Organ Construction Part 2
Review by Tracker

It was obvious to those who attended Organ Construction 1 that it was impossible to explain everything about such a complex musical instrument in a single event. As a result, Chris Price generously offered a second session, this time at Cleator Moor Parish Church where he maintains the organ. Despite the unheated church, I was absorbed in his explanations for three hours.

With the aid of a mobile camera, we were able to see the parts of the organ on a monitor, it being impossible and undesirable for a group to tramp round the workings of the organ. As a result we gained knowledge of such parts as the wind supply, the swell box, bellows and their weights which determine the wind pressure, and the unusual features which make one organ different from another. Chris gave an account of the history of the organ and the renovations that have taken place over the years. In addition, he gave a talk on pipe types, scaling and tuning - techniques each needing separate sessions.

Chris is a professional piano tuner and engineer, and because piano notes die away quickly he pointed out that a much more acute ear is required than for organ tuning. At David Gibb's recital at Seascale in the evening, Chris commented on the poor state of tuning for a recital, (even though this has been completed only a few days earlier.)

Chris prepared a many-page handout with drawings and explanations of the types of actions and pipes. It would have been instructive if his talk had been recorded for members. Our thanks are due to Chris's generosity of time and devotion.


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