A Giant Music Box

I suppose you could consider that the mighty pipe organ is a music box in it's own right. Many of the pipes after all are enclosed in boxes that have shutters. This magnificent instrument you see here is hiding behind it's beautifully carved facade over 8000 pipes, many of them in boxes.

organ, music, box, boston,
Photo: Boston Public Library - Flickr

This is The Great Organ once housed in the Boston Music Hall. It was built in Germany for $25,000 and came to life in 1863. It was the toast of the town for over twenty years.

But as musical tastes change quickly today they did back then as well. In the 1880's it was in vogue for a city of good standing to have a symphony orchestra. Thus the Boston Symphony Orchestra was born.

The BSO really needed a lot of space and that old organ was taking up a big chunk of the stage. So a decision was made to crate up the instrument and store it in wait of a new music hall at the New England Conservatory of Music.

This new venue for the organ never came to fruition and after a few decades in storage it was purchased by a mill owner in Methuen, Massachusetts for a mere $1500. The mill owner built his own private music hall for his giant music box and there it sits to this day still providing beautiful music.

Today it is open to public concerts and private functions and is known as the The Great Organ at the Methuen Memorial Music Hall.

There are many more music boxes to listen to at Sepia Saturday if you click here.

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