Why is the classical organ still the best choice for church?

The organ and the church virtually 'grew up together' and their respective histories are closely intertwined. Unfortunately, over the last 40 years, we have seen a decline in the number of organists in church, due in part to the use of small contemporary home organs in church. Not only did they lack sound quality, but also discouraged a new generation of church organists.

We quite often are requested to provide digital keyboards or pianos with an organ sound for congregational use. But why aren't these digital keyboards/pianos suitable?

The answer is twofold.

Firstly, the human voice sings at the 8' pitch (A440) and this is the pitch that the piano also sounds that. Once you have a large number of people singing, the piano sound starts to blend with the singing and the piano becomes overwhelmed and lost amongst the singing.

Any organ music in church has a three-fold purpose, to support the singing, accompany the singing and to lead the singing. This is where the organ comes into its own. The organ accompanies the singing with the 8' stops.

But you cannot build a house without any foundations. That is why the 16' and bigger stops provide the support for the singing and provide rhythmic support as well.

To lead the singing the sound has to heard over the top of the singing. This is where the smaller stops such as the 4', 2' and mixtures shine. These stops add sparkle to the organ sound.

There is only one real instrument that can sound at all of these pitches similtaneously and that is the classical organ!

Secondly, if your choir has only one person, it is not practical to just to keep amplifying one singer so they can be heard. The best idea is to add more singers for a bigger sound. Again only the organ can do this by adding more stops to build its strength and stops of different character and colour.

As a pipe organ speaks into a space from various locations, so does a Johannus organ. They are pioneers in multi-channel audio systems which allows the perfect distribution of sound. Different stops are allocated to individual channels for effective C-C# chanelling. So for bigger spaces we should add more channels, rather than try to overamplify a small stereo sound.

You are in sound company... with Johannus!

Johannus enjoys an international reputation for quality and progressive design.This is recognised by the choice of Johannus organs by many venerable institutions throughout the world.

In Australia, we are honoured and excited to be be associated with many churches, cathedrals and institutions who have chosen a Johannus organ not only because of outstanding sound and build quality,but also the knowledge and expertise of Bernies Music Lands' specialist staff and assurance of support.Join the likes of Ballarat Grammar School - Wendouree Centre for

Performing Arts, Genezzano College - Madeleine Performing Arts Centre,The Anglican Cathedral of Christ Church - Ballarat, The Hamilton and Alexandra College - Performing Arts Centre and The Tasmannian Symphony Orchestra - Federation Concert Hall, who all have chosen Johannus organs.

As part of our community involvement and sponsorship programs, we also provide and special occaision hire services for The Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra, Melbourne University Chorale Society, Box Hill Chorale, Australian Boys Choir, National Childrens Choir, St Pauls Cathedral Melbourne and Tintern College, who choose Johannus as an acceptable substitute when no pipe organ is available.

Organ Speakers

The placement and design of an external speaker system is even more critical than the choice of organ for a space. Careful consideration must be given to building acoustics, building materials, placement of the console, just to name a few. Moreimportnanty, don't be tempted to cut corners on your speakers as the wrong choice can adversely affect the sound of your new organ.

Many years ago, Johannus decided to pioneer 'multiple-channel audio'. As a pipe organ speaks into a room from various locations within the chamber, every Johannus organ that is suitable for external speakers will have the important stops with C-C# channelling and built in suitable amplification.

It may take several hours of consultation and site visits to finalise a speaker system design and placement. The specialist staff at Bernies will be more than happy to assist and help you plan this critical phase.
In addition to the UL (utility line) series of speakers, Johannus can custom-design a speaker system for you, even with pipes.

We Understand The Church Organ Selection Process

When Bernies Music Land began in 1977, we sold only organs. In the 43 years since, we have worked with Church committees to design, install, and support thousands of installations.

We understand the steps of selection and quotation, with considerations for acoustics, congregation size, musical style and many more important points for enduring musical satisfaction.

We have unique experience in installations of all complexities, whether it is building design, working with electricians, delivering to remote locations or handling careful deliveries in tight spots.

The team at Bernies Music Land are ready to make your organ selection process a simple and enjoyable one, so please call us on 03 9872 5122 or email info@musicland.com.au

Johannus in Concert

Check the events page to hear new Johannus organs at upcoming concert events

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