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10 Fun Facts about Organs



1) The invention of the first organ dates back to 222-285 BCE. Throughout Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, the water organ was played for entertainment at games and races.


2) By some accounts, the first pipe organ was not intended as a musical instrument, but as a device to emit the flow of constant air pressure. The musicality of the device was serendipitous.


3) 6The pipe organ is the world’s largest musical instrument played by a single person. The largest pipe organ in history was built by the Los Angeles Art Organ Company for the 1904 St. Louis World Fair.


4) Today, most organs can be found in Christian churches. The organ was first brought into the church by Pope Vitalian in the 7th century.


5) Digital organs have existed since the 1930s. You can see the first Allen Digital Organ at the Smithsonian.


6) The pipe organ is considered one of the most complex human inventions prior to the Industrial Revolution.


7) During the silent movie era, horseshoe shaped theater organs accompanied films and provided sound effects. Between 1915 and 1933, over 7000 organs were installed in American theaters.


8) The digital organ can be heard in a variety of musical genres, including jazz, blues, rock and gospel. Musician Jimmy Smith is credited with the influence of the digital organ on Jazz music in the 1950s.


9) Mozart praised the pipe organ, calling it the “King of Instruments.”


10) Mozart, Beethoven, Handel and many other famous composers were once court organists.


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