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297827.  Tue Mar 18, 2008 6:38 am Reply with quote

Question: Where would you find the world's largest organ?

Forfeit: Well, I don't like to brag..., Royal Albert Hall, Liverpool Cathedral, in my pants.

Answer: In the caves of Virginia.


Last year, i posted this question thinking that the answer was the sea organ, a seventy meter long sculpture on the shores of Zadar, Croatia.

It is the world’s first pipe organ that is played by the sea and was created by architect Nikola Basic in 2005. The pipes are located under the concrete so that the sea water and wind movements produce sounds.

Alfred Hitchcock once said that the most beautiful sunset in the world can be seen from Zadar quay.


Located deep in the Luray Caverns in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley is the Great Stalacpipe Organ, the worlds largest musical instrument.

It is played by a keyboard which is attached to rubber-tipped mallets which hit the appropriate stalactites.

The cavern covers 3 1/2 acres of caverns and the rocks create tones of symphonic quality. It was invented in 1954 by Mr. Leland W. Sprinkle of Springfield, Virginia, a "mathematician and electronic scientist at the Pentagon".

It took him 3 years to find stalactites that precisely matched a musical scale, before wiring electronic mallets around the caverns and connecting them to a large console.

When a key is depressed, a tone occurs as the rubber-tipped plunger strikes the stalactite tuned to concert pitch.

For many years Sprinkle played the Stalacpipe Organ for visitors.

336874.  Thu May 15, 2008 6:27 am Reply with quote

Here's the first of this series' "I wish I'd read this earlier"

Artist David Byrne has just done something similar to the Luray caverns.

Playing the building is a sound installation in which the infrastructure, the physical plant of the building, is converted into a giant musical instrument. Devices are attached to the building structure — to the metal beams and pillars, the heating pipes, the water pipes — and are used to make these things produce sound. The activations are of three types: wind, vibration, striking. The devices do not produce sound themselves, but they cause the building elements to vibrate, resonate and oscillate so that the building itself becomes a very large musical instrument.

Like the stalactites, there's a little organ in the middle of the building in NY, that is attached to mallets around the building. Actually it seems really cool, maybe Talkback will pay for me to go to New York for a question that we've already filmed??!


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