Christian Ahrens / Jonas Braasch
The 'Japanese' stops of the Klais organ in the Kyoto Concert Hall
Although common organ stops in Japan are sometimes named after traditional Japanese instruments, the Klais organ is the only one worldwide that has -- in addition to a French and a German section -- a Japanese section containing 4 specially designed stops imitating the Japanese instruments: shakuhachi, shinobue, shô and hichiriki. While the Shakuhachi 8' stop and the Shinobue 4' stop are established using flue pipes, free reed organ pipes are used for the Shô 8' and the Hichiriki 8' stop.
Sound recordings of single tones were made of these 'Japanese' organ stops and analyzed regarding the sound spectra, the attack transients of the single partials, and the variation of the fundamental frequency during the attack transients. The sound recordings were compared to those of the traditional instruments. The results of the analysis show that the sound characteristics of the Japanese traditional instruments are imitated quite well. It is further discussed how this unique instrument can be integrated into the recent movement in Japan to combine traditional Japanese and Western instruments. In regard to this, a special emphasis is made on the fact, that a number of playing techniques, e. g. the strong dynamic structure within a single tone, cannot be imitated using an organ.
[Acta Organologica 27, 2001, 147-178]
The Musical Texture of the Beginning and the Closing in the oldest Organ Music
Beginning and closing appear, in the oldest sources of Organ music, as intimately related and parallel musical textures. Just as much as in the treatment of a Cantus firmus as in the Preludes were beginning and end emphasized by figuration above extended, Organpoint related, fundamental tones. As an additional specific feature of keyboard music came at the beginning often a "double-stroke" figuration in the right hand. Parallel musical treatment of beginning and closing were basic formal building blocks in models for improvisation. The terminology of the organist in the 15th century knew a term ("Pausa", "Finale") only for the close of a piece. On the other hand the term "Praeludium" meant up into the 18th century equally "Postlude".
[Acta Organologica 27, 2001, 249-258]
Tactus and Mensura: Reflections on a Basis Technique of Keyboard Music following Adam Ileborgh
Pivot and crux of Keyboard technique in German territory in the 15th Century is the Tactus: a formula or formula combination which by constant extension encompasses a metric character. Even exercises for this technique, or whole pieces using it are called Tactus.
In contrast to this instrumental term for a concrete musical procedure, Mensura, which belongs to the theory of vocal music, means primarily just the immaterial musical rhythm. This second term appears however also in early keyboard music, but in reference to the time signature of individual pieces, which is here basically given by the number of counted beats, more abstractly, quatuor or trium notarum.
In this sense are the as Mensurae presented "Tenor" compositions in Adam Ileborgh's tablature to be understood. In the keyboard music spectrum of the 15th century they represent an inventive step between the elementary practice growing out of the Tactus technique and the advanced level of Conrad Paumann and of the Buxheimer organ book. In spite of multiple variation procedures in the framework of the Tactus is the direct metric dependence of the forumla technique on its basic time signature here for the most part preserved.
In the area of "Cantus-firmus" compositions is this tendency to clear metric formulations based in the Tactus technique in the further historical interplay in keyboard music up to J. S. Bach demonstrable. Because the forms based in this procedure are also transferred to non-keyboard genres, an effect from the basis technique of keyboard playing comes across through the flavor of modern time signatures. As can be seen from examples in Mozart's Piano sonatas, the metric structured figuration has, as such, even in the special rhythm-terminology of the Vienna Classic a meaning.
[Acta Organologica 27, 2001, 259-278]
Christian Förner and the organ of the castle-church in Weißenfels
The essay about the organ in the castle-church of the Holy Trinity in the Augustusburg of Weißenfels by Johann Caspar Trost belongs to the most remarkable organ publications of the 17th century. This 30-stop organ was built in 1673 by Christian Förner (1610-1678?). Unfortunately only the case of this instrument, which had it´s part in the biographies of J. S. Bach and G. F. Händel, survives.
Important inventions in the organ builder's art are tied to Förner's name, especially the well known wind gauge. J. C. Trost describes important sides of Förner's art of construction, technical details, and temperament.
The famous thuringian organ builder Tobias Heinrich Gottfried Trost (ca. 1681-1759), also known for his openness for experimentation, was a distant relative of Förner's.
[Acta Organologica 27, 2001, 21-108]
Michael Gerhard Kaufmann
Metamorphoses in Organ-Tone Ideals: The example of the Silbermann-Organ in St. Stephan, Karlsruhe
Johann Andreas Silbermann built between 1772 and 1775 an organ of 47 registers for the Benedictine Abbey St. Blasien in the Black Forest, which came to be known far beyond the borders of the upper Rhein. After the dissolution of the Abbey in spring of 1807, this valuable organ was donated by the Großherzog Karl Friedrich of Baden to the catholic congregation in Karlsruhe. Only in 1813 could the instrument be installed, with some changes, in the new Parish Church St. Stephan, by the court organbuilder Ferdinand Stieffell and his sons. Eberhard Friedrich Walcker altered the organ in 1882, and the firm H. Voigt and Sons still more, in 1907. Finally the organ fell victim to allied bombs in 1944.
Instead of the radiant, intensive tone of the Silbermann organ, the various rebuildings gradually created a tone characterised by extremes of a muffled whisper and turbulent thundering, mirroring the metamorphosis in musical aesthetics, from the "classic" of the enlightenment to the emotive late romanticism of the early twentieth century.
[Acta Organologica 27, 2001, 125-134]
Hans Gerd Klais
Tin, Lead and their proportions in Organ Pipes:
Up to the present it has been assumed that the most significant factor in historic pipe material is the Tin-Lead proportion. My experience with historic material however shows that trace-elements play a greater than expected role for the metal's hardness and that we need, in spite of costly and timeconsuming procedures, precise material analyses. It has been shown also that different analytic procedures give differing results, therefore it is important to identify which procedure is relevant for our purposes.
[Acta Organologica 27, 2001, 187-204]
"Usus" and "Abusus oganorum" in the 15th and 16th centuries
Not much is known about the duties and obligations of organists in the 15th and 16th centuries. More often we find criticism of how they played or decrees that they should not play. According to all appearances the organ was played in hourly prayers in the Antiphons, Hymns and Magnificat but also in the Responsorium, in the Introit, Kyrie, Gloria and Sequence (alternating with the Choir/Officiant) as well as in the Sanctus. Credo and Offertory were often organ solos, through the Credo text should in fact be sung. The Council of Basel forbade the organ to play further than the Gloria, monastery reforms brought further limitations for the organ, obviously without much effect. The complaints which are everywhere documented make clear that the organ played too long and that secular and even dance music could be heard in the church. In spite of all, the organ hung onto its place in the church even after the reforms of the Council of Trent.
In the Appendix to this contribution appear edited and translated texts of Martin ab Azpilcueta (1578) and Andrea Piscara Castaldo (1625) dealing with practical use of the organ in church.
[Acta Organologica 27, 2001, 223-240]
An independent organbuilder in the German Democratic Republic (GDR)
As Wolfgang Nußbücker moved his shop from Erfurt in Thuringia to Plau in Mecklenburg in 1965, there began a chain of difficulties. It was extremely difficult to find an apartment, and still more difficult to outfit a workshop. For years the most primitive space had to suffice and the shop could grow only slowly. In the course of the years the organbuilder learned to do masonry work and welding. The needed machinery had do be self-built from old parts with the help of friends. A tinplaner was created out of waste material in a shipyard in Rostock. There was a shortage of usable wood. Other raw materials, such as tin and lead, were only with difficulty to be had in sufficient quantity. This situation lasted right up to the "Wende" in 1989.
[Acta Organologica 27, 2001, 135-146]
The History of the Organ in the Stiftskirche, Fischbeck
The romanesque Stiftskirche in Fischbeck (Landkreis Hameln-Pyrmont) from the early 12th century received its first organ in 1510. This instrument was still used after the introduction of the Lutheran service (1599). Around 1670 Christian Förner built a new organ of 13 registers which found a place in a gallery over the upper choir. When the church was renovated and remodelled at the beginning of the 18th century the organ found a new home in the nuns' gallery at the west end of the church. In 1734 Johann Adam Berner from Osnabrück was commissioned to build new organ for 1000 Reichsthaler. This instrument had a Hauptwerk of 12 registers, a Pedal of 7, and a Rückpositiv of 8. Its organ case is still preserved. The firm Furtwängler & Hammer replaced four of these registers in 1885 and built in 1904 a new pneumatic-action organ of 24 registers, using the four newer registers from 1885, into the old organ casework. In 1955 the firm Hammer in Hannover built a new organ of 30 registers reusing only the 8 foot Gedackt from 1885. The future of this instrument in still uncertain.
[Acta Organologica 27, 2001, 109-124]
Remarks on the Organ History of the Evangelical City Church in Lauterbach (Hessen)
Around 1600 stood in the church an Organ about which nothing is known. Probably in 1672 followed the building of a new one manual and pedal instrument by an organ builder from Kassel. Johann Friedrich Sterzing of Eisenach built a two manual and pedal organ of 18 registers in 1727. Already in 1754 the proposed repairs by Jost Oestreich turned into a new organ, keeping the disposition of 1727.
For the newly constructed church Philipp Ernst Weegmann delivered in 1768 an instrument of 24 registers of which the beautiful broad organ case remains. As this case is almost identical to that of organs by Johann Markus Oestreich, Dieter Grossmann proposed the theory that the latter perhaps took part in the construction.
In 1906 Friedrich Weigle built a pneumatic organ in the Oestreich casework; four of it's 29 registers were so-called Seraphon stops (strong double-mouthed pipes on normal wind). In 1952 some stops were changed in the effort to give the organ a clearer ensemble. Eventually in 1979 the firm Hermann Hillebrand replaced the Weigle with a 35-stop organ in the casework of 1768.
[Acta Organologica 27, 2001, 9-20]
Thoughts on organ restoration questions in the new century
On the basis of examples from restoration practice is the problematic of the tug-of-war between consideration of preservationist, functional and musical demands demonstrated. The continually changing conception of the "right way" to restore organs in the time between the second world war and the present led to extremely diverse results, reaching from using old pipework in a technically new instrument to the preservation of a composite condition arising from older rebuilds.
Very often restorations were characterised more by certain ideologies than by research on the instrument itself or in archives. Much work expresses the conception of its own time clearly and were executed with sensibilty and craftsmanship. Even if today at certain points one would certainly decide differently, the results can be thoroughly worth preserving as such. Many other "restorations" were unfortunately as cheaply executed as possible and also poorly, so that the work has even from a technical standpoint no enduring value.
Even now there is no patent formula to be had. Each case must be decided on its merits recognizing the individuality of each organ. Especially in restoring pipes we see that many past rebuilds are simply irreversible even if original material must be somehow kept. Because restoration involves today also instruments of the 19th and 20th centuries, the job becomes more comprehensive than ever.
The object is to hold onto the great cultural treasure constituted by our multifarious organ landscape. To do that we must be free from ideology and prejudice in regarding differing organ styles. Each instrument must hold on to its own history, and the restorer dare not rewrite or simplify it.
[Acta Organologica 27, 2001, 179-186]
The organ tablature of Adam Ileborgh: history, form and function of the manuscript
This tablature of 1448 remains even after long years of research a puzzling source. That is essentially because few scholars had it before them in the original form. The thoroughgoing text offered here derives from the opportunity the author of this essay had to examine the manuscript itself, which is exhaustively described in the accompanying contribution.
This description makes possible the consideration of a most surprising character of the original: it is a miniature, in format 14.2 × 10.7 cm, and not the typical page format (28 × 21 cm) as is asserted by Willi Apel in his long as fundamental accepted essay of 1934 and by those who followed this work. This fact, together with the (in this time uncommon) use of parchement as medium to write a tablature, the calligraphic quality of the notation, and the formal detailed introduction to the following contents, points to the fact that here we have a dedication manuscript rather than one for regular use. It is oriented in form and material to the contemporary french Chansonniers, if not so artistically outfitted and not written with the mensural notation of the chansons but with tablature. For whom the manuscript may have been prepared is but one of several questions which cannot be answered: future research must address precisely the named problems and the here suggested explanations. The essay gives thorough account of the research history and that of the manuscript itself during the 19th century. In the Appendix is given the layout of the quires and an exact reproduction of the written notations in the manuscript, first possible after examination of the original.
[Acta Organologica 27, 2001, 209-222]
The practical use of older organ tablatures
The essay treats two observations in older organ tablatures which have to do rather with the accompanying texts, which are found in titles, certain expressions, commentary or instructions, than with the notation or music.
1. Organ music sources of the 15th century and their writers like to stylise pieces with the adjective "bonum", occasionally "pulchrum". Such lacks in mensural notated vocal music, is however still to be found in comparable titles in 16th century Lute tablatures, sometimes even in German rather than Latin. Remarkably nevertheless, such characterizations do not appear in transcribed vocal music, but only in movements which were originally intended for the instrument. Such remarks fail almost completely in non-German sources. From an overview of the data and their interpretation comes the impression that they have to do not with the technical but with the pure artistic value of the compositions.
2. It is also noticible that tablature writers like to indicate at the beginning or end of a piece "Incipit ...", "sequitur ...", or "finitur ...", or other similar expressions. This practice is also absent in mensural sources inside and ouside Germany. Behind such practices is the effort to render what was felt to be a complicated impression made by the tablature pages more lucid.
3. Considered together, these observations show that tablatures were manuscripts for daily practical use. The clarifiation techniques are paralleled by efforts of scribes in late medieval compendiums to guide and catch the readers' eyes with reading-helps. Some conclusions can also be reached about the social status of the tablature writers and users themselves: often they were teachers, with a certain, but not highly elevated, educational level, who certainly also simply enjoyed the aesthetic quality of the music they had to decipher and play.
[Acta Organologica 27, 2001, 241-247]