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Why did the reed organ die? #2552496
06/27/16 05:40 PM
06/27/16 05:40 PM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 3
West Virginia
M
Moosedog Offline OP
Junior Member
Moosedog  Offline OP
Junior Member
M

Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 3
West Virginia
I a sense it isn't 'dead', because people are still playing, restoring, preserving, and enjoying them, but no new onces have been built for several decades. As far as I can tell, they went into a precipitous decline at the beginning of the last century.

My personal theory is the rise of first ragtime, then jazz, then swing, then rock. Popular music became dominated by rhythm. And what are the two names for a reed organ? "Melodeon" and "harmonium."

Try playing Scott Joplin on a reed organ sometime. The results will not be pretty.


As I grow older and older,
And totter towards the tomb,
I find that I care less and less
Who goes to bed with whom.
--Dorothy L. Sayers
Re: Why did the reed organ die? [Re: Moosedog] #2881172
08/19/19 01:46 AM
08/19/19 01:46 AM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 340
USA
S
Sweelinck Offline
Full Member
Sweelinck  Offline
Full Member
S

Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 340
USA
If you look at the cost, space requirements, and applications of reed organs, you can see they were supplanted by pianos.


Login name is a tribute to Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, arguably the historically first great keyboard virtuoso.
Re: Why did the reed organ die? [Re: Moosedog] #2881540
08/20/19 07:23 AM
08/20/19 07:23 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,537
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Offline
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Rich Galassini  Offline
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Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,537
Philadelphia/South Jersey
They were (relatively) inexpensive to make and they were easier to move, especially to remote areas, than other keyboard instruments. This changed as shipping technologies changed, as well as manufacturing technologies. I still like them though.


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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Re: Why did the reed organ die? [Re: Moosedog] #2881739
08/20/19 05:01 PM
08/20/19 05:01 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 340
USA
S
Sweelinck Offline
Full Member
Sweelinck  Offline
Full Member
S

Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 340
USA
One can trace the history of reed organs and the transition to pianos in the history of Mason & Hamlin, which started as a reed organ company. In fact, it was Emmons Hamlin who invented the methods for having organ reeds sound like different instruments, enabling reed organs to have different stops.

https://www.chuppspianos.com/history-mason-hamlin-pianos/


Login name is a tribute to Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, arguably the historically first great keyboard virtuoso.

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