Percussion and the Organ by malj


									Percussion on the Organ
        Sam Nash
        April 2006
    Early association of organs and
   Examples date back quite early in the
    evolution of the instrument
   Most frequently occurring association is
    between organ and bells.
       Use with cymbala
       Organ for signaling during services
       The Hornwerk
                 Organ and cymbala
   What are cymbala?
       Cymbalum = medieval Latin for ‘bell’
       Small, shallow, cup-shaped bell struck from
        outside by hammer (clapper-less)
       Series of these bells strung in a diatonic row
       Used from 9th to 14th centuries

           Source: Westcott, Wendell. Bells and Their Music. G.P. Putnam: New York, 1970

“Spanish monk `tapping the cymbala.’
(Miniature from The Cantigas de Santa
Maria, written by Alphonso the Wise in
the thirteenth century.)”

              Image and caption source:
         How do cymbala relate
            to the organ?
   812: organ as gift to Charlemagne
   11th century: book by Theophilus
   1270: image from Rutland Psalter
     Organ as gift to Charlemagne
   “Organs became objects of visual and aural show, eliciting
    wonder and respect as diplomatic gifts or signs of royal power
    … a monk of St Gall (possibly Notker Balburus) reported that
    the ‘King of Constantinople’ also sent an organ to
    Charlemagne in 812, with bronze pipes, `bellows of bull
    leather’ and three sound effects (rumbling thunder, trembling
    lyre, tinkling cymbala) possibly indicating pleno, flutes and
    little bells…” (Williams/Owen, 50)
            Book by Theophilus
   Groups organ building and bell casting
   “Theophilus was a monk, probably German, working
    in the first half of the 11th century on a large
    encyclopedia describing techniques used in making
    church objects – glass blowing, painting, gilding,
    metal forging, bell casting, organ-making.”
    (Williams/Owen, 57)
   Image from Rutland Psalter

“King David playing a positive organ
(apparently depressing the keys with
separate fingers), with a symphonia
(hurdy-gurdy) and cymbalum:
miniature from the Rutland (Belvoir)
Psalter (English, c1270)”

                Source: Williams, Peter & Barbara Owen. The Organ. 59.
Cymbala playable from keyboard
   12th century: added to keyboard using wire
    connected to clappers
   First chime stop
   Eventually abandoned, poor results
   Sound led to development of the Zimbel
    (mixture) stop

         Source: Westcott, Wendell. Bells and Their Music. G.P. Putnam: New York, 1970
               Organ for signaling
   Organ took on a similar function to bells
   “The earliest appearance of the organ in church, perhaps in the
    9th century and certainly in the 10th and 11th centuries,
    probably related more to noise than to music, i.e. it was used
    for signaling purposes (perhaps as a kind of bell-substitute),
    not for music in the liturgy.” (Williams/Owen, 208)
   “Other 12th-century sources imply more clearly that an organ
    was used in some way during the services, perhaps for
    signaling purposes, like bells at the Elevation.”
    (Williams/Owen, 54)
     Decline of organ for signaling
   Role of signaling returned to bells after organs
    became more developed
   Regarding bells: “Their ringing accompanied the
    arrival of a king, bishop, duke, or other dignitaries…
    They were very likely following out one of the
    traditional roles of the organ. By then, presumably
    the organ was no longer a mere signal or siren.”
    (Williams, 36)
   “A name given to certain 16th- and 17th-century
    tower organs of central Germany and Austria. At first
    such outdoor organs could play only a few chords,
    and were used for signaling in the same manner as
    bells. Later they were enlarged and fitted with a self-
    playing mechanism of the pinned barrel type,
    enabling them to play melodies in the manner of a
    carillon.” (Williams/Owen, 309)
‘Salzburg Bull’ (Hornwerk)

                                  Audio Sample
   The ‘Salzburg Stier’

       Ways in which percussion
        appears on the organ
   Actual percussive instruments adapted to play
    from the organ
   Imitative wind-blown stops which emulate a
    specific instrument
   Regular organ stops which bear a resemblance
    to percussive instruments (especially bells)
    Actual percussive instruments
       appearing on the organ
   Most common/frequently occurring examples
       Zimbelstern
       Chimes / Glockenspiel / Carillon
   Others: drums, theatre organ percussions
        Mechanics behind the sound
   Three basic ways percussion stops are controlled
    from the console
       Mechanical action (hammers connected to trackers)
       Pneumatic (leather pouches with hammers connected)
       Electric solenoids or magnets

           Carillon (Real Bells)
   “Real bells of 4’ or 2’ pitch played by hands or
    feet, on many organs, especially in central and
    south Germany, from 1737-50 onwards; there
    were trackers to small striking hammers… A
    common Italian stop of the same type, popular
    in the early 19th century.” (Williams/Owen,
    1750 Gabler Organ
Weingarten Abbey, Germany

   Image source:
Weingarten Abbey Carillon

  Image source:
Weingarten Abbey Carillon

  Image source:
                               Audio Sample
   Nicolas-Antoine Lebegue:
    Les cloches (“The bells”),
    fr. Troisième livre d'orgue

                                             ‘’Title page of Nicolas Lebègue's Troisième livre d'orgue, published 1685’’

                                                  From the CD: Piet Kee at
                                                   Weingarten, Chandos
                                                   Records, recorded October

Image source:
        Carillon (Tubular “Bells”)
   George Ashdown Audsley’s indications for the
    solo division of a concert-room organ, from
    The Organ of the Twentieth Century:
       “The Carillon to be of tubular bells having the
        compass of C to c2 -- 25 notes. To be furnished
        with a damper action that can be brought into play
        along with the hammer action at the will of the
        performer.” (p. 316)
   Tubular, struck on ends
    by electric solenoids, or
    on sides by a hammer
    connected to a pneumatic

                                Image source:$.jpg
                                 Audio Sample
   Mussorgsky: The Great Gate of
    Kiev, from Pictures at an
    Exhibition (transcription)

                                                  Keith Chapman (Wanamaker
                                                   organ, Philadelphia, PA),
                                                   Vantage 2CD-69694001

Image source:
Technological development of tuned
         bells with organ
      Cymbala (as separate instrument) played with organ

                Cymbala played from keyboard

                    Carillon stop with bells

               Carillon stop with tubular “bells”

                     Modern chime stop
   “Usually a row of steel, copper or bronze bars
    hit by hammers activated by pedals or the keys
    of a secondary manual; in organs of 1720
    (Swabia, Silesia, Saxony) of soprano or bass
    compass only, in organs of 1920 often
    complete.” (Williams/Owen, 276)

                                          Glockenspiel from a
                                         WurliTzer Theatre Organ

Image source:

Image source:
                               Audio Sample
   Haydn: March, from Flute Clock Pieces
   Olivier Latry, 1745 Stumm organ, Pauluskirche,
    Kirchheimbolanden, Germany, BNL CD-112792

       Image source:
   “A very common toy stop, found mostly in
    northern Europe c1490-1790 but occasionally
    elsewhere, and consisting of a revolving star
    placed towards the top of the organ case to
    whose wind-blown driving-wheel behind the
    case is attached to a set of bells, tuned or
    (before c1700) untuned.” (Williams/Owen,

Wind-driven Zimbelstern.                                         “One of the two Zimbelsterns in the Ruckpositif of
Source:                 the Örgryte organ. The small bells are located near
                                                                 the hub of this device and a small axle rotates a
                                                                 gold leaf star on the case of the Ruckpositif. Note
                                                                 the metal tube (bottom right corner) which feeds
                                                                 air from the windchests and spins the blades of the

           Modern Zimbelstern
   Now use electric motors
   Strikers move, bells remain stationary

      Theatre Organ Percussions
   Pinnacle of percussive effects on the organ
   Contain many of the same percussion stops
    found on classical organs, plus others
                              Audio Sample
   Demonstration of theatre organ percussions
   “Buddy [Edwin LeMar] Cole (1916-1964) built a studio
    adjacent to his North Hollywood home to house his theatre
    pipe organ. Shortly after the organ was installed, he recorded a
    demonstration of the ranks of pipes in that instrument that are
    common to nearly all theatre organs.”

                                                          Hoagy and Lida Carmichael at an organ
    Audio source:            with Buddy Cole.
                                      Audio Sample
          Stephen Sondheim: “Send in the clowns”,
           from: A Little Night Music
          1926 Wurlitzer hybrid                                       Performed by:
           Merle Norman Tower,                                          Tom Hazleton
           San Sylmar, CA                                               (1942 – 2006)

   Two types:
       Real drums struck by a hammer/mallet mechanism
       Two low, wind-blown pipes, close in pitch, played

                      Drum stops from the
                       Aeolian organ at
                      Longwood Gardens,
                      Kennett Square, PA
    Imitative Wind-Blown Percussions
   Drums (previously mentioned)
   Thunder (jeu d’orage)
    Standard organ stops resembling
   Mixtures
       Zimbel (German, 1600-1750)
       Faberton (German, 1490)
       Carillon (Dutch, 1750-1850)
   Mutations
       Campanello (England, Germany, 1850)
       Faberton (German, 1700)
   Others
       Schällenpfeifen (‘bell pipes’) (German, 16th cent.)
Other organs containing percussions
   Band organs
       Bass drum, snare drum, cymbal
   Reed organs (American)
       Chime or bell stops of steel bars
   Orchestrion / Panharmonicon
       Drum, cymbal, and triangle

“The Orchestrion by
M. Welte, of Vöhrenbach …
London Illustrated News,
Sept. 20, 1862.”

     Band Organ

              Audio Sample
   “The Yellow Rose of Texas”
   Wurlitzer 153 band organ
    Cafesjian's Carousel,
    Como Park,
    St. Paul, Minnesota


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