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Slide 30
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With the shutter board removed we can now view the reed banks. Understandably, the reeds must be in good condition or they just won't work. It doesn't take very much to stop a reed from playing. To give you an idea, if an object one tenth the size of a pin head became lodged in a reed, it would stop playing.

The empty hinges (on the left) are designed to hold two long, narrow pieces of wood that cover the reed chambers when the organ is not in use. The area of the boards that actually makes contact with the reeds is covered with a soft, plush leather in order to make the reed chambers air tight.

However, the primary function of these boards is to control air flow. There are usually one or two stops that control each board. These boards are called "mutes," because if they're not open, no sound will come from the reeds. If the mutes are open just a small amount, you will get one sound, if they're opened a little bit more, a slightly different sound will be heard.. So from just one reed we can produce several sound variations.

The Reed Banks


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