Is It Pump Organ, or Reed Organ?
Many people ask me which name is correct. “Do I own a pump organ, or do I own a reed organ?” Well, technically
speaking, you own a reed organ.
And the reason has to do with the many brass reeds that are needed to create the organs sound. Quite often we
think of reeds as being made from wood, or other materials, but not brass.
In the case of pipe organs the sounding devise are metal pipes and so we call them pipe organs. However, in the
case of the reed organ you have to work the foot pedals in order for the organ to work - so you’re pumping the
By working the foot pedals you’re working the organ's two exhaust bellows. So it’s understandable that the organ
has come to be known as the pump organ. Because after only a couple of minutes working the foot pedals you
will not soon forget the energy needed to operate the foot pedals - it’s not always easy.
So the public may call them pump organs, but technically, they’re really called reed organs.