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Imagine having a tank of compressed air to feed an organ. Would the pipes still vibrate when played? If so, would the frequency be different? And how many decibels quieter would it sound if you put your ear/helmet directly in the path of the exiting air?

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  • $\begingroup$ You may find this interesting (not a full answer but it relates to low air pressures inside a suit, for example): quora.com/Why-is-it-not-possible-to-whistle-in-a-space-suit $\endgroup$ – Andy Dec 15 '15 at 16:53
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    $\begingroup$ Sound waves in expanding air is perhaps something for the physics stack exchange. $\endgroup$ – Hohmannfan Dec 15 '15 at 18:09
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They wouldn't work.

In a pipe, wind blowing over the fipple, or past a reed causes vortices which give lots of different frequencies. Then at the open end of the pipe (or open finger holes) the change to a fixed pressure causes most of the vibration to be reflected back down the pipe, setting up standing waves at various harmonics, which produce the tone. With no atmosphere in space, the air would rush explosively down the pipe, there would be no reflection, no establishment of standing waves, hence no tone formed.

If you put a microphone on the body of the instrument you would probably pick up a lot of noise, of rushing air. You would not get a tone. The air down the pipe would be moving quite fast. Don't put your head in the way!

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