossgamba.

Compare with Contra Viola da Gamba and Gambenbass.


Osiris contains about six dozen examples. All are at 16' pitch except for three at 32' pitch, of which 2 are electronic.

Contra Gamba 32' (metal), String Pedal Organ; John Wanamaker Store, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Sound Clips

See the Sound Files appendix for general information.

Contra Gamba 16', Solo Kellogg Auditorium, Battle Creek, Michigan, USA Aeolian-Skinner, 1933 St. Anne (8va)


Audsley[1]: Contra-Gamba. Audsley[2]: I.XIII Contra-Gamba. Hopkins & Rimbault[1]: § 566. Irwin[1]: Contra Gamba. Maclean[1]: Gamba.
Original website compiled by Edward L. Stauff. For educational use only.
ContraGamba.html - Last updated 17 May 2008.
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