Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/589

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ORGAN.

or 812, caused to be made at Aix-la-Chapelle after the model of that at Compiegne. The copy was successful, and several writers expressed themselves in terms of high praise at its power- ful yet pleasing tone. What became of it is not recorded.

In 823 or 826 an organ was sent to Charle- magne by the Caliph Haroun Alraschid, con- structed by an Arabian maker of the name of Giafar, which was placed in a church at Aix-la- Chapelle. It was a Pneumatic organ of extra- ordinarily soft tone.

Venice was favourably known for its organ- makers about this time; a monk of that city, of the name of Georgius, a native of Benevento, having in the year 822 constructed an instru- ment for Louis le De"bonnaire, which was a Hydraulic organ, and was erected in the palace of the king at Aix-la-Chapelle. Its pipes were of lead.

The French and Germans were both desirous of rivalling the foreign specimens of ingenuity that had come under their notice ; and so suc- cessful were they in their endeavours, that after a time the best organs were said to be made in France and Germany. The progress of Ger- many in making and using them in the latter half of the 9th century, particularly in East Franconia, was so great, that Pope John VIII (880), in a letter to Anno, Bishop of Friesingen, requests that a good organ may be sent to him, and a skilful player to instruct the Roman artists.

By this time organ-building had apparently made its way into Bavaria ; and a large instru- ment, with box-wood pipes, is said to have been erected in the Cathedral of Munich at a very early date.

In the gth century organs had become com- mon in this country, the English artificers fur- nishing them with pipes of copper, which were fixed in gilt frames. In the loth century the English prelate St. Dunstan (925-988), famous for his skill in metal work, erected or fabricated an organ in Malmesbury Abbey, the pipes of which were of brass. He also gave an organ to Abingdon Abbey, and is said to have furnished many other English churches and convents with similar instruments. In this same century Count Elwin presented an organ to the convent at Ramsey, on which he is said to have expended the then large sum of thirty pounds in copper pipes, which are described as emitting a sweet melody and a far-resounding peal.

A curious representation of an organ of about this date is given in a MS. Psalter of Edwin preserved in the library of Trinity College, Cam- bridge. 1 The pipes are placed within a frame, apparently after the manner referred to above. The surface of the organ is represented as being perforated to receive a second set of pipes, though the draughtsman appears to have sketched one hole too many. The two organists, whose duties

i Engraved from a photograph, by the kind permission of the authorities.

VOL. II. FT. 11.

��ORGAN.

��577

��seem for the moment to have been brought to an end by the inattention of the blowers, are intent on admonishing their assistants, who are striving to get up the wind-supply, which their

��Fio. 6.

���neglect has apparently allowed to run out. The four bellows are blown in a manner which we here meet with for the first time namely, through the intervention of handles instead of directly by the hands; and as in so small an organ there could not have been room for four persons to compress the wind by standing upon the bellows, we may infer that they were loaded with weights in the manner that has generally been supposed not to have been introduced until some centuries later.

At the end of the loth century several organs existed in Germany (St. Paul's, Erfurt ; St. James's, Magdeburg ; and Halberstadt cathedral), which, although small and unpretending instru- ments, were objects of much astonishment and attraction at the time.

In the nth century we find a treatise on the construction of organs, included in a larger work on Divers Arts, by a monk and priest of the name of Theophilus, which is of consider- able interest as showing the exact state of the art of organ-making at that period; the more so as even the existence of such a tract was un- known to all the historians, foreign or English, who wrote on the subject, until it was discovered by Mr. Hendrie, who published a translation of it in 1847.* It is too long to quote in extenso, and is also rather obscure in parts; but the following particulars may be gathered from it : that the slide-box was made two and a half feet in length, and rather more than one foot in breadth ; that the pipes were placed upon its surface ; that the compass consisted of 7 or 8 notes; that the length of the slide-box was measured out equally for the different notes or slides, and not on a gradually decreasing scale as the pipes became smaller, since the play- ing-slides would not in that case have been of one width or at one distance apart ; that the organ was played by these movable slides ; that each slide worked in little side-slits, like the lid of a box of dominos ; that there were two or perhaps even more pipes to each note ; that the projecting

  • Theophlll, qul et Bugerus, Presbyter! et Honachl Llbrl HI., da

Dlversls Artibus. Opera et Studio Boberti Hendrie. Lcmdiul, Jo- hannes Murray, MDCCCXLVII. 8vo.'

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