The tubular and conical wooden pipes are made on a lathe and tuned with stopped plugs. Larger (lath) pipes are long rectangular tubes made by sticking four thin slats of wood together with glue and carving a whistle for the end. Wooden tubes that can be seen are layered with gold or aluminium paint before tuning. The metal pipes are made from ordinary tubing with whistles hand-carved out of aluminium wedged inside below the flute-slot. These are tuned firstly by their chosen length and more finely by moving the whistle plug up or down the tube. Dummy pipes are also installed on the front of the instrument for decoration. In addition to pipes, a barrel organ may have drums, acoustic woodblocks, reeds, tubular or conical bells, horns, cymbals or other musical instruments.
- Paintings by Yefim Ladizhinsky of street organs accompanying shows
A guy winding a handle isn’t much to look at, so it was cool to find this site dedicated to Yefim Ladizhinsky (1911-82), whose work I really like, and who shows Odessa organ-grinders working with other performers. Re Spectacle (organist bottom left) he writes:
A street-organ is a musical chest the size of a small suitcase. In
- The Sultan’s organ
Howard Goodall runs a good organ miscellania page here, of which the Sultan and Elizabeth I organ donation anecdote was one of the few useful pieces of information I learnt as a child. Peter English over at Aramco has more:
The Grand Signor then commanded for silence. All being quiet, the clock struck twenty-two hours followed
- Magnificent French orgue de barbarie entertainer
He’s got a false arm, he’s a spoons virtuoso, he’s got a good hat, his monkey plays the violin. In short, a genius:
- He’s got a pole support and the organ strapped round his neck, like all the guys in Mexico DF. That’s fine, although I imagine it must cause back trouble, but I
- MuseScore: open source notation software
I’ve got an old Sibelius CD down in the warehouse, but I couldn’t be ar*ed to find and fetch, and it probably wouldn’t work on Vista anyway. So … I had a look around and installed MuseScore, a free, open source competitor for Finale Notepad (which incidentally now costs $10). David Bolton does a head-to-head …
- Barrel organ available for losing bettors on the Iowa caucuses
Exemplary punishments from the 1892 US presidential election.