G.J. Lepoeter The first organs in protestant village churches on Zuid-Beveland (Zeeland)
Het ORGEL 104 (2008), nr. 2, 28-39 [summary]


The arrival of a new Dutch version of psalms in verse in 1773 led on Zuid-Beveland, a region in the Dutch province of Zeeland, to the first use of organs in village churches for the accompaniment of congregational singing.  The church in Baarland was the first, in 1786.  Other villages followed later, among them Kloetinge and Nisse.  Contacts and envious emulation among the patricians of various localities played a dominant rôle.  That prominent personages could also prevent the placement of an organ is apparent from the situation at Wemeldinge, where the rich and influential Maria Coomans determined in her testament that the destitute church would inherit her money only if it was not used to buy an organ.

Wemeldinge, Hervormde kerk Photo: M. de Goffau (1982)

Baarland, Hervormde kerk Photo: Instituut voor Liturgiewetenchap Groningen