Sorry I haven't been around for a while but like David Wyld has said, there is often times when organ builders have to get on and make a living. My time lately, before Christmas has been totally taken up with tuning. After that, I've been away in the Netherlands for Christmas and the new year, spending time with my family and friends over there. Consequently, I've not had any time to visit this forum but I'm hoping that over the next few months I will be able to rectify the situation.
As to the question posed here........ No, the organ is not dead, it will never be dead. It is a musical instrument, it assumes its own purpose, through the hearts and minds of it's performers and listeners. You must remember that the organ, in the beginning was only installed in a church because it was the only building large enough to accommodate it.. As time moved on this incredible instrument was found a place in the liturgy, but only after a long and complicated argument about whether it was deemed suitable to be in a building dedicated to the gospels and the teaching of the Christian church. Eventually, after it was realised that the organ was indispensable to lead the singing of the congregation, starting from around 1640 onwards on the continent and I'm sorry to say, very much later in England, it's existence was assured..
Now, during this present age in many churches are replacing guitars for gedackts and mixtures for mouth organs, it might seem that the King of Instruments might well have had its day, but it really doesn't matter in the long run. This age of "happy clapper" nonsense will one day soon outlive it's sell by date. The reason for this, in my mind is that the average person, whether they be old or young, , rich or poor is searching for a reason as to why they exist, spinning around on this reletively small planet out in the middle of God only knows where. Not any amount of this kind of superficial claptrap will ever give any answer to their questions. Therefore, they must at sometime realise this, if they have any brain at all and start once again to research the higher aspects of existence......oh,but now I'm getting sidetracked.
The organ, whatever happens to religion in the next 1000 years or whenever, will survive simply because it is. It is the greatest musical instrument ever conceived by human beings, not only because of its incredible voice, but also because of its technical innovations that were started long before anything else. Organ builders in the 17th century were held in the same esteem as rocket scientists might be today. As long as there are people who love music on this earth, the organ will always be there, whatever happens with religion.
Sorry, I'm thinking all this as I write so once again I'm getting of topic!
As promised, I'll do some more writing on some of the great organ builders of history, including the family Stumm, as I've now retrieved my notes from my daughter. I also hope to provide some insight into some fascinating instruments that have been built over the last 400 years that I've been privileged to study and play.
Until then, best wishes from