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Gene Bedient, organ builder: A study of his work in the context of trends in late twentieth -century American organ building

Crystal Ann Koenig Rossow, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


In the twentieth century, organ builders in America have tended to move between two ideals in building style—the eclectic and the historically pure. The goal of those pursuing eclecticism in organ building has generally been to make an instrument that can play all of the organ's repertoire well. Those espousing a philosophy of historical purity have maintained that no single organ can serve all styles of repertoire, and with each new organ they have sought to imitate the features of one specific historical style of building. The main challenge for American organ builders of the twentieth century has been to decide which of these two ideals to pursue and to reconcile that decision aesthetically and economically with each particular job at hand. ^ One late twentieth-century American organ builder, Gene Bedient of Lincoln, Nebraska, has built a number of interesting organs, seven of which are featured in this study. This study focuses on Bedient and these seven organs, and how they are significant in light of trends in American organ building in the past three decades. ^ Chapter One gives a brief synopsis of organ building in the United States from E. M. Skinner through the present day. This chapter provides the historical background necessary for showing how Bedient and the seven organs featured fit into the context of organ building in the last three decades of this century. Chapter Two summarizes Bedient's professional life and work, gives an overview of his complete output of organs to date, and discusses in detail the seven instruments selected for this work. Chapter Three answers several questions about the relationships of these seven organs to broader trends in late twentieth-century American organ building. ^

Subject Area

American Studies|Music

Recommended Citation

Rossow, Crystal Ann Koenig, "Gene Bedient, organ builder: A study of his work in the context of trends in late twentieth -century American organ building" (2000). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9973601.