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Open pipes giving scale from Ut3 to Ut4

Koenig Acoustical · Physics

Seven of a set of originally eight rectangular open organ pipes that give tones on the scale between Ut3 and Ut4. Ut4 is missing from the set. Each pipe has a round foot at the base and is marked with its place in the scale.

Each pipe has a round hole on one side at the top of the pipe. On Fa3 (, this is partially covered with an adjustable lead sheet. One the rest of the pipes, the lead sheet is broken off close to where it was attached to the pipe, leaving only a small amount of lead.

Accession Number:

Alternative Name:

Primary Materials: Pipes=Pine; Lip, Foot=Mahogany; Lead


Each pipe is stamped with: “RUDOLPH KOENIG À PARIS”

On the base of each pipe, next to the mouthpiece, handwritten in ink: “113”. This marking corresponds to this pipe set’s entry in Koenig’s 1873 catalogue.

Each pipe is marked above the lip with its position in the scale: = “Ut3” = “Re3” = “Mi3” = “Fa3” = “Sol3” = “La3” = “Si3”

Dimensions (cm):

722.1: 62.2cm x 6.4 x 5.5; 722.2: 56.2cm x 6.0 x 5.0; 722.3: 56.2cm x 5.5 x 5; 722.4: 48cm x 5.2 x 4.5; 722.5: 43cm x 4.9 4.3; 722.6: 38.2cm x 4.8 x 4.0; 722.7: 48cm x 5.2 x 4.5


According to David Pantalony’s book “Altered Sensations” (New York: Springer, 2009): “The openings at the end of these pipes can be altered with a moveable lead cover. By making slight adjustments, one could change the pitch and bring the various pipes into harmony or out of harmony. The slight differences would presumably be detected using beats. The larger the opening, the higher the pitch (with a change being no larger than a semitone or 1/12th of an octave).” (pg 257)


Poor. The wood of the pipes is in reasonably good condition, with some scratches and worn corners from use. The lead covers have been badly damaged, with only one remaining in place, and it bent out of shape. The rest of the lead covers are largely missing, torn off close to their attachment to the pipe.

Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: Rudolph Koenig, Paris

Date of Manufacture: ca. 1878


These pipes are part of a collection of acoustic teaching apparatus purchased from Rudolph Koenig by University of Toronto professor of physics James Loudon. These pipes were part of Loudon’s initial 1878 purchase, and form part of a comprehensive selection of organ pipes “representing a… demonstration of every possible organ pipe effect.” (Pantalony, Altered Sensations. New York: Springer, 2009. Pg 119-122). These were likely used by students for investigations of acoustical properties at the university’s physics department teaching laboratory.

These pipes were collected from the Department of Physics, after a number had been used for some years as part of an interactive display.

Additional Information and References:

These pipes were originally accessioned separately.

See also: “Altered Sensations: Rudolph Koenig’s Acoustical Workshop in Nineteenth Century Paris” by David Pantalony (New York: Springer, 2009) in the text’s Catalogue Raisonné under entry 113 (pg 257).

Historical Notes: