Creating A New Instrument
To ensure the complete satisfaction of each client, every new pipe organ is custom planned, engineered and executed for its own unique acoustical and liturgical setting. The design and creation of every new pipe organ by Patrick J. Murphy & Associates begins with custom engineering based on a desired specification. We confirm scaling, voicing, and tonal details so they will be ideal for the congregation’s distinctive liturgical usage and the unique musical-acoustical environment of the sanctuary. Where suitable, we are able to provide a visually attractive façade or case that compliments the architecture of the building in which it is located. We consider carefully the refinement of musical colors for optimal choir accompaniment and the tools that will be needed in performing the organ literature.
In order to achieve this, we follow three important guidelines for design and use. The instrument must provide:
- Firm musical support for congregational singing
- Sensitive and musical accompaniment for choral literature and other ensembles
- Resources for the musical rendering of organ literature
Based on long experience with all types of instrument styles and actions (electro-pneumatic, electro-mechanical, electric-slider, and mechanical) we evaluate and present to the client the full range of design alternatives available. We take pride in tailoring our instruments to meet the needs of smaller churches with limited budgets as well as those with more extensive requirements and resources. When musically desirable, quality pipework from an existing instrument can sometimes be retained in a new pipe organ with great success.
Only after close consultation with all the concerned parties, when we are sure we understand their views and wishes, do we develop a proposed instrument design. In every case, we incorporate features that will simplify tuning and maintenance, to ensure superior performance and long-range economy of ownership.
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The PJM Design Philosophy
Our philosophy is to design and voice liturgical instruments that are intended to excite and to soothe the listener and harmonize with the room they are intended to serve. Our instruments do this by supporting choral and congregational singing, by offering the maximum possibilities for sensitive and creative service playing, and by having an essential balance and inherent grandeur that inspires effective worship. We find that an organ with these characteristics often supports the organ concert literature as well, allowing the church to reach out to the wider community as an arts venue.
In the end, our proposals remain true to our beliefs and principles of good design that have contributed to successful results with our other instruments. These are:
- The instrument will be tonally focused, containing a cohesive specification using a new service friendly chassis and a layout that encourages tonal development and egress.
- Premier quality windchests appropriate to the specification, with pipe speech matched to the action type. Long-term reliability is a high priority.
- A console that is a beauty to behold as well to play, providing good sight lines, and designed to meet the needs of present and future musicians.
- A wide range of dynamic expression so critical for accompaniment of congregations and choirs alike.
- A logical specification, deeply rooted in English traditions, built on experience with American acoustical environments and worship styles.
We consistently strive in our work to build balanced instruments that will serve in extensive liturgical and public uses. We believe in clear and firm choruses, appropriate bass foundations, and color appropriate stops. We strive to build new pipe organs of a heroic quality, instruments that possess an inherent majesty and grandeur. As a firm committed solely to excellence, we welcome all inquiries from organ committees and others who are seeking an organ of quality and distinction.
Our instruments, from console through chamber, are designed to be user-and-service-friendly – a joy to play and maintain – thereby optimizing dependable and reliable service for many generations to come.