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Thread: Learning how to tune, repair and maintain organs

  1. #1
    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster
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    Learning how to tune, repair and maintain organs

    Hi all

    Any chance of any advice to help my learning in this field? I am based in Manchester, England.

    thanks!

  2. #2
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Hi Bach>Meer,

    Not too long ago the organbuilding firm of Harrison was looking for people interested in the art of organbuilding. Mander and the professionals who maintain the Master Henry Willis vision and craft are others who might be looking. It wouldn't hurt to send them an inquiry with a little something about yourself and your aptitudes and in what capacity you see yourself in the not too distant future.

    Cheers,

    Corno Dolce
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bach>Meer View Post
    Hi all

    Any chance of any advice to help my learning in this field? I am based in Manchester, England.

    thanks!
    Sure. I can't put you in touch with anyone as I've never even been to England, but I can tell you about the field.

    It is most often and best learned in an apprenticeship style. I believe Germany has schools to train in organbuilding, but those are the only notable exceptions I know of. There are a lot of skills required. First of all you have to be a businessman. Even if you choose to work for someone else all through the career the element is still there, because you are the one on site representing the company to the client (the church). So it is good to aquire some business skills. Here in America there a lot of organ technicians are self employed or working with a very small firm. Obviously in that situation you sink or swim with your ability to handle a business.

    You also need electrical skills. Modern organs have a lot of electronics, and almost all run with electric blowers. Guess who gets to fix and replace when something breaks.

    Then of course if you want to tune you need to have the ears for it. Some people do and some people don't. I was at an organist workshop a couple of years back and the presenter was a pipe organ technician. He had the organists try to put two pitches in tune with each other. It was easy - all you had to do was turn the nob on the tuner until the beats quite. But about half the organists there couldn't hear it. They couldn't do it. I'm not sure why. There are also different levels of the skill. When I was in college I worked summers sometimes with a pipe organ technician and I did some tuning with him. I found that I was capable of doing it and doing it well. But then I saw the speed and accuracy that he was capable of. I was shocked. I asked if it was just experience. He said no. He had been able to do it that fast and good as soon as he started doing it.

    Leatherwork, pipe repair, chest repair / building, etc. can be sent out to those who focus on only that. Often pipe organ technicians driving from one church to the next don't have time to do those things even if they are able.

    Feel free to ask any more specific questions if you have them and we'll answer as able.

  4. #4
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Hello Bach>Meer,

    There is a famed school of organbuilding called Rieger-Kloss - Below is their website:

    http://www.rieger-kloss.com/our_hist...an_school.html

    If you write to them, I'm sure they would be happy to send you a program prospectus about the courses annd what's expected of the student.

    Cheers,

    Corno Dolce
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

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