Joseph Bertolozzi desccribes the making of Bridge Music in a virtual lecture hosted by the Walkway Over the Hudson

A nice way to take your mind off the pandemic for an hour… mark your calendar. I hope you can join us on Zoom, 1pm Sunday May 3, 2020. Details at

The Walkway Over the Hudson hosts this presentation as part of a broader partnership with myself and Bridge Music in the observance of both the Walkway’s 10th anniversary and the Mid Hudson Bridge’s 90th anniversary. In addition to my talk, we’ll see some videos, take a virtual tour out onto the Mid Hudson Bridge and have time for Q&A.


Joseph Bertolozzi had the singular experience of playing the great pipe organ at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, the largest pipe organ in the world. Yes, that’s seven keyboards!

Joseph Bertolozzi, composer & organist, demonstrating the largest pipe organ in the world at Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ, January 16, 2020

Thanks to Nathan Bryson, Curator of Organs and Scott D Banks, Event Coordinator.

January 20, 2020

Powerful, yes; smooth, yes; versatile, yes. But there was an unexpected phenomenon (N.B. this gets pretty technical, so you can skip it and go to the other images below):

Says Bertolozzi:

“At one point I played a solo line using a combination starting at 8′, climbing through all the mutations from 6 2/5′, 5 1/3′, 4 4/7′, elevenths at every octave (that’s sounding an “F” when one plays a “C” key!), right on up through the highest septiemes, nones, and octaves (including 1 1/7′, 8/11′, 4/5′, 8/9, 1/2′ 1/3′, 1/4′ and others!) .

When the melody descended down to the lowest keys, there was a clearly audible resultant of 16′ in the tenor range that increased to a 32′ resultant in the lowest octave. Remember, the lowest pitched stop I had drawn was at 8′!

I drew the combination to hear the “weirdness” of all those mutations and as I played lower, James W. Martin, shop apprentice, pointed out that if I went even lower we’d hear this phenomenon. Thanks to him for suggesting it; it did not disappoint.”


Not that I was aiming for this goal, but I have now played the three largest organs in the world:

#2 – The Wanamaker Organ in Philadelphia, in July, 1983

#3 The Cadet Chapel at The US Military Academy, West Point in October, 1982

Bridge Music 10th Anniversary Celebrations

– Celebrating a Decade of Music –

Free and open to the public for ten years, Bridge Music has been and remains a touchstone of internationally recognized public sound-art.

DAY OF THE EVENT – Saturday Aug 3, 2019

ACTIVITIES (all events are free):

  1. 2pm – Re-Dedication and Tour of the Bridge Music Installation with Composer Joseph Bertolozzi
    Johnson-Iorio Park, 281 Haviland Rd, Highland, NY 12528

    We begin with a festive ribbon cutting. That is followed by a tour led by Bertolozzi out to the Listening Station on the west tower of the Bridge itself where the public can play along to the music with supplied drumsticks.
    There will be free giveaways such as BM10 tote bags, magnets, various other swag.
  2. 5:30pm – Bridge Music in Film & Print
    Vassar Temple, 140 Hooker Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

    Screenings, commentary and Q&A examining films and books about Bridge Music with Joseph Bertolozzi, the film makers themselves and music professionals providing context to Bridge Music’s place in music history. Screen & projection courtesy of Story Screen
  3. 9pm – The Bridge Music Light Show on the Mid-Hudson Bridge
    Tune in to Q92.1 FM from anywhere you can see the Mid-Hudson Bridge and watch the lights on the bridge change color and pulse to the rhythms of Joseph Bertolozzi’s Bridge Music.
    Join the live broadcast from the Walkway Over the Hudson.