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organ

organ (Ger. Orgel; Fr. orgue; It. organo). Kbd. instr. operated by air blown by a bellows through pipes to sound the notes. Often known as ‘the king of instruments’ because of its normal large size, although it is made in various sizes. The phrase was coined by Machaut, who was probably referring also to the organ's versatility.

The principles of construction, in primary outline, are:(1) A row of pipes, graduated as to size (and hence as to pitch), is placed in a corresponding row of holes in a windchest, which is fed by a bellows.

Under each hole in the windchest is a pallet, i.e. a type of hinged cover which can be opened and closed.

The pallets are operated, in the older orgs., by a series of rods, called stickers, and these are connected with the kbd. of the instr. by levers called backfalls and rods called trackers: thus on depressing a finger-key a current of air is admitted to its particular pipe, and on releasing it the current of air is then cut off. In many modern organs, instead of the sticker-backfall-tracker action there are the tubes of a pneumatic action or the wires of an electric action.

What has been described is a theoretical org. of only one row of pipes. But in practice the windchest has several such rows, the pipes being some of wood and some of metal, some of normal pitch and some of a pitch an octave below or above that pitch, etc., some being simple (‘flue’) pipes and others supplied with a vibrating tongue of metal called a reed, and so on. The pallets extend, from front to back, under each of these rows, so admitting air to, or excluding it from, the pipes related to one finger-key of the organ, whilst from side to side of the windchest, under each row of pipes, runs a board with holes in it, called a slider; when slid into one position the holes in this board coincide with those under the pipes and so permit the pallets to operate as regards that row; when slid into another position they no longer coincide, and so cut off the operation of the pallets in admitting air. The sliding is accomplished (mechanically, pneumatically, or electrically) by connection with handles or other devices; these are the drawstops, stop-keys, etc., respectively, each of which operates one row of pipes—called a register or stop (we speak of an organ of ‘20 stops’, of ‘100 stops’, etc.).

A kbd. operated by the hands is called a manual and one operated by the feet, a pedal-board. All orgs. nowadays possess both types of kbd. When an instr. contains any considerable number of stops, differentiation in their use is made easier by their being distributed over 2, 3, or 4 manuals (occasionally more). These are banked up stepwise before the player. The chief manual is that of the great organ, which contains a variety of stops, incl. especially many of robust tone. Above it is that of the swell organ, the pipes belonging to which are enclosed in a swell box—with Venetian shutters which by means of a swell pedal can be opened or closed, so increasing or diminishing the volume of tone. Below the great organ manual, in a 3-manual organ, is that of the choir organ which contains softer stops, intended originally in a church, chiefly for the acc. of the choral body. If there is a 4th manual (above the swell manual) it is that of the solo organ (with special stops of the character indicated by that name), and there may also be an echo organ, with very soft stops.(2) The two varieties of stop are respectively called flue pipes and reed pipes. Both are graduated in size, the larger producing the lowest notes and the smaller the highest. The normal pitch of an organ (the same, properly, as that of a pf.) is the product of any set of open-ended flue pipes of which the largest (representing C two lines below the bass staff) is 8′ long, the length of the remaining pipes of the set diminishing by half as each octave is ascended. The tone from the stops with these pipes of normal size can be reinforced by that from others of abnormal size, with their pipe for low C 4′ or 2′ long (so that the whole stop concerned gives an effect respectively 1 or 2 octaves higher than the normal) or, on the other hand, 16′ or even 32′ long (so that the stop concerned gives an effect respectively 1 or 2 octaves lower than normal). There are also stops of other lengths which give intermediate pitches reinforcing some of the natural harmonics of the normally pitched stops: these are called mutation stops or, if several rows (ranks) of them are operated in chorus as though they made one, mixture stops. The chief stops on the pedal organ are pitched an octave below those of the manuals (i.e. whereas the chief stops of the manuals are 8′ stops, those of the pedal are 16′ stops).

Besides ‘open-ended flue pipes’ there are flue pipes which have a stopper at the top (‘end-plugged’ is a term used in various entries in this dictionary), which lowers their pitch by an octave. The chief manual stop of the organ is the 8′ open diapason: but there is generally also a stopped diapason, also, from its pitch, spoken of as an 8′ stop although, in actual physical length, 4′. (These stops are also to be found in the pedal department.)

By a system of couplers (see couples) the pedal organ can have one or more of the manuals connected with it. Some of the organ's stops are imitative of other instrs. such as the flute, the orchestral oboe, clarinet, and trumpet (the last 3 being reed stops), and the gamba (a string-toned stop, supposed to reproduce the tone of the old viola da gamba). Stops presumably intended to be imitative are the vox humana (a reed stop) and the vox angelica or voix céleste (with 2 flue pipes to each note slightly out of tune with each other, so producing a somewhat mysterious effect—or, if only one, by the drawstop simultaneously bringing into action some normally tuned soft stop). The tremulant is not a stop, though operated by the player by similar means: it causes a slight fluctuation of the tone.

History

: the org. is the oldest kbd. instr. The first was built by Ktesibios, a Gr. engineer living in Alexandria, in the 3rd cent. BC. This was called the hydraulis, and wind pressure was stabilized by the use of water. During the 4th cent. AD bellows replaced the hydraulic mechanism (creating the pneumatic org.), and thereby increasing the vol. of sound. In the medieval org., pipes were of the ‘flute’ type (voiced with a lip, like the recorder); instead of the hydraulis kbd. (levers, each with a return mechanism, which were depressed by fingers to play notes), there was a series of tongues or sliders which were pulled or pushed manually; 2 players were often required, seated at the same manual; pipes sometimes outnumbered sliders by 10 to 1 and each note was prod. by a simultaneous ‘mixture’ of different pipes, producing a variety of timbre and pitch—there were unisons (basic pitch), octaves (octave higher), and quints (1 or more octaves plus a 5th higher).

During the 13th and 14th cents. the fashion for building very large instrs. was succeeded by a trend to smaller varieties, with the clumsy slider movement being replaced by the more flexible and sensitive kbd. One of the most popular types of org. from the 13th to the 16th cent. was the portative org. (organetto), so called because it could be carried. There were usually 2 rows of pipes giving a range of up to 2 octaves. The player provided his own air supply, using the right hand for the kbd. and the left for the bellows. The portative org. was monophonic, suited to playing a solo dance-tune. The ‘great’ church org. gained additional kbds. to offer variety of tone, that at Halberstadt, Ger., built in 1361, having 3 manuals and a pedal kbd. It had 20 bellows worked by 10 men. When the wind pressure was strong, the player had to use the full power of his arm to hold down a key. Between the cath. and the portative orgs. in size was the positive, which could be used in church and for chamber mus. It required 2 or 3 sets of bellows and someone else to operate them so that the player could use both hands on the kbd. Though not portable, the positive could be easily moved, smaller versions often standing on a table. In Eng. it became known as the ‘chair’ org., corrupted into ‘choir’ org.

At the close of the Middle Ages, several improvements occurred in construction of large church orgs., making them less unwieldy. By the beginning of the 16th cent. the kbd. had been altered to make it as responsive as that of smaller orgs; registration for each kbd. could be controlled by stops which worked in a similar way to the slider mechanism; in addition to open and stopped ‘flue’ pipes, there were ‘reed’ pipes employing a single vibrating tongue and a resonator; stops were contrasted, many of them being designed to imitate instr., and couplers were used to join manual to manual or manual to pedals. Further improvements were added over the course of the next century. Pedals were not introduced into Eng. org.-building until nearly the end of the 18th cent. In Paris, 1867, electricity was first used to activate the key action. Since that time every kind of refinement has been introduced to make orgs. capable of a wider and subtler range of tone-colour. The elec. org. was introduced in 1935. See also regal.

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"organ." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"organ." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Retrieved October 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/organ

organ

organ, a musical wind instrument in which sound is produced by one or more sets of pipes controlled by a keyboard, each pipe producing only one pitch by means of a mechanically produced or electrically controlled wind supply.

Early Organs

Ktesibios of Alexandria, in the 3d cent. BC, invented the hydraulis, in which water pressure was used to stabilize the wind supply. The pipes were arranged in rows upon the wind chest and the air was permitted to enter any pipe at will by means of wooden sliders. The hydraulis was the prevailing organ for several centuries and reappeared at intervals throughout the Middle Ages.

Evidence of the first purely pneumatic organ is found on an obelisk erected at Byzantium before AD 393. Byzantium became the center of organ building in the Middle Ages, and in 757 Constantine V presented a Byzantine organ to Pepin the Short. This is the earliest positive evidence of the appearance of the organ in Western Europe. By the 10th cent., however, organ building had made considerable progress in Germany and England. The organ built c.950 in Winchester Cathedral is said to have had 400 pipes and 26 bellows and required two players and 70 men to operate the bellows.

The keyboard, or manual, was a creation of the 13th cent., making possible the performance of more complex music. The earliest extant music written specifically for organ, dating from the early 14th cent., gives evidence that by then the manuals of the organ had full chromatic scales, at least in the middle registers. Organs in the Middle Ages already had several ranks of pipes, each key causing a number of pipes to sound simultaneously. All were diapasons, or principals, the pipes of timbre characteristic only of the organ, and the various pipes controlled by one key were tuned to the fundamental and several harmonics of a given tone.

The Development of the Modern Organ

The 15th cent. saw considerable development of the organ, particularly in Germany and Flanders. It became possible to sound single pipes from a rank through the use of stops. Mutation and mixture stops that produce several harmonics of the unison pitch came to be used in combination with the unison to vary tone color. Solo stops imitative of other instruments, mainly flute and reed pipes, were added, and the pedal became standard. Until the 19th cent., Italy and England preferred an organ with no pedals.

It was the Flemish and German builders who developed the organ of distinctive and contrasting timbres, and the peak in organ building was reached in the German organ of the baroque, as described by Michael Praetorius in his Syntagma musicum (1618). The greatest organ builder, perhaps of all time, was Gottfried Silbermann (1683–1753) of Dresden. His organs produced a light, transparent tone, ideal for the performance of the great baroque polyphonic music. After this period the art of organ building degenerated, and the organ lost its place in the center of musical life.

The 19th-century desire for a highly expressive organ led to the obscuring of diapason tone by the large number of stops imitative of orchestral tone and to the common employment of the swell and the crescendo pedal. The swell involves enclosing one or more divisions of the organ in a wooden box on one side of which are shutters opened or closed by means of a swell pedal; the crescendo pedal, when gradually opened or closed, adds or takes off stops one by one.

The early 20th cent. saw the electrification of the mechanical parts of the organ, fulfilling the trend toward monstrous size and overwhelming power. In America, this large "king of instruments" became a feature of municipal auditoriums, movie palaces, churches, department stores, schools, and many other institutions. The master architect of these colossal orchestral organs was Ernest M. Skinner. In the early 20th cent., however, Albert Schweitzer was active in the preservation and restoration of many fine old organs, and there was a movement back to the ideals of Silbermann. In the United States, Walter Holtkamp, beginning in 1932, and G. Donald Harrison, in 1935, became the leading figures in this movement. Harrison designed many organs suitable for the performance of music of all periods. In the United States much of the repertoire was performed by the two leading organists of the era, E. Power Biggs and Virgil Fox. By the beginning of the 21st cent., European and American organ builders continued to concentrate on early principles for the construction of their instruments.

Music for the Organ

The organ repertory is vast and varied. The great organ masterpieces of the 17th and 18th cent. include works by John Bull, Handel, Jan Sweelinck, Girolamo Frescobaldi, and Dietrich Buxtehude. In the compositions of J. S. Bach the capabilities of the organ found their most magnificent expression.

Bibliography

See H. Gleason, Methods of Organ Playing (5th ed. 1962); C. F. Williams, The Story of the Organ (1903, repr. 1972); W. L. Sumner, The Organ (rev ed. 1973); P. Williams and B. Owens, The Organ (1988); C. R. Whitney, All the Stops: The Glorious Pipe Organ and Its American Masters (2003).

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"organ." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Organ

Organ

An organ is a structure composed of two to four types of tissues working to perform functions that are beyond the scope of an individual tissue type. A set of related organs working cooperatively toward the performance of even more complex functions constitutes an organ system.

Organs come in many different forms. The stomach, with its composition of epithelium , connective tissue , nervous tissue, and smooth muscle tissue, is a familiar example. Bones are organs; although they consist primarily of osseous tissue, bones have a vast supply of nervous tissue in their nerves, fibrous tissue lining their cavities, and muscle and epithelial tissue in their blood vessels. The skin (integument) is an organ consisting of an epithelium (epidermis) overlying a thick layer of connective tissue (dermis) rich with blood vessels and accessory structures such as secretory glands.

Even the glands within the integument can be considered organs; any gland is primarily secretory epithelium surrounded by connective tissue for support and protection. Likewise, the blood vessels and nerves in these organs are organs unto themselves.

This "organ within an organ" motif is also exhibited in the sense organs. For example, within the eyeball is an organ called the retina, an association of neural and epithelial tissue that detects light entering the eyeball.

see also Bone; Connective Tissue; Digestive System; Epithelium; Kidney; Liver; Muscle; Neuron; Pancreas; Skin; Tissue

James A. Crowder

Bibliography

Saladin, Kenneth S. Anatomy and Physiology: The Unity of Form and Function. New York: WCB McGraw-Hill, 1998.

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organ

or·gan / ˈôrgən/ • n. 1. (also pipe organ) a large musical instrument having rows of tuned pipes sounded by compressed air, and played using one or more keyboards to produce a wide range of musical effects. The pipes are generally arranged in ranks of a particular type, each controlled by a stop, and often into larger sets linked to separate keyboards. ∎  a smaller instrument without pipes, producing similar sounds electronically. See also reed organ. 2. Biol. a part of an organism that is typically self-contained and has a specific vital function, such as the heart or liver in humans. ∎  a department or organization that performs a specified function: the central organs of administration and business. ∎  a medium of communication, esp. a newspaper or periodical that serves a particular organization, political party, etc.: the People's Daily, the official organ of the Chinese Communist Party. ∎  (used euphemistically) the penis. ∎ archaic a region of the brain formerly held to be the seat of a particular faculty.

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"organ." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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organ

organ The body's organs are discrete aggregations of different types of cells and connective tissue, formed into integrated structures with dedicated functions. Thus for example the heart has muscle, valves, electrically active pacemaker cells, and conducting fibres, all co-ordinated for pumping action; the eye has a ‘window’, a lens, and a retina, co-ordinated in the function of focusing images and relaying information about light and colour. The thoracic organs are the heart and lungs; the abdominal organs are the liver, spleen, kidneys, stomach, and intestines; the pelvic organs are the bladder and rectum, plus the uterus, tubes, and ovaries in the female, or prostate and seminal vesicles in the male. All body components are covered by the terms ‘organs and tissues’.

Stuart Judge

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organ

organ in versions of the Bible and allusions thereto, applied to various instruments of music XIII; musical instrument consisting of pipes supplied with wind and sounded by keys XIV; instrument or means of function XV. — OF. organe, orgene (mod. orgue) — L. organum instrument, engine, musical instrument — Gr. órganon, f. IE. *worĝ- *werĝ- WORK.
So organic †serving as an organ XVI; pert to organs or an organized body XVIII (chem. XIX). — F. — L. organism †organic structure XVII; organized system or body XVIII. — F. organist XVI. — F. — medL. organize XV. — (O)F. — medL.

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organ

organ an organ is the emblem of St Cecilia, patron saint of music.
organ-grinder a person who is more important or powerful than another (usually contrasted with monkey). The allusion is to an itinerant street musician who played a barrel organ which was turned by hand, and who often had a pet monkey. The expression was notably used in the House of Commons in 1957 by the Labour politician Aneurin Bevan (1897–1960), when he said, ‘I am not going to spend any time whatsoever in attacking the Foreign Secretary…If we complain about the tune, there is no reason to attack the monkey when the organ grinder is present.’

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organ

organ. Large musical instrument consisting of many pipes supplied with wind which sound when valves are opened by means of depressed keys. The accommodation of organs in churches and concert-halls requires much space, and the arrangement of pipes has prompted many impressive architectural solutions, notably in the Baroque period. An organ-gallery or -loft is one in which an organ is placed, often at the west end of a church, over the pulpitum, or to one side of the chancel.

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organ

organ (or-găn) n. a part of the body, composed of more than one tissue, that forms a structural unit responsible for a particular function (or functions). o. of Corti (spiral o.) the sense organ of the cochlea, which converts sound signals into nerve impulses that are transmitted to the brain via the cochlear nerve. [ A. Corti (1822–88), Italian anatomist]

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organ

organ Any distinct part of an organism that is specialized to perform one or a number of functions. Examples are ears, eyes, lungs, and kidneys (in animals) and leaves, roots, and flowers (in plants). A given organ will contain many different tissues.

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organ

organ Keyboard instrument. The player sits at a console and regulates a flow of air to ranks of pipes, producing rich tones. The organ was in use in Christian churches in the 8th century. The modern organ dates from the Baroque period.

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organ

organ In biology, group of tissues that form a functional and structural unit in a living organism. The major organs of the body include the brain, heart, lungs, skin, liver and kidneys.

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organ

organ •deafen •griffon, stiffen •antiphon •hyphen, siphon •often, soften •orphan • ibuprofen •roughen, toughen •colophon •dragon, flagon, lagan, pendragon, wagon •snapdragon • bandwagon • jargon •Megan •Copenhagen, pagan, Reagan •Nijmegen •Antiguan, Egan, Keegan, Regan, vegan •Wigan • cardigan • Milligan • polygon •hooligan • mulligan • ptarmigan •Branigan • Oregon • Michigan •Rattigan •tigon, trigon •toboggan •Glamorgan, gorgon, Morgan, morgen, organ •Brogan, hogan, Logan, slogan •Cadogan • decagon •Aragon, paragon, tarragon •hexagon • pentagon • heptagon •octagon • Bergen • Spitsbergen

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