Re: Loud Organs

Originally published on the PIPORG-L List Server, July 25, 2004

James H. H. Lampert

Copyright © James H. H. Lampert, 2004, 2011. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
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Subject:  Re: Loud organs
   From: "James H. H. Lampert"
   Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2004 16:38:13 -0700

terry hicks wrote:
> Loud does not necessarily have anything to do with size.

Indeed it doesn't. It may simply be a matter of the builder.

Baron Georg Ludwig von und um Laut began building Laut organs even before Bach was born. Laut Orgelbau continued in business, pioneering such innovations as compound leverage in key actions (allowing for higher wind pressures), and developing a pneumatic assist system called the Laut Barker (named after the chief engineer's dog), and under the guidance of reed voicer Wolfgang Parter, developed some impressive solo reeds (which were collectively named after Herr Parter).

The company remained in the family under the Laut name until the late 19th century, when Klaus Wilhelm, the last Baron von und um Laut, died without a male heir, whereupon the company passed into the hands of the Baron's only daughter, Monika, who had married the famed Scottish bagpipe-maker, Leod MacLeod, and whereupon the company changed its name to Laut & MacLeod. MacLeod's bagpipe-making skills soon found full voice with the company, and under his leadership, it became an early-adopter of electropneumatic actions.

His son Louden eventually took the company into partnership with the McClowder Aircraft Engine Company, forming Louden MacLeod and McClowder, which flourished in both the U.K. and the U.S. until the Orgelbewegung began to shift tastes away from their signature products in the 1950s, and would have gone completely out of business with his death except for his daughter's 1957 marriage into the family of Lord Woolley, which had for some time been in the business of building calliopes, band organs, and theatre organs. The daughter, Vera, decided the two companies had to close ranks in order to avoid closing altogether, and she named the resulting conglomerate after her own married name and her father's given name, and managed to save the family business, and keep it going until tastes changed again in the 1990s, and there was once again a demand for Vera Louden Woolley organs.

James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

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