Popularity of Pipe Organs in Churches

Out-of-Date for Younger Generation

U.S. pipe organ makers reported building only 91 instruments in 2010, down 14% from 2009 and 40% from 2008, according to the Organ Historical Society in Richmond, Va.

A small church in a suburb … that previously might have bought a small pipe organ, now maybe buys an electric organ or a guitar or a bass drum, says Scot Huntington, president of the historical society.

For churches hoping to draw more young people to worship services, the pipe organ sounds out-of-date, says Josh Hunt, a Baptist pastor and national consultant to churches trying to increase membership.

"Young people today don't listen to pipe organ music on their iPods," he says.

Industry Shrinking

With the changing of popularity of pipe organs over the years, a number of formerly quite successful pipe organ builders have gone out of business.  Examples include:

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