Opus 106 during construction, 2004.

Its design is one of the favorite tracker action organ of Martin Ott. Phytomorphic in architecture, Opus 106 was conceived essentially with computer aided design (CAD), the pipe facade incorporate a vine that grows into three branches.

Martin shows slider chest pallets with new leather during a restoration of Paul Ott instrument.

Fire Destroys Opus 34.

Fire can do great damage to an organ. The intense heat from the fire will destroy pipes. The wood case will burn. Sprinkler systems are also equally damaging. Adding water to the mix usually causes more damage to the organ than the fire. Some of the old casework was restorable and found new life in Opus 102. Some pipes were salvageable.


Oct 15, 03:18 AM


Although, a tracker organ usually necessitate much less maintenance than other electronic/electric driven organ, nevertheless a Pipe Organ is a "live" instrument, not dissimilar to violin or a concert grand piano.

With variations of temperature and humidity over the seasons, the tuning of a pipe organ needs revisiting. It is conventionally accepted that instruments where the tuning is touch-up on regular basis (most often performed on biyearly schedule) tend to retain a more stable tuning behavior. A concert grand piano is tune prior to a major event, it is not unusual that a Pipe Organ be dealt with the same attention. This is particularly true in halls or location where extreme changes in heating or cooling habits have become the norm due to rising energy cost.

In the new design of concert halls or churches, it is advisable that architects and engineers be consulted to insure best practices in a world where ecofriendly building is becoming the norm. As it turn up, ecofriendly concept are more stable in temperature and humidity, and that is a good thing all around.

Here are some typical maintenance tasks:

• Bi-annual service calls:
May/June or December/January
• Organ tuning
• Organ examined for dead notes or ciphers
and rectified, if any
• Moving parts, such as shutters, tremolos,
pedals, etc. reviewed and repaired
• Blower motor lubrication
• General organ action adjustments

Nathanael Ritz



Photo: Opus 106 console by Thorsten Ott ©

1890 Pfeffer organ restored in 2001. (Photo source: Shrine of St. Joseph)

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