The Wind Instrument Of The All Saints’ Cathedral In Nairobi

Written by on May 24, 2022

Our train is camped in the capital of Kenya at the All Saints’ Cathedral. The majority of “Nairobians’ attend the Christmas carol services held at this church for one simple reason, the ORGAN. A harmonized choir and the beautiful sounds that echo the cathedral from the organ leave one with all too visible chills.

The organ is a keyboard-like instrument, only the sound emanates from large multiple pipes when air travels through them. The organ has a mechanical system that opens up to let air through and produce different sounds. The organ was created way back in the BC century. The designers discovered that beautiful sounds could be produced through pipes when air is blown into them. Organ builders realized that depending on the shape and material used for the pipes, different sounds could be created. Some pipes sound soft, like a flute; others louder and more piercing, like a trumpet.

The organist sits at the console which contains all the controls much like a pilot’s cockpit that the organist plays to produce sound. The All Saints’ Cathedral organ contains 1892 pipes, 4 keyboards (correctly termed as manuals), 3 are played by hand, and 1 using feet and it is the one responsible for the bass sounds.

An organist has to use his whole being intricately to control manuals and produce beautiful sounds from the pipes. The organ at All-saints cathedral was first installed in 1934 then restored and upgraded in 1978 courtesy of Charles Njonjo as a thanksgiving offering for his wedding. Currently, the church is working towards reaching a target of 50 million KES to upgrade the organ to match today’s technology. If you have not heard the beautiful notes from the pipes, it’s because it is currently being repaired abroad, yeah, the congregants love it so much that they contributed the funds needed to have it tuned and upgraded. To know more about this organ, visit the cathedral’s website.

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