Author Topic: Wond'rous machine part three THE MEDIEVAL ORGAN  (Read 3158 times)

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Martin Renshaw

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Wond'rous machine part three THE MEDIEVAL ORGAN
« on: February 09, 2013, 07:15:36 PM »
3. In larger early medieval churches, organs of various sizes, probably made in monastic workshops or on the spot by town-based workmen, were installed in the various places where services were held, such as the nave, Lady chapel, and other guild chapels, or Ė as at Canterbury Ė on the pilgrimsí route through the building.  These organs still had nothing to do with the professional choirs or their music, but seem to have had specific uses within ceremonies which varied from one cathedral or monastic community to another.  Organs also began to be built in parish churches under the patronage of monasteries and priories ; there were about six hundred major and minor monastic communities by this time.  Towards the end of the fourteenth century, Geoffrey Chaucer wrote ironically in his Nunís Priestís Tale about the arrogant and proud cock Chanticleer, whose (cracked and shrill) ...
... voys was murier than the murie orgon
On messe-days that in the chirche gon.
[His voice was livelier than the noisy organ
That sounds in churches on mass-days.]
So it is likely that by then some London parish, courtly or monastic churches known to Chaucer possessed organs, and they were used on special days, perhaps liturgically inside the churches.  In Chaucerís time the organ was already starting to develop into various types of instruments, some of which were capable of doing more subtle things than just making a loud noise.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2013, 01:33:45 PM by organforumadmin »


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