Gemshorn English, German|
Cor de Chamois French
The modern Gemshorn is a foundation stop of conical construction, found at 32', 16', 8', or 4' pitch, having a tone which may be classified as a flute/string hybrid. Its tone has apparently varied considerably since it first appeared in the first part of the 16th century; Williams lists the name Gemshorn as an alternate name for Waldflöte
It is reasonable to assume that it was originally intended to imitate the instrument of the same name, a fipple flute with a closed end made from an animal's horn. The instrument has a sweet, hollow tone which is similar to that of an ocarina, not at all like the tone of the modern organ stop. Here is a brief sound clip of the instrument: GemshornInstr.wav (187kb).
The diameter at the top of each pipe is anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 of the diameter at the mouth; 1/3 is the ratio most often cited. The pipes of the Gemshorn are often slotted, rendering the tone horn-like to some degree.
This stop has much in common with the Spitzflöte, so much so that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between their pipes or even their tone. Most sources, though not all, give the Spitzflöte a sharper, more pointed taper than the Gemshorn. The Spitzflöte typically tends more toward flute-tone than the Gemshorn.
Skinner claims to have developed it, but the name, tone and pipe-form all predate Skinner by centuries. The name Bachflöte, cited only by Sumner, is probably a corruption of the more correct Bokflöte; see Bachflöte.
The illustration is by Audsley; the photo is by Edward Stauff.
See Baarpijp and Jula.
Gemshorn Super Octave
Osiris contains over 700 examples of Gemshorn from 16' pitch to 1' pitch, 29 examples of Gemshoorn, 11 examples of Cor de Chamois (all from the 20th century), and 5 examples of Bachflöte (all from the 20th century). No examples of Bokflöte or Gemster are known. Contributions welcome.
Gemshorn 2', Oberpositiv; Jacobikirche, Hamburg, Germany; Scherer or Fritzsche 1543-1696.
Gemshorn 2', Oberwerck; Katherinenkirche, Hamburg, Germany; Stellwagen 1543. May have been added between 1606 and 1670.
Gemshorn 2', Oberwerk; St. Johannis, Lüneburg, Germany; Niehoff & Johansen 1553.
Gemshorn 8', Hauptwerk; Gemshorn 4', Rückpositiv; Nicolaikirche, Leipzig, Germany; Lange 1598, Thayssner 1693.
Gemshorn 4', Werck; Kreuzkirche, Pilsum, Germany; Grotian 1694.
Gemshorn 4', Pedal; Stiftskirche, Römhild, Thuringia, Germany; Weisse 1680. This stop may not be part of the original specification.
See the Sound Files appendix for general information.
|Gemshorn 4', Swell||Prudhoe Methodist Church, Northumberland, Scotland||arpeggio||St. Anne|
|Gemshorn 16', Swell||Kellogg Auditorium, Battle Creek, Michigan, USA||Aeolian-Skinner, 1933||St. Anne|
|Gemshorn 4', Swell||First Baptist Church, Riverside, California, USA||Schantz, 1966||arpeggio||St. Anne|
|Gemshorn 8', Great||Culver Academies, Indiana, USA||Möller 1951||arpeggio||St. Anne|
Original website compiled by Edward L. Stauff. For educational use only.|
Gemshorn.html - Last updated 25 November 2009.