Combination Action

Practicing the art of organ registration (the selection and combination of organ stops) has been made much easier by the invention of mechanical, pneumatic, electrical, and now solid state combination actions. Prior to this, the organist either made all stop changes by hand or used human registration assistants. Obviously, this limited the types and number of changes in organ sound that were possible in the course of a performance, even with the help of an assistant.

Most modern organs are built with a combination action. This makes possible the setting or “memorization” of any combination of stops, and the option of recalling that combination by pressing a single general combination thumb piston or toe stud. Although this makes it easier to change stops, it is not intended to replace stop changes that can be made just as easily by hand--a basic skill required of every organist.