Regular maintenance and tuning are essential to steward and protect the investment a church or organization makes in a pipe organ, and to keep it in good condition. We specialize in Rieger organs but are well versed in the maintenance of many types of pipe organs and the designs of many different organ builders throughout history.
Here are 5 ways to care for your instrument well:
- First, we recommend our clients schedule regular maintenance tunings. We recommend scheduling this twice a year corresponding to seasonal shifts in temperature – which is commonly in the autumn before Christmas and in the spring before Easter. Additional tunings can be scheduled before key concerts when the pipe organ needs to be at her best. A tuning visit begins with checking and adjusting the temperament of the tuning stop, then tuning each rank to that stop. We fix minor problems like adjusting tuning caps, addressing buzzing noises, and take note of any developing problems or elements that aren’t aging gracefully that will soon need attention.
We also check the blower and lubricate it as needed. Sometimes we find instruments that have been neglected or poorly serviced, and it may sound like they’re in bad condition, but a tuning can really work wonders.
- Secondly, we recommend a complete cleaning, technical re-voicing and tuning once a generation – every 20 years or so. This is basic and predictable stewardship to keep the instrument in good condition for the long term. Since something as simple as a small dead bug can silence an organ pipe, this is the time to go through the entire instrument and return every element to perfect working condition. At this time we also address any sound imbalance within the instrument and re-voice pipes, followed by tuning the instrument.
- Third, any time construction or renovation is happening in the building, the pipe organ must be carefully sealed to keep debris out of the delicate inner workings of the instrument. It is important to protect the valuable instrument from damage. Prime examples include: plaster or drywall work, or refinishing hardwood floors. Contact us for this delicate work to avoid additional damage to your pipe organ.
- Fourth, sometimes a pipe organ is in need of renovation. Pipe organs are made with wood, leather, and glue, and they “breathe”. When something is out of balance in the system, the instrument can begin sending out distress signals such as weird random problems, which result in mounting repair bills. It’s important to address the symptom and the cause and get the instrument back into balance quickly to avoid further damage, and to restore its full use and enjoyment.
- Finally, when a change is needed… we assist congregations in selecting a new-to-them instrument, relocating an existing instrument, or addressing needed repairs, renovation, or expansion of an existing instrument. We help congregations make informed decisions.
Terms: We anticipate and appreciate prompt payment for services. Invoices are due upon receipt. Invoices past due by thirty days will have finance charges assessed at that time.