Detailed documentation of pipe organ built by


by John Stiller
Research Officer
Organ Historical Trust of Australia

Investigated: 20th April 1979 and August 1979.
Organ Historical Trust of Australia
P.O. Box 200, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia

The documentation of the Randebrock organ in St Kilian's, Bendigo, forms part of the project funded by the Myer Foundation and National Estate. This project on organ preservation has been carried out by the Organ Historical Trust of Australia on conjunction with the National Trust of Australia (Victoria).
The assistance given by the following persons and organisations is gratefully acknowledged.




          Introduction                                       ii

          Acknowledgements                                   iii

          Glossary of abbreviations and terminologies        viii

     1.   The building                                       1

     2.   The organ                                          3

     3.   History                                            4

     4.   Degree of originality and historic significance    5

     5.   Pipework                                           6

     6.   Action                                             18

     7.   Soundboards                                        18

     8.   Wind supply                                        22

     9.   Console                                            22

    10.   Case                                               23

    11.   Cross-sectional diagram of the organ through c1    27

    12.   Cross-sectional diagram of the organ from C - f3   28

          References                                         29

          Bibliography                                       29


(Note that only those plates with a hyperlink have been included in the on-line version of this document.)

    Plate                                           following page:

    Frontispiece:     Remaining pipe of 4 fach Cornett           i

       1 Historical:  Inscription on central display pipe        4

       2              Inscription on former Swell mechanism      5

       3              Inscription on former Swell mechanism      5

       4 Pipework:    Front of Hauptwerk soundboard              7

       5              Back of Hauptwerk soundboard               7

       6              Unterwerk soundboard                       7

       7              Front of Pedal soundboard                  7

       8              Nicking on metal pipes                     10

       9              Nicking on metal pipes                     10

      10              Diagonal front beard                       10

      11              Mouth of Unterwerk 4 Fuss Querf1öte        10

      12              mouths of Pedal 16 Fuss Violonbass         10

      13              Stoppers of Unterwerk B Fuss Portunal      10

      14              Pivoted tuning shades of Pedal 16 Fuss

                      Violonbass                                 10

      15              Inscription on Pedal 8 Fuss Gedacktbass    10

      16              Stoppers and ears of Unterwerk 8 Fuss Liebl.

                      Gedact                                     13

      17              Inscription on Unterwerk 2 Fuss Flageolet  15

      18              Inscription on Hauptwerk B Fuss Gamba      17

      19              Inscription on Unterwerk 8 Fuss Salicional 17

      20              Hauptwerk 8 Fuss Trompete                  17

      21              Pedal 16 Fuss Posaune (boots)              17


     22 Action:       View of key action from the console        19

     23               Rollers of Hauptwerk key action            19

     24               Squares of Unterwerk key action            19

     25               Pedal key action and Pedal. Octav Coppel   19

     26               Trundle of Pedal stop action               19


     27 Soundboards:  Pallets of Hauptwerk soundboard            20


     28 Wind supply:  Bellows                                    22

     29 Wind supply:  Concussion bellows                         22

     30 Console:      General view of console                    22

     31               order of stopknobs on l.h. jamb            22

     32               Order of stopknobs on overhead jamb (l.h.s.) 22

     33               Order of stopknobs on overhead jamb (r.h.s.) 22

     34               Order of stopknobs on r.h. jamb            22

     35               Shape of stop head                         24

     36               Style of lettering on stop labels          24

     37               Style of lettering on stop labels          24

     38               Keyboard cheeks                            24

     39               Overhead view of pedal-board               24

     40               Side view of pedal-board                   24

     41               Nameplate of builder                       24

     42               Slot for former Swell-shutter control      24

     43               Pulley of console telltale                 24

     44               Organ bench                                24

     45 Case:         General view of case                       24

     46               Shape of display pipemouths                25

     47               Casework carving under central flat        26

     48               Casework carving on l.h.s. front case      26

     49               Casework carving under r.h.s. tower        26


    Fig.                                                  page

     1    Ground-plan of building                           2

     2    C major chord                                     2

     3    Scaling curves for Principals                     9

     4    Scaling curves for metal Flutes and Gedacts      15

     5    Scaling curves for Narrow-scaled ranks           17

     6    Sketch of key action                             19

     7    Plan view of soundboard placement                21

     8    Shape of stop head                               24

     9    Sketch of key profiles                           24

    10    Order of display pipes                           26

    11    Moulding profile 18 m below tower impost         26

    12    Cross-sectional diagram of the organ through c1  27

    13    Cross-sectional diagram of the organ from C - f3 28


Note: after the preparation of this documentation, the original wind system was removed from the organ and burnt. The gallery was dismantled and the organ moved to floor-level. This photograph records the situation around 1985.


    Address: Corner of McCrae and Chapel Streets,




    Historical details:


    Church built in 1888;[1] architect, W. C. Vahland.[2]


    Size: Length of nave: 31 m

          Width of nave: 16 m

          Width of chancel: 9 m

          Depth of chancel: 5 m

          Width of west-end gallery: 9 m

          Depth of west-end gallery: 7 m

          Ground plan of building Fig. 1


    General contents

    Carpet covers the entire nave except for the area occupied by the three

    sets of pews.



    The chord shown in Fig. 2 was played, held for 5

    seconds, and then released.

    The time taken for the Sound to become inaudible after release of the chord

    was recorded, as heard from the console, and was found to be approximately

    3/4 second with the following registration.

    Hauptwerk:16 Fuss Bourdon, 8 Fuss Principal, 4 Fuss Principal,

                2-2/3 Fuss Quinte, 2 Fuss Octav, 3 fach Mixtur

    Pedal:16 Fuss Subbass, 16 Fuss Violonbass, 8 Fuss Principal-

                    bass, 8 Fuss Gedacktbass, 16 Fuss Posaune, Pedal.Coppel



    This wooden building has sash windows.


    Position of the organ

    The organ is situated non-centrally in the west-end gallery as shown in

    Fig. 1. It has occupied this position since its

    installation in the present building.


    Climatic conditions and heating

    The organ has suffered very badly from extremes of temperature in the

    wooden building. Judging from the condition of the casework, it is remark-

    able that the organ has survived the summer heat to the extent that it has

    been possible to renovate it to a playable condition.


    General condition




    This has been badly battered in the past, and all open metal pipes have

    been tongued at same stage. Tuning slides have now been added to all

    open metal pipes of the Hauptwerk.


    Numerous pipes are still missing, particularly from the smallest pipes

    of each rank.




    The key action is rather noisy, which is only to be expected from m

    instrument of this age - and past history. The Pedal key action has a

    tendency to cypher very easily.




    These are in amazingly good condition, and no murmurs are present.

    There are, however, a few minor "rumings" and the pallet chest covers

    do not seal perfectly.




    Apart from a few leaks, the bellows is in satisfactory condition.




    The external woodwork finish is very badly blistered, and some wood is

    missing from the music desk assembly.




    It is in this section of the organ where past severe climatic conditions

    are evident. The woodwork varnish is blistered, the paint is faded, and

    several large cracks are present. In general, the casework is now in a very

    fragile state. Dust is present on the casework in enormous quantities


    Current maintenance


    Major tuning and maintenance is carried out by Mr John Parker.


  1871    organ built by August Randebrock, organbuilder of Paderborn.

          Plate 1

  1872    organ installed in the west-end gallery of the original St

          Kilian's 'S Church, Bendigo, by George Fincham. Opened on

          11th December, 1872 by H. F. Towle. [3] 

  1887    Church declared unsafe and a temporary wooden church built,

          opened lst July, 1888. Organ moved into new church by George

          Fincham. [4] 


  1896    Some new pipes supplied by George Fincham.[5] 

  1971    Renovation work commenced on the organ through the efforts of

          Fr J. P. Stockdale and Mr R. A. Anderson.


          The missing 4 fach Cornett on the Hauptwerk was replaced

          with new pipes.

  1979    The two missing reed ranks (Hauptwerk 8 Fuss Trompete and

          Pedal 16 Fuss Posaune were replaced with new pipes.


          Renovation work is still in progress.




    Between 1896 and 1971, the organ suffered from continued vandalism.

    Numerous pipes were stolen from the organ, and it seems as if three

    attempts have been woe in the past to complete the ranks of pipes

    from which pipework has disappeared. It is not known when the three

    sets of pipes mentioned above were removed. Only one original pipe

    remains from the Hauptwerk 4 fach Cornett.


    a.  Pipework


    Prior to 1971, the Hauptwerk 4 fach Cornett, 8 Fuss Trompete, and

    Pedal 16 Fuss Posaune were entirely missing. These have since been

    replaced by new pipework manufactured by Hill, Norman add Beard. Most

    of the other original pipework is present, although tuning slides have

    been added to all open metal pipes on the Hauptwerk.


     b.   Soundboards


    These are completely original.


    c.  Action


    All action is completely original.


    d.  wind supply


    The hand-blowing apparatus is mostly intact, but is disconnected. The

    bellows feeders have been clamped shut.


    e.  Console


    This is completely original.


    f. Case


    This is also completely original, although it has been damaged 

    by excessive summer heat.


    Former Swell box


    There is documentary evidence within the organ to suggest that the

    Unterwerk was originally enclosed in a Swell box. Two labelled relics of

    the mechanism associated with the Swell are shown in Plates 2 and 3. The

    inscription on Plate 3 suggests that the Swell shutters were situated on

    top of the box. There is also a slot to the right of the pedal-board for

    the former hitch-down pedal. Plate 42 The Swell box and most of its

    mechanism have been removed from the organ at some stage. It is possible

    that the Swell box was never installed.


    The organ in St Kilian's, Bendigo, is the only large nineteenth century

    German organ in Australia. As such, it is a unique example of a major

    school or organbuilding and forms an important link with German

    Romantic organbuilding and organ music.


    Due to the effects of wars and the continual striving towards

    "modernisation" and "improvement", such instruments have become extremely

    rare in Germany. The fact that this organ deviates but slightly from its

    original form makes it an instrument of international historic



    Its conservative tonal design exhibits close relationships to earlier

    schools of organbuilding in Germany. The case of the St Kilian's organ

    is outstanding for its ornate carving, particularly beneath the central flat of

    pipes and in the upper portions of the casework. The fact that it still possesses 

    its original tin display pipes is probably unique, since most organs in Germany

    had their tin display pipes removed in World War I to supply metal to the war 



    Consequently the preservation of this outstanding organ is most important. 

    Due to the severe climatic conditions which it has suffered at St Kilian' s

    (a wooden church), it would be wise to move this organ into the Sacred Heart 

    Roman Catholic Cathedral, Bendigo, where its continued preservation would be more

    assured. It could do service there as a choir organ in one of the transepts.



    Key action


    All key action is mechanical.


    The Hauptwerk has a "suspended" key action, and consists of one set of squares and

    horizontal rollers.


    The Unterwerk and Pedal key actions are similar W that of the Great except that 

    the actionis transferred downwards.


    The coupling action is mechanical, and the Manual.Coppel has its own set of

    backfalls The Pedal. Coppel (Hauptwerk to Pedal) operates by means of a set of 

    one-armed levers. The Pedal. Octav Coppel has its own set of squares.


        Sketch of key action Fig. 6

        View of key action from the console Plate 22


        Rollers of Hauptwerk key action Plate 23

        Squares of Unterwerk key action Plate 24

        Pedal key action and Pedal. Octav Coppel     Plate 25


    Materials of key action: Wood


    Stop action


    The stop action is also mechanical.


    The Hauptwerk stop action functions by means of levers which transfer the motion

    from the stopknob trace rods upwards to the sliders. The top ends of these levers 

    directly engage the sliders between the C- and C#-soundboards of the Hauptwerk. The

    Unterwerk stop action operates in a similar manner, except that the action is

    displaced downwards to the treble end of the chromatic soundboard.


    The Pedal stop action is somewhat more complex, and wooden trundles are used to

    turn the action through 90 degrees.


        Trundle of Pedal stop action Plate 26




    Wind pressure: 61 mm (2-3/8 inches), measured at C Unterwerk 2 Fuss Flageolet.


    All pipework stands on soundboards (that is, no wind chests present).


    Details of soundboards


                               Hauptwerk     Unterwerk      Pedal


    Distance from floor to bottom

    of pallet chest            2.74 m             49 cm    1.76 m

    Total width                1.66 m (x2)        2.45 m   1.73 m (x2)

    Total depth                1.18 m             1.0 m      95 cm

    Depth of pallet chest      450 mm             365 m     355 mm

    Height of pallet chest     128 mm             120 mm    140 mm

    Height of note channels     75 mm              75 mm     60 mm

    Thickness of sliders         8 mm               8 mm      8 mm

    Thickness of upper board    45 mm              47 mm     45 mm

    Height of rack board       114 mm             115 mm     None

    Form of pallets           C - B: Split        Simple     Simple

                              c0 - f3: Simple

    These Soundboards have no bottom board (table).


    The Hauptwerk and Pedal divisions are each divided into C-and C#- soundboards.

    There is a distance of 495 mm between the C- and C#-soundboards of the Hauptwerk. 

    The corresponding distance between the Pedal C- and C#-soundboards is 400 mm.


    The upper boards occur in blocks for each set of pipes.


    Pallets of Hauptwerk soundboard   Plate 27

    Plan view of soundboard placement Fig. 7


    Order of channels


        Hauptwerk: Symmetrical, large in centre, divided


        Unterwerk: Chromatic


        Pedal:     Symmetrical, large in centre, divided


    Order of ranks (from the front of each soundboard)


     Hauptwerk               Unterwerk                   Pedal

     1.  4 fach Cornett      l. 8 Fuss Geigen. Principal l.16 Fuss Posaune

     2.  8 Fuss Principal    2. 8 Fuss Portunal          2. 8 Fuss Gedacktbass

     3. 16 Fuss Bourdon      3. 8 Fuss Liebl. Gedackt    3. 8 Fuss Principalbass

     4.  8 Fuss Hohlflöte    4. 8 Fuss Salicional        4.  16 Fuss Subbass

     5.  8 Fuss Gedackt      5. 8 Fuss Fernflöte         5. 16 fuss Violonbass

     6.  8 Fuss Gamba        6. 4 Fuss Querflöte

     7.  4 Fuss Principal    7. 4 Fuss Octav

     8.  4 Fuss Gedacktflöte 8. 2 Fuss F1ageolet

     9.  2-2/3 Fuss Quinte

    10.  2 Fuss Octav

    11.  3 fach Mixtur

    12.  8 Fuss Trompete


    Measurements of slider widths (Rank designations as above. All in m)


                            Hauptwerk     Unterwerk     Pedal


    Bearer                     42            45         48

    Rank 1                     51            62         58

    Bearer                     43            60        110

    Rank 2                     56            59         50

    Bearer                     50            66        130

    Rank 3                     57            62         42

    Bearer                     so            60        180

    Rank 4                     56            58         50

    Bearer                     60            50        185

    Rank 5                     46            41         55

    Bearer                     41            32         50

    Rank 6                     45            59

    Bearer                     60            160

    Rank 7                     50            58

    Bearer                     38            40

    Rank 8                     47            46

    Bearer                     35            35

    Rank 9                     44

    Bearer                     30

    Rank 10                    35

    Bearer                     33

    Rank 11                    55

    Bearer                     45

    Rank 12                    51

    Bearer                     42



    One double-rise bellows, 3 m wide x 1.51 m deep, with feeders, situated

    under the Pedal soundboards, The folds of the bellows both fold inwards.

    Plate 28


    The bellows weights are rocks and bricks which bear no significant



    Concussion bellows for the Hauptwerk, 75 cm x 49 cm. The Unterwerk and

    Pedal departments have no separate concussion bellows but the Hauptwerk

    concussion bellows is also partially effective on the Unterwerk. Plate



    Wind trunk measurements


                    External            Thickness      Total 

                    dimensions          of timber      length

     To Hauptwerk   26.5 cm x 26.5 cm     14 mm

     Branch to      21.7 cm x 16.0 cm     20 mm        2.42 m



    The wind trunk to the Pedal department branches off from the main

    Hauptwerk wind trunk. The same also occurs for the Unterwerk, and this

    can be seen in Plate 29.


    There is no Tremulant on this organ.


    Hand-blowing apparatus


    The blowing handle still exists, but it is not in position. The bellows

    feeders are still attached, but are clamped shut. The blower's telltale

    is no longer present.


    Type of safety valve: Pull-up




    General view of console Plate 30


    The console is situated on the left side of the organ case.




         Order of stopknobs on l.h. jamb                Plate 31

         Order of stopknobs on overhead jamb (l.h.s.)   Plate 32

         Order of stopknobs on overhead jamb (r.h.s.)   Plate 33

         Order of stopknobs on r.h. jamb                Plate 34


         Material of stop heads: Ebony

         Material of stop labels: Porcelain

         Diameter of face: 38 - 40 m

         Vertical distance between

		between stopknobs:      l.h.s.     centre      r.h.s

                                   22-22.5 mm    78 mm      120-125 mm

         Horizonta1 distance 

              between stopknobs:       -        100-105 mm      -


         Length of head: 62 mm


         Length of draw: ~60 mm (Manual. Coppel ~40 mm)

         Cross-section of shank: 22 m wide x 25 m high

         Shape of stop head   Fig. 8 and Plate 35

         Style of lettering on stop labels  Plates 36, 37


    Two manual keyboards of compass C - f3 (54 notes)

	Covering of naturals:  Ivory

	Material of sharps:    Ebony

	Length of one octave:  166 mm

	Length of 3 octaves    498 mm

	Depth of touch Man. I  16 mm

	               Man II  11 mm

	Horizontal distance between Manuals I & II: 140 mm

	   (NB manuals do not overhang)

	Vertical distance between Manuals I & II:   68 mm

	Distance from Manual I to pedal-board:     707 mm

	Sketch of key profiles  Fig. 9

       Keyboard cheeks   Plate 38

	Pedalboard of compass C - c1 (25 notes)

	  A#-centred, concave and radiating slightly outwards.

	  Degree of concavity: c0 is 45 mm lower than extremities.

	  Total length of naturals:  470 mm

	  Length of sharps:  145 mm

	  Overhead view of pedalboard  Plate 39

	  Side view of pedal-board  Plate 40

	The music-desk assembly has two brass clips, and can be lifted out to 

	expose the Hauptwerk key action.

	The nameplate of the builder consists of a carved wooden angel bearing the

	inscription "Paderborn/R. Randebrock (sic)/1871." This is situated beneath

	the central flat of display pipes. Plate 41

	The Swell-shutter control was a hitch-down pedal which is no longer present.

	Plate 42

	The pulley of the console telltale is all that remains of this telltale.

	Plate 43

	Organ bench  Plate 44

10. CASE

    General view of the case  Plate 45

    The display pipes are arranged into seven flats and two outer towers in

    the following groups.


                   11 (upper level)    11 (upper level)


    10     7       11              9   11              7     10


    These 87 pipes are made of tin and are not decorated.

    Shape of display pipemouths Plate 46


    Only the central flat of 9 pipes are speaking pipes, and are C - G# of

    the Hauptwerk B Fuss Principal.


    order of display pipes Fig. 10

    width of case:                4.2 m (plus 58 m for organ bench)

    Depth of case:                                            4.2 m

    Height of case:                                      Almost 5 m

    Material of casework: Oak, stained and varnished, edges painted in gold,

      blue, green or red.

    Casework carving under central flat Plate 47

    Casework carving on l.h.s. front case Plate 48

    Casework carving under r.hs. tower Plate 49

    moulding profile 18 m below tower impost Fig. 11

    Missing parts:                        Panel from l.h.s. of case

                 Panel above console

                 Panel behind Hauptwerk soundboards


    1   National Trust of Australia (Victoria):National Trust Register

         as at 31st December 1976     p. 20

    2   E. N. Matthews:  Colonial organs and Organbuilders   p. 164

    3   Ibid.

    4   Ibid.

    5   Ibid.

    6   R. A. Anderson: "The German organ in St Kilian's Church, Bendigo",

        0HTA News Volume 2 No. 1 p. 16


    P. G. Andersen:         Organ Building & Design, Allen & Unwin, l969

    W. Supper et. al.:      Richtlinien am Schutze alter wertvoller Orgeln,

         			 Verlag Merseburger, 1958

    E. N. Matthews:         Colonial organs and Organbuilders, M.U.P., l969

    National Trust of Australia (Victoria); National Trust Register as at 31st

         December 1976 National Trust of Australia (Victoria)

    BIOS Journal Volume I Ed. Michael Sayer Positif Press 1977

    John Stiller: "Adaptation of the Weilheimer Regulativ to Australian

         Conditions", OHTA News, January 1979

    OHTA News Volume 2 No. 1, (January 1978) Ed. John Henwood

© Organ Historical Trust of Australia 1980
P.O. Box 200, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia