Hans Fidom A new medieval organ
het ORGEL 95 (1999), nr. 6, 27-32 [summary]

middeleeuws.jpg (22404 bytes)Until 28 November, the Drents Museum at Assen presents an exposition called ‘Excavated sounds / archeologic musical instruments of all times’. After 28 November, the exposition will travel to other European museums. A very interesting piece is the medieval organ built by Winold van der Putten. The concept of the organ is based on De fistulis Organis (written by an anonymous author from Bern in the 10th century), Schedula Diversarum Artium (written by the Benedict monk Theophilus in the 11th century), and a drawing in the Rutland Psalter, published around 1260 (British Library, MS add. 62925). The organ has 19 keys and two rows of wooden, conical pipes. The measurements of all pipes are based on one mould; only the length and the placement of the mouth vary, as the nut of longer pipes is larger, and consequently placed higher than in smaller pipes. The wind-chest consists of 19 grooves, each closed with an upper board. The wind can enter a groove when a small slider is drawn. The sliders can be operated by keys, which are attached to the sliders by a simple mechanism, quite similar to the one used in the antique water organ described by Hero. The wind-chest is connected to four large bellows, constructed like the bellows Van der Putten examined in the 300 year old forge at Hellendoorn. After the expositions, the organ will be placed in the Alte Kirche at Rhede, Germany, where it will be used for study and concerts.