Joseph Gabler | Abteikirche St. Georg . Ochsenhausen [Germany]

web JGabl Och Thomas Mirtsch_CC BY-SA 3.0 crop

Photography by Thomas Mirtsch
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The Ochsenhausen organ was Joseph Gabler’s first instrument and was built from 1728 to 1734. The detached and reversed console is perhaps one of the most innovative solutions for that time present in this organ, allowing the organist to play turned to the altar, avoiding the need to have mirrors and allowing the organist to control more precisely and easily its musical intervention during masses and other religious services.

There is also a special feature over the Positive, an ox that comes out of its hole – as in cuckoo clocks – when the cuckoo stop is used. The usage of the ox instead of a cuckoo is a word play with the village name – “Ochsen” means ox in german and refers to the history of the village foundation.

Numbers were apparently important to Gabler, as the Ochsenhausen organ contains 3333 pipes, a number later doubled in the Weingarten organ with 6666 pipes.

The organ has four manual and pedal controlled with mechanical key and stop action. It is considered that the first mechanical system of the organ produced some technical problems, requiring a new intervention twenty years later also accomplished by Gabler.


1728-1734 – organ construction
1753 – organ changes by Joseph Gabler
1835 – organ changes by Schulte
1844 – organ changes by Kiene
1871 – organ changes by Weigle
1968-1972 – organ changes including addition of electrical traction by Reiser
2000-2004 – organ restoration by Orgelbau Kuhn and Orgelbau Klais


Solo Hauptwerk Brustpositiv Echowerk Pedal
Borduen 16′ Principal 8′ CoppelFl. 8′ Principal 8′ Praestant 16′
Principal 8′ Flauten 8′ Quinta Tön 8′ Rohr.Fla 8′ Sub:B. 16′
Coppel 8′ Viola 8′ Principal 4′ Quinta Tön 8′ Violon B. II 16′
Solicional 8′ Quint 6′ Flaut Do 4′ Dolcian 8′ Octav.B. 8′
Violoncel 8′ Octav 4′ Piffaro II 4′ Octav 4′ Mixtur.B. IV
Quinta Tön 8′ Sexq:Alt III-IV Flageolet 2′ Flöte 4′ Posaun B. 16′
Unda.Ma. 8′ Cornet III-V Cornet III-IV Violoncel 4′
Flute:Trev 4′ Sup:Oct. 2′ Mixtur III Super:Oct 2′
Rohr:fla 4′ Mixtur VI-VII Vox huma 8′ Cymbala III
Fugari 4′ Carillon Hautbois 4′ Hautbois 8′
Piffaro II
Trompet 8′

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