Sound Design of Reed Organ Pipes with Innovative Tools - REEDDESIGN

SEVENTH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME - Programme "Capacities", Research for the Benefit of SME Grand Agreement no.: 286539

© Fraunhofer IBP

The aim of the project is to solve the practical problems of organ builder SMEs (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) by dimensioning and voicing reed organ pipes. This is reached by developing innovative methods, tools and software for facilitating sound design work and voicing adjustments of organ builder SMEs, and by developing new pipes. Since 8 SME from 7 countries participate in the project, which are very much interested in this research, there is a high degree of dissemination of results to countries with differenttechnical and cultural tradition of organ building. A better understanding of the role of the shallot and resonator and of the voicing steps on the attack and the timbre of reed pipes is necessary to develop innovative tools to support the design, dimensioning and voicing of the pipes. This goal is to be achieved by targeted research experiments and computer simulations of the effects of the different parts of the pipe and of the different voicing steps on the sound.

The main objectives are:

  • New dimensioning methods based on the new knowledge for the design of reed pipes.
  • Design software for dimensioning reed pipes for a better sound and a rapid and more reliable design of reed pipes.
  • Development of demonstrators for in-situ quality control of the elasticity and hardness of reed materials.
  • Development of a demonstrator for in-situ control of the curvature of the tongue, which principally determines the quality fo the sound.

They will be achieved by targeted, collaborative research performed by the RTD partners of the project. The SME partners contribute to the work by providing tongues, shallots, resonators, complete reed pipes, and voicers for the laboratory experiments, and by validating the results in their workshops. Competitive advantage due to a cost reduction of about 15%, a better quality of the sound of the pipe organs and a better position in the international market is expected.



  • Oficina e Escola de Organasia Ltd., Esmoriz (Porto), Portugal
  • Werkstätte für Orgelbau Mühleisen GmbH, Leonberg, Deutschland
  • Manufacture d'Orgues Muhleisen, Strasbourg, Frankreich
  • Flentrop Orgelbouw B.V., Zaandam, Niederlanden
  • Orgelbau Schumacher, Baelen, Belgien
  • Blancafort, orgueners de Montserrat S. L., Collbato, Spanien
  • Fratelli Ruffatti Pipe organ builders, Padova, Italien
  • Johannes Klais Orgelbau, Bonn, Deutschland
  • Pécsi Orgonaépitö Manufaktúra KFT, Pécs, Ungarn

Partners for research and technological improvements

  • Steinbeis GmbH & Co. für Technologietransfer / Steinbeis-Transferzentrum Angewandte Akustik, Stuttgart, Deutschland
  • Economics, Budapest, Hungaryt, Ungarn