An instrument which is synonymous with church music is the organ. The Cathedral’s organ was moved to its current position in 1893. The organ’s pipes are contained in a large chamber and range from 30cm to 5m in height.
Watch here to see the pipes inside the organ:
Each pipe corresponds to a key on the keyboard of the organ and produces sound by driving pressurised air (wind) through the pipe.
Each pipe produces only a single pitch and for this reason, the pipes are organised into sets which are known as ranks. These ranks are organised according to a similar timbre (sound quality) and volume.
The Cathedral’s organ comprises three keyboards (played with the hands) and one pedalboard (played by the feet).
It also makes use of four sets of stops – each of which corresponds to one of the four sets of keys. These stops allow the organist to change the sound of those particular pipes.
Unlike a piano, an organ pipe will sustain a note for as long as the corresponding key is held down. This is due to the constant supply of wind through the pipes. Due to using both hands and feet to play an organ, the organist must read three lines of music at the same time – one line each for the left and right hand, and the third line for the feet.
Cameron Luke is the current Director of Music at the Cathedral, and plays the organ for the various services.
Watch here to see more about the organ: