Slide show of a selection of pictures from the Tiverton tour 2003.
Located deep in the Luray Caverns in Virginia's
Shenandoah Valley is the Great Stalacpipe Organ, the worlds 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. LeIand 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. For many
years Leland played the Stalacpipe Organ for visitors, as seen in the bottom
Close-up of one of the mallets which strike a stalactite
when an organ key is pressed.