View Full Version : wind organ

Oct-31-2005, 04:14
Anyone familiar with attempts to create an organ that uses wind to blow the pipes? Seems like it would require a less rhymically bound composition to enjoy wind in a more variable state.. or good improvisation.

Oct-31-2005, 05:16
Something like this ?
I think 'Aeolien' is the operative ........ https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Nov-01-2005, 07:38
I'm thinking of an air box filled by wind pressure, entirely dependent on the random work of the wind. Probably experimental.

Thomas Dressler
Dec-06-2005, 08:06
Sondance, I'm not sure what you mean. I regular pipe organ is a box filled with wind pressure, however the pipes are played by pressing the keys which allows wind into the specific pipes needed to make the pitches and sounds you want. Are you thinking of some kind of random way of making the pipes speak? I can't think of a way this would work, because as the wind chest is pressurized, the wind pressure is fairly evenly distributed throughout--all the pipes would speak at once. Can you tell us more about how you see your instrument working?

Thomas Dressler

Dec-07-2005, 06:16
Hi Thomas:
I confess I do not have it all worked out in my mind. That is why I was inquirying.
My brain sometimes tracks along the traditional and experimental simultaneously. This would definitely be experimental. Such a device would not necessarily be a pipe organ but I think that is a good starting place. I can see an apparatus that would catch the wind and funnel it into ... perhaps a wind driven turbine able to also pressurize the "box". The idea would be to let nature take a part in generating or effecting the music. Pieces maybe written with an open tempo the musician alters in response to changes in the wind.
It may be that the pipes or "wind instruments" would require a new design to be effective in variable and light wind velocity.
Just brainstorming here.


Thomas Dressler
Dec-07-2005, 07:49
I'm trying to "catch your drift" and see if I can figure out a way this would work. It's an interesting puzzle. The difficulty I see is that as long as your pipes are all on the same box or windchest, and it operates with pressurized wind, your pipes will all speak at once if there is no intervening valves (pallets) under the pipes. You would have to come up with some mechanism that would randomly open the pallets. In this case, the pipes would all speak with uniform wind pressure. If you wanted something truly random, including in wind pressure and therefore sound, each pipe would have to have its own separately sealed windchest underneath it. Then you'd have to come up with a way of randomly increasing and decreasing the pressure in each separate windchest. This would be much more complicated than having the pipes all on a single chest which is pressurized by a single blower, and the pipes speaking randomly.

Actually, it might not be too difficult to make this happen, as there are pipe organs built with midi interfaces that allow a computer to "play" the organ. Perhaps it would be possible to create a computer program that would make the organ speak in a completely random way.

On the other hand, I think the randomness that occurs in nature, such as wind chimes, has a quality that computers cannot imitate.

This is an interesting puzzle!

Thomas Dressler