Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis


School of Music


Music Performance

First Advisor

William H Bates


In 1841, a pipe organ was installed in the balcony of Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim (KKBE), Charleston, South Carolina. The presence of this instrument caused a controversy between traditionalists, who opposed instrumental music in the synagogue, and reformers, who accepted or promoted instrumental music in Jewish worship. The traditionalists seceded from the synagogue, and the reformers remained, resulting in the formation of the first Reform Jewish congregation in the United States. This document explores the theological impact of the installation of the organ at KKBE in 1841, the history of the organs installed in the KKBE sanctuary, the construction and design of those instruments, the organists and special events involving organ music at KKBE, and the types of music played on the organ.