Some years ago, we asked our audience if they could tell if recordings were made on a digital organ or a pipe organ. We thought it would be fun to run the challenge again, so we have done that in the quiz you will see below.
The last time, some people said it was not a fair test as we were listening to both types of instrument through loudspeakers.
I found this criticism amusing, since people who dislike any digital organ often state on social media that ‘one can immediately tell it was an electronic instrument’ while, presumably, listening to the recordings on loudspeakers.
So, when it came to a more balanced test, how did the substantial pool of entrants fare those 4 years ago?
With 10 pieces—5 played on each instrument— one would expect a true random result to have got the average of 5 out of 10 correct.
The final outcome was an average of 5.5 out of 10. So, there was a very small bias suggesting that a few people got more right than wrong. But it was not the overwhelming result that those I quote above might have expected.
Anyway, this is only a piece of fun and if you take part you can decide for yourself how difficult it is to tell the difference between a digital organ and a pipe organ.
I have had a passion for church organs since the tender age of 12. I own and run Viscount Organs with a close attention to the detail that musicians appreciate; and a clear understanding of the benefits of digital technology and keeping to the traditional and emotional elements of organ playing.