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The Story of the Organ

by

C. F. Abdy Williams

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ISBN-13/EAN: 978-1-902222-27-1
ISBN-10: 1-902222-27-X
Title: The Story of the Organ
Author: C. F. Abdy Williams
Price: €42.95
Description: This book chronicles the development of the organ from its beginnings in Greek and Roman times, as an hydraulus, through its development in Germany, France and England, to the beginning of the 20th century. It includes the development of the keyboard, stops and bellows, and other inventions in the 18th and 19th centuries; how the instrument has had its opponents which caused its destruction in some areas. There are appendixes that list organ builders, organ stops and technical terms, a bibliography and a number of organ specifications.
Pages: xiv 287
Availability: In Stock
Format: Hard Back (Library Quality Cloth) A5
Illustrations: 42 illustrations, musical examples
Published: 2009
Edition: New edition of 1903 edition.
Language: English
Publisher: Bardon Enterprises
Cover: Cover

Biography of C. F. Abdy Williams

Williams, Charles Francis Abdy. B.A. (Cantab, 1879), M.A. (Cantab, 1882), Mus.B. (Oxon, 1889), Mus.B. (Cantab, 1891). Studied at Sherborne School; Trinity Hall, Cambridge, 1875; the Leipzig Conservatory under Dr Karl Reinecke, 1882. Organist of St. Mary’s, Auckland, New Zealand, 1879-81; Dover College, England, 1881-82; St. Mary’s, Boltons, London, 1885-91; Bradfield College, Berkshire, 1895-. Composed church and chamber music, songs, &c. b. Dawlish, England, July 16th, 1855; d. Milford, Lymington, Feb. 27th, 1923.

Biographical information courtesy of www.organ-biography.info © 2018



Table of contents

CHAPTER I.
The mechanically blown trumpet of Ctesibius of Alexandria – Hero causes a row of musical pipes to be blown by mechanical means – The hydraulic organ of Vitruvius – Popularity of this instrument – Its representation on contorniates, gems, in pottery, and in a poem – The Roman emperors and the hydraulus – References by writers – The compass of the hydraulus – Discovery of two instruments at Pompeii which are probably portative organs – The state of music in ancient Rome – Greek slaves as performers – Gigantic instruments constructed – The Emperor Julian – The hydraulus used at weddings – Cassiodorus’s description of the organ – Abolition of theatres – Object of the water in the hydraulus – The “Pneumatic” organ – The word organ in Scripture – The meaning of the Greek word ’όργάνον and the Latin organum – The principle of the modern organ explained – Explanation of the expressions “Equal and unequal temperament”
CHAPTER II.
The Christians and Pagans in the fourth and fifth centuries – Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, objects to instrumental music – The Hydraulus objected to – Loss of documents relating to music – The Christians introduce Roman secular music into the ritual – Hymns accompanied by the lyre – The Pneumatic Organ probably first used at Constantinople – Its introduction to the west of Europe – Pepin’s organ – Anglo-Saxon organs – Mention of organs by various writers –Vitalian – The vocal organum – Introduction of the mixture or locatio into the organ – A gigantic organ at Winchester – The organ introduced into the churches of Italy – Mediæval organ-builders – Dunstan – Wheels with bells in churches – Pope Sylvester II. as an organ-builder – Chaucer’s references to the organ – Legend of St. Cecilia – References to organs in mediæval poetry – Portative and Positive organs – Origin of the term Keyboard – Small organs placed on pillars – The compass of the earliest keyboards – Introduction of Stops or Registers – The invention or the Pedal – Increase in the number of claviers, and their compass – The “coarse roar and deep growling” of mediæval organs – Gradual reduction in the size of the keys – The organ did not always accompany the voices
CHAPTER III.
The bellows of mediæval organs – Frequent repairs required – Improvements in the sixteenth century – Stop-handles – The positive joined to the great organ – Invention of reed stops – Pretorius’s description of organs existing in his days – Unequal temperament found unsatisfactory – The black keys divided – Curious arrangements of keyboards – Unequal temperament used for organs in A.D. 1879 – The organs at Ulm and Danzig – The tremulant – The downward compass of German organs fixed at C – Manual couplers introduced – Extraordinary features in organ cases – The foxtail stop – Pretorius’s suggestion for a cheap three-manual organ – The Regal
CHAPTER IV.
The keyboards of portatives and positives – The invention of the clavichord – Landino, the first famous organist – Sguarcialupo – The Ricercare – Spanish organ-playing and organs – Italian organ-builders – English cathedral statutes – English organists – Anecdote of Christopher Tye – Marbeck escapes the stake owing to his musical excellence – Epitaphs on organists – A German opinion of the English organists of the sixteenth century – Objections to the organ – Efforts to regulate its use – Luther’s dislike to it – Destruction of organs in Switzerland and Belgium
CHAPTER V.
The organ in the Church of England during the arrangements for a reformed ritual – English organs in 1634 – General destruction of organs ordered under Oliver Cromwell – Escape of the organ at York Cathedral – Quaint allusion to it by Mace – Destruction of the organs of Westminster Abbey, Chichester, Peterborough, and other cathedrals – Restoration of the cathedral service under Charles II. – English organ-builders – Father Smith comes to England – Arrival of Thomas and Renatus Harris – The contest between Father Smith and Renatus Harris at the Temple Church – Description of Smith’s organ – English organs unsatisfactory on account of having no pedals – Smith’s organ at Durham – He is engaged to build an organ for St. Paul’s – Sir Christopher Wren and the organ – Rivalry between Smith and Harris – History of the organ erected by Harris in the Temple Church – Organ-builders who succeeded Smith and Harris
CHAPTER VI.
German and Dutch organs in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries – Examination of candidates for organistships – Organs at Haarlem, Antwerp, Cologne, Strasburg, and other towns – Bach and the Hamburg organs – Arnold Schlick’s rules for organ-building – A transposing keyboard – Large organs required by Lutheran congregations – Difficulties with the sound-boards – Ventils – Tricks of dishonest builders – The organ at Gröningen – Examined by fifty-three organists, who fail to discover its defects – French organs – English organs after the Restoration – English inventions : the swell, concussion bellows, wind-gauge, composition pedals, horizontal bellows, and Cumming’s improvement in their construction, hydraulic and gas engines for blowing – The pedal in England – English improvements in pedals – The old German pedals : their position with relation to the manuals fixed by Imperial decree – Prejudice against pedals – English inventions for avoiding heavy touch – The pneumatic action – Electric action – Couplers – English improvements in their mechanism – German and Italian builders adopt English improvements
CHAPTER VII.
Ancient organ-pipes – Curious materials used for them – The materials and shapes of modern pipes – Mitred pipes – The compass of English organs – The persistent use of unequal temperament in England – Sketch of the history of equal temperament – Competition between Neidhardt and Bach in tuning an organ-stop – Anecdote of Bach and Silbermann – Complaints of the tuning of English organs – The use of the organ in place of and together with the orchestra discussed – Short octaves – Mutation stops removed from the organ at York Minster – The building of this organ produces a law-suit
CHAPTER VIII.
Curiosities and anecdotes – Mace’s table organ – The Apollonicon – Barrel-organs – The mendicant’s organ – The barrel-organ much used in private houses and village churches – Hydraulic barrel-organs – Modern barrel-organs – Dutch clock organs – Anecdotes of Snetzler and Herschel – Curious organs made for use on railways – Miss Stirling as an organist – The Freiburg organ – Anecdotes of Mendelssohn’s organ-playing – Vogler’s orchestrion – Anecdote of M. Gevaert – Adlung’s advice to organists – Pretorius on organs of his clay – Incompetent organists of the sixteenth century – Curious methods of blowing – Seven organs played together at Venice
CHAPTER IX.
Some Reflections on the Method of Playing the Organ
APPENDIX
A. – Two Instruments found at Pompeii
B. – The Rev. F. W. Galpin’s Hydraulus
C. – Organ-builders
D. – Organ Stops
E. – Technical Terms
F. – Bibliography
G. – Specifications of Organs of various Dates and Countries in Chronological Order
INDEX

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