Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

A sound appreciation of pipe organ design

EU researchers have developed new organ pipes to improve their sound quality. These will reduce production costs and improve the competiveness of organ builders across Europe.
A sound appreciation of pipe organ design
The pipe organ is a very complicated musical instrument and organ building is a traditional European industry. The skill of manipulating an organ pipe to make it produce a specific sound is known as voicing.

Voicers need a lot of intuition and musical feeling so that they can adapt organ pipes to produce the required sound. Gaining a better scientific understanding of the voicing steps was the goal of the 'Innovative methods and tools for the sound design of organ pipes' (INNOSOUND) project, funded by the EU.

This research study was based on the previous Demorgpipe project that resulted in a scientific explanation of the scaling rules for designing organ pipes. Initially, the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) involved in the project defined the sounds that were required.

In order to achieve these sounds, INNOSOUND team members utilised their knowledge on the physics of organ pipes to determine required pipe parameters such as shape and size. Once designed, the pipes were built and tested acoustically.

Three new methods for designing the sound character of organ pipes were developed and validated during the project. Organ builders can thus manipulate the tone or timbre of their flue or labial organ pipes by using these techniques.

Organs can now therefore be built to produce the sounds that their builders desire. This outcome of the now completed INNOSOUND project will open up new markets for European organ builders, especially in the Asian market where organs could be constructed with pipes producing similar sounds to those of local musical instruments.

Related information

Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top