Thursday, October 30, 2003

more organ

boynton's been on a bit of a whimiscal organ hunt since a chance choice of words in the post about spam, committing that most obvious of puns. Turned up some great sites and listened to a range of mp3's and midis of hymns and beatles on crank organs and beer bottle organs (via J Walk)

We started with Curious Facts From The Organ's History from Encyclopedia Organica which alerted us to the
Famed composer Henry Purcell, appointed organist to the Chapel Royal of Charles II in 1682, played one of the organs in the great "battle of organs". The battle, between builders Harris and Smith, was to decide which builder should build the organ for London's Temple Church. Smith won!

More on this battle with this early account here:

Dr Blow and Mr Purcell, who was then in his prime, showed and played Father Smith’s organ on appointed days to a numerous audience, and till the other was heard everybody believed that Father Smith’s would certainly carry it.
Mr Harris brought Mr Sully, Organist to Queen Catherine, a very eminent Master to touch his organ, which brought Mr Harris’ organ into that vogue

The curious facts page also refers to
Composer Joseph Haydn wrote a set of pieces in 1772 to be played on a mechanical organ located in a clock.

Holmberg Musical clocks has historical info and samples of Haydn.

From this page of Crank Organ arrangements - where we sampled some Scott Joplin - we found our way to Todd Augsburger's Roller Organ Website This excellent site includes a gallery of of roller organs - their parts - and advertising pages, with wonderful images like this and this.
There was also an appealing advertorial entitled "Aunt Maria and the Autophone

"I said to ma that night when she got home: 'Maria; she's got as much music in her as the rest of the family, but she's obliged to take hers in a peculiar way. She can't take it straight, but jest give it to her hindside foremost or upside down, and she enjoys it as much as any"

Finally with Eleanor Rigby on a beer bottle organ lingering in the head cache, a local field guide - a gazetteer of Victorian organs

Comments: more organ

I was once invited to play the Potilla (pop. 17)Anglican Church organ. The bellows were full of holes (mice?) and my playing was restricted to 2 note chords. The emphysemic moan provided a constant G# drone throughout. Nobody noticed!
Posted by Nora at October 31, 2003 12:56 PM

Tres amusing.

Alas: a quick check of the Vic Gazeteer (or where the organs are) reveals none for Potilla, nor indeed nearby Mollonghip. Good to see though that Naringaningalook's organ was rescued by Darnum.
Posted by boynton at October 31, 2003 01:18 PM

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