Follow The Piper Generation

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Illustration of man playing pipe flute or horn with bycocket hat. Left of the hat is white text in handwriting font. Below the piper is white text in print font. All on orange background.

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“Follow the Piper Generation” was a tagline used to advertise the Hammond Piper Autochord in the early 1970s. A brand new Hammond Piper Autochord in 1971 cost $899, which if you calculated the inflation to determine a price today, would be $5,188 in 2021. The Piper Autochord had a cassette player/recorder attached underneath the keys, and there are sounds controls which made the Autochord sound like a piano, harpsichord, sitar, guitar, marimba, banjo, trombone, accordion, flute, violin, or trumpet. There are seven different rhythm options, namely: latin, western, parade, rock, ballad, waltz, and jazz.

 The Autochord was advertised as being for a beginner organist, but the instrument would still sound great after you learned the basics. The instrument came with its own special type of color-coded music scores. Many organ enthusiasts, however, complain about the fact that the switches to turn on the different sound options work the opposite of most switches today, the switches are turned off when they are pushed up. The instrument did not have foot pedals like most organs, instead the Piper played an automatic bass part.

Duke Ellington promoted the Piper Autochord in 1973. There are posters with his review of the Autochord which feature a picture of him sitting on top of the Autochord. One of the effects available on the Autochord is called dynamute, which Ellington describes as “the wa-waa sound a trumpet makes.”


Abilene Reporter-News. (1971). Follow the Piper Generation to Instant Playing Fun, p. 26.

1973 Duke Ellington Sitting On the Hammond Piper Electronic Organ Photo Print Ad. Retrieved 3 March 2021, from…

HAMMOND ACCOMPLISHMENTS. Retrieved 3 March 2021, from…

Hammond Service Manual The Piper Autochord. Retrieved 3 March 2021, from…

HAMMOND THE PIPER. Retrieved 3 March 2021, from

Hottentot, M. (2010). The Hammond Piper Autochord. Retrieved 3 March 2021, from

Inflation: How much it costs - then and now. Retrieved 3 March 2021, from

The New Mexican. (1970). Piper Autochord, p. 6.

The Ogden Standard-Examiner. (1973). Follow the "Piper"! Generation at Glen Bros. Music Co., p. 21.

Catalog ID AD1001