Day: October 4, 2008

In Praise of Tracker Organs

While traveling on work today in North Carolina, I had an unexpected treat: the chance to hear Bach on a beautiful historic tracker organ that had been restored by some dear friends. First, a bit of background.  As Wikipedia notes, tracker action is a term used in reference to pipe organs that “indicates a mechanical linkage between keys or pedals pressed by the organist and the valve that allows air to flow into pipe(s) of the corresponding note. This is in contrast to electrical or electro-pneumatic actions, which connect the key to the valve through an electrical link or an electrically assisted pneumatic system respectively.” Tracker organs are built the same today as they have been for hundreds of years.  I came to love tracker action organs while living in the Shenandoah Valley and becoming friends with George Taylor and John Boody.  George and John are the founders and principals of the world-renown Taylor & Boody Organbuilders located just outside Staunton, Virginia.   These two men and a small group of craftsmen build and restore some of …