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Thread: Problem with small pipe organ

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Question Problem with small pipe organ

    Today I was a guest organist on a small pipe organ. I would like to see if anyone knows what the the following problem could be: When I played a D-minor chord, I heard an F-sharp play; and when I played a G-minor chord, I heard a B-natural play with it. I was using only 8' stops (so no harmonics of any sort involved) and when I had rehearsed earlier in the week, it was not doing it. It occurred on both manuals. Any ideas? And, how could I intelligently describe this to a technician?

  2. #2
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso wljmrbill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Taylors, South Carolina, USA
    First..need to isolate the 8"stop pipe that is causing the problem as that will help the technician... Might suggest locating the pipe and carefully make sure no dust/dirt is affecting it. also could be electronic, peaumtic problem too. Good Luck at least not a siphon
    ....To play only what is written is the domain of science. To realize what is not written is the domain of art."
    - Jean Langlais

    I wish you the Best for each day, now and always.


  3. #3
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Tucson, Arizona
    Two possibilities ... dust as Bill mentions above ... could be that the pneumatic valves below those pipes is not re-seating correctly.

    The other is that the pouch rail might have some leathers that need replacing ... especially since the offending note is adjacent to the one being played in both instances.
    There is a leather pouch on the top and bottom of the pouch rail ... inside is a spring that aids in the closing of the valve. If the leathers are worn out, they will not always re-seat properly and allow adjacent pipes to speak, even though their respective pneumatic valve is not being activated.

    Pouch rail repairs involved getting underneath the pipe chest ... the bottom rail has to be removed, and then the pouch rails removed, one by one ... Pouch rails are seldom repaired on site, unless there are only one or two, and the tech has experience doing this in the field.

    As to this not occurring during your practice session, that could be related to heating/cooling issues. As the temperature rises or drops, and if there are huge swings in that temperature variance, it can affect the pneumatic systems in some cases.

    As for dust ... the pipe organ technicians motto is "Let Sleeping Dust Lie" ... disturbing any of it will cause bigger problems down the road, usually leading to ciphers, which usually start playing all by themselves right in the middle of a quiet prayer during the service.

    Kh ♫

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