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date: 28 March 2020

Orchestrionlocked

  • Barbara Owen
  •  and Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume

Extract

(1) The name given by Georg Joseph Vogler to a large, and, for its time, somewhat revolutionary organ that was first completed in Rotterdam in 1790 and first heard in public in Amsterdam on 24 –6 November 1790. The organ, embodying the principles of his Simplification system , had four manuals, pedals and 63 stops, all fitted into a case 9′ square. Some of the stops in this organ were free reeds, and these were under variable wind pressure. This, combined with the fact that the entire instrument was enclosed in a swell-box, gave the organ an unusually wide range of expression, possibly its most notable feature.

(2) A term, originally of German origin, widely used in the 19th and 20th centuries to denote a complex Mechanical instrument played by pinned barrels or perforated cards or paper rolls. Orchestrions are differentiated from the related street and fairground organs by the fact that they were intended only for indoor use, and for the performance of classical music and dances from the orchestral repertory. They were thus more sophisticated in their voicing, capabilities and design than their outdoor counterparts, and required lower wind pressures: otherwise they used similar technology....

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