Page 155 - Chorister's Companion
P. 155

                                                                  A brief history
THEORGAN
It is almost certain that the church in which you sing has an organ. The organ is a musical instrument like no other. It is the largest, often the loudest (by far) and certainly the most complicated. It also has one of the longest musical histories behind it. And every organ is very different. Most importantly of all, there is much brilliant music which has been written especially for it.
Many people tend to think of the organ as being a ‘church’ instrument, but this is not the full story.
If we go back in time, our story begins with the Ancient Greeks who invented a basic type of organ which used water pressure to provide the air to blow through pipes. The Romans used such instruments in theatres and in arenas to accompany chariot fights: the Emperor Nero was said to be obsessed by the organ! It wasn’t until many centuries later (probably the tenth century A.D., in fact) that some churches started to install organs.
Nowadays, organs can be found in concert halls, schools, stately homes and even theatres and cinemas, as well as in churches and cathedrals.
by Daniel Moult
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