Pipe Organ Maintenance Tips
Like any delicate musical instrument, pipe organs require a lot of intentional and intricate care. Organs need regular service in order to sound their best. An organ is a long-term investment and you want to make sure it stays in good condition. Here are Viscount Organs’ top tips for properly maintaining your pipe organ.
Pipe organs are temperature sensitive, and air temperature can affect the sound of the pipes. It is important that the organ remains in a climate controlled environment and that the instrument is not exposed to too much humidity. Keep the temperature consistent, not too hot or cold. Extreme, consistent temperature changes can damage your organ.
Listen to All Pipes and Adjust Tuning for Best Overall Effect
An out of tune organ will not sound right, so it is important to take care when tuning the pipes. As mentioned above, temperature can affect the organ’s tune so make sure to tune it regularly in the temperature it will be played in. Tuning the pipes is typically a two-person job. One person plays notes while the other checks the pipes for proper movement and function. If one is found to be out of tune, the pipe can be adjusted to move back into proper pitch.
Tune All Reed Stops
The reeds on the organ can also affect the sound. When you notice a reed is out of tune, remove it and scrape a small amount of metal from one side depending on if the note is sharp or flat. If you remove too much, remove more from the other side. It is a tedious process, but necessary.
Fix Minor Problems
When servicing your pipe organ, also be on the lookout for minor mechanical problems. Make sure to take note of chipped keys or loose pedals and examine the body for scratches or damage. Even minor damage can affect the sound of your organ so be sure to check thoroughly and replace anything that needs replacing.