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The Physics of the Pump Organ
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2003 11:04 am    Post subject: The Physics of the Pump Organ Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The Physics of the Pump Organ
Kristina Knupp


Overview


The reed organ, in various forms, has existed for hundreds of years. In China, the reed organ was in the form of a mouth instrument. The next advancement in the reed organ occured early in the nineteenth century, when pressure harmoniums were constructed in England and France. The reeds of these instruments sounded when air was blown over them. The first full reed organ that operated on the vacuum principle, however, is thought to be created by Alexandres of Paris around 1835. These instruments sounded when air was pulled across the reeds and a vacuum was formed. Vacuum operated organs were the principle type of organ constructed in the United States.

The reed organ used explicitly for this research was constructed by W.W. Putnam and Company of Staunton, Virginia in 1901. This project examines the physics of the pump organ by looking at several different aspects of the instrument. First, the mechanics of various actions of the organ were analyzed. These actions include the reeds, bellows, keys and stops. Secondly, the frequency of each note was discovered using an oscilloscope and wave analyzer. Finally, the effect of each stop on a particular set of notes was studied.

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