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date: 27 January 2021


  • Hugh Davies


Five-octave, keyless electronic organ designed to be fitted to a piano. It was developed by James A. Koehl and manufactured by the F.C. Lowrey Co. of Chicago in 1949; it was the first of a series of electronic organs made by the company. A long frame installed along the back of the piano keyboard holds key switches that operate when the piano is played; a small control panel clamped to the front of the keyboard includes a knee control for ‘expression’. A separate ‘tone cabinet’ contains the electronic hardware and loudspeaker. The sound is generated by 12 oscillators using frequency division. Timbre, vibrato, and register controls can be applied to the complete keyboard compass or to either of the two sections (the two lower and three upper octaves) into which it can be split. In addition to being sold separately by Lowrey, the Organo was so successful that for a while it was incorporated into pianos sold by other companies (Janssen, Kimball, Story & Clark, and others)....

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