David Tannenberg, Organ Builder

Chapter 7: Topics for Further Research

This page deals with the various questions and mysteries yet to be solved regarding the organs of David Tannenberg or those of his followers. These are topics of on-going research as well as discussions of future restorations or reconstructions.

I. More information about the following organs of Tannenberg which no longer exist:

 1. The Maxatawny / "Guts'town" confusion:
In 1768, the Lititz Moravian diary recorded that Tannenberg traveled to Maxatawny with a new organ. In 1795, the Moravian diary recorded that he traveled to "Guts'town" which might be interpreted as Kutztown. It is possible that Tannenberg's organ of 1768 was for a church in Lynn Township and the 1795 organ was built for the Lutheran and Reformed Church in Kutztown. More records need to be located and examined in order to corroborate this theory.

 2. Tannenberg's organ of 1776 for the Union Church in Easton, PA:
In 1776, Tannenberg provided the Union Church in Easton, PA with an organ. It remained there until 1832 when it was removed and sold to the Lutheran Church in Plainfield, Northampton County. There it remained in use until 1916 when it was removed and stored in a shed and then eventually given to the Historical Society of Northampton. Question: Is there a photograph of this organ?

 3. Tannenberg's organ of 1783 in Hagerstown, Maryland:
a) Which church purchased this organ? The choices are St. John's Lutheran, Zion Reformed or St. Peter's ("Beard's") Lutheran, all of which were early congregations in and near Hagerstown and all of which had organs at an early date.
b) When did this organ disappear? Is there any information as to its cost or size?

  4. The date of the construction of Tannenberg's organ for the Reformed Church in Philadelphia:
In 1795, the Moravian historian Abraham Ritter described the German Reformed Church and the organ which he attributed to Tannenberg. What year was this organ built?

   5. Search for a photograph of the 1797 organ for Zion Lutheran Church, Macungie:
Tannenberg's organ of 1797 for Zion Lutheran Church in Lower Macungie ("Zion Lehigh") survived until the church building of 1785 was torn down in 1894. At that time, the Tannenberg was apparently discarded. Is there a photograph of this organ?

   6. The date of the construction of Tannenberg's organ for the Union Church in Tohickon:
Tannenberg provided an organ for the Union Church in Tohickon in Bedminster Township. In 1798, John and Andrew Krauss visited this organ. What was the actual date of construction?

II. The possibility of the construction of a new organ in Tannenberg's style.

Utilitzing the stoplist of the organ of 1790 for Zion Lutheran Church as a point of departure, it is possible to construct an instrument of that size using Tannenberg's construction methods. Of course, it would be possible to construct smaller organs as well. A one manual and pedal or small two manual organ would provide a modest size church with a very exciting instrument for congregational singing as well as the performance of great deal of organ repertoire. For three possible stop lists of organs built in a Tannenberg style, click here.


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This page was created & is maintained by
Philip T. D. Cooper
Organist & Organ Historian