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ca 1500 __ Salzburg Bull - mechanical organ
Comment : Around 1500 the Archbishop of Salzburg in Austria ordered a mechanical organ to be built, so that its roar could be heard throughout the city, and thereby act as a signal for the local population at the start and end of each day, and no doubt in time of war as well. Nearly 150 years later a barrel mechanism was added, which now plays music by Leopold Mozart, Joseph Haydn and others, but the original signal organ had no keyboard or barrel. This open air instrument was constructed in the manner of a block organ; it has only metal pipes – 135 of them, for the most part original – bellows and wind box. Salzburg was not the only fortified town to have had such an early municipal alarm clock, but the instrument is the earliest to have survived until the present day. In 2002 it was restored and re-opened, to celebrate its five hundredth birthday. The Salzburg organ is located in a small chamber which juts out dizzyingly from the high walls of Fortress Salzburg, a vast fortification overlooking the whole city. The roar that it still produces by a thick F major triad at all octaves can be distantly heard on a dedicated website : [http://www.salzstier.com/slideshow/play.htm http://www.salzstier.com/slideshow/play.htm] (The origins of mechanical music). (Compiled form various sources)The organ (the "Salzburg Bull") was installed as a form of siren/alarm clock in 1500 under the instruction of the Archbishop Leonard von Keutschach, who ruled the independent dukedom of Salzburg from 1495 until 1519. From then on the bull roared three times a day for nearly 500 years to remind the inhabitants of Salzburg of the time of day. The roar is actually a very strange organ sound, reminiscent of a bull roaring, hence the local name which has remained until this day: the "Salzburg Bull." The mechanical organ is to be found at Europe's biggest castle complex, the fortress of Hohensalzburg. (April 2001, Barbara Walton, Director, Salzburg Castles and Palaces Enterprises, Salzburg Regional Government.)The barrel itself is made of wood (Maple) and is 5ft.7inches long and 9.8 inches in diameter. There are two barrels with the instrument. One has the drive gear made in wood while the other barrels gear is made of iron. The key frame is weighted with steel blocks and the action adjustment is made at the front end of the key by raising or lowering the actual pins that engages with the Barrel. Originally there was only one composition on the barrel. In 1753 Leopold Mozart increased the repertoire to twelve compositions on the barrel. One for each month. In 1893 a new barrel was prepared having only nine tunes, the tunes are as follows: 1. J Haydn; Austrian National Anthem (1797), 2. A Ebler; Chorale (1502), 3. P Hofhaimer; Horace's "Oda ad Lydiam (1791), 4. W A Mozart; May Song; Komm Licher Mai (1791), 5. M Haydn; Longing for a Rural Life (1804), 6. J E Eberlin; Minuet (1753), 7. J E Eberlin; Lullaby (1753), 8. L Mozart; The Hunt (1753), 9. L Mozart; Pastorial Minuet (1753) "the organ shout" Joyful final, rural mood. (Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume and Gerhard Walterkirchen.)« As the procession passed over a beautiful roofed bridge spanning the Salzach river we could hear a trumpet concert taking place in a tower. We arrived at the palace where there were also many soldiers on guard to be seen. ..... The castle or fortress, which was situated high above us and had not issued a sound from itself until then, suddenly began with its powerful gun salvos. In short, the noise from the shots, the trumpets and the drums were deafening. » That was how the then highly acclaimed singer and writer Margarita Costa described the Salzburg visit of Grand Duke Ferdinand II from Tuscany in 1628. (Gerhard Walterkirchen)
French comment : Nous sommes en 1502. Dans toutes les grandes villes d’Europe, la journée est rythmée par les volées de cloches de la cathédrale ou du beffroi, agrémentée parfois d’un air de carillon automatique. Leonhard von Keutschach, archevêque de la ville de Salzbourg, en Autriche, a choisi un système plus original. Depuis une ouverture dans les remparts du château qui domine la ville, un gros orgue avec plusieurs dizaines de tuyaux se fait entendre le matin et le soir jusqu’aux confins de la ville. Il émet un puissant accord qui ressemble au mugissement d’un taureau (d’où son surnom : Stier en allemand veut dire taureau). Une trentaine d’autres villes, telle Görlitz en Allemagne avec son "Lion", se doteront par la suite d’un système assez proche. Nous ne savons pas réellement si cet orgue de 1502 possédait un cylindre capable de jouer automatiquement un ou plusieurs airs. Par contre un gros orgue à cylindre existe en 1753, puisque les deux compositeurs autrichiens Johann Ernst Eberlin (1702-1762) et son élève Leopold Mozart (1719-1787), père de Wolfgang Amadeus, sont alors chargé de noter 12 mélodies sur un cylindre : 6 par L. Mozart, 5 par Eberlin, et la retranscription d’un vieux ("Alte") choral préexistant. Ce choral semble avoir été un air (peut-être le seul) noté sur le cylindre d’un orgue antérieur à 1753, mais dont l’origine et les caractéristiques nous sont inconnues ... Leopold Mozart publie d’ailleurs un bref historique de l’instrument en 1759, accompagné de la partition des 12 airs notés dans une transcription pour piano. On apprend ainsi que le Taureau de Salzbourg commençait matin et soir par émettre un profond accord de fa majeur, produit par 138 tuyaux, avant de faire entendre sur un autre jeu de 125 tuyaux l’une des douze mélodies de son cylindre. Le Taureau de Salzbourg a subi plusieurs transformations par la suite. Deux cylindres furent reconstruits fin XIXe - début XXe s, pour incorporer sur un pont spécial commandant une 26e touche le mugissement, produit auparavant par une commande manuelle. Cela permit plus tard l’électrification du fonctionnement de l’orgue, qui joua plus ou moins bien jusqu’à ces dernières années, où il se tut définitivement. Cette 26e touche sera supprimée dans la restauration actuelle, et la commande manuelle du mugissement rétablie. (Philippe Rouille, “Le Taureau de Salzbourg”, 2002, Article paru dans le n° 42 de la Revue AAIMM)
Source : Walterkirchen, Gerhard (1977),“900 years Fortress Hohensalzburg", published by the Salzburg Regional Government Press Office to accompany the festival at the Fortress Hohensalzburg 4th. until 12th. June 1977.
Urls : http://www.salzstier.com/ (last visited ) http://www.aaimm.org/spip/spip.php?article326 (last visited )

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