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Thread: Lowest frequencies

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016

    Lightbulb Lowest frequencies

    I'm new, so I don't know where the thread is that I was reading about the lowest frequency on a pipe organ. I have an incredible story; actually several, but maybe not related to this thread.

    After 50 years of riding a motorcycle on freeways and surface streets, and 4 years on a noisy aircraft carrier, I am a bit hard of hearing; for at least the last 10 years.

    About 5 years ago I was listening to music I found on the internet; have good speakers and sub-woofer on my desk. Being a Christian, I latched onto one of my favorite songs performed by the Morgan State University Choir, accompanied by a pipe organ. Although I played many instruments from 6th grade up into the US Navy, a never mastered any, and never studied music theory.

    As I listened to "How Great Thou Art," I said to myself, that lowest note on the organ must be 17 Hz. I had absolutely no way of knowing this for a fact, but my brain just sensed that many oscillations in the tone. No, it was not just "feeling" the vibration; I swear, I heard it.

    Soon after that I was discussing the experience with a student teacher's assistant of mine at my high school. She was the president of the orchestra club, and very well accomplished on the contra-bass. We decided to google the formula for determining the frequency for musical notes, realizing that it is not a linear progression.

    When we looked up the frequency for the lowest note on a pipe organ I was absolutely SHOCKED, and elated, that I got it, basically, right; 16.31 Hz. How much closer could a person get???? I have absolutely no training or experience that would cause that. My late wife and current girl friend tell me I cannot sing, at all, or carry a tune to speak of. But I know I nailed that frequency.

    Wikipedia says the lower limit of normal hearing is about 20 Hz, and does not provide a sample below 31 Hz.

    There is something ??? spiritual, magic, or something, when I hear certain songs; this is one of them. One reason I cannot sing in church is because the songs I know and like instantly choke me up so bad that I physically cannot sing a note. "How Great Thou Art," "Amazing Grace," bag pipes playing at a funeral, and others.

    Well, the story goes on, but I hope you all enjoyed reading this and have comments about my experience.

    Ron Hartigan

  2. #2
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Tucson, Arizona
    Welcome to the forum Ron

    Enjoyed reading about your experience with the low frequency of the pipe organ. That low frequency would relate to a pipe that would be 32 feet in length. The longest pipe is 64' which when played alone has the sound of the flatulence of an elephant (as a member described this a few years back. That pipe rank is in Sydney Australia.

    Seldom do most church organs here have anything lower than a 16' pipe ... in some installations the 32' sound is created digitally with an amp and some beefed up speaker(s).

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