From weddings to carnivals to baseball games, pipe organs can be the soundtrack to the best parts of your life! But how do they work?
It's much, much more complicated than the innocent pipes you see on the outside of the organs.
"People don’t realize how much stuff is crammed behind the few pipes they can see,” said Wyatt Smith, a professional organist.
And he would know.
Smith has been playing the organ for 16 years, and is finishing his doctorate in Pipe Organ Performance at The University of Washington.
Still don't believe me? Ask the guy who builds these things.
“We spend anywhere from two to six weeks setting it up, tuning the pipes," said Rene Marceau, who has been building and servicing pipe organs in the Pacific Northwest for decades. He starts with a drawing, and then he and his team construct the components and put it all together at the venue it’s designed for.
Marceau's instruments can be found all over the western United States - from San Diego to Alaska. But if you’d like to hear one in person, you don’t have to go far. Just head to Trinity Church on First Hill in Seattle on the first Tuesday of any month, where they host free organ recitals on one of Marceau's beauts.