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The Dobson Organ

Chapel & Choir: The Dobson Organ

The Dobson Organ in Merton College Chapel is one of the finest mechanical action organs in the UK.

Built by Dobson Pipe Organ Builders of Iowa, USA, and installed in 2013, in readiness for the College’s 750th celebrations in 2014, the organ consists of 44 ranks over three manuals. The specification encourages the performance of a wide repertoire, and the organ sounds equally thrilling in music from the baroque era as it does in the great romantic masterworks.

Many of the world's finest organists have given concerts on the Dobson Organ including John Scott (who opened the instrument), James O'Donnell, Paul Jacobs, Thomas Trotter, Martin Baker, Stephen Farr, Thomas Ospital, Simon Johnson, and Robert Quinney. During the academic year 2014/2015, Daniel Hyde played the complete works of JS Bach in a series of 21 recitals.

Details of Benjamin Nicholas’s recordings on the Delphian label can be found on our Recordings page.

The organ was dedicated by the Bishop of Oxford at Choral Evensong on Sunday 27 April 2014. The Preacher at the service was The Revd Canon Peter Moger (1982), Canon Precentor of York Minster.

Specification

  • Great - II
    • 16' Bourdon
    • 8' Open Diapason I
    • 8' Open Diapason II
    • 8' Harmonic Flute
    • 8' Chimney Flute
    • 4' Principal
    • 4' Spire Flute
    • 2-2/3' Nazard
    • 2' Fifteenth
    • 2' Recorder
    • 1-3/5' Tierce
    • IV Mixture 19.22.26.29
    • 8' Trumpet
    • Tremulant
    • Swell to Great
    • Choir to Great
  • Swell - III (enclosed)
    • 8' Open Diapason
    • 8' Lieblich Gedeckt
    • 8' Salicional
    • 8' Voix Celeste (FF)
    • 4' Principal
    • 4' Nason Flute
    • 2' Fifteenth
    • IV Mixture 15.19.22.26
    • 16' Double Trumpet
    • 8' Trumpet
    • 8' Hautboy
    • 8' Vox Humana
    • 4' Clarion
    • Tremulant
  • Choir - I (enclosed)
    • 8' Geigen Diapason#
    • 8' Geigen Celeste (FF)
    • 8' Gedeckt
    • 4' Gemshorn
    • 4' Open Flute
    • 2' Doublet
    • II Sesquialtera 12.17
    • III Mixture 26.29.33
    • 8' Corno di Bassetto
    • Tremulant
    • 8' Major Trumpet
    • Swell to Choir
  • Pedal
    • 16' Open Diapason
    • 16' Subbass
    • 16' Bourdon (Great)
    • 8' Principal
    • 8' Bass Flute
    • 4' Fifteenth
    • 16' Trombone
    • 8' Trumpet
    • Great to Pedal
    • Swell to Pedal
    • Choir to Pedal
    • Zimbelstern
    • Great & Pedal Pistons Coupled
    • Generals on Swell Toe Pistons
  • Case of American white oak
  • Attached console with drawknobs in vertical jambs
  • Mechanical key action, electric stop action
  • 256 level combination action