The museum has quite a collection of antique organs. There may be as many as eight on display downstairs, but they have "DO NOT TOUCH" signs all over them. I doubt if they are playable at all. But the one that is on display on the main level has been loved and maintained for more than 150 years. I was given permission to play it as we sang our songs.
This organ is powered by foot pedals. The organist pumps the pedals to fill the bellows with air. The challenge is to keep pumping all the while playing the keyboard. I had seen this action demonstrated by a docent at the museum recently, so I felt confident that I could follow her example. The concept was pretty straight-forward.
Where I ran into trouble was that there seemed to be a certain tempo that maintained the air through the bellows and that WAS NOT THE TEMPO OF THE SONG!!!!! I am not all that into POLYRHYTHMS. It was hard for me to coordinate. And it was also a work-out! In fact, the movement of pumping actually pushed the seat out away from the the keyboard. I had to quickly grab the seat and pull it back closer to the organ in between verses. Whew!
Boy, am I glad for modern technology! I am sure the pioneers were grateful to have any kind of playable organ, even that pump organ, out here in this barren wilderness. But I sure am glad I live in this day of electricity that can power the airflow through the bellows. It is so nice to just play the music and not have to get hung up in POLYRHYTHMS!