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Close the Swell.

Vacations are in order; many churches are closed, and a large number of organs which have been used weekly, and frequently daily, will remain silent for the next two months. Most organists are careful to leave the swell open during the winter to allow the changes of temperature, which are frequent, to affect the pipes of the swell to the same extent that they do those of the great, keeping the instrument in better tune; but nine out of ten will go away on their vacations leaving the swell open, just as in winter, forgetting that the clouds of dust, incidental to church-cleaning, floating over the pipes, will settle on the reeds, as well as on the lips of the string-toned stops. Returning in the fall, the organist finds that the oboe is in a bad condition, several pipes being silent and others croaky, while the vox humana, “a thing of beauty,” is not “a joy forever.” One cannot protect all the pipes of the organ, but the swell, which contains the most delicate stops, can be left closed, and in September the stops will be found in a better condition than one expects. The Italian custom of providing a rolling shutter, in front of the organ to close up the chamber of the organ entirely, while not ornamental, certainly keeps out much of the damaging elements.


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