Pigeonsegg organ


Lately is in our shop a new organ constructed, that refers to tracts and iconography of the 13th and 14th century.
The "Pigeons egg" scale is referred in the book Mensura Fistularum of Curt Sachs on page 100 in the manuscript Cuprum purissimum. The name of Wilhelm von Hirsau is here mentioned. The exact pigeonsegg dimension is by several people in the litterature different interpreted. Mahrenholz gives somwhere 20 to 30 mm and also 24 to 30 mm. Tellerer gives 25 mm. Hickman 29 mm, Walcker and Frotscher even 37 mm.

The instrument has the following compass:
            b        cis dis      fis gis b        cis dis      fis
d   e   f   g   a   h   c   d   e   f   g   a   h   c   d   e   f   g   a


The compass is partly based on the traety: Ars et modus pulsandi organa, wich we got through Liuwe Tamminga from Bologna. This is the "Trattato" of Teodono de Caprio of 1431. We thought very consciously about a smaller compass in contrary to the late mediaval organ in Basel (CH). We decided for a smaller pigeonsegg of 27 mm. Because the compass of the organ for David Rumsey is rather big and also low in pitch for the bigger pipes we chose there for a larger pigeonsegg of 34 mm. Because there is little experience with the voicing of such pipework, we had to study and experiment. At the end we succeeded to get an acceptable sound through relative thick languids and relating the cut-up not to the mouthwidth but to the pitch of a normal open principal pipe. So the cut-up in the bass is relatively high and in the treble low. The footopening is the same for all the pipes and not coned. The windpressure is low, 33 mm, even lower than the normal pressure of old italian organs. The soundchanges in this register is nowadays new, but fits, according to the opinion of Jankees Braaksma, the musical director of Super Librum from Groningen, very good in the early mediaval musical practise.

In the new mediaval pigeonsegg organ, that was made in Finsterwolde, the pipe layout is based on older principals. We made two ranks 8 foot pipes who always function. Registrable is a 6 foot rank wich functions by an upper slide. The windchest is constructed as a "Bohlenlade", a sawed wooden board used as grid side. The pallets were made inflatable as seen in the next picture.


The form of the keys is made after the example of the keys of Halberstadt, wich Michael Praetorius describes in his "Syntagma Musicum" part II from 1619. The manual hangs by iron rollers directly connected to the pallets.


All the pipes have the same diameter: 27 mm. We used here also hammered organmetal with 5% tin and 95% lead with copperparticles. The case is made of lebanon ceder. The keys are of holly and the woodcarvings of limewood. On both sides are fishblases placed and crowned with gablets, finials and crockets.

It is carved by Tico Top and painted by Helmer Hut. The instrument is saparatable in the height of the pipestock and can easible be transported


The windsupply is with removable smithbellows on the backside of the organ. Also an electric ventilator in a noicereduced case can be used for study. But the hand served bellows give a much calmer and more beautifull wind.


The dimension of this organ are:
Height 200 cm,
Width 80 cm
Depth, without bellows is 40 cm.
The two bellows are approximately 80 cm long.




New mediaval organ with two 8 foot ranks per key
and a registrable 6 foot by an upperslide (pigeonsegg scale)


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