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Pipe Organ Tuner

Robert Scott of Real-Time Specialties in Hopkins, MN has developed an excellent and highly recommended computerized Organ Tuner.  A very portable, even wearable, version for the iPhone or iPod Touch is available.

This program is an enhancement of his TuneLab for piano tuning system including program extensions required by organbuilders. Features include:

   -  pitch correction due to temperature change,

   -  frequencies above the top of a 2' rank,

   -  all harmonics up to the 16th and separate provision for harmonics 3, 5, 7,

   -  multiple temperaments included and programmable,

   -  a Fourier window for tuning compound ranks and high pitches,

   -  a Phase display for highly accurate pitch indication.

The current version is 2.4 and features added include:

   -  increased frequency resolution in the 4 - 8 - 16 pitch octaves

   -  expanded cent value display for original tuning of far out of tune pipes.

   -  programmable exact tuning of celeste beat rates

   -  corrected high deviation cent approximation with an exact calculation

   -  non-harmonic (fourths and sixths) pipe tuning such as in a Rauschende Zimbel

Significant enhancements starting with version 2.0 include:

   -  Multi-Tuner functionality.  One can listen/tune 12 harmonics simultaneously. This is useful in tuning mixtures and mutations without closing off pipes.  Combination tuning (multiple ranks for increased wind consumption) is also possible without closing off pipes.

   -  Pipe first tuning cut to pitch calculations are built in.  Enter the length and the cent deviation will calculate the amount of pipe to cut off, or add if the pipe is too short.  A parameter is available to adjust the cutoff calculation for different pipe halvings such as principal and flute.

Pipedreams

This weekly radio broadcast explores the diversity of the pipe organ, its performers, and it music. Hosted by J. Michael Barone, listeners will enjoy sounds ranging from a recently restored instrument to a new composition, with many performances recorded specifically for Pipedreams. Programs can be downloaded from the web site, which also includes pictures and supplemental information.

Organ Historical Society

The Society is open to anyone interested in the pipe organ and its history. It is an association of organ enthusiasts, both amateur and professional, whose activities include publishing research, hosting conventions, and fostering awareness of the rich history of the organ in North America. This non-profit group is partly supported by the sale of CDs, books, and music. The OHS Catalog, possibly the most extensive such resource, is also online.

Lie-Nielsen Tool Works

Good tools make work easier and enjoyable. While Wahl Organbuilders has a basic compliment of machines to do the rough or repetitive tasks, hand tools and traditional joinery are key to the quality of finish we desire in our instruments. Most of our hand planes are from the Lie-Nielsen catalogue. We highly recommend this Warren, Maine firm to any woodworker interested in high-quality tools.

The History of Organs

The music retailer zZounds of New Jersey has created an educational page of links to dozens of other pages of information on selected history and technical aspects of the organ.  Each page focuses a specific topic but also has multiple links to additional information. One included link is Lawrece Phelps' 1969 Trends in North American Organ Building. This lecture represents an interesting inflection point between the organ work and design of past centuries and the blossoming of multiple styles of contemporary organbuilding.