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The American Reed Organ and the Harmonium Hardcover – January 1, 1997

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 398 pages
  • Publisher: Vestal Press (January 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 187951107X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1879511071
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,064,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book offers an in-depth look into the history of the reed organ. This is the stregnth of the book. It discusses how the reed organ grew in popularity, why it flourished in the society of its time, and then describes its demise. The restoration information is also good. The workings of the organ are described in a fair amount of detail. The tuning section is quite good. It gives exact methods and tells how to make various tools. It includes stop faces, a stop dictionary, company logos, and other useful information. As I mentioned before, though, the real stregnth of this book is the history! A great read for anyone interested in reed organs.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My first impression was a negative one because I expected a larger, added to first edition. This revision is essentially a different, new book, although some of the same original material is included. It is much more technical and does not lend itself as much to browsing. The contents, however, are excellent with historical material not found in other books. My recommendation is to get the original hardback [used] edition (easily available on Amazon and Ebay) and read through it first. Then read this book or use it for reference. Two things could have made this book even better: more photos about the "professional" larger reed organs of two/three manual and pedals, some last made by Estey in an AGO dimension console from the 1930s through the 1950s. There is a photo of E. Power Biggs' Estey in THE AMERICAN CLASSIC ORGAN IN LETTERS. Other companies such as Farrand and Mason & Hamlin also made these larger organs. The other addition could have been stop lists of instruments larger than the bread-and-butter two rows of reeds home instruments. After this book, one might seek out Ord-Hume's HARMONIUM and ESTEY REED ORGANS ON PARADE. MANUFACTURING THE MUSE, a scholarly, well-documented and with prolific illustrations and photographs, is well worth purchasing. Also look up the Reed Organ Society (ROS) on line as well as a superb Estey Organ Museum site.
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Format: Paperback
for anyone interested in reed organs, this is a basic book, both editions. The pictures alone are worth the price. It gives a good solid history of the time frame when reed organs were sold and in common use, many of the makers, and more than enough information to have a good comprehension of these wonderful instruments.

A very easy read, if coupled with "Manufacturing the Muse" by Whiting, you will be well equipped to carry on a good conversation with anyone on the subject. The Whiting book is more extensive and complimentary, IMO, to the Gellerman, but the Gellerman is still the "Bible" ( Capital B ) for the world of Reed Organs.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I do not give 5 stars to anyone. Policy. Having said that I must say that I found things in this book that not only backed up what I thought I knew about reed organs, tuning, repairs and just how the sound is produced, but explained those details well. Some areas that I was not sure about are now clarified. I would recommend this book to anyone embarking on running repairs of most suction reed organs, but I did find that other sources can be of assistance as well. I found this book on Google; where I also found some other really good leads.
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