Since ancient times there have been pipe organs and people who endeavor to make
them play better using the technology of their time. Through the ages, devotees
of the pipe organ have continually sought new ways to control the wind which
powers the music from this magnificent instrument.
Legend has it that the pipe organ's precursor was invented by a barber whose
machine could simulate the sounds made when air was pushed out of tubes used in
the barber tools of ancient times. Others came along to elaborate this musical
machine into the Hydraulus, an instrument made with rows of pipes that sounded
individual notes when activated by water power used to steady the wind.
Archimedes, the ancient Greek mathematician and inventor, was known in his time
as the one who perfected the Hydraulus using the principles of fluid mechanics
he developed, in part, for that purpose, and which are studied to this day.
Like Archimedes, Peterson sought ways to give the organist new powers to control
the traditional pipe organ and play the full range of sounds possible with this
king of instruments. He pioneered the successful application of solid state
switches to pipe organs, giving authentic pipe organs the same technological
advantages that others were using to guide rockets. Peterson recognized that
space age transistors applied to the cherished pipe organ would give the
organist the control advantages of modern technology without compromising the
full and rich sounds of authentic pipe-generated music.
For half a century, Peterson Electro-Musical Products has found new ways to
control the panorama of sounds from the traditional pipe organ. From the first
solid state switching system came thousands more, to give today's organist the
full range of electronic controls that are simply nicknamed Peterson. This now
includes bringing the power of the computer age to the modern organist with MIDI
innovations custom-designed for the pipe organ.
More dollars are spent by Peterson Electro-Musical Products, Inc. to innovate
modern mechanisms for the pipe organ than by any other company in the world.
Many devotees of the pipe organ say that Peterson's work will enable 21st
Century churches to preserve the rich music of worship that has prevailed
through the ages.