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Cambridge Organists

Stops & Pipes 6

No. 11: Beards

Narrow scale pipes of the “string” family are rich in upper harmonics because of their scale. However, they can be difficult to voice. The air stream across the mouth tends to be pushed out too much by the build up of pressure within the pipe rather than vibrate backwards and forwards across the upper lip.

This is where beards come in. Ears do the job partly and are found on the shorter pipes, but the lower octaves need the additional presence of the beards to bounce the flow back into the mouth to pass inside the upper lip to make the pipe vibrate.

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