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GODFREY: Shoninger's Cymbella March, on Shoninger parlor organ

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Published on Apr 13, 2013

The name "Shoninger Cymbella" refers to a line of parlor-model reed organs that included a set of tuned bells, built by Bernard Shoninger in New Haven, Connecticut. These are still much sought after by collectors of reed organs, and are hard to find in good playing condition. This march, named for just these instruments, was published by "Wm. B. Godfrey's Music Parlors" in Bridgeton, New Jersey in 1881. (The composer, William B. Godfrey, may or may not be a gentleman of the same name who graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music in 1884, described by the Musical Herald as a basso who "has a very rich and powerful voice, and sings with great intelligence. He will be heard from in the years to come.") The instrument heard here is a Shoninger "Cymbella" parlor organ with an elaborate black walnut case. It is in the San Francisco studio of Jim Tyler (www.reedorganman.com), who believes it was built c. 1880. The instrument has a C-C keyboard, and contains two ranks of reeds (8' and 4'), a downward octave coupler, a beater tremolo, and a "Cymbella" rank of bells. Performed by Michael Hendron, recorded 13 April 2013.

This music is available online as part of the Library of Congress' Music for the Nation website, and members of the Reed Organ Society will find a reprint in the Spring 2005 Quarterly.

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