The Organ as Scrying Glass: Images From the Organ Reform Movement

Kerala J. Snyder

in The Organ as A Mirror of Its Time

Published in print August 2002 | ISBN: 9780195144154
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849369 | DOI:
The Organ as Scrying Glass: Images From the Organ Reform Movement

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In the first half of the 20th century the organ functioned almost as a scrying glass: a traditional northern European instrument of divination. A brief outline of organ reform movement is given here which includes Albert Schweitzer's criticism of “factory-built organs” and his advocacy of the Alsatian Silbermann organ as the ideal resource for the music of Bach. In a parallel development, a new interest in the baroque organ type began in the 1920s with the restoration of the Schnitger organ in Hamburg's St. Jacobi Church and the influential but highly compromised Praetorius Organ built by Walcker in Freiburg, based only on the description of model organ dispositions given in Praetorius's Syntagma Musicum.

Keywords: organ reform movement; Alsatian Silbermann organ; St. Jacobi Church; Praetorius Organ; Syntagma Musicum

Chapter.  7611 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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