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date: 13 November 2019

Ahlborn organlocked

  • Hugh Davies


Electronic organ, several models of which were developed by Heinz Ahlborn (formerly a designer (1951–4) with Apparatewerk Bayern), and (from the mid-1960s) by Otto Riegg; it has been manufactured by Ahlborn-Orgel GmbH in Heimerdingen, near Stuttgart, from 1955. Like companies in several other countries, Ahlborn fought a long legal battle for the right to use the word ‘organ’ in the name of its instruments (‘Elektronenorgel’); after ten years the suit was resolved in the company’s favour in 1969. Klaus Beisbarth, one of the principals of Ahlborg GmbH, was experimenting with electronic tone generation already about 1949. From 1974 the firm concentrated on making electronic organs that mimic the sounds of organ pipes. Ahlborn collaborated with Bradford University in England from 1977 in developing the BAC (Bradford Ahlborn Computer organ) in an effort to produce more realistic simulation; note attack characteristics were improved and analogue technology was eventually replaced by digital processing of recordings of pipe organs. A range of products was designed, from three- and four-manual instruments with traditional consoles to relatively inexpensive portable keyboards. Some installations combine electronic components with real pipes; one example was Ahlborn’s collaboration in ...

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