The Pipe Organ in China Project Website: Updates for July 2022.

31 July 2022

HKG1896: with the discovery of this Bianchetti e Facchetti organ in the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Hong Kong, the old page for the spurious HKG1888 has been kept online, but substantially altered; and necessary changes have been made to HKG1921 and a few other posts. Prof. Urrows posted a two-part blog essay, “The Phantom of the Organ Loft”, during July to explain the complex situation with these organs (see What’s New). The Project also appreciates the help of Sig. Massimiliano at organibreschiani.it for help with unraveling this complicated story. https://organibresciani.org/index.php

In yet another exciting development, a previously-unrecorded organ (HKG1872) by William Hill & Son of London has been located, and presumed installed in Hong Kong in 1873 in St. Peter’s Church, West Point. This organ is the second (or third) pipe organ known to have been installed in the British Crown Colony, and fills a gap in the record between the Bryceson (HKG1860) and Walker (HKG1887) organs at St. John’s Cathedral. The project appreciates the help of the British Organ Archive, Hannes Ludwig, and John Richard Maidment, for their help in locating this installation.

Word has also reached The Project about a planned new pipe organ for the Shenzhen Conservatory of Music (est. 2020, and operated by the Chinese University of Hong Kong.) Further details will be posted when we have them.

The China Top 10 Pipe Organ List:

Statistics, statistics, statistics: there are at present 197 organs in the POCP Census, with several pending installation which has been delayed by the COVID epidemic.

This month we looked at the breakdown of organ locations and numbers, and here are the Top Ten locations for all historical and current pipe organs in China, along with the date of the earliest-known installation or construction.  

Beijing  (PEK)     

50    1611
Hong Kong (HKG)   45   1847
Shanghai (SHA)   24  1856

Macau (MAC)

12 1600
Tianjin  (TJN)   1904

Fujian/Fuzhou (FCH)

Tie with

Qingdao (TAO)

6

1631

 

1909

Guangzhou (CAN) 1678
Hangzhou (HCH)   4      1919

Chengdu (CHD)

Tie with

Shenyang (MKD)

3

1910

 

1912

The sum of these 11 locations (there are two ties, each counted together as 1.5) equals 167 of the 197 pipe organs in the Census, or 85% of all the pipe organs ever known to have been installed in China. Only four reach double digits. All other places in China with pipe organs have only 1 or 2 reported. The earliest date of first installation in this top ten list in MAC1600, the latest HCH1919.

This list makes no distinction between organs that exist, or those that don’t exist anymore. If the data were sorted into pre- and post-1949 pipe organs, and excluded those that either no longer exist, have left China, or are pending installation, the results would be, and be sorted rather differently.

Photo of the Month: While on the topic of Top Ten statistics, here is an interesting screengrab from 30 July 2022. This shows the top ten locations from which hits on the website come, according to Google’s Exact Metrics (all data on this chart is from Google, not from the POCP.) We were rather surprised to see Indonesia at #3, especially as there isn’t a very strong pipe organ culture there at present. We will be keeping track of these statistics, and post again if any particularly interesting trends become evident.

Organs in the Census: 197

Hits in July 2022: 769 (66% new visitors; 34% returning visitors)