“Located in the Cathedral, the Great Stalacpipe Organ is the world’s largest musical instrument.
Stalactites covering 3 1/2 acres of the surrounding caverns produce tones of symphonic quality when electronically tapped by rubber-tipped mallets. This most unique, one-of-a-kind instrument was invented in 1954 by Mr. Leland W. Sprinkle of Springfield, Virginia, a mathematician and electronic scientist at the Pentagon. He began his monumental 3 year project by searching the vast chambers of the caverns selecting stalactites to precisely match a musical scale. Electronic mallets were wired throughout the caverns and connected to a large four-manual console. When a key is depressed, a tone occurs as the rubber-tipped plunger strikes the stalactite tuned to concert pitch.
“Today, the organ is played by activating an automated system which works in a manner similar to a child’s music box. The organ is also fully capable of being played manually from the console, as Leland Sprinkle did for many years.”
COURTESY PETER R.!