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NSLALP
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Historic organ draws music lovers to Philadelphia store - USATODAY.com

Need to check that one out.

I also recently got to see the innards of the huge pipe organ (20th largest or so, with >10k pipes) at Longwood Gardens near Philly. The DuPont family built it to entertain guests and family in 1929. There's just something special about a fully organic and pneumatic machine creating such multi-voiced music. Even better is seeing the pedal tone pipes - large wooden boxes up to 64' in length that just make your chest move. 72 horsepower is on tap to make this thing purr.

 

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I was raised Catholic, and my church growing up still had a pipe organ. I always thought it looked kinda cool, with the 60 pipes in a pretty pattern behind the alter. Then, around age 15, I was helping my dad and his friend while they did drywall work. The whole church was being remodeled, so the panel behind the alter was gone, and you could see the REAL pipes. They ranged in size from something the size of a piccolo, to this twenty foot tall monster that stretched towards the cathedral-like ceiling. We got to go up and walk around among the pipes, stepping over the mass of air lines running from the compressor.

Then, we got to watch them dismantle it and haul it away. The church "upgraded" to a modern electronic organ. :(
 

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Oh, and you need to plan another trip to Virginia at some point. About ninety minutes west of me are several awesome caverns, near Skyline Drive. Everyone knows of Luray Caverns, with it's massive pipe organ, but little known Skyline Caverns actually has an organ that hammers stalactites and stalagmites. The inventor painstakingly searched a large swath of the caverns, looking for the natural formations that would give him the exact right pitches.
 
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ɹǝqɯǝɯ ɹɐln&#38
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:lol: @ thread direction.

I was raised catholic as well and the pipe organ at the church I went to had those wood panels that opened and closed. Was really cool to watch.
 

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NSLALP
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I was raised Catholic, and my church growing up still had a pipe organ. I always thought it looked kinda cool, with the 60 pipes in a pretty pattern behind the alter. Then, around age 15, I was helping my dad and his friend while they did drywall work. The whole church was being remodeled, so the panel behind the alter was gone, and you could see the REAL pipes. They ranged in size from something the size of a piccolo, to this twenty foot tall monster that stretched towards the cathedral-like ceiling. We got to go up and walk around among the pipes, stepping over the mass of air lines running from the compressor.

Then, we got to watch them dismantle it and haul it away. The church "upgraded" to a modern electronic organ. :(
:noway:

I didn't realize until recently that each different tone means a whole new set of pipes, and of course that there are doubles and triples of many pipes for volume considerations. I always thought there was a series of filters, plugs, etc. that shaped the different tones, but the little control levers are really just opening the dam to new pipes with different tones. When you have trumpets, flutes, horns, bells, train whistles, glockenspiels, harps, a gong, strings and other voices in all the various arrangements, the number of pipes and air systems becomes incredible.

Oh, and you need to plan another trip to Virginia at some point. About ninety minutes west of me are several awesome caverns, near Skyline Drive. Everyone knows of Luray Caverns, with it's massive pipe organ, but little known Skyline Caverns actually has an organ that hammers stalactites and stalagmites. The inventor painstakingly searched a large swath of the caverns, looking for the natural formations that would give him the exact right pitches.
:eek:
 

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I think the coolest thing about pipe organs is to consider just how awe-inspiring they must have been when first invented.

Picture this: you live in the 16th century, and they're building huge cathedrals that are 100+ feet tall, out of heavy stone, and take years and years to build. Then, installed inside one of those buildings is a musical instrument that can shake the entire building...before any sort of electrically-powered amplification. :holy:

Interesting note about the one in Boston's Symphony Hall...it's actually MIDI-controllable. I've had the opportunity to climb around the organ room there a few times, and I always found the MIDI input amusing. They normally use a more traditional organ console, though.
 

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NSLALP
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
^ Awesome. I don't like her rendition very much, but that piece is fabulous on organ. My dad has a very nice recording that reproduces the low end incredibly well. In a few passages there is clearly <20 Hz rumbling going on.

We were listening to the piece and kept hearing an annoying rattle. I walked around the room until I became convinced it was from a window. Visual inspection confirmed that a note around 15 Hz was causing a slightly loose pane of glass to rattle in the window. His subwoofer was really busy! :lol:
 

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^ Awesome. I don't like her rendition very much, but that piece is fabulous on organ. My dad has a very nice recording that reproduces the low end incredibly well. In a few passages there is clearly <20 Hz rumbling going on.

We were listening to the piece and kept hearing an annoying rattle. I walked around the room until I became convinced it was from a window. Visual inspection confirmed that a note around 15 Hz was causing a slightly loose pane of glass to rattle in the window. His subwoofer was really busy! :lol:
Bach wrote that piece so he could literally "Pull out all the stops" in the organ and test out how it sounded.
 

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A good church-style pipe organ = the heaviest tone ever. No contest.
 

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