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Organ Tuning #2848734
05/16/19 10:22 AM
05/16/19 10:22 AM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 153
Minto
Duaner Offline OP
Full Member
Duaner  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 153
Minto
Thinking about getting into organ tuning and whatever that implies really. I know nothing about the field but I have been asked if I do both and I think it would be a good feature to promote and support the piano tuning and repair that I do. What can you give me in terms of pro and con arguments? Do many of you have this dual role?

Last edited by Duaner; 05/16/19 10:24 AM.

Duane Graves
www.pianotuningfredericton.com

"Pushin 70...still haven fun I think..."
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Re: Organ Tuning [Re: Duaner] #2848738
05/16/19 10:35 AM
05/16/19 10:35 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,764
Scotland
D
David Boyce Offline
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David Boyce  Offline
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D

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,764
Scotland
Are you talking about pipe organs, or electronic ones?

Re: Organ Tuning [Re: Duaner] #2848764
05/16/19 11:34 AM
05/16/19 11:34 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,286
Old Hangtown California
G
Gene Nelson Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Gene Nelson  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
G

Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,286
Old Hangtown California
Long time ago I apprenticed with a pipe organ tuner.
It really takes two people, one at the keyboard and one crawling around inside of the pipe enclosures.
A means of communication is essential as what is heard at the keyboard and how rapidly this gets communicated to the one moving the pipe slides is the key to success.
Tuning intervals by moving the slides can be a challenge so ETD’s would be a great help. My experience was in the 70’s and we did not have ETD.
Every section is different as some pipes are wood of different species and others are metals like pewter or others. All respond to environment as well as the compressed air differently.
The bad news is there are not many to be serviced.
The good news is they go out of tune constantly so it is a regular part of the business.
It only lasted for a couple years for me but it was fun.


RPT
PTG Member
Re: Organ Tuning [Re: Duaner] #2848826
05/16/19 01:24 PM
05/16/19 01:24 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 153
Minto
Duaner Offline OP
Full Member
Duaner  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 153
Minto
.Sorry.....pipe organs (David Boyce)


Duane Graves
www.pianotuningfredericton.com

"Pushin 70...still haven fun I think..."
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Re: Organ Tuning [Re: Duaner] #2848843
05/16/19 01:57 PM
05/16/19 01:57 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 748
Lincoln, NE
T
That Guy Offline
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That Guy  Offline
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T

Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 748
Lincoln, NE
TuneLab has a pipe organ app: http://www.tunelab-world.com/organtuner.html


"That Tuning Guy"
Scott Kerns
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com
Re: Organ Tuning [Re: Duaner] #2848912
05/16/19 04:25 PM
05/16/19 04:25 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,097
New Hampshire
P
P W Grey Online content
2000 Post Club Member
P W Grey  Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
P

Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,097
New Hampshire
You will need to be trained by someone who already knows how to do It.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Organ Tuning [Re: Duaner] #2848926
05/16/19 05:09 PM
05/16/19 05:09 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,310
Oakland
B
BDB Offline
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BDB  Offline
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B

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,310
Oakland
You need to stay safe as well. I remember a case of someone falling off a pipe organ in San Jose and dying.


Semipro Tech
Re: Organ Tuning [Re: Duaner] #2848939
05/16/19 06:07 PM
05/16/19 06:07 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,764
Scotland
D
David Boyce Offline
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David Boyce  Offline
Gold Subscriber
D

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,764
Scotland
Duaner, sorry, my question was a bit silly! Electronic organs might need some electronic repairs I guess, but not much in the way of tuning. As for pipe organs, I've always perceived that as a special trade with its own special expertise, not something piano technicians are generally involved in. BDB's warning is certainly something to think about, too.

Re: Organ Tuning [Re: Duaner] #2849023
05/16/19 09:42 PM
05/16/19 09:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 62
Michigan
B
Bill Schneider Offline
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Bill Schneider  Offline
Full Member
B

Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 62
Michigan
I started out working with pipe organs in 1964 at the age of 14. In 1971 I began my career as a piano technician. I have been working in both fields ever since. I find that skills in both areas are complementary. It's unusual for a pipe organ technician to be very aware of the importance of keyboard regulation for organists, and the voicing of organ pipes to create cohesive and transparent choruses can give a revelatory perspective on piano sound.

Organ tuners are expected to be organ technicians, just as piano tuners are expected to have comprehensive skills. I would say that a prerequisite for organ service is a real passion for the instrument, and a willingness to explore the repertoire, even if you don't play yourself, and to get familiar with the different national schools of organ building as developed at different periods in time. I know this sounds like a tall order, but for those really interested, the study is a lot of fun.

The tuning of organ pipes involves knowledge of cleaning reeds, tightening their tongues, correcting speech problems in flue and reed pipes due to dirt and mouth maladjustment, and how to handle such issues as temperature variations and the pulling or drawing of pipes into apparent tune in one context, while obviously not in tune in another. You must not touch the pipes while tuning, and if you do, you must allow the pipes to cool for several minutes. They are maddeningly temperature sensitive. There is a technique for "training " an organ to stay in tune.

This isn't rocket science, but it is organ science, and it takes a while to learn. If learning this stuff seems like a drag, stick to piano tuning. But if it seems like an exciting challenge, I'd recommend offering your services as a key holder for a good organ tech, sniff around an organ workshop, and read everything on the subject you can find. The work is physically uncomfortable, but very rewarding. And it pays well.

Bill Schneider


Piano restoration
Voicing specialist
Pipe organ service and rebuilding
bill.schneider79@gmail.com
Mason & Hamlin CC, Steinway B, Steinway M
Re: Organ Tuning [Re: Bill Schneider] #2849048
05/16/19 11:12 PM
05/16/19 11:12 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 377
L
LarryK Online content
Full Member
LarryK  Online Content
Full Member
L

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 377
Originally Posted by Bill Schneider
I started out working with pipe organs in 1964 at the age of 14. In 1971 I began my career as a piano technician. I have been working in both fields ever since. I find that skills in both areas are complementary. It's unusual for a pipe organ technician to be very aware of the importance of keyboard regulation for organists, and the voicing of organ pipes to create cohesive and transparent choruses can give a revelatory perspective on piano sound.

Organ tuners are expected to be organ technicians, just as piano tuners are expected to have comprehensive skills. I would say that a prerequisite for organ service is a real passion for the instrument, and a willingness to explore the repertoire, even if you don't play yourself, and to get familiar with the different national schools of organ building as developed at different periods in time. I know this sounds like a tall order, but for those really interested, the study is a lot of fun.

The tuning of organ pipes involves knowledge of cleaning reeds, tightening their tongues, correcting speech problems in flue and reed pipes due to dirt and mouth maladjustment, and how to handle such issues as temperature variations and the pulling or drawing of pipes into apparent tune in one context, while obviously not in tune in another. You must not touch the pipes while tuning, and if you do, you must allow the pipes to cool for several minutes. They are maddeningly temperature sensitive. There is a technique for "training " an organ to stay in tune.

This isn't rocket science, but it is organ science, and it takes a while to learn. If learning this stuff seems like a drag, stick to piano tuning. But if it seems like an exciting challenge, I'd recommend offering your services as a key holder for a good organ tech, sniff around an organ workshop, and read everything on the subject you can find. The work is physically uncomfortable, but very rewarding. And it pays well.

Bill Schneider


Hello Bill,

While talking to my eighty six year old mother a while ago, she mentioned how one of our old neighbors worked with pipe organs and traveled all the time. The family moved to another part of town when I was young so I never met the man. His name was David Broome and he worked for the Austin Pipe Organ Company in Hartford, Connecticut, still a going concern.

David passed away in 2013, and, according to his obituary:

https://mobileobits.masslive.com/ob...3790092&referrer=0&preview=false

he was one of her world’s foremost authorities on reed voicing. I’m just curious if you knew him, as you have been involved with pipe organs a long time.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/16/19 11:13 PM.

Yamaha P-515, Pianoteq Standard 6
Re: Organ Tuning [Re: Duaner] #2849057
05/16/19 11:52 PM
05/16/19 11:52 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 62
Michigan
B
Bill Schneider Offline
Full Member
Bill Schneider  Offline
Full Member
B

Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 62
Michigan
Larry, I knew of him, but did not know him.


Piano restoration
Voicing specialist
Pipe organ service and rebuilding
bill.schneider79@gmail.com
Mason & Hamlin CC, Steinway B, Steinway M
Re: Organ Tuning [Re: Bill Schneider] #2849156
05/17/19 08:41 AM
05/17/19 08:41 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 377
L
LarryK Online content
Full Member
LarryK  Online Content
Full Member
L

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 377
Originally Posted by Bill Schneider
Larry, I knew of him, but did not know him.


Thanks, Bill, it’s still kind of a small world story.


Yamaha P-515, Pianoteq Standard 6

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