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Zimbelstern

Organs and the warm weather

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With this prolonged spell of very warm weather, it might be interesting for forum members to record here any noticeable effect on the tuning of whatever pipe organ they have regular access to. 

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Hopefully, many churches  remain relatively cool even in this hot weather.

I have even been known to set foot in one just to escape the heat, even if there isn't an organ recital in progress.

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It was 36C here, with a humidex of 46, yesterday, which is a bit more than we usually get in New Brunswick at this time - although temperatures in the 30s are not uncommon in high summer.  The Cathedral organ is behaving herself well enough, although the tuning is a little bit French.  I went out to Woodstock (about an hour's drive) today to try out the organ in the Anglican Church prior to giving a concert on it next week - Casavant, rebuilt by Hill, Norman & Beard 1954 - nothing untoward to report, but the tuner is coming on Monday anyway!

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I'm just back from playing for a wedding at my regular church on the single manual + pedal hotpotch  under the West End tower. Playing 3 of Bach's Short Preludes and Fugues beforehand didn't sound too bad but the final chord of Pachelbel's Canon on the Stop Diapason 8' + 4'  Open Flute had more beats than an egg whisking competition. It was fine last Sunday so I can blame the weather over the past few days.

Telephone call to the tuner diaried for Monday so as to be ready for next week's repeat...

 

 

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The reeds on my 1914 Hill have certainly gone out of tune with the flue pipes, but it seems far worse in the top two octaves and not so noticeable in the bottom two at the moment. Is this normal? I haven’t really paid much attention to this aspect before. 

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3 hours ago, Zimbelstern said:

The reeds on my 1914 Hill have certainly gone out of tune with the flue pipes, but it seems far worse in the top two octaves and not so noticeable in the bottom two at the moment. Is this normal? I haven’t really paid much attention to this aspect before. 

Perhaps the flues are the ones having gone out of tune!

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Little reeds are more susceptible to getting out of regulation - I suppose the simplest explanation is that larger ones are more robust and allow a bigger margin before they become unhappy.  The same thing is true of flue pipes and one usually finds that the basses need a good deal less tuning than the trebles, but reeds by their nature are a more complicated system so there is more to go wrong or to get out of regulation.  Excellent initial construction and regulation, together with competent subsequent maintenance, results in good general stability of tuning, but extremes of temperature will upset the finest of pipes and mechanisms - and it's the reed trebles which tend to be the worst affected.

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