The Scottish Federation of Organists




SFO Bookshop

The following publications are now available and we would be happy to fill your order by eBay, by email, by mail or by phone.

The prices quoted below are postage paid prices.

Stocks of all books are held by Donald Maclagan.


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Organs in Scotland — A Revised List
by Alan Buchan, B.Mus.
published March 2018
£8.50 with free postage with the UK by 2nd Class Royal Mail

Published on 31 March 2018, this is a completely revised list of organs in Scotland containing details of every known pipe organ that has existed in Scotland with information about builder, re-builds, refurbishments etc.  It has 364 pages with 119 photographs, both B&W and Colour.

In April 2018 Jim McKellican wrote:
    This comprehensive work on the organs of Scotland by Alan Buchan, aided by countless others, is a vade mecum for any aspiring or established organist who has more than just an interest their own instrument i.e. most of us. The detailed research into the history of organs in Scotland is evident as an in depth study and reminds us that, despite an oft held idea that all organs were banned post 1560, the only ban was in the majority of Presbyterian places of worship.  Organs continued in other religious denominations as well as in private ownership.
    Recently there has been more interest in pipe organs in private ownership and these too are listed in the alphabetical gazetteer.  From a quick glance one can immediately find date of origin, maker, number of manuals, speaking stops and work carried out on the instrument.  There is no need to do any timeous cross referencing.
    This is a well presented publication and ought to be on every organist's Christmas list. definitely a '5 star' production.

Note that there are now very few copies left for sale and therefore this book will soon be out of print. (5th November 2018)
The Hymns and Hymn Tunes of William D. Maclagan
compiled by Donald T. Maclagan, Cert.H.E.(S.M.S.), Dip.R.S.C.M.
published June 2017
£8.75 with free postage within the UK by 2nd Class Royal Mail

William Dalrymple Maclagan was prominent in the Church of England having served in five positions in London before becoming Bishop of Lichfield and finally Archbishop of York from 1891 to 1908.  Donald Maclagan is third cousin four times removed of the late Archbishop. As well as being a prominent churchman, William Maclagan was a talented church musician and wrote 9 hymns and 30 tunes and all of these are gathered here in a single 50-page volume for the first time. The hymns are complete and the tunes are in the Archbishop’s own 4-part harmony.

Let Him Sing Psalms
by Donald T. Maclagan, Cert.H.E.(S.M.S.), Dip.R.S.C.M.
published 2016
£6.25 with free postage within the UK by 2nd Class Royal Mail

Let Him Sing Psalms comprises 36 pages tracing the use of the metrical psalms in Scotland from 1546 to the present day, starting with a look at the development of the Christian Church in Scotland and going on to examine the various psalm books that over the centuries have led to the metrical psalms holding that special place in the hearts of Scottish Christians.

In The Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland Bulletin Summer 2018 (Number 296 - Volume 22 Number 3) Andrew Pratt wrote:
    Let Him Sing Psalms is an account of the use of Metrical Psalms in Scotland from 1546 to the present day.  This slim booklet begins with a summary of the history of the Christian church in Scotland.  For those who are not familiar with the context this helps to explain the particular relevance and place of Psalmody here.  The book then proceeds to place the use of metrical psalms within this context from an historical perspective.  While the decline of the use of metrical psalms is noted, there is no recognition or analysis of the disconnect between the Hebrew Judaic originals and the, sometimes faulted, language which results from the metrical structure that is being imposed on the scripture.
    Donald Maclagan bemoans the disuse into which the Scottish Psalter 1929 has fallen, while not acknowledging the depth of inspiration from the Psalms which permeates much of late-twentieth and early twenty-first century hymnody.  He is wedded to the use of metrical Psalms and this provides the imperative for this book.  As an account of these this is an invaluable introduction.
Available for Loan

Sydney Opera House Grand Organ
Specification and Background Notes 1980

The SFO has received a gift from Ms Mary-Ann Cockburn of Dundee of the original booklet containing details of the Sydney Opera House Grand Organ - at 127 stops spread over 5 manuals and pedals thought to be the largest mechanical-action organ in the world.

This booklet was published in 1980 just months after the organ was completed at the end of May 1979.  Although some details of the organ are available on the Opera House website this booklet is much more detailed containing Background Notes, Specification, a biography of the builder Ronald Sharp and a reprint of a very comprehensive article about the organ by Jamieson Rowe.  There are 11 black and white photographs including one of Marie-Claire Alain playing in November 1979.

As the copyright status of this booklet is vague it is not possible to scan or photocopy it.  However, any member of an SFO affiliated local organists' society may borrow the booklet from Donald Maclagan, publications@scotsorgan.org.uk or 01540 662431.
In The Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland Bulletin Summer 2018 (Number 296 - Volume 22 Number 3) Andrew Pratt wrote:
    Maclagan was Archbishop of York from 1891 to 1908, when he retired through ill-health.  This booklet avoids the risk of being hagiographical by simply providing the texts and tunes of Maclagan and making no comment as to their literary or musical quality.  This can be attested by their continued use.
    Nine texts are printed in full, of which seven are listed in HymnQuest, though none seems to have been selected for inclusion in the twenty-first-century hymnals listed therein.  It is finished! Blesséd Jesus! is included in the greatest number of hymnals.  Of some 30 hymn tunes printed, three continue in use today, the most widely cited being Newington and Bread of Heaven.
    There are extensive notes providing insight into the history of the writing, use and publication of the tunes and texts, together with explanations of changes of musical setting or alternative words.
    The book is a fine tribute to William D. Maclagan as a hymn writer and an excellent resource for anyone wishing to research him more widely.
History of the Scottish Federation of Organists
by Donald T Maclagan, Cert.H.E.(S.M.S.), Dip.R.S.C.M.
published 2018
£6.50 with free postage within the UK by 2nd Class Royal Mail

Over a year of research and compilation has resulted in this remarkable history of the Scottish Federation of Organists.  Founded in 1956 the SFO remains the only charitable body to encourage and represent the organists of Scotland no matter where in the country they work and no matter whether they play in one of the major city cathedrals or in one of the hundreds of small rural churches.   A4 paperback “coffee-table” format, 95 pages with 27 full colour illustrations.

Dr John P. Kitchen, M.B.E., M.A., B.Mus, Ph.D., F.R.C.O., L.R.A.M., Edinburgh City Organist, Honorary Fellow of the Reid School of Music and Director of Ceremonial Music, University of Edinburgh, Director of Music, Old Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, Royal Mile, Edinburgh has described this work as “a fascinating read” and “an essential Christmas Stocking filler”.

Published and subsidised by the Edinburgh Society of Organists - ESO members are entitled to a free copy paying only £2.50 for postage and packing; please contact Donald Maclagan.