SORRY-ASS ORGAN

SORRY-ASS ORGAN

This is a non-keyboard reed organ. You can find a full description of its construction here, including details on how the reed pipes are made. There are 21 pipes tuned chromatically over a range of an octave and a sixth, mounted vertically in a frame. They’re played through a hand-held blow tube. The player places the padded end of the blow tube against the open top of one or another of the sounding pipes and blows. Actually though, one doesn’t blow directly into the sounding pipe, but rather into the open end of a short outer tube that forms an enclosure over the reeded end of the sounding pipe. The reeds are of a type that is easy to make but not the most dependable in tuning and readiness to speak. I chose this method not just for ease of construction, but also because I enjoy the crude and honky sound. In addition to that, the hand-held blow-tube playing method is slow and clumsy. As a result, this instrument might be better suited for comedy than for serious music.

In the audio clip the Sorry-Ass Organ is multitracked in two parts, and joined by Piezo Tongues. Truth in packaging: I was not able to play the parts on the organ with any facility, and it took multiple takes and lots of editing to pull this track together.

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