English Post Horn English
Post Horn English
English Horn English

Maclean lists English Post Horn with the following description:

Although similar in name to the gentle English Horn, these two stops could hardly be further apart in tonal quality. The English Post Horn was originally designed by Hope-Jones as a 16' Reed in his reconstructed Swell division which, with its weighty flue-work (Diapason Phonon and Tibia Clausa), required something really startling in its Reed chorus by way of contrast. This function was admirably fulfilled by his Double English Horn (to give it its original name), which at the time it was introduced, represent the extreme limit of brassy, strident Reed tone, the quality of which is most aptly described by Wedgwood as a “thin blare”. At a later period, when Hope-Jones came to design the Wurlitzer Theater organ, the top found its true vocation, as its tone is predominantly theatrical in character. The combination in 8 ft. pitch of the Wurlitzer English Post Horn with the Tuba Mirabilis, both on a wind pressure of about twenty-five inches, represents the nearest possible organ approximation to the tone of orchestral brass instruments played ff.

Strony calls the English Post Horn “the king of theatre organ chorus reeds”, and reports that it typically appears at 8' pitch, and at 16' in the manuals to tenor C, but is sometimes extended down to 16' for use in the pedal. He also states that all theatre organs of greater than 11 or 12 ranks “MUST have an English Post Horn. To not have one would be tantamount to giving an artist all of the primary and secondary colors, except for red.” The name English Horn on a theatre organ is a synonym for English Post Horn, not for Cor Anglais.




Osiris contains eight examples of English Horn in Wurlitzer theatre organs.

Post Horn 8', Echo; Town Hall, Melbourne, Australia; Hill, Norman & Beard 1929.

Post Horn 8', Ethereal; John Wanamaker Store, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Post Horn 16'; Convention Hall Ballroom, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA; Kimball 1930.

Post Horn 8', Great; Post Horn 16', Solo; National Cathedral, Washington, D.C., USA; Skinner 1939, 1975.

English Post Horn 16', 8', Solo; Crystal Cathedral, Garden Grove, California, USA; Skinner.

English Post Horn 8', Solo chamber; Fisher Theatre, Detroit, Michigan, USA; Wurlitzer 1928.

English Post Horn 8', Solo; Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA; Midmer-Losh.

English Post Horn, Solo Chamber; Emery Theatre, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Wurlitzer.

Sound Clips

Would you like to hear what a Post Horn sounds like?

For as little as $10 (US), you can sponsor a page in this Encyclopedia, and help purchase more sound samples!


Irwin[1]: English Post Horn. Maclean[1]: English Post Horn. Strony[1]: Cor Anglais, English Post Horn.
Copyright © 2001 Edward L. Stauff, all rights reserved.
PostHorn.html - Last updated 25 December 2002.
Full Index