The invention of pipe organs and their further development

Click here for audio of Episode Today, the invention of the pipe organ. The University of Houston's College of Engineering presents this series about the machines that make our civilization run, and the people whose ingenuity created them. Out of that cultural mixing, a new free-wheeling, cosmopolitan world replaced the conservative, isolationist Greek city-states.

The invention of pipe organs and their further development

Knowledge of the organ lost in the west with the fall of the Roman Empire 8th century AD Return of the organ to the west The Origin of the Organ Music is such an all-pervasive characteristic of human culture that it seems inevitable that most of us eventually come around to wondering about its origins: Who was the first musician?

Why did music develop with seeming independence in virtually every culture on the planet?

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Just how old is music as a human endeavor? What were the first musical instruments?

The invention of pipe organs and their further development

When did they originate? No one knows how most musical instruments were "invented. Developments after that time led to the different forms of the flute that exist throughout the many musical cultures of the world.

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Variations in detail from one culture's flute to another's certainly exist, but the principle by which they produce sounds for musical purposes is the same in all of them, and the first use of that principle was so long ago that we can never pinpoint it in history.

The pipe organ presents a different picture, however. The instrument itself is a composite machine, and to be considered an "organ" it must have four basic components: How can one person play more than one wind instrument at a time? Certainly he had some models at hand that permitted something similar: These instruments were known in the ancient world, to both Greek and Hebrew cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean.

He could have even had some knowledge of the so-called mouth organ, which is sometimes cited as a precursor to the development of the organ.

He must have wanted to accomplish more, however, than simply bundling end-blown flutes together. His solution to the challenge was to place several existing wind instruments perhaps the aulos of different sizes above a chamber containing air under pressure - - pressure that was generated by simple hand-operated pumps and controlled by the weight of water, and to control access to the individual wind instruments through a simple system of keys and valves to admit the air.

This machine invented by an engineer eventually developed into the musical instrument we know as the "pipe organ," and today all instruments that bear the name have the same four basic characteristics found in the hydraulis of Ktesibios. The mechanical realizations of the four basic requirements are certainly different, reflecting developments in both society and technology in the last years.

But all pipe organs have their origin in this relatively simple instrument that was invented first as a solution to an engineering problem.Electronic organ: Electronic organ, keyboard musical instrument in which tone is generated by electronic circuits and radiated by loudspeaker.

This instrument, which emerged in the early 20th century, was designed as an economical and compact substitute for the much larger and more complex pipe organ. The first pipe organ with ""great leaden pipes"" was sent to the West by the Byzantine emperor Constantine V as a gift to Pepin the Short King of the Franks in Pepin's son Charlemagne requested a similar organ for his chapel in Aachen in , beginning its establishment in Western church music.

Apparently, the bellows organ did not replace the hydraulis entirely in the Roman Empire, at least not immediately. The bellows organ, then, is a later development in the history of the instrument, appearing first in the Roman Empire some four centuries after the invention of the hydraulis.

INVENTING THE ORGAN by John H.

ADDITIONAL MEDIA

Lienhard. Click here for audio of Episode Today, the invention of the pipe organ.

The invention of pipe organs and their further development

The University of Houston's College of Engineering presents this series about the machines that make our civilization run, and the people whose ingenuity created them. Year 10 Music Assessment Task 3 (Essay component) Semester 2, The Development of the Piano. The history of the piano is a long and complex one, evolving steadily from “extinct” instruments like the clavichord and the harpsichord and instruments that still exist today like the organ.

At any rate, this is the real player piano inventors' page, and we offer very brief details of their characters and their works. Those ingenious souls, or at least those whom we know of, who devised the different reproducing piano systems, will be covered on our reproducing piano pages.

History of Organs and Organ Music