Tuning the organ is our thing.  It's a little like being a country vet - we travel from place to place, tending the instruments in our care and getting to know their idiosyncracies.  Playing the organ for a few minutes to get re-acquainted is a good idea.  They are truly like old friends and there is often simple delight at the pleasing sounds from within.  A glance in the tuner's book reminds us of work done at the last visit and notes from the organist beg specific attention.   It's time to get started...


Maintenance...a rather all-embracing term but really refers to the repairs and adjustments we can make within the scope of a tuning visit.  Small defects in the mechanism can often be adjusted in situ,  breakages repaired - occasionally requiring a little creativity if the exact materials are not readily to hand.  It's surprising what we do find in our tuners toolbag, or in the back of our service van.  If the fault is deep-seated or means that part of the organ must be dismantled to get to the root of the trouble, it's time to take notes, perhaps a few photos and make a report in writing.


Restoration...another term that can be misunderstood but for the sake of argument let's say that after a lengthy period of use, the organ will need some 'refreshment'. There are pipes to be cleaned, worn action parts to renew or overhaul, the console may need some cosmetic surgery to refresh the years of wear on pedals and keys.  The organist may ask for some upgrades to the console accessories - pistons to help with stop changes, extra memory for pistons to cater for even more organists!  Perhaps some stop changes will be made, too, offering greater clarity in tone,  variety and colour.  These are things which lend character but only after careful consultation will this be done.

Mayfield, St Dunstan


Tuning the organ is an essential part of maintaining an instrument in good order.  If it doesn't sound right,  it won't inspire in the way that good music-making should.  It's our task to make sure that each instrument performs to the best possible standard, with due regard for the age and condition.

Maintenance & Repair

Church organs rarely break down completely.  Ageing instruments may decline slowly and small deficiencies may accumulate, though many organists skilfully disguise any shortcomings. Periodic maintenance is necessary to reverse any issues that crop up.  Cleaning the organ is a major operation, usually carried out at 20-25 year intervals.  This is an opportunity to repair worn out mechanism, aged leatherwork, leaking wind systems and to give the organ a 'makeover', refreshing worn keys, pedals, stops and accessories.  At the end of the process,  the pipework is given meticulous speech regulation and tuned, ready for a further lengthy period of service.

Brasted, St Martin, 2017

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