Related Field: Pipe Organ Voicing
Perhaps the oldest work in aerodynamics—the study of moving air—can be found in an unexpected place. Long before wind tunnels and airfoils, before the Wright brothers and powered flight, airships and streamlined automobiles, pipe organ voicers figured out how to manipulate airflow to create a wide variety of sounds.
|Detail of the Zliten mosaic (2nd century CE), depicting the playing of several instruments including a hydraulis, the predecessor of the modern pipe organ. (image credit: Wikimedia Commons)
|Paul Fritts & Co. builds historically-inspired mechanical action organs like this one, in Lagerquist Hall at Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA.
|Pipe mouths, showing the languid sitting behind the flue and lower lip. The pipe in the center of the point is embossed—the pipe metal is scored on the backside before it is rolled up, leaving a visible pattern.
|These pipes date from the 18th century; the nicking (visible just below the flue) was likely added at a later date. The VG on the right is on a 2018+ Toyota Camry, between the mirror and front window. This is a common location to find VGs on cars.
|It's not always "all work and no play" though.
(Alleluyas, Simon Preston [b. 1938])