The Organ

Restoration Stage Sixteen February 2006 Pipe Organ Tuning

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Date last updated
Sunday, March 12, 2006 6:58 PM

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Tuning the Pipe Organ

John Shepherd here is tuning and voicing the organ.

Different pipes are tuned in different ways.

On some pipes the rim is made slightly larger or smaller to adjust the note. The Shepherd brothers have removed the last of this type from the Walker organ, as continual adjustment of these pipes cause them to fracture.

A more common type is a metal ring around the top of the pipe that will lengthen or shorten the pipe.

Some of our pipes such as the Dulciana have a slot cut into the back of the pipe and the ring moves up and down the slot to adjust the pitch of the note.

The Reeds are adjusted differently see stage 7


One the pipes play the correct note, they then have to be adjusted so that they all play with the same loudness.

The bottom aperture is either opened or closed to regulate the amount of air entering the pipe.


There is a whole collection of wonderful tools to do this job. These can be seen on the table behind the pipe. Here John Shepherd is closing down one of the aperatures of the pipes to allow less air into the pipe to regulate it and to quieten the pipe in line with all of the others.

This is a skillful job, requiring at least two people, the other Eric Shpherd playing the keys.

Tuning the Dulciana


Testing the Dulciana


The Swell stop Mechanisim is still making progress. All the parts need to be taken apart, cleaned or replaced and then reassembled.


Once this mechism is fixed the swell stops will once again work effectively.

At the moment the stops are wedged open.


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