The British Institute of
Organ Studies


The Historic Organ Sound Archive


St Mary, Hillington, Norfolk 1756
   Snetzler - one of the instruments
   whose sound is available via HOSA

The Historic Organ Sound Archive (HOSA) aims to record music appropriate for the historic instrument in question, familiar to composers and players of the time of construction of the organ. The recordings achieve as high a standard of recording as possible, given the locations and the age and condition of some of the organs. Recordings are made by professional organists.

This unique and ground-breaking project was initiated in East Anglia aided by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The sounds of 44 of the area’s most historic organs are now available to the general public via the National Pipe Organ Register (NPOR).

A summary catalogue of recordings is available on the HOSA YouTube Channel. These can also be accessed by individual records from within the relevant organ entry of the NPOR. Here, the organs recorded are:

  • listed by county
  • listed by town
  • listed by organ builder and date
  • listed by composer
  • listed by compass and keyboards
  • list of those with music scores

    Plans are in hand to enlarge the archive and recordings of music played on the organ of Adlington Hall in Cheshire have been added in memory of Noel Mander who restored the organ in 1959.

    As part of the original funding package by the Heritage Lottery Fund, public educational events have been organised at many of the recording venues, as a means of demonstrating the worth of the instruments to the local community and stimulating the interest of young and old alike in this part of their heritage.

    Historic Organ Sound Archive  -  East Anglia  CD

    Published by BIOS, this CD has 16 tracks featuring 12 of the 44 organs in the full HOSA archive.

    The CD provides a way to listen to the high-resolution original recordings. It comes complete with a 12-page illustrated colour booklet with full details of the music, the players, the organs and the registration.

    The professionally-recorded music includes works by Handel, Stanley, J.C.Beckwith, Burney, C.P.E.Bach, Adams, Wesley, Smart, Parry and Elgar. Players include Anne Page, David Ponsford and Malcolm Russell.

  • Significant Publications