I went to the church yesterday to teach an organ lesson and lo and behold, we found that a key was stuck down. “Oh, that’s no big deal! It just means a spring has sprung!” was what I said.
According to Christoph Wolff, one of the respected Bach scholars today, Johann Sebastian Bach had a profound knowledge of organ building — even as a teenager, owing to the many times he had to crawl through the organ loft to tune and repair organs as a child. I think it was the responsibility of the organist to care for the instruments at his disposal, whether they be organs, harpsichords or clavichords.
When the Beckerath organ was first installed, Carl was astounded to learn that he would be taught how to tune the reeds and simple repairs, such as fixing springs which come “undone.” And he never dreamed that he would be tuning the reeds every single Sunday in the first year after the organ was built — but he did! Nowadays, though, he only tunes the organ reeds before a concert, as the organ has settled in. But every single time we use the harpsichord, one always sees Carl tuning it before a cantata or concert.
I have a feeling, though, that once Carl retires, this is a task he doesn’t want to continue.
But I took pictures of this process, anyway, for posterity and for the next time when a spring becomes unsprung.