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Why Do Churches Need Good Pipe Organs

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  • Why Do Churches Need Good Pipe Organs

    Yes, we can simulate an organ on a keyboard. But the organ during a hymn only asks one thing of the congregation: Sing with me!

    Allen 965
    Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
    Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
    Hauptwerk 4.2

  • #2
    Nice article, and certainly states the case well for the use of organs in worship. So true that no other instrument comes close in dynamic range, color, flexibility, power, and in all the qualities, such as sustained tone, that make it ideal for leading hymns.

    But of course, a properly chosen digital organ with adequate audio equipment, correctly placed in the room, professionally voiced, can perform the same tasks under the hands of a skilled organist. An ordinary electronic keyboard, or a guitar or piano or pop-style band, or even an orchestra -- all these fall short of being able to carry singing the way an organ does, and none are as versatile nor as firmly associated with worship. It's just beyond my understanding why churches all over the place have suddenly decided that they have no need of the single instrument that has been at the heart of Christian music and liturgy for hundreds of years. I can only think that these are dark days for the church, and perhaps the last days.

    *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!



    • #3
      I especially enjoyed the first recording where the recording began a crescendo sequence from a whisper to a roar in a matter of a minute or so. Only an organ can pull off that split personality so well.

      Of course, some would argue, "Why just a pipe organ?", but I think perhaps we can read through the lines. It was interesting to me that the congregation waited so long in both the recording and video while the organ played a rather extensive introduction, and then modulation to the last verse. However, both must have been in a rather large liturgical church vs. a local country church.

      Oh, well. One can wish, can't one?

      Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
      • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
      • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
      • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos


      • #4
        Last Thursday we had a memorial service for a retired minister. At the end he requested that the congregation remain seated for the playing of the postlude. His choice was the Widor Toccata. Nice,but you could have done it with a recording. Oh Yeah, you could have. But we have a highly skilled organist and a fine Skinner pipe organ. Nothing else can generate this type of emotional power. Once you have experienced this,the other options become a poor choice. Except perhaps for a full symphony orchestra, talk about expensive and needing how many skilled musicians. It is just like eating a peanut butter sandwich or a seven course banquet. Both provide nutrition but ...


        • myorgan
          myorgan commented
          Editing a comment

          Your last statement gets to the crux of the matter via analogy. Why continually feed a congregation steak or multi-course meals, when they're used to M*Donalds or *urgerKing week after week. One can only provide dietary quality and/or variety for so long before giving up and resorting to the M*Donalds or *urgerKing as a regular musical diet.

          Unfortunately, we have good, quality church music programs which have been dumbed down to the analogy I mentioned above. The reasons for this have been discussed ad infinitum and ad nauseum in other threads. It's too bad, but it happens. Fortunately, there are programs which remain intact in spite of outside pressures. Then another trend will come along. We'll see what comes down the 'pike next. It's bound to be another trend to chip away from the traditional.


        • rjsilva
          rjsilva commented
          Editing a comment
          Well said Michael.