Tabernacle organ unique in its era

According to the conventional wisdom of the 19th century, the Mormon Tabernacle organ is situated all wrong.

The historic practice was to have an organ placed at the rear of the church, cathedral or other building in which it was to provide the music, said Kirk Henrichsen, a senior exhibit developer for the Church History Museum.

But when the fledgling Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came into possession of a pipe organ in 1857, church President Brigham Young either did not know that, or chose to ignore it. Instead, a pipe organ has been a visual focal point for those visiting the Tabernacle on Temple Square, and when the Conference Center was added, a pipe organ again was front and center in the design.

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