Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody is one of the most popular songs in music history. It's so beloved that people have covered it thousands of times. We've heard it performed by 28 trombonists, a little kid at home, and sung by a crowd of 65,000 concertgoers. The complexity of the melody allows each new version to offer something fresh and unexpected. This time, Bohemian Rhapsody was performed on the biggest pipe organ in the world that's located in Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Considered by the Guinness World Records as the “largest and loudest musical instrument ever constructed,” this organ boasts 33,112 pipes. Its construction cost $500,000, a mind-boggling sum considering that it was built during the Great Depression by the New York State-based Midmer-Losh Organ Company. Sadly, the pipe organ is only partially functional due to the damage it sustained during a hurricane in 1944 and renovation work on Boardwalk Hall in 2001.
Despite this, talented organist Josh Stafford made it work and brought the song to life by relying on the versatility of the instrument. His hands move effortlessly around the multiple keyboards, working with the higher-pitched keys to recreate Mercury's falsetto. As a result, this Bohemian Rhapsody sounds straight out of an epic church ceremony—or the most animated sports match of all time.
To spotlight the power of this pipe organ, the YouTube channel Boardwalk Organs has shared this and other performances on this amazing instrument. Beginning in March, the musicians that currently perform at the pipe organ will begin offering their recitals for the year. To stay up to date with the schedule and catch a live performance, visit the Boardwalk Organs website.