4-Manual Organ: Pull Out All the Stops with this Beautiful Instrument

The 4-Manual Organ at The Cathedral of St. Andrew in Downtown Honolulu was last updated in the 90s. Help restore it today!

4-Manual Organ

Hawaii’s first 4-Manual Organ is located at St. Andrew’s Cathedral. Compared to other cathedrals, St. Andrew is small in size and was not initially built to house an organ. However, with over 10,000 pipes, the 4-Manual was first installed in the 1960s. It was the first of its kind in Hawaii, although there was a 3-Manual previously installed at another church.

The 1957-60 Aeolian Skinner.

4-Manual Organ

A manual is a musical keyboard designed to be played with the hands, on an instrument such as a pipe organ, harpsichord, clavichord, electronic organ, melodica, or synthesizer. With multiple manuals (the organ term for keyboards), the organist can both create layers of sounds for richer textures, as well as switch between different sounds rapidly. Multiple manuals add to the cost and weight. For smaller organs or even portable organs, multiple manuals are often too much of a liability.

Currently, the organ is in need of repair. The connectors on the organ’s pipes need to be replaced so it can be used to its fullest. With limited usage of the organ’s stops, so is the Cathedral’s music library. You can support this restoration project and the legacy of this instrument here. Mahalo to the Cathedral’s Director of Music, Nicholas Lee, for sharing about this instrument with me.

The Cathedral’s Director of Music demonstrates how to play an organ with limited pipes.

Learn about the history of Downtown Honolulu.

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