Organ building

Unique craft:

New manufacturing, restoration and maintenance of pipe organs

The Netherlands – Country of Pipe Organs

The Netherlands is the country of pipe organs. Nowhere else in the world will you find so many beautiful historic instruments in such a small area. Big and small organs, famous and less famous, some centuries old others somewhat younger. Each organ has its own design, character and sound. Fortunately many instruments in the Netherlands have been conserved quite well, and are currently still being used.

Each year there are several major international organ festivals, hundreds of organ concerts and beautiful CD’s are being recorded. The Netherlands boasts an active and vibrant organ culture: from contemporary organ composers to many active organists to the internationally renowned art of organ building.

A unique craft

With great passion, our organ builders restore historic organs, build new organs for churches and concert halls and tune and maintain organs at home and abroad. Thanks to the joint effort of handmade wooden and metal organ pipes, the keyboard, the mechanism, the windchests, the swell box and the winding, each organ has its own character and identity, and its own unique sound.

The underlying thought of maintenance and restoration: limit the intervention to 'as much as necessary and as little as possible'. The procedure should be done in a thorough manner, so the next procedure can be postponed until a later date. Make sure that the procedure fits within the physical, material-historical and visual realm of the story (optie: situation). Finally; for replacements you need to use the same material or material with similar characteristics and/or similar techniques. (Historic Organs Directive)

In addition to the technique and sound, our organ builders also look at the role of Architecture: what does the church building look like? Where inside the building is the organ located, how does sound travel through the building? By taking all these aspects into account, you will get a sounding result. In addition, organ builders often give advice on the best (climate) conditions in the church and the best type of organ maintenance.


The disciplines of organ building

A lot of specialized knowledge

The Netherlands has a lot of specialized and historical knowledge of (the art of) organ building. For example, the Cultural Heritage Agency collects, develops and shares practical knowledge for heritage care. Thus the Agency forms the bridge between science, practice and policy (for organ building as well). In addition, VON members work closely with the Board (optie: Association) of Organ Advisors (CvO). The CvO advises clients in organ restoration, new organ manufacturing and church and architectural acoustics in relation to the sound of the organ.

The 15-part Encyclopedia "Historic Organ in the Netherlands" is also very unique. This comprehensive Encyclopedia describes all historic organs in the Netherlands from 1479-1910. This project shows the value of organ heritage and the Dutch organ culture and is also considered unique and interesting on an international level.

Building an organ really means making an artistic product. This instrument has a technical and musical side to it and is a very complex instrument. That’s what makes the craft of organ building so fascinating.

Expertise in organ building