How many pipes does this organ have? This organ has 3,067 pipes arranged in 61 sets called ranks. It has four keyboards for the hands called manuals, and one for the feet called a pedalboard.
How big is the largest pipe? Low C of the Pedal Contra Trombone is more than 32-feet long. Like many pipes in this organ, it is mitered to fit into the available space. Some other large pipes are physically modified to make best use of the space.
How small is the smallest pipe? High C of the Fifteenth two-foot is 1/8" in diameter and its speaking length is less than ½" long.
What are the pipes made of? Some of the large metal pipes are made of copper, but most of the pipes are made of varying alloys of tin and lead. Tin enhances the brightness of the tone; lead contributes a mellow quality. There are also 128 wood pipes made of poplar.
Are the facade pipes dummies? All but eight of the 200 pipes visible in the facades are real speaking pipes from the Great and Pedal Open Diapasons, Dulciana and Open Flute. They are made of polished tin.
What kinds of wood are used in this organ? The console cabinet is made of white oak, and the wood around and below the keys is also white oak. The stop knobs are made of blackwood, set in stop jambs of lacewood veneer. The organ case is made of white oak, stained to blend with the chancel. The windchests and interior structure of the organ are made of poplar and maple.
Are the keys real ivory? The white keys, or “naturals” look and feel much like ivory, but are actually covered with cow bone that has been bleached and polished. The black keys, or “sharps” are made of blackwood.
How long did it take to make this organ? The organ was under construction in the Buzard shop in Champaign, Illinois for over 22 months. All the pieces were made, assembled, tested, and then dismantled and packed for transport to Nashville.
How long will the installation take? Most of the physical installation will be completed in about two months. Approximately 14 additional weeks will be given to tonal finishing and tuning.
How is the organ powered? Two blowers are installed in the lower part of the organ case. A finely balanced 7.5-horsepower blower supplies wind to most of the organ at regulated pressures, similar to the amount of breath it takes to play a woodwind or brass instrument. It is the volume of air moving through the pipes that is critically important in filling the worship space with beautiful tone. A separate 1-horsepower blower provides high pressure air to the Tuba Mirabilis.
Will the pipes need to be dusted? Organ pipes are best left alone and should be touched only by an experienced organ tuner.
How often will the organ need to be tuned? Because organ pipes respond to temperature changes, we usually recommend tuning twice a year: when the heating season begins, and again when switching to air conditioning.
Do we need to run the heat or A/C constantly? No. The important thing is to have the organ tuned under the same conditions as when it is used for services. If the temperature varies greatly in between times, the organ will sound out of tune at the other temperature, but will again be in tune when the temperature returns to normal.