Unveiled on September 8, 2007, the Martin Foundation Concert Organ was created and built in San Francisco by Schoenstein & Co. and then installed into Schermerhorn Symphony Center. The process took nearly two years, including a seven month process of installing and tonal finishing. The organ boasts 3,568 total pipes, ranging in length from 3/4 of an inch to 32 feet. About 20 percent of the pipes are made of wood, sugar pine or poplar, while the remaining 80 percent are a combination of tin, lead and zinc.
Some interesting facts about the Martin Foundation Concert Organ:
- 13,723 hours went into the construction and finishing of the organ
- 47 voices (47 different tone colors). Note: Some tone colors are a blend of two or more ranks
- Three manual keyboards and one pedal keyboard
- 64 ranks (or sets) of pipes
- Powered by three centrifugal fan blowers totaling 12.5 horse power
- Pipes are operated by electric-pneumatic action
Some unusual features include:
- Pizzicato Bass - a voice that plays momentarily when a key is touched so as to imitate the double bass played pizzicato
- Sforzando Coupler - facilitates powerful accent effects
- Variable Tremulant - organist can control the speed of vibrato on certain voices
- 256 different pre-programmed settings for the console controls
- Schoenstein double expression system whereby voices may go from ppp to fff in a continuous crescendo
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