The Scientech Club provides a forum for weekly presentations and discussions in the fields of science and technology and other topics for the enlightenment of its membership.
Regular, one-hour Meetings are, with the exception of holidays, held every Monday at noon at The Northside Knights of Columbus, 2100 East 71st Street, Indianapolis. Club Members, as well as the general public, may attend our Regular Meetings for a nominal contribution to pay for the facility. For those who wish, a buffet lunch may be enjoyed before the meeting. Occasionally, instead of a presentation, members and their guests may take a tour to a place of interest, such as a plant or historical site.
The Scientech Club is associated with two outstanding local charitable Foundations, established by Scientech members to promote science education: The D.J. Angus - Scientech Foundation and the R. B. Annis Educational Foundation.
Rev. Robert Schilling
Bob Schilling was the long-time organist, choirmaster, and associate pastor at North United Methodist Church. For the
last nine years he has served as Director of the Shepherd's Singers who performed a Holiday Concert for the Scientech
Club last December.
The pipe organ is considered the most complex of human inventions prior to the Industrial Revolution. Rev. Schilling's description of how a pipe organ works probably convinced most of the Scientechers, even the engineers, that it should still hold that title. It makes Rube Goldberg's inventions look simplistic.
The components of the pipe organ are:
Pipes, which are the sound producing end of the system
Wind System, which supplies the air
Console, the control panel
Action, which refers to the connecting mechanisms
The acoustics and aesthetics, i.e., the quality of the sound of the pipe organ, are controlled by various factors. Of great
importance is the type of pipe. There are two basic types, reed and flue. Reeds produce vibrating sounds with brass
tongues. Flues produce whistling sounds by columns of air. About four fifths of the pipes are flue and one fifth reed.
High notes are produced by shorter pipe media, and low notes are produced by longer pipe media. Pipe organs may have 4,000 or more pipes. Each one produces its own unique sound or note. Tone is mostly determined by the length and circumference of the pipe. The pipes are arranged so as not to block the sound of each other. They may be arranged to enhance the appearance of the auditorium. The pipes are always vertical, except when a trumpet fanfare is needed; then they are horizontal.
So, the factors that affect pitch and timbre are size, nicking or chips within the pipe, and the type of metal. The metal is an alloy of tin and lead. The percentage ratio of tin to lead does affect the sound.
The wind supply is provided by bellows. In the 16th Century the bellows were pumped by men stepping and jumping on the bellows with their feet. Later the bellows were worked by hand crank. Modern pipe organs use electric blowers or fans. Electronics may be used to connect stops and other mechanisms of operation. However, the sound is not produced electronically.
Pipe organs are not limited to churches. Theater pipe organs are used in various entertainment venues. Manual High School has the largest pipe organ in Indiana.
Notes by Jeff Rasley