A sonic experience that you can literally feel
In Brad Brickner's music history classes, students discuss technology—the invention of the piano, the emergence of the great violin makers, the development of music notation and music printing. They also see some great music "tech" in person because Lab has access to a tremendous number of pipe organs right here at the University and in Hyde Park. Says Brickner, "It's one thing to hear a recording but it's entirely different to be in the building, and each organ sounds different."
UChicago is home to the E.M. Skinner Opus 634 at Rockefeller Chapel (its huge, with 8,565 pipes, and considered one of the best in the nation) and the beautiful Reneker at Bond Chapel.
University organist Thomas Weisflog personally shows the students how mechanically different the two are from one another.
"Pipe organs are part of a building and the building is part of a pipe organ," says Brickner. "It's a sonic experience that you can literally feel." The tour goes on at Augustana Lutheran Church and the Lutheran School of Theology where resident experts share their knowledge with the class.