Friday, July 30, 2021

Reconstructing the Oldest Pipe-Organ in the World

Via Aleteia, here’s another very interesting thing on the musical front. At the beginning of the 20th-century, archeologists working at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem discovered a set of organ pipes and a bell carillion. They have since been kept at the Holy Land Musuem run by the Franciscan custody. According to the musicologist who is working on them, Dr David Catalunya, they had been brought to the Holy Land by the crusaders in the early 12th century, and then hidden for safe-keeping during a Muslim invasion. They are in a very good state of preservation; Dr Catalunya is now engaged in a five-year long project to rebuild the organ in such a way that it will be playable again.

The next oldest playable organ is more than 300 years younger, an instrument in the church of Notre-Dame de Valère in Sion, Switzerland, which has 12 of its original pipes.

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