Arp Schnitger | Ludgerikirche . Norden [Germany]

ArpSc Nor Reinhard Ruge_CC BY-SA 3.0_crop

Photography by Reinhard Ruge
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The organ contract was signed in 1686, proposing the construction of a new organ by Arp Schnitger reusing 10 registers and 4 bellows of the old organ, built by Andreas de Mare and rebuilt by Edo Evers. The organ was finished in 1688 and contained at that time just four sections (including the pedal), as the Oberpositiv was added just some years later by Arp Schnitger, from 1691 to 1692. This new section was controlled by the existing third keyboard.

During the 19th century the instrument suffers numerous interventions that change partially the stoplist and mechanics. In 1917 the front pipes are removed to melt and produce weapons during the World War I and in 1919 new zinc façade pipes are installed by Furtwängler & Hammer.

From 1929 to 1930 the organ is restored by Furtwängler & Hammer under the advice of Christhard Mahrenholz, restoring the original disposition according to the study of other Schnitger organs. It is also installed a new pneumatic traction and four new keyboards.

In 1943 the organ is removed to the monastery of Möllenbeck in order to save it from damage during World War II and is reconstructed by Paul Ott in 1948 after the end of the war. From 1957 to 1959 the installed pneumatic action is replaced by a mechanical one, bringing back the original tracker system.

Finally, from 1981 to 1985 the organ is completely restored by Jürgen Ahrend with the reconstruction of three new wedge bellows (three bellows from a group of six), part of the mechanical pieces, keyboards, stop handles and labels and new registers according to Schnitger’s stoplist.

The existing three manuals control four sections, as previously mentioned, wherein the top manual controls both Brustpositiv and Oberpositiv. Currently the organ is tuned to 440 Hz.

The curious placement of the organ, near the South transept pillars, is due to the long church layout, in which a West wall location wouldn’t be good for the correct sound dispersion. Therefore, the cases are distributed with a separated pedal case located on the transept and with the main case in the presbytery, with a recessed case for the Oberpositiv.


1686-1688 – organ construction
1691-1692 – Oberpositiv addition by Arp Schnitger
1838 – temperament change by Rohlfs & Son
1864 – installation of new bellows by Gebrüder Rohlfs
1888 – installation of new keyboards and couplers by Johann Diepenbrock
1897 – organ changes in traction system and addition of two couplers by Christof Brunswick
1917 – removal of front pipes during WWII
1919 – addition of new zinc façade pipes by Furtwängler & Hammer
1929-1930 – organ restoration by Furtwängler & Hammer
1943-1945 – organ removal to the monastery of Möllenbeck
1948 – organ reconstruction by Paul Ott
1957-1959 – organ changes by Paul Ott
1981-1985 – organ restoration by Jürgen Ahrend


Rückpositiv Werck Brustpositiv Oberpositiv Pedal
Principal 8´ Quintadena 16´ Gedakt 8´ Hollfloit 8´ Principal 16´
Gedact 8´ Principal 8´ Plockfloit 4´ Octav 4´ Octav 8´
Octav 4´ Rohrfloit 8´ Principal 2´ Flachfloit 2´ Octav 4´
Rohrfloit 4´ Octav 4´ Quinta 1 1/2´ Rauschpfeiff II Rauschpfeiff II
Octav 2´ Spitzfloit 4´ Scharff IV Scharff IV-VI Mixtur VIII
Waldfloit 2´ Quinta 3´ Regal 8´ Trommet 8´ Posaun 16´
Ziffloit 1´ Nasat 3´ Vox humana 8´ Trommet 8´
Sexquialt II Octav 2´ Schalmey 4´ Trommet 4´
Tertian II Mixtur VI Cornet 2´
Scharff VI Cimbel III
Dulcian 8´ Trommet 16´

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