Kingussie Organ Historical & Show


The first organ was built in 250 BC by the Greek technician Ktesibios in Alexandria. The instrument was not very large, the balancing position for steady wind was regulated with water, which is why these instruments were called hydraulics.
This construction was taken over by the Romans. It is known that Emperor Nero played the organ. A Roman organ was found near Budapest / Hungary in the Roman Aquincum. With this instrument, the ancient musical theory is very well understood. There are also 2000-3000-year-old songs that are sung and accompanied by replicas of this organ, which bring us closer to this musical culture. Here is a link:

• Terracotata from Carthage also according to a description by Virtruv. You can see more pictures on this page of organs from the 10th century
• Representations in Bibles 11th - 13th century including one from Belvoir Castle
We see that after the fall of the Roman Empire from about 450 AD until the 10th century, the organ did not experience any significant development

Music presentation from the ancient world with organ and organ + singing as mp3 there is a link:

This ancient organ is interesting because it is a systematic starting point for the entire Western technique and goes far beyond the Christian frame of reference.
In the gothic domes, the organ probably came into existence from 1350 onwards. They were playable like bells with elbows and fist. Partially up to 10 persons had to produce the necessary wind at corresponding pedal devices
Which sparked fascination with these first organs, was the eerie sound, unlike the human voice, which was known from Gregorian chorales: the standing tone, a symbol of eternity and a symbol of God's voice. The citizens and farmers who came every Sunday in the service they were fascinated and frightened.And the priests glimmered that this fascination could be used for the new time of the churches.

The development of the spiritual organ music began with the Codex from Robertsbridge around 1350. It shows us that here England was at the beginning of the organ music.
With the Renaissance from 1520 onwards spiritual secular organ music also arose. The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) has largely destroyed all sources on the continent and has hardly favored new developments.
After this war, organ music flourished. We refer to this great epoch with the term baroque and classical (1650-1750). The most famous composers were Scheidt, Pachhelbel, Sweelinck, Couperin, Frescobaldi, Henry Purcell, and others. And as the central zenith Johann Sebastian Bach.

Barock-Classical-Romantic Organ

With the end of the baroque period around 1750, the interest in organ music fell dramatically. It revived with the age of Romanticism (1820-1916)
Whereby in organ music we differ essentially between German and French romanticism.
German Romantic composers where: Mendelssohn, Liszt, Brahms, Reubke, Rheinberger, Reger.
French composers: Franck, Lemmens, Widor, Guilmant. English Organromantik :West, Hastings Parry, Samuel Wesley
I would like to show the difference between these two musical styles by two examples on our organ here in Kingussie,
Which can be sorted into late-organ-romanticism

• Initially polyphonic classical organ music in the style of Bach with register 8'-4'-2 'and then contrasting:
• A romantic crescendo, for which this organ is excellently suited, registered as follows: I.Man. Dulciana-Gedackt-Claribel- II.Man EchoGamba - Vox angelica - Paddock II / I - Gemshorn - Piccolo - I Open Diapason - Octav 2 - Paddock I / P and finally Cornopean Super-Sub. In this crescendo, you should have a sunrise and we are the closest to the program music Franz Liszt

Kingussie Organ

While working on this organ two different ways have been used. Once we had to rework the technique, the mechanics in the console and in the windchests, and the rework of the extensive pneumatic, which is largely compacted in this pneumatic machine. The windchests on which the pipes stand and which were traditional sliderchests had also to be thoroughly reworked.
The other way was the reworking of the organ sound.

Here the disposition of the organ with 993 pipes:

I.Manual C-c4=61 Noten GREAT
1. Open Diapason 8’
2. Claribel Flute 8’
3. Lieblich Gedackt 8’
4. Dulciana 8’
5. Principal 4’
6. Suabe Flute 4’
7. Octav 2`
II.Manual C-c4=61 Noten SWELL
8. Open Diapason 8‘
9. Stopped Diapason 8’
10.Echo Gamba 8’
11. Vox Angelica 8’ tc
12. Gemshorn 4’`
13. Piccolo 2’
14. Cornopean 8’
15. Oboe 8’
Pedal C-f1= 30 Noten
16. Subbaß16’
17. Bourdon 16’
18. Bass Flute 8’
well to Great
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Swell Superoctav
Swell Suboctav
Tremulant for Swell
Balanced Swell Pedal

By the use of the couplers, 450 pipes can be played simultaneously with 10 fingers. This requires a high and precise wind pressure.
The pipes have different shapes and therefore differentiated sound design.
The pipework of the two manuals is shown on the following two pictures.

pictures during work

pipe-bodies of the Oboe reeds of the oboe pneumatic at console keys pipes of Echo Gamba
pipes Vox angelica and Gamba Diapason pipes Stopped Diapason start with work very early

Gerhard Walcker-Mayer
03.Dez. 2016

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