- Jan 14, 2016
The organ is one of the oldest instruments still used in European classical music that has commonly been credited as having derived from Greece. Its earliest predecessors were built in Ancient Greece in the 3rd century BC. The word organ is derived from the Greek όργανον (organon), a generic term for an instrument or a tool, via the Latin organum, an instrument similar to a portative organ used in ancient Roman circus games.
The Hydraulis of Dion
The Hydraulis of Dion
The Greek engineer Ctesibius of Alexandria is credited with inventing the organ in the 3rd century BC. He devised an instrument called the hydraulis, which delivered a wind supply maintained through water pressure to a set of pipes. The hydraulis was played in the arenas of the Roman Empire. The pumps and water regulators of the hydraulis were replaced by an inflated leather bag in the 2nd century AD, and true bellows began to appear in the Eastern Roman Empire in the 6th or 7th century AD. Some 400 pieces of a hydraulis from the year 228 AD have been revealed during the 1931 archaeological excavations in the former Roman town Aquincum, province of Pannonia (present day Budapest), which was used as a music instrument by the Aquincum fire dormitory; a modern replica produces an enjoyable sound.
The 9th century Persian geographer Ibn Khurradadhbih (d. 911), in his lexicographical discussion of instruments, cited the urghun (organ) as one of the typical instruments of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire. It was often used in the Hippodrome in the imperial capital of Constantinople. The first Western pipe organ with "great leaden pipes" was sent from Constantinople to the West by the Byzantine emperor Constantine V as a gift to Pepin the Short King of the Franks in 757. Pepin's son Charlemagne requested a similar organ for his chapel in Aachen in 812, beginning its establishment in Western church music.
Pipe organ - Wikipedia
Replica of a Roman hydraulis, found at Aquincum (modern Budapest) in 1931.
A Roman mosaic.
A short but excellent informational film to give you a greater understanding of the splendors to come.