It will soon be 20 years since The Aeo­lian Pipe Organ and Its Music was pub­lished by the Organ His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety. This land­mark vol­ume has been out of print for so long that copies now sell for more than $500. A sec­ond edi­tion, revised and great­ly expand­ed, is now in pub­li­ca­tion and, in addi­tion to emen­da­tions and many new pho­tographs, the anno­tat­ed opus list of over 900 organs (with con­tract dates, prices, addi­tions, and alter­ations) has been updat­ed to reflect sub­se­quent activ­i­ty.

The Aeo­lian Pipe Organ and Its Music is the sto­ry of America’s old­est, largest, and longest-lived res­i­dence organ com­pa­ny, whose instru­ments pro­vid­ed music in the home in the era before the wide-spread use of the phono­graph and radio. A list of Aeo­lian patrons is a ver­i­ta­ble Who’s Who in Amer­i­can busi­ness, indus­try, and finance.

This book not only doc­u­ments the organs, but also the music they were pro­grammed to repro­duce, Aeolian’s com­mis­sions from Saint-Saëns, Stravin­sky, Stokows­ki, and Humperdinck, and their repro­duc­tion of per­for­mances of renowned artists. A spe­cial sec­tion fea­tures a wealth of unpub­lished pho­tographs of Aeo­lian instal­la­tions. In addi­tion to a study of the 54 record­ing organ­ists, dozens of sto­plists are includ­ed and com­plete cat­a­logues of Aeo­lian organ rolls.

As a com­pan­ion vol­ume to Rollin Smith’s Pipe Organs of the Rich and Famous, this notable pub­li­ca­tion makes for read­ing as fas­ci­nat­ing as it is enter­tain­ing.

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