Bob Hodge's explanation of why the Syracuse band organ sounds as it
does leads me to comment on the futility of having a band organ or any
mechanical musical instrument in a public venue with nobody around who
understands the basic procedures for its care and maintenance.
If any park decides to install a real band organ, they should train at
least one person on-site to take care of it. Ideally he should not only
be able on a regular schedule to change the rolls, clean the tracker
bar, lubricate the mechanisms, and recognize when something isn't
working, but he should also be able to do minor fixes when that
"something" isn't working.
That's the minimum for success. Beyond that, the park has to be
willing to spend major money on repair and restoration when the organ
needs it, as any organ operating eight or ten hours a day eventually
If the park is not willing to spend its money on an item that is not
viewed as bringing in revenue the way a major thrill ride would, then
the situation is rather hopeless, and all the enthusiastic fans in the
world will not be able to influence the outcome, particularly if the
park involved is part of a corporate chain.
This is, I'm sorry to say, the reality of band organs in corporately
Irondequoit, New York