‘Voicing’ the organ

This evening I attended a fascinating, funny and informative talk at Salisbury cathedral about ‘voicing’ the organ. I hadn’t visited Salisbury over Christmas so it was a treat to see the decorations still up. The nativity scene is stunning and it was great to see the pipes of the organ back in situ.

Andy Scott, Head Voicer from Harrison and Harrison gave the talk for around an hour. He showed us various pipes and how the note and pitch can be changed by opening the mouth or shortening the pipe. It was really interesting to see the tools he uses, the materials used for pipes and how each makes a different sound, from trumpet to strings and everything in between.

Andy had a keyboard from where he was able to play the cathedral organ. It meant he was able to demonstrate how the notes, stops and pedals worked.

It was interesting, there were a lot of people attending, but very few Organists (we had a show of hands). The community there were very excited to be getting their renovated organ back, but obviously wanted to know about the work that had been carried out.

Andy was very complimentary about how the cathedral teams had worked with H&H and this made their work much easier. For now, visitors are being asked to be quiet as the voicing work continues…it won’t be much longer though before the Organ is back and in better shape than ever!


  1. There is an organ in Whitby, St Hilda’s, that was voiced by Arthur Harrison, one of the H & H brothers. It is sobering to think that it is now almost 100 years ago!


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