The OHS Pipe Organ Database

BuilderID 329

Builder Identification

Newton, Massachusetts, from 1972.

Additional Notes

  • From the OHS PC Database, derived from A Guide to North American Organbuilders, rev. ed. by David H. Fox (Organ Historical Society, 1997). -

    With Roy E. H. Carlson of Boston, Massachusetts, 1956-1957; established firm, 1958; associated with Welte-Whalon Co. of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, 1959-1966; partner in Barden & Clark, Inc., 1968-1972; established Nelson Barden & Associates, 1972; in Newton, Massachusetts, c. 1975; active in 1990.

    • Letter to David Fox.
    • Organ Handbook 1989 OHS Convention, 48.

  • From the OHS PC Database Builders Listing editor, March 16, 2016. -

    Partnership of Nelson Barden and Kenneth Clark in Boston, Massachusetts, 1960s. They restored Ampico Reproducing Pianos and other automata. Later they began working with organ automated player systems beginning with the Welte Organ Company's Philharmonic Pipe Player Organ. After the partnership ended, Barden established Nelson Barden & Associates, in 1972; he relocated to Newton, Massachusetts, c. 1975;1 The firm did restoration work on several notable organs in Massachusetts: Church of the Advent, Boston (Aeolian-Skinner Opus 940, OHS Database ID 25197), Groton School (Aeolian-Skinner Opus 936, OHS Database ID 24800), and Old South Church (Skinner Organ Co. - Opus 308, OHS Database ID 22577). The firm is best known for the creation of the Symphonic Organ at Boston University (Skinner Organ Co. - Opus 764, OHS Database ID 7181). This instrument is an amalgamation of several vintage residence organs by Aeolian and Aeolian-Skinner into a single large instrument under the control of a new playback mechanism. 2


    1. Jonathan Ambrosino, "Barden, Nelson C." in The Organ: An Encyclopedia edited by Douglas Bush & Richard Kassel (Utah and New York: Psychology Press, 2006), 48-49.
    2. Nelson Barden & Associates website,, Accessed August 27, 2016.

Database Entries

There are 10 entries in the database that describe organs by Nelson Barden (& Associates).

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Builder's Nameplate. Photograph by William T. Van Pelt

Designer's Nameplate. Photograph by William T. Van Pelt