Everything about the Pump Organ

What is it?

The pump organ is an american instrument designed in 1864  by Christian Gottlieb Kratzenstein as a free-reed organ more portable than a pipe organ.

Here’s how it looks and sounds

Not to be confused with

You may hear about it with other names like harmonium (a very similar instrument). Pronounced /pʌmpˈɔː.ɡən/, from the and called armonio in spanish, harmonium in french and harmônio  in portuguese. A person that plays it it’s called an organist.


The Keyboard family which means that it has a row of keys, buttons or levers that make the sound when you press them and from the subcategory aerophones meaning it makes sound with air vibration.


Different types of wood for most of the parts like the body, keys and reeds, anything from hard maple, beech, pine, maple, etc.


The types are determined by range:

  • Harmonium:  2 1/2 octaves and up.
  • Melodeon : 2 octaves.

You can also find the regular pump organ with a different amount of keys.


For the regular pump organ, around $100- 1,000 USD, the cheapest we found was a Victorian Gothic Pump Organ in 1:12 Scale and the most expensive was 42 keys Burma teak woods. In the middle we have something like the Wooden 7-Stopper, 39-Sur, 3 Ballow for $ 480 USD.

Most of the cases you will find used instruments that need repairs, you can do repairs yourself if you want, but getting professional help for piano companies is a viable option too.

Weights and sizes

The size goes around 60 x 50 x 25 In (150 x 125 x 60 Cm) and has a weight from 300 Lbs (135kg), that’s the size and weight of an upright piano.


Here’s a list of a lot of them, but for this one you won’t get that many, a set of keys for an organ, a pedal and a piano cleaning kit with at least 1 product specifically for wood is as much as you’re gonna get.

Start playing

We recommend learning to read sheet music to get the basics. We review resources to help you choose how you want to learn. Now that you know how to read them, you need to get some. 
Sheets come in different notations so we recommend checking various versions of the same sheets, searching for “scores” to get all instruments and even the “song name for [instrument name] to save on translations.

Don’t forget all the details that combined make a big difference like the way you hold it, efficient warmups, positions and techniques.

Remember,the pump organ is difficult but fast to learn, once you know the technique and the keys, then it is up to your ability alone, it’s also similar to the pipe organ and electric organ, so you can combine those resources to help you learn.

Luis Gerardo

Musician as a hobby for +6 years, documenting every instrument in simple words for this website.

Recent Posts

Vector traced color vertical pump organ with no backgroundA pump organ vector image in diagonalVector traced color horizontal pumo organ with no background