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Was Victorian reed organ pitch A=453 universal?

Started by David Pinnegar, July 16, 2012, 08:45:04 PM

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David Pinnegar


A few weeks ago an American publicised a very large 3 manual reed organ for sale, but (being of kind and generous spirit) did not think to leave his posts on this board for academic interest. :-(

What was intriguing was mention of pitch - at A=453Hz

An 1891 Hunter pipe organ formerly at Addington Palace is around 1/4 tone sharp as is an American Organ (reed instrument working on suction rather than pressure) and it rang a bell that a set of pitch pipes I had was around 1/4 tone sharp.

Today I measured them - sure enough they are at A=453Hz and being a set of four GDAE suggests that violins, not merely organs, were at this pitch in the late Victorian period. So much for the legend that pitch is always going up . . .

Has anyone any evidence for the time period and geographical spread of this pitch?

Best wishes

David P