The first pipe organ, built by Forster and Andrews of Hull, was installed in the Great Hall during 1881-1882. After ninety years of service to the University, it was replaced in 1971-1972 by the present von Beckerath organ. The cost of the new organ was met by the Eleanor Sophia Wood Bequest. Mrs. Wood, who died on 15th August, 1962, bequeathed the residue of her estate, valued at over $800,000, to the University "for the promotion and encouragement of education at the said University including the establishment of bursaries, scholarships and prizes for the students thereof and otherwise in such manner and for such purposes of the said University as the Senate or other governing body thereof shall from time to time determine."

The new organ was dedicated on 4 December 1972, by the Swiss organist, Lionel Rogg.