List of pipe organ stops

For audio examples, please see the article on organ stops.

An organ stop can mean one of three things:

Organ stops are sorted into four major types: principal, string, reed, and flute.

This is a sortable list of names that may be found associated with electronic and pipe organ stops. Countless stops have been designed over the centuries, and individual organs may have stops, or names of stops, used nowhere else. This non-comprehensive list deals mainly with names of stops found on numerous Baroque, classical and romantic organs. Here are a few of the most common ones:

Stop name Alternate name Type Notes
Aeoline Aéoline
String an extremely small scaled stop with a very delicate, airy tone; built frequently as a single-rank stop, or as a double-rank Aéoline céleste
Blockflöte Flute German for "recorder"; a wide scaled conical or stopped flute of 4 or 2 pitch, taking its name from the common flute called a "recorder" which its tone closely resembles
Bombarde Reed a powerful reed-stop with cutting brassy timbre, occurring on the manuals at 16 (and occasionally 8), or in the pedal at 16 or 32 pitch
Bourdon Flute a wide-scaled stopped-flute, 16 or 8 on the manuals, and at 16 (Soubasse) or 32 (Contrabourdon)
Celeste Voix céleste String, 2 ranks an 8 string stop composed of two pipes for each note, one being tuned slightly sharp to create an undulating effect  Play 
Cello Violoncelle String a string stop at 8 or 16; It has a broader, warmer, more "romantic" tone than the Gamba
Choralbass Principal a 4 strongly voiced octave Diapason in the pedal division, mainly for cantus firmus -use
Clarabel Flute Claribel Flute Flute a 4 variant of the Claribel
Claribel Melodia
Flute an 8 open wood stop with a clear tone, more penetrating than the Diapason
Clarinet Clarionet Reed a reed stop with a richer tone imitating the orchestral instrument, perhaps the single most successful imitative stop in organ
Clairon Reed a 4 octave of the French style Trompette
Clarion Reed a 4 brilliant sounding octave of the Trumpet
Cornet Flute pronounced kor-NAY; a multi-rank stop consisting of up to five ranks of wide-scaled pipes. The pitches include 8, 4, 2 23, 2 and 1 35. Three- and four-rank cornets eliminate 8 and 4 ranks. This stop is not imitative of the brass instrument cornet. Or
Cornopean Reed a common reed stop used for both chorus and solo, generally in a swell division; The tone is similar to the trumpet.
Cromorne Krummhorn Reed distinctive reed stop, originating from the cromorne typically of low to moderate volume or power and often having a distinctly buzzing or bleating sound with a hollow color; "Cremona", a common variant of the stop's name, has nothing to do with the town of Cremona in Italy nor the famous school of violin makers who lived there.
Diapason Principal a flue stop which is the "backbone" sound of the organ; Most commonly at 8 on a manual, and 8 or 16 on the pedals. Modern organ builders use the term Principal.
Diaphone a special type of organ pipe, producing tone by using a felt hammer to beat air through the resonator; Common on theater organs, it is not often seen on church and concert instruments.
Doublette Principal 2' Super-Octave most commonly found in French organs
Fagotto Bassoon
Reed one of the earliest pedal reeds at 16 It can also be found at the same pitch on the manuals of larger organs, as part of the manual reed chorus.
Flageolet Flute A romantic style flute in 2' or 1' pitch. The tone is generally soft in character.
Fugara String A flue stop in 4' or 8' pitch. The tone has a sharp "stringy" quality.[1]
Gamba Viol da Gamba
String one of the earliest designs of string stops; named after the Baroque instrument viola da gamba; It has a thinner, more cutting tone than the Cello stop.
Gedackt Gedeckt Flute a basic stopped 8 flute in the manuals, and stopped 16 and/or 8 flute voice in the pedal
Gemshorn Cor de Chamois String German for "chamois horn"; a narrow-scale, tapered String with a tone sounding and treated like a Principal
Gravissima usually pitched at 64'. It is usually a resultant (a 32' stop combined with a 2123' stop, which is a fifth, producing a difference tone of 8 Hz on low C.) It is also usually the lowest stop in the organ that has one. This is usually a quiet stop, producing a deep rumble, often used to create a profound effect in music.[2]
Harmonic Flute Flute an open metal flute made to sound an octave above its length by means of a small hole at its midpoint; This stop speaks a very pure flute tone and was popularized by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll.
Hohlflöte Holpijp Flute a metal of wooden 8' stop to emulate a "hollow-sounding flute"[3]
Larigot Flute a single-rank mutation stop of 1 13 pitch
Mixture Flute or Principal any multi-rank stop; Mixtures enhance the harmonics of the fundamental pitch, and are intended for use with foundation stops, not alone. Mixture IV, for example, indicates four ranks, or Mixture indicates a mixture with the intervals of 15, 19, 22 and 26.
Nachthorn Night Horn
Cor de Nuit
Corno de Nacht
Flute extremely wide-scaled flute with a relatively small mouth, produces a soft, but penetrating sound; occurring at 8 and 4 pitch, and also at 2 pitch at pedal
Nasard Nasat
Flute a single-rank mutation stop of 2 23 pitch in the manuals and 5 13 in the pedals; It is the lowest non-unison stop that reinforces the 8 fundamental harmonic and 16 pedal. Note twelfth is a diapason
Oboe Hautbois Reed a single-rank reed stop used as both a solo stop and a chorus reed, widely used in French romantic organ music
Octave/Principal Oktav
Principal a 4 Principal on the manuals
Ophicleide Reed an extremely powerful reed stop, much like the Bombarde; pitched as a 16 or 32 in the pedal division or found as an 8 or 16 on the manuals
Orchestral Oboe Reed a different stop than Oboe; designed specifically to imitate the orchestral instrument; usually it its of a smaller scale than non-imitative oboe
Piccolo Flute a flute or occasionally a diapason at 1', or a flute at 2
Posaune Reed German for "trombone"; voiced to blend with an ensemble
Principal/Open Diapason Montre
Principal a prominent Diapason, commonly found at 8 as well as 16', 4', and 2' pitches; It is the "basic voice" of the organ.
Quarte Flute a flute at 2; short for Quarte de nasard, sounding an interval of a fourth above the nasard stop
Rankette Reed a reed stop with 132 length resonators producing a buzzy sound with low fundamental.
Rohrflöte Chimney Flute Flute German for "reed flute"; a semi-capped metal pipe with a narrow, open-ended tube (i.e. "chimney") extending from the top which resembles a reed
Salicional String an 8 string stop with milder tone than Gamba; It is the most common stop used for the Voix céleste in combination with a second rank of salicionals tuned slightly sharp.
Sesquialtera Principal Comprises ranks at 223' and 135' or 223' and 113'.[5]
Sifflöte Piccolo
Flute a 1 flute
Super Octave/Fifteenth Principal the manual 2 Principal or Diapason; Its name merely signifies that it is above (i.e. "super") the 4 Octave.
Tibia Clausa Tibia Flute a large-scale, stopped wood flute pipe, usually with a leathered lip, and is arguably the most important rank of pipes in a theatre pipe organ, with some organs having as many as 5.
Tierce Seventeenth
Flute a single-rank mutation stop pitched 1 35, supporting the 8 harmonic series
Trichterregal Reed an 8-ft reed stop on a pipe organ with funnel-shaped tubes (resonators).[6][7] A trichterregal was used by Schnitger in the Schnitger organ that he built for St. James's Church, Hamburg.
Trombone Posaune
Reed a powerful reed stop, simulating the trombone; most commonly in the pedal at 16 or 32 pitch and under a high wind pressure
Trompette en Chamade Fan Trumpet
Horizontal Trumpet
Trompette à Chamade
Reed a powerful reed of the trumpet-family, usually 8 in the manuals and 16, voiced as a brilliant solo stop, capable of being heard over full organ
Trompette Militaire Reed a powerful reed of the trumpet-family, with a brassy, penetrating tone
Trumpet Trompete
Reed a loud reed stop, generally a single rank, with vertical full-length resonators flared to form a bell; In traditional organ building, the Trumpet is a firmer, more solid-pitched stop than the French Trompette, which emphasizes overtones at the expense of fundamental tone.
Tuba Reed a powerful large-scale reed of the trumpet-family usually 8 in the manuals and 16 (sometimes 32) in the pedals; The tuba-voice is named after the ancient Roman trumpets though not imitating their sound. Generally on high wind-pressure and usually the loudest voice (decibel level) in the organ, whereas the various 32 stops are the most powerful voices (sound wave pressure).
Twenty-Second Kleine Principal Principal a 1 diapason
Unda Maris Flute Latin for "wave of the sea"; a very soft rank tuned slightly sharp or flat. It is drawn with another soft rank to create a very slow undulation similar to, but less prominent than, a Voix céleste. Occasionally built as a double-rank stop called Unda Maris II, one rank at standard pitch and the other tuned sharp.
Vox Humana Voix Humaine Reed a type of reed stop designed to impressionistically imitate the human voice


  1.  Gilman, D. C.; Thurston, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1906). "Fugara". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.
  2. "Resultant",
  3. "Hohlflöte". In L. Root, Deane. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. (subscription required)
  4. Peter Williams & Barbara Owen. "Organ stop". In L. Root, Deane. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. (subscription required)
  5. "Sesquialtera." In Encyclopedia of Organ Stops.
  6. Audsley, George Ashdown (2002). Organ-Stops and Their Artistic Registration. Courier Dover Publications. p. 259. ISBN 0-486-42423-5.
  7. "Trechterregal". Encyclopedia of Organ Stops. Edward L. Stauff.
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