Located in Saint Peter’s Church, in Leipzig, Germany. The world’s largest pipe organ is an awe-inspiring piece of art. The instrument was designed by German organ builder Friedrich Wilhelm Schulz and installed between 1855 and 1857. It has been completely renovated more than once since its installation, most recently in 2003 with a state-of-the-art computerized system that allows it to be played from a laptop or iPad.
The 4,711 pipes range from one foot long to over 40 feet tall and weigh up to 13 tons each. Altogether, the instrument has 7 keyboards on which any combination of stops can be engaged at any time for different sounds ranging from thunderous bass to flutes and piccolo. The organ’s console is located in the center of the church, just below where Schulz had his workshop when he was installing it. The organ is played during various religious services held in the church, including live concerts that are open to the public.
Scholars refer to a great number of musical instruments built and used by ancient Greeks and Romans. Many of these instruments included pipes and organs. However, they were less complex than the organ built by Schulz — mostly consisting of a set of pipes that had only three or four stops (i.e., different sounds/pitches) and two keyboards with one octave each.