Demise of the Church Organ

"Praise him with stringed instruments and organs." Psalms 150:4 
"They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ." Job 21:12

November 6, 2019 - When our church decided to sell one of our organs recently, we were in for a big surprise. Our $20,000 Baldwin Classical is now worth a mere $2,000… and is in excellent condition. As I began studying the history of organs, I found some reasons for their depreciation. Many churches are ditching them and replacing them with a multi-instrument orchestra. "Since we are interested in getting the young and middle agers to church, the organ had to go," one pastor lamented. "Can you imagine a young person nowadays listening to organ music on his Ipod?" "If you want to keep the churches open, you'll have to dump the antiquated organs," he said.

Organs are expensive… heavy…and hard to move… Few people are trained to play one and today's music students are influenced by popular culture, media, etc., in which the organ is totally foreign. It’s not “cool” to learn to play the organ and in efforts to reach unbelievers, churches shun that which isn't popular with the younger people. Contemporary music is rhythm-based and the organ doesn’t fit that style very well. And like it or not, people want to be entertained.

The church organ is barely breathing nowadays… and might die. But like many other things, the dynamic range of the church organ… (and the calm of sweet reasonableness it brings)… could come back in all its glory some day. And for some of us, that day couldn't come too soon.

“In my eyes and ears the organ will forever be the King of Instruments." ~ W.A. Mozart