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Why 32 notes pedalboard?

Luis Enrique

New member
Hello all

What is the real or potential use of a 32 notes pedalboard? What was the RATIONALE or arguments AGO experts proposed to recommend extend the pedal from the classical and europeans 30 to 32 noes? Or it was the result of a committee whim?

30 notes will suffice to cover almost all the organ literature, I think, (including Bach´s F major toccata ¡)

Besides, I find more ergonomic and confortable to extend legs span to 30 notes rather than to 32.

Mick Berg

New member
Just so that the American one will be bigger than anyone else's?;)
Mick Berg
Last edited:


Staff member
There is some information about organ pedalboards here. But that page does not answer your question.

The AGO created a 'standard' for organ consoles for the US. There is, albeit limited, literature for organ pedalboard solo ... where the player plays the entire composition with the feet, including full range glissando's and 4 note chords.

There are some who believe that 32 pedals is overkill and not really what composers like Bach intended for their music. Purists may argue that the American 32 note pedalboard goes against the grain for design. Here in the states we have gotten used to having 32 notes ... and most of us have played on organs that had 30 notes, and some of those were flat (non-radiating).


New member
And there at least one piece that calls for a 2' flute on the top G of the pedal board.


New member
Charles Callahan
Partita on Middlebury (Come Away to the Skies)
Concorida 97-6766
V. Meditation, Messure 8.
Manual:Celestes 8'.
Pedal Flute 2' (or 4')