Organs, like pianos, are subject to sympathetic vibrations. A reed fitting loosely in the reed chamber will sometimes buzz when sounded. A bit of paper under the back end of the reed will stop it. Any loose material about the instrument may cause trouble of this kind. Trace up the cause and the remedy will suggest itself.
A buzzing sound may be caused by a reed’s being too tight in the reed chamber, causing the tongue to vibrate against the sides of the brass body. In some rare cases, not being firmly riveted, the tongue will move to one side, causing the same trouble. Care and pains must be taken in working with reeds, but when in this condition they must be repaired. Tap the rivet lightly with a hammer and try it; if it still does not sound clear, catch the butt of the reed (riveted end) with a pair of parallel pliers, and turn it toward the center until, when vibrating, it clears the jaws.
The method of tuning the organ is very simple. To flatten the tone of a reed, scrape the tongue near the butt or rivet, making it thinner at that point, which will cause it to vibrate at a slower rate. To sharpen the tone, scrape it at the point, thereby lightening the vibrating end, which will cause a more rapid rate of vibration. When a reed has been scraped or filed so thin at the point that it will bear no more scraping, it can sometimes be sharpened by bending it up and down a few times, which has a tendency to put temper in the metal. Some reeds are curved at the point purposely to secure a certain voice. Do not interfere with the proper curvature when tuning. In tuning organs, the same system and general instruction given for piano tuning will apply; however, it is rarely, if ever, necessary to give an organ as thorough tuning as you would a piano. It is a very tedious job where you have to draw each reed, apply the proper method, insert it and try the result, thus cutting and trying each one perhaps several times before getting the desired result. In factories devices are used which render the operation very much easier.