Organ – a unique musical instrument with a long history. One can speak about the organ only in superlatives: the largest in size, the most powerful in terms of sound strength, with the widest range of sound and a huge richness of timbres. That is why it is called the “king of musical instruments”.
The emergence of an organ
The Pan flute, which first appeared in ancient Greece, is considered the progenitor of the modern organ. There is a legend that the god of wildlife, pastoralism and cattle breeding Pan invented a new musical instrument for himself by connecting several reed pipes of different sizes in order to extract wonderful music while having fun with cheerful nymphs in luxurious valleys and groves. To successfully play such an instrument, great physical effort and a good respiratory system were required. Therefore, to facilitate the work of musicians in the XNUMXnd century BC, the Greek Ctesibius invented a water organ or hydraulics, which is considered the prototype of the modern organ.
The organ was constantly improved and in the XNUMXth century it began to be built throughout Europe. Organ building reached its peak in the XNUMXth-XNUMXth centuries in Germany, where musical works for the organ were created by such great composers as Johann Sebastian Bach and Dietrich Buxtehude, unsurpassed masters of organ music.
The organs differed not only in beauty and variety of sound, but also in architecture and decor – each of the musical instruments had an individuality, was created for specific tasks, and harmoniously fit into the internal environment of the room. Only a room that has excellent acoustics is suitable for an organ. Unlike other musical instruments, the peculiarity of the sound of an organ does not depend on the body, but on the space in which it is located.
The sounds of the organ cannot leave anyone indifferent, they penetrate deep into the heart, evoke a wide variety of feelings, make you think about the frailty of life and direct your thoughts to God. Therefore, organs were everywhere in Catholic churches and cathedrals, the best composers wrote sacred music and played the organ with their own hands, for example, Johann Sebastian Bach.
In Russia, the organ belonged to secular instruments, since traditionally in Orthodox churches the sound of music during worship was prohibited.
Today’s organ is a complex system. It is both a wind and keyboard musical instrument, having a pedal keyboard, several manual keyboards, hundreds of registers and from hundreds to more than thirty thousand pipes. Pipes are varied in length, diameter, type of structure and material of manufacture. They can be copper, lead, tin, or various alloys such as lead-tin. The complex structure allows the organ to have a huge range of sound in pitch and timbre and to have a wealth of sound effects. The organ can imitate the playing of other instruments, which is why it is often equated with a symphony orchestra. The largest organ in the United States is in the Boardwalk Concert Hall in Atlantic City. It has 7 hand keyboards, 33112 pipes and 455 registers.
The sound of the organ cannot be compared with any other musical instrument and even a symphony orchestra. Its powerful, solemn, unearthly sounds act on the soul of a person instantly, deeply and stunningly, it seems that the heart is about to break from the divine beauty of music, the sky will open up and the secrets of life, incomprehensible until that moment, will open.