Articles, videos and links from Reeds a website aiming to increase the awareness of harmoniums and reed organs, while at the same time promoting the sampling of the best instruments for preservation as Hauptwerk instruments.....
From Audiophile Audition: The reed organ or pump organ was widely used in Europe and America during the 19th century and early 20th. Several million were made in the U.S., for example. It’s big attraction was that it was the first keyboard instrument for the home in history which allowed players to vary the sound of a held note. Several well-known composers wrote works especially for the harmonium, as well as some otherwise unknowns.
They were popular in small churches where pipe organs were too expensive or too large. They were also lighter and easier to transport than a piano or even a regal organ. Most had a suction bellows operated by two foot pedals, which of course obviated the possibility of foot pedal for bass notes like an organ. While the most basic had no stops at all, fancier versions had a dozen or more and even double keyboards with couplers like a pipe organ. The coming of the Hammond electric organ did in the harmonium craze.
The harmonium was also used in Appalachian folk music and a very small version of it, with a hand-operated bellows, is still frequently used in East Indian music........
Olivier Schmitt's comments: A slide show about the restoration of my Kasriel Harmonium No. 39283 built between 1900 and 1910. The instrument sporting 4 1/2 registers was abandoned in the parish of Mayeuvre Grande. It is now fully functional and "combat ready". The background music - Opening of an imaginary opera - is one of my compositions, here in the style of Wagner.
Martha Redbone talks with Pollstar about her Roots Project album, working with Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s John McEuen and how she drew inspiration from her own Appalachian roots as well as from the words of 18th century British poet William Blake.
On Crunchy Frog we're pretty sure that there are no other organ quartets than Apparat Organ Quartet. Certainly no one with five members!! And certainly no one at the same time pointing to Kraftwerk and Motörhead as their role models. Every note in AOQ is played manually.
Neither sequencers or computers are utilized!! In concerts and records the band plays on keyboards from their massive collection of antique analogue machinery, which includes Russian synthezeisers and purpose-built harmoniums, ARPs, Farfisas, malfunctioning Hammonds, vocoders and various circulatory changed Casio and Portasound -keyboards.
The band has even a firm contract with waste disposal authorities in Reykjavik, who informs the band every time they encounter an old organ, or keyboard.....
Behind the pipe facade (see Pipe Facade picture below) are the swell shades and behind the swell shades are individual chests that contain their corresponding sets of reeds.
The chests are connected between two large wind trunks that run vertically. Each chest is complete and separate of other chests, which gives each set of reeds its own soundboard. The end result is a very powerful sound unequalled.
An inherent fault of conventional reed organs with more than one set of reeds is the fact that they all share the same soundboard and consequently one set of reeds will "influence" the sound of another set of reeds......
The Story & Clark Piano & Organ Company is deeply steeped in history. Hampton L. Story opened his first music store in Burlington, Vermont in 1859. In 1862, Mr. Powers joined Story and formed the Story & Powers Company.
During the Civil War era, Story & Powers sold prestigious piano brands like Jewett, Allen, and Guild. The famous Estey Organ Company offered Story the Estey Organ Agency for the Midwestern states in the late 1860s, so Story moved his business to Chicago. Isaac Camp joined Story in the late 1860s, and they formed the Story & Camp firm. Hampton L. Story retired from Story & Camp in 1884, then formed the well known Story & Clark firm with his son Edward Story and Melville Clark......
Jim Tyler, also known as the Reed Organ Man, has just put the finishing touches on an Aeolian style 1500 player reed organ. Jim has been restoring antique reed organs for a lifetime and has lived on South Van Ness since the 1970s.
Larkin Poe/Georgia Ruth – review The Guardian She has a pure, thoughtful voice, sounding at times like a contemporary Welsh answer to Sandy Denny, and sat to accompany herself on the harp and then the reed organ, surrounded by a three-piece...
Crypto Cipher has released Bollywood Harmoniums for Kontakt (which includes Digital Tanpura Drones and Indian Classical Violin “Raga Phrase Library”). It costs . Library Includes: Bollywood Harm [Read More] KVR News: Top Stories.
L'Harmoniophile - French site offering PDF versions of catalogues from builders like Alexandre Père & Fils, Bouvier, Couesnon, Debain, Dumont, Estey, Kasriel, Mannborg, Mustel, Richard, Roethinger, and Rodolphe
A reed organ (believe it or not) is akin to a harmonica. It’s all about a slender vibrating metal strip anchored at one end inside a tube. The Estey Organ Company of Brattleboro, Vermont made more than half a million reed (or pump) organs over its 100-plus-year lifetime.
The manufacturing process for the Estey reed was a closely guarded secret. The Estey tone garnered high praise, including an accolade from composer Franz Liszt. The instrument’s mellifluous strains, particularly when encased in one of its grand black walnut cabinets, mean that these organs (with restored bellows, actions, and tuning) are as attractive to aficionados today as they were to customers in the company’s heyday.
Introduction: Purchases of American reed organs between 1850 and 1910 exceeded that of pianos by almost two to one. Manufacturing the Muse is the story of the reed organ, a centerpiece in American parlors, churches, and gathering places for nearly a century......
Book Review: Manufacturing The Muse: Estey Organs & Consumer Culture In Victorian America by ethnomusicologist Dennis G. Waring is a very thorough, informed and informative history and analysis of the reed organ, an majestic instrument once more popular than the piano, in the latter half of the nineteenth century.
The amazing story of how this remarkable instrument was standardized and distributed is illustrated with black-and-white photographs and artworks. An accompanying music CD with reed organ selections rounds out this fascinating compendium of musical and American consumer history. Highly recommended for academic Music History reference collections, Manufacturing
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