Home Moravian Church - Old Salem, North Carolina

(now located in the Visitors' Center at Old Salem)


When the Moravians were building their new church building, they contracted with Tannenberg to provide a two manual organ. Much of the instrument was built in Lititz, but the case seems to have been made in Salem. Since Tannenberg, who was seventy-two at the time, could not make the long journey to Salem, the job of installation was given to Philip Bachmann. Tannenberg received £400 for the organ although the total cost was over £794 which also included lodging for Bachmann and the transport of the organ from Lititz.

In 1845, the organ was repaired and tuned by George J. Corrie of Philadelphia. This was probably also the point when a nagshead swell was added to the organ. In 1870, however, the organ was extensively rebuilt by William Schwarze who was the southern representative for Henry Erben. Included in this work was the addition of two ranks of pipes - partly utilizing some old pipes from the 1798 Tannenberg which was then in storage as well as raising the pitch of the organ. Also, the keyboards and stop knobs were replaced and, the case was grain painted. Much re-voicing of the pipe work was also done at this time. Later, the front pipes were painted in red and yellow.

In the early part of the 20th century, the organ was again repaired by S. E. Petersen although the work was apparently not satisfactory as in 1910, the organ was removed and placed in storage. However, the three bellows and framework were left in the attic of Home Moravian Church. In the 1960's, the front pipes were flattened - supposedly by a group of boy scouts who had gained access to where the organ was stored.

In 1998, the organ was removed and set up as a temporary display as part of a preliminary study before the actual restoration work could begin. This work was done by the Taylor and Boody shop in Staunton, Virginia. In 2003-2004, the organ was thoroughly restored to its 1800 condition by Taylor and Boody and was placed in the newly constructed Visitors' Center at Old Salem.

[See below for sound files and photos]

The original stop list is:

Haupt Manual:   Hinterwerk:     Pedal:  
  Flauta Amabile
  Sub Bass
Gross Gedact
  Viola di Gamba
  Violon Bass
  Flauta douce
Principal Octav
Sub Octav







Manual compass: C - f3, 54 notes
Pedal compass: C - c1, 25 notes
Manual Coppel (shove coupler)
Cappel (pedal coupler)



Source for the stop list: The diary of Frederic William Marshall of 1801. Marshall copied the stop names of both of Tannenberg's organs in Salem.

Listen to the various stops alone and in combination with parts of the Chaconne in G Dur by Johann Bernhard Bach:

Theme: HM: Gross Gedact 8'  

Variation 1: HM: Gross Gedact 8', Flauta 4'  

Variation 2: HW: Flauta Amabile 8', Viola di Gamba 8';  HM: Gross Gedact 8', Quintadena 8'  

Variation 3: HW: Flauta Amabile 8', Flauta Douce 4';  HM: Gross Gedact 8', Quinte 3'  

Variation 4: HW: Salicet 4'  

Variation 5: HW: Flauta Douce 4'  

Variation 6: HW: Viola di Gamba 8' Salicet 4'  

Variation 14: HM: Principal 8', Principal Octav 4', Quinte 3', Sub Octav 2'  

Variation 15: HM: Quintadena 8'  

Variation 19: HW: Viola di Gamba 8'  

Variation 20: HW: Flauta Amabile 8'  

Listen to the ricercar: Ave Maria klare by Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer played on the Principal 8' (front pipes) alone:

Ricercar: Ave Maria klare  

Listen to parts of the Praeludium sextum (from 'Blumenstrauss') by Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer:

Verse 2: HM: Principal 8', Principal Octav 4'  

Verse 4: HM: Principal Octav 4'  

Verse 5: HM: Principal 8', Principal Octav 4', Sub Octav 2'  

Finale: HM: Principal 8', Principal Octav 4', Quinte 3', Sub Octav 2';  Ped: Sub Bass 16', Violon Bass 8', Cappel  

Listen to a comparison between the Flauta 4' on the Haupt Manual and the Flauta Douce 4' and the Hinterwerk.  

Listen to a comparison between the Viola di Gamba 8' and the Salicet 4' (played one octave lower).  

Click on the thumbnails to see the larger pictures:

Old photo (c1860): courtesy: Old Salem Inc. - Collection of the Wachovia Historical Society.
Photos 2-6 were taken during the restoration (courtesy: Taylor and Boody Organbuilders): photo 2 shows the bellows and frame still in the attic of the church, photo 3 shows the restored Hauptwerk chest, photo 4 is a view of an unrestored cornice, photo 5 is the unpainted case and photo 6 is a view of the Viola da Gamba on the Hinterwerk chest.
Photos 7 - 9 were taken in the Taylor and Boody shop by the author in May, 2003 and show the restored pipes in place, the Salicet 4' in a pipe tray and the Flauta douce 4' in a pipe tray. Photo 10 shows the organ in a later stage of restoration (courtesy: Taylor and Boody Organbuilders).
The new photos were taken by the author at Old Salem in March, 2004 and in November, 2009. Photo 27 is of the restored pedal pipes in place, photos 28 and 29 show the pipes of the Hauptwerk. Photo 30 shows the Salicet 4'. Photo 31 is of the new bellows room and photo 32 is othe outside of Home Moravian Church.

Home Page