How Much Does a Pipe Organ Cost?

The pipe organ is not the most common musical instrument. Still, probably some of you have just visited a church and remained fascinating about the majesty of this musical instrument, and now may think how much does a pipe organ cost?

The purchasing price for a pipe organ ranges from $30,000 to somewhere around $1,000,000; however, most pipe organs are sold between $75,000 and $150,000. The price is determined according to the size of the pipe organ; a medium-size pipe organ may for a church cost $200,000 or more. 

The cost of buying a pipe organ is only an indication because you have to consider the price of transport and the installation cost, which you can imagine will not be cheap.

Before purchasing a pipe organ, the installation of a pipe organ usually has to check the space available inside the church to study the best size that may fit the space.

This article will take a deeper look at all the costs of buying a pipe organ, considering the various sizes and all the related expenses that may rise in your mind.

Can I buy a pipe organ?

If you are interested in purchasing a pipe organ, you can do it; you must have the available minimum space required to work correctly.

It will be perfect if you decide to buy a pipe organ to assess your space with expertise that will guide you in the best solution for your area, optimizing it in the best manner possible.

Anyway, there is some authorization that you need to pass; in particular, you will need approval from an organ committee.

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Why are pipe organs so expensive?

Pipe organs are a very sophisticated type of musical instrument, many reasons justify the huge amount of money you need to spend for purchasing a pipe organ.

If we just think that each pipe organ is unique and specially designed for the space in which it will live, if you decide to buy an organ, you will have a singular and unique model, is it just worth the value?

There isn’t any possibility of ordering a pipe organ from a catalog, as it happens for other musical instruments.

The organ pipe is expensive because each one is designed for a specific purpose, such as teaching at university, being installed in a church, etc.

When you pay for an organ pipe, you will not pay the only cost of making it, but you will pay for a detailed engineering study that starts from the available place, finishing from the propagation of the sound.

Another reason that justifies the huge cost is that each pipe of the organ, in whatever piece it is made (wood, metal), is installed by hand.

In addition, when you think about the cost of a pipe organ, you have to know that building it is not as easy as it can look.

Building the organ pipe is done by installing all the components, checking sounding propriety and then dissembled, shipping to the location, re-installed, check of sound.

This process requires an expert team that knows its job because everything must match precisely without any mismatch.

What is the most expensive pipe organ?

The most expensive pipe organ is installed on the Lausanne Cathedral located in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland.

The great pipe organ was inaugurated in December 2003. Imagine that it took around 10 years to build this massive and expensive musical instrument.

It is composed of 7000 pipes, two consoles, and it is the first pipe organ that contains all four of the principal organ style, that is: 

  • Classic
  • French
  • Baroque
  • German Romantique

The total cost for the most expensive pipe organ when it was purchased was 6.6 Million dollars.

How much does it cost to restore a pipe organ?

Sometimes the restring cost of a pipe organ is so expensive that it would be more profitable to buy a new pipe organ.

A real case scenario was done to establish the cost of restoring a pipe organ, and here are the results:

The cost of renovating the pipe organ goes from anywhere $250,000 to $1 million.

Depending on the budget that the church can raise, there are many services of maintenance that could be done.

For example, with a $250,000 budget, would it be possible to replace the leather diaphragms and incorporating a new pipe.

With a $500,000 price tag, you can change the mechanical system, avoiding maintenance for at least 50 years.

With $1 million would be possible to rebuild the organ with new pipes. 

How much does it cost to maintain a pipe organ?

As for other musical instruments, the pipe organ needs maintenance always to maintain a good look and sound.

One of the most important maintenance that should be done is the tuned of pipe organs.

It is usually performed twice a year, or either at the change of the seasons from hot to cold. The cost of tuning depends on different factors, as the size of the pipe organ and its location.

On average, tuning and maintenance cost around $80 to $150 per hour of work.

Cost of transport for a pipe organ

In the majority of the case, the pipe organ you will purchase will not be located in the area where you live. 

This will compromise the overall cost of buying a pipe organ. 

Considering the massive size of the pipe organ, it is not possible to transport for entire. For that reason, the producer must disassemble the pipe as the whole organ once tested and shipping it. This operation will cost around $2,500 to $4,000, depending on the size of the pipe organ.


There are many aspects to consider before purchasing a pipe organ, as the size, the space available, the location of the producers, and so on.

The pipe organ is one of the most expensive musical instruments on the planet, but the sound it produces is well worth its cost.