The organ is essentially a concert organ, as distinct from a church organ. It remains today entirely as intended by its builder. It is ideal for the authentic performance of the late 19th century recital repertoire (a subject of increasing interest to organ musicologists). It has been said of the organ that, ‘This organ is of the utmost importance… It is one of the few British instruments of its period remaining unaltered… Its significance is at an international level’.
The connoisseur of organ music would describe it as a concert organ of romantic character. It is typical of all that was best in late 19th-century organ design.
The tonal scheme reflects the mid-Victorian influence of French and German innovation, confidently integrated within a fundamentally British tonal structure. The burgeoning, turn-of-the century fashion for the alternative organ or anti-organ (assiduously promoted by the indefatigable Robert Hope Jones) has no place here.
Pipe organs are complex instruments. The Kelvingrove Organ is of the most substantial construction in its tonal provision. It is extremely comprehensive. The organ ranks as one of the foremost instruments of its type in this country. There are eight separate regulator-reservoirs (bellows). From the three manual and pedal console, forty-eight speaking stops control a total of 2,889 pipes by pneumatic movements via tubular transmission.
Tonal effects range '...from the whisper of the Choir Dulciana and the Swell Rohr Flöte stops, the beauty of the Oboe, Clarionet and Vox Humana, the majesty of the Great Diapason chorus, to the sheer brilliance of the Tuba stops and of the Pedal Bombard and Trumpet stops’.