Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/585

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and Gevaert, which no earnest student should neglect to read. But even the most careful writers find it less easy to lay down definite rules for their readers' guidance than to convey instruction by constant reference to examples selected from the works of the Great Masters. It is for this reason that we have thought it better to take a general view of our subject than to enter minutely into its details. This course has at least enabled us to give due prominence to the fundamental principles upon which the science of Orchestration is based; whereas the opposite one would have led to the consideration of a series of isolated facts of far less value to the general reader.

[ W. S. R. ]

ORFEO ED EURIDICE. Opera by Calsabigi; music by Gluck, the first in his new style. Produced at Vienna, Oct. 5, 1762, and in Paris, where it was published in score at the cost of Count Durazzo, in 1764. Its great success was in the French translation as Orphée et Euridice, ten years later. It was produced in London at the Royal Italian Opera, Covent Garden, June 27, 1860—Orfeo, Mad. Csillag.

[ G. ]

ORGAN (Fr. Orgue; Ital. Organo; Ger. Orgel). I. History. It must not be supposed that the 'organ' referred to in the Old Testament (Gen. iv. 21)—'Jubal; he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ'—bore any resemblance to the stately instrument with which we are all so familiar by that name at the present day. At the same time, there can be little doubt that the principle of the three great classes of organpipe—Stopped, Open, and Reed—was known at a very early period, as we shall have occasion to show.

It is here purposed, as far as practicable, to trace from the remotest beginnings, to its present exalted dimensions, the gradual growth of that great triumph of human skill which so justly enjoys the distinction of being the most perfect musical instrument that the ingenuity of man has hitherto devised; the impressive tones of which so greatly enrich the effect of the religious services celebrated in our great sacred edifices. The materials available for this purpose are not indeed always of the plainest kind, the accounts being not unfrequently incomplete, exaggerated, or surrounded by a somewhat apocryphal air; but much may be done by selecting the most probable, and placing them in intelligible order.

The first idea of a wind-instrument was doubtless suggested to man by the passing breezes as they struck against the open ends of broken reeds; and the fact that reeds of different lengths emitted murmurs varying in pitch may have further suggested that if placed in a particular order, they would produce an agreeable succession of sounds;—in other words, a short musical scale. A few such reeds or tubes, of varied growths or diameters, and of graduated lengths, bound together in a row, with their open tops arranged in a horizontal line, would form an instrument possessing sufficient capacity for the performance of simple primitive melodies; and of such kind doubtless was Jubal's 'organ' (ougab)[1] already mentioned. It probably was not more; and it could scarcely have been less. Necessity precedes supply; and nothing is known that would lead to the supposition that the music of the time of Jubal called for anything beyond a few tubes, such as those just described, for its complete accompaniment.

The myth that Pan was the originator of the Syrinx led to its being called 'Pan's-pipe,' under which name, or that of 'Mouth-organ,' it is known to the present day. [Pandean pipes.]

The number of tubes that in the course of time came to be used was seven, sometimes eight, occasionally as many as ten or twelve; and the Greek and Roman shepherds are recorded as being among the makers of these 'organs,' as well as the performers upon them.

Fig. 1.
The pipes of the Syrinx being composed of reeds cut off just below the knot—which knot did not permit the wind to escape, but caused it to return to the same place where it entered, thus traversing the length of the tube twice—were in principle so many examples of the first class of pipes mentioned above. They were practically 'Stopped pipes,' producing a sound nearly an octave lower than that of an Open pipe of the same length.[2]

The mode of playing upon this earliest organ must have been troublesome and tiring, as either the mouth had to be in constant motion to and fro over the tubes, or they had incessantly to be shifted to the right or left under the mouth. Some other method of directing wind into them must in course of time have been felt to be desirable; and the idea would at length occur of conducting wind into the tube from below instead of above. This result—an enormous step forward—would be obtained by selecting a reed, as before, but with a short additional portion left below the knot to serve as a mouthpiece or wind-receiver (the modern 'foot'); by making a straight narrow slit through the knot, close to the front, to serve as a passage-way for the breath; and by cutting a small horizontal opening immediately above that slit, with a sloping notch, bevelling upwards and outwards over that again. The breath blown in at the lower end, in passing through the slit would strike against the edge of the notch above, and there produce rapid flutterings, which would be communicated to the air in the tube, and would cause a sound to be emitted. In this manner a specimen of the second class of pipe mentioned above—that of the Open species—would be brought into existence.

In course of time the idea would occur of trying to obtain more than one sound from a single pipe, for which purpose first one hole to be covered or exposed by a finger—then a second, and so on, would be cut laterally, in the

  1. Rendered by Gesenius 'pipe, reed, syrinx.' The word occurs also in Job xxi. 12, Psalm cl. 4.
  2. An exact model of a Stopped Diapason pipe of wood is presented by the well-known 'pitch-pipe' of the present day.