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English Masonic Lodges, Pipe Organs and National Heritage

Pink, A.; (2006) English Masonic Lodges, Pipe Organs and National Heritage. Presented at: British Institute of Organ Studies (BIOS) Study Day, Freemasons Hall, London, England. Green open access

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Abstract

From the late eighteenth century onwards the music of English freemasonry evolved from a purely vocal tradition to one that included the pipe organ, reflecting freemasonry's evolutionary shift out of the tavern and into purpose-built premises. The early decades of the twentieth century were surely the high point in the story of the English masonic pipe organ, if measured in terms of sheer numbers, but since then the story has been one of decline and destruction. With only one or two notable exceptions, such instruments were modest in size and arguably lacking in musical merit, but their form perfectly reflected their function and they clearly constituted a distinct tradition of English organ design. While the demise of many remaining instruments is probably inevitable, as they lose the struggle to justify the sums of money required to maintain them, the private nature of English freemasonry has meant that these instruments have gone largely undocumented, not least in the records of the National Pipe Organ Register, and will soon be lost to memory.

Type:Conference item (Presentation)
Title:English Masonic Lodges, Pipe Organs and National Heritage
Event:British Institute of Organ Studies (BIOS) Study Day
Location:Freemasons Hall, London, England
Dates:25 November 2006
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
Additional information:This paper appears, without images, in BIOS Reporter: the Journal of the British Institute of Organ Studies.Vol XXXI, No, 2, April (2007). ISSN 03098052 pp. 14-21. This paper appears, with images, in The Organ Club Journal Vol 2007 No 3 ISSN 03060357
Keywords:pipe organ, England, freemason, masonic, freemasonry, music, lodge, organist, freemasons
UCL classification:UCL > VP International

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