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From The Organ Bench - No. 5 of 14

The first order of business for the organ committee was to find answers to these questions: Was the old organ a noteworthy instrument? Was it adequate for Catholic liturgy needs? If not, can we add new voices to the old ones? The now-failed St. Joseph pipe organ which has not been heard of since 2009, was manufactured by M.P. Möller Co. Möller was a factory-driven organ builder, meaning sales reps took orders for new pipe organs, handed them to the factory, and workers pulled already-made pipes off shelves in a warehouse. Möller’s factory-driven, competitive mass- production approach to selling pipe organs resulted in thousands of installations around the U.S.A. but it is commonly accepted that the company never achieved noteworthy status. Möller closed its doors in 1992.

Our Möller organ contains only 17 independent voices. “Voices” on an organ have to do with the palate of available, different sounds. The more voices available, the more musical variety, interest, mystery, awe, and power can be created during the Mass. Due to the very small number of independent voices, the old organ, again, is not a noteworthy instrument. Also, its voices were more suited for a Protestant/Lutheran worship liturgy. New voices can be added to the old organ. However, next week’s From the Organ Bench will explain why it was determined this is not the best idea. – Brad Cunningham

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