Thursday, January 1, 8133

Leonin (c. 1133-1190) - Notre Dame School

Leonin - Organum

Hec Dies (This Is the Day)

The held style ("tenor" - "to hold" - Islamic drones!) came to first fruition at the

Paris Cathedral of Notre Dame with Leonin's elaborate organa, such as Hec Dies (This Is the Day) (1175). The high voices would likely have been boys or falsetto (even castrati! -- well, perhaps not yet) tenors, as women were forbidden to sing with men, contemporary recordings notwithstanding. The parts are notated individually, rather than a vertical score -- some scholars even think that such notation was not even actually performed! But as a mass proper chant, this would have been suitably splendid music for a special service on Easter Sunday (the downside was that it would only be performed once a year, so composers eventually shifted their attention to work-a-day mass ordinary settings, so they would get mass attention! Moveable drone tenor style is set against faster Holy-Trinity rhythms in both voices, known as conductus-style settings, or clausulae, and sections of pure monophonic chant.

Viderunt Omnes (1175)

Léonin (also Leoninus, Leonius, Leo) (fl. 1150s — d. ? 1201) is the first known significant composer of polyphonic organum. He was probably French, lived and worked in Paris at the Notre Dame Cathedral, and was the earliest member of the Notre Dame school of polyphony who is known by name. The name Léonin is derived from "Leoninus," which is the Latin diminutive of the name Leo.

All that is known about him comes from the writings of a later student at the cathedral known as Anonymous IV, an Englishman who left a treatise on theory and who mentions Léonin as the composer of the Magnus Liber, the "great book" of organum. Much of the Magnus Liber is devoted to clausulae -- melismatic portions of Gregorian chant which were extracted into separate pieces, with the original note values greatly slowed down, and provided with a fast-moving upper part. Léonin was also probably the first composer to use the rhythmic modes, and possibly also to invent a notation for them (according to W.G. Waite, writing in 1954: "It was Léonin's incomparable achievement to introduce a rational system of rhythm into polyphonic music for the first time, and, equally important, to create a method of notation expressive of this rhythm.").

The Magnus Liber was intended for liturgical use. According to Anonymous IV, "Magister Leoninus (Léonin) was the finest composer of organum; he wrote the great book (Magnus Liber) for the gradual and antiphoner for the sacred service." All of the Magnus Liber is for two voices, although little is known about actual performance practice: the two voices were not necessarily soloists.

According to Anonymous IV, Léonin's work was greatly improved and expanded by the later composer Pérotin.

The musicologist Craig Wright believes that Léonin may have been the same person as a contemporaneous Parisian poet, Leonius, after whom Leonine verse may have been named. This would make Léonin's use of meter even more significant.


Anonymous IV is the designation given to the writer of an important treatise of medieval music theory.

He was probably an English student working at Notre Dame in Paris, most likely in the 1270's or 1280's. Nothing is known about his life, not even his name. His writings survive in two partial copies from Bury St Edmunds; one from the 13th century, and one from the 14th.
Along with Johannes de Garlandia and Franco of Cologne, whose work precedes his, Anonymous IV's writings are the main source for understanding the Notre Dame school of polyphony. He is mainly famous for having written about Léonin and Pérotin, thereby assigning names to two of the composers of the music of the Notre Dame school who otherwise would have been anonymous; Léonin and Pérotin are among the earliest European composers whose names are actually known. Although they probably died at least fifty years before he was writing, he describes them as though they were still famous by name and part of a living tradition at the time.

Anonymous IV mentions Léonin and Pérotin as the best composers of organum and discant respectively. He also mentions specific compositions as being by Pérotin (or Perotinus), including the four-part organa quadrupla Viderunt and Sederunt. Anonymous IV also mentions the work of the theorist Franco of Cologne, and gives descriptions of organum, discantus, rhythmic modes, rules for use of consonance and dissonance, notation, and genres of composition.


Notre Dame de Paris, known simply as Notre Dame in English, is a Gothic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in Paris, France, with its main entrance to the west. It is still used as a Roman Catholic cathedral and is the seat of the Archbishop of Paris. Notre Dame de Paris is widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. It was restored and saved from destruction by Viollet-le-Duc, one of France's most famous architects. The name Notre Dame means "Our Lady" in French. Notre Dame de Paris was one of the first Gothic cathedrals, and its construction spanned the Gothic period. Its sculptures and stained glass show the heavy influence of naturalism, giving them a more secular look that was lacking from earlier Romanesque architecture.

Notre Dame de Paris was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress. The building was not originally designed to include the flying buttresses around the choir and nave. After the construction began and the thinner walls (popularized in the Gothic style) grew ever higher, stress fractures began to occur as the walls pushed outward. In response, the cathedral's architects built supports around the outside walls, and later additions continued as such.

The cathedral suffered desecration during the radical phase of the French Revolution in the 1790's, when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. During the 19th century, an extensive restoration project was completed, returning the cathedral to its previous state.

In 1160, because the church in Paris had become the "parish church of the kings of Europe," Bishop Maurice de Sully deemed the current Parisian cathedral unworthy of its lofty role, and had it demolished shortly after he assumed the title of Bishop of Paris. According to legend, de Sully had a vision of a glorious new cathedral for Paris, and sketched it in the dirt outside of the original church. To begin the construction, the bishop had several houses demolished and had a new road built in order to transport materials for the rest of the cathedral.

Construction began in 1163, during the reign of Louis VII, and opinion differs as to whether Maurice de Sully or Pope Alexander III laid the foundation stone of the cathedral. However, both were at the ceremony in question. Bishop de Sully went on to devote most of his life and wealth to the cathedral's construction.

Construction of the west front, with its distinctive two towers, began circa 1200, before the nave had been completed, contrary to normal construction practice. Over the construction period, numerous architects worked on the site, as is evidenced by the differing styles at different heights of the west front and towers. Between 1210 and 1220, the fourth architect oversaw the construction of the level with the rose window and the great halls beneath the towers. The towers were completed around 1245, and the cathedral was completed around 1345.


Cultural and intellectual life flourished in Paris during the 12th century with the University of the Sorbonne having become a reputed institution that attracted many students, not all of them French. The construction of Notre Dame Cathedral on the Île de la Cité took place between 1163 and 1238 and this period coincides with the birth of the Paris Organum.

Magister Cantus of Notre Dame, Leonin compiled the Magnus Liber Organi de Gradali et Antiphonario. The French master wrote organa dupla based on existing chants like the Alleluia and the Gradual of the Mass and Responsory and Benedicamus Domino of Vespers for the major liturgical ceremonies in the yearly cycle. In hindsight, this proved to have been a major event. This was the first large-scale project attributable to a single composer. Not only is the Magnus Liber a compilation for practical use during Mass and Office compassing the ecclesiastic year, the first of its kind; it also introduces the use of the rhythmic modes as a creative principle. Thus, when in a discussion of organum of the Paris School the word "modal" or "mode'" is used, in this usage referring to the rhythmic modes, rather than the pitches. In Leonin's organa dupla a Gregorian chant is allotted to the tenor in the lower voice.

The way the text is set to music in the original chant defines how the pieces are organized. Where the Gregorian chant is syllabic (no ligatures and is therefore non-modal) the organum created is organum purum: the tenor sustains each single note of the chant over which the organal voice, the duplum, drapes a new florid line, written mostly in ligatures and compound neumes. Starting from a consonant (at the opening: mostly the octave) the duplum in a long, drawn-out line plays a variation of dissonances and consonances, building up to a change of harmony at the end of a melism where another syllable is produced at a different pitch. Where the Gregorian chant is no longer syllabic but uses ligatures both voices proceed in a rhythmic mode. This section of discantus is concluded, if on the last syllable of a word or phrase, by a copula, in which the tenor sustains the last pitch and the duplum switches back to unmetered rhapsodic cadential lines, to conclude on a consonance. Thus in Organum duplum of Leonin these three compositional idioms alternate throughout the complete polyphonic setting, which is concluded in monophonic chant for the last phrase. Again, the way the text is set in the plainchant determines how often there will a section of organum purum, whether this will continue into discantus or whether a cadence is made before going on to the next word or phrase. Thus, recapitulating, three different styles in the organaliter section are alternated and linked according to the text, leaving the last part of the text to be sung choraliter in monophonic chant. The verse of the chant is worked out according to the same principles.

The relevant authors that write about Organum of the Notre Dame School, Anonymous IV, Johannes de Garlandia, the St. Emmeram Anonymous and Franco of Cologne to name a few, are not always as clear as could be desired, nevertheless, a lot of information can be distilled from the comparative research of their writings. Organum purum is one of three styles of organum, which is used in section where the chant is syllabic thus where the tenor can not be modal. As soon as the chant uses ligatures, the tenor becomes modal and it will have become discant, which is the second form. The third form is copula (Lat. coming together) which in the words of Ioh. de Garlandia 'is between organum and discant' and according to Waite a bridge section between modal and non-modal sections. It seems that for most instances we can take Garlandia litterally where he says 'between' organum and discant. In organa dupla the copula is very similar to a short, cadential organum purum section but in organa tripla or conducti it is seen that irregular notation is used. Either the last notes of ligatures are affixed with a plica which divides the notes in smaller values, or a series of disjunct rests is used in jolting succession in both parts, creating what is also called hocket. These features also can be frequently found in two-part discantus on special cadences or a preparation of a cadence, where they are also referred to as 'copulae'. De Garlandia states simply: 'a copula is where are any number of lines are found' referring to the plicae or rest-signs. Thus organum duplum can be schematized as follows:

beginning of text set to organum: organaliter:
organum purum >> copula >>
discantus >> copula >>
organum purum >> copula >>
discantus >> copula >>
finis choraliter

Perotin "is the best composer of Discantus," according to Anonymous IV, an English student, writing ca.1275, who has provided at least a few morsels of factual information on Paris Organum and its composers. Perotin further developed discantus in three part Organum (Organum Triplum) where both organal voices are in discantus. Note that organum purum is not possible in three-part organa, the two upper voices need to both be organized according to the rhythmic modes. Perotin even went as far as composing two four-part organa (quadrupla), Viderunt omnes and Sederunt principes which were performed in Notre Dame in 1098 on New Year's Day and in 1099 on the feast of St. Stephen (a decree of Odon de Sully, Bishop of Paris, exists which stipulates the performance of 'organa tripla vel quadrupla') Apart from organa, Perotin extended the form of the Aquitanian Versus which was henceforth called conductus. Any conductus is a new composition on new texts and is always composed in the rhythmic modes. Perotin set several texts by Philippe le Chancelier, while some texts refer to contemporary events. Two-part conductus form the larger part, though conductus exist for one to four voices. Two, three and four part conductus are composed throughout in discantus style. As in organa tripla, handling three voices (or four) precludes the kind of rhythmic freedom found in dupla. In conductus the distinction is made between 'cum littera' and ' sine litera', texted sections and melismatic sections. The texted parts can sometimes go beyond the modal measure and then fall back in to regular mode in the melismatic discantus section, which is called cauda. Again according to Anonymous IV, Perotin wrote a number of replacement clausulae from organa dupla by Leonin. As the tenor in Leonin's organa dupla in discant sections proceeds always in the 5th mode (all longs in a rhythmic group ordine), Perotin, who was a generation removed from Leonin, saw fit to improve them by introducing different modes for the tenor and new melodic lines for the dupla, increasing the rhythmic organization and diversity of the section. However, in the largest compilation of Notre Dame repertoire (F) no less than 462 clausulae exist, many recurrences of the same clausulae in variant settings, according to Waite "written in a variety of styles and with varying competence." A further innovation was the motellus, in which the upper part of a discant section is supplied with a new text, so that when the lower voice utters a single syllable, the upper part will pronounce several. This would have been the first instance of two different texts being sung in harmony. In turn, the motellus gave birth to the motet which is a poly-textual piece in discant, which obviously sparked a lot a creativity as it soon became a prolific form of composition.

The Organa that were created in Paris were disseminated throughout Europe. The three main sources are W1, St. Andrews, Wolfenbuttel 677,olim Helmstadt 628; the large and illuminated copy made in Florence, owned by Piero de Medici, the Pluteo 29.1 of the Bibliotheca Mediceo-Laurenziana (F), which is by far the most extensive copy of the repertory. Finally W2, Wolfenbuttel 1206, olim Helmstadt 1099, which was compiled the latest (and contains the greatest amount of motets).

There are arguments that support a relative freedom of rhythm in Organa dupla but others refute this, saying that the interpretation of the music should always be according to modal or Franconian principles. Two researchers, Apel and Waite, insisted upon a rigorously modal interpretation. Though Waite in his dissertation, notably in chapter 4: The notation of organum duplum' acknowledged that in in organum duplum and monophonic conducts are relative freedom may have been taken, he transcribed a selection of the Magnus Liber Organi of Leonin into strict modal rhythm. Apel argued that the rhythms in the piece, due to the rules of consonance is clearly non-modal. To this day, as behoofs scientists, debates on interpretation proceed as usual. However, Waite published 54 years ago and his point of vieuw has been superseded by ongoing research. "..but his (Waite) view that the entire corpus (of the Magnus Liber Organi) should be transcribed according to the rhythmic modes is no longer accepted" (Peter Jeffery in the Notation Course Medieval Music 1100-1450 (music205), Princeton)
In the range of forms of compositions found in the later two manuscripts that contain the Notre Dame-repertory (F and W2) one class of distinction can be made: that which is (strictly) modal and that which is not. Organum duplum in its organum purum sections of syllabic setting, the cum littera sections in two-part conductus, copulae in general and monophonic conductus would be that part of the repertory which is not strictly modal. In monophonic song, be it chant or a conductus simplex by Perotin, there is no need to vary from the classical standards for declamation that were a rooted tradition at the time, going back to St. Augustine, De Musica. It has been firmly established by extensive research in chant traditions (Gregorian Semiology) that there is a fluency and varyancy in the rhythm of declamatory speech that should also govern chant performance. These principles extend to the not strictly modal sections or compositions, as a contrasting quality with musica mensurabilis.

As Parisian Organum is based on Gregorian chant, it is categorized under Ars Antiqua which is called thusly in contrast to the Ars Nova which embarked on new forms that were in every sense original and no longer based as often on Gregorian chant and as such consisted a breach with the musical practice of the ancients.


The pipe organ is a musical instrument that produces sound when pressurized air (referred to as wind) is driven through a series of pipes. The admission of wind into the pipes is controlled by a keyboard. A pipe sounds when a key is depressed on the keyboard, allowing wind to pass through the pipe. Modern organs usually include one or more keyboards playable by the hands and one keyboard playable by the feet. Each keyboard controls a certain number of pipes. The smallest portable organs may have only a few dozen pipes and only one keyboard, while the largest organs may feature over 20,000 pipes and seven keyboards.

The organ's continuous supply of wind allows it to sustain sound for as long as a key is depressed. This is unlike other keyboard instruments such as the piano and harpsichord, whose sound begins to decay immediately after the key is struck.

The origins of the pipe organ can be traced back to Ancient Greece in the third century BC.

The wind supply was originally created with water pressure. Since the sixth or seventh century AD, bellows have been used.

A pipe organ contains one or more sets of pipes, a wind system, and one or more keyboards. The pipes produce sound when pressurized air produced by the wind system is driven through them. An action connects the keyboards to the pipes. Stops allow the organist to control which ranks of pipes sound at any given time. The organist operates the stops and the keyboards from the console.

Organ pipes are made from either wood or metal and produce sound when wind is directed through them. Because one pipe produces a single pitch, many pipes are necessary to allow the organ to sound a variety of pitches. The longer a pipe is, the lower its resulting pitch will be. The volume of the sound produced by the pipe depends on the pressure of the wind flowing to the pipe and how the pipe is voiced (adjusted by the builder to produce the desired tone and volume). Thus, the pipe's volume cannot be changed directly while playing.

Organ pipes are divided into flue pipes and reed pipes according to their design and timbre.

Flue pipes produce sound by forcing air through a fipple, like a recorder, whereas reed pipes produce sound via a beating reed, like a clarinet.

The pipes are arranged by timbre and pitch into rows called ranks and mounted vertically onto a windchest.

A mechanism called a stop admits wind to each rank. For a given pipe to sound, the stop governing the pipe's rank must be engaged, and the key corresponding to its pitch must be depressed. Ranks of pipes are organized into groups called divisions. Each division generally is played from its own keyboard and may contain one or more windchests.

An organ contains two systems of moving parts called actions. The key action admits wind into a pipe when a key is depressed, and the stop action allows the organist to control which ranks are engaged. An action may be either mechanical or electrical.

A key action which physically connects the keys and the windchests uses mechanical or tracker action. This connection is achieved through a series of rods called trackers. When the organist depresses a key, the corresponding tracker moves, allowing wind to enter the pipe.

n a mechanical stop action, each stop control is physically connected to a rank of pipes. When the organist activates the stop control, the action allows wind to flow into the selected rank.[7] This control is usually a stop knob, which the organist activates by pulling (or "drawing") towards himself. This is the origin of the idiom "to pull out all the stops."

An organ's wind system comprises the parts that produce, store, and deliver wind to the pipes. The pressure of the wind supply is measured by a manometer. In the United States and United Kingdom, wind pressure is described in "inches of water"; in other countries, the metric "millimetres of water" is often used instead. Although the phrase is scientifically incorrect, pipe organs are said to be "on x inches (of wind)."

The exact wind pressure depends on the design of the organ.

After the invention of the bellows, wind was produced by mechanical means. When signalled by the organist (often by a small bell), a person known as a calcant would operate a set of bellows, supplying them with air.

Therefore, playing the organ before electricity required at least one person to operate the bellows. Because calcants were expensive, organists would usually practice on smaller instruments that required no external energy source, such as the clavichord or harpsichord.

Beginning in the late nineteenth century, electric motors or blowers were used to fill the bellows with air. This made it possible for organists to practice regularly on the organ. Most organs, both new and historic, have electric blowers, though some organs' wind systems still can be operated manually.

The wind supplied is stored in one or more windchests to maintain a constant pressure until the action allows it to flow into the pipes.

Each stop usually controls one rank of pipes, although mixtures and undulating stops (such as the Voix céleste) control multiple ranks.

The name of the stop reflects not only the stop's timbre and construction, but also the style of the organ in which it resides. For example, the names on an organ built in the north German Baroque style generally will be derived from the German language, while the names of similar stops on an organ in the French Romantic style will usually be French. Most countries tend to use only their own languages for stop nomenclature.

English-speaking nations as well as Japan are more receptive to foreign nomenclature. Stop names are not standardized: two otherwise identical stops from different organs may have different names.

In order to facilitate a large range of tone colors, organ stops exist at different pitch levels. A stop that sounds at unison pitch when a key is depressed is referred to as being at 8′ (pronounced "eight-foot") pitch. This refers to the length of the lowest-sounding pipe in that rank, which is approximately eight feet. For the same reason, a stop that sounds an octave higher is at 4′ pitch, and one that sounds two octaves higher is at 2′ pitch. Likewise, a stop that sounds an octave lower than unison pitch is at 16′ pitch, and one that sounds two octaves lower is at 32′ pitch.

Stops of different pitch levels are designed to be played simultaneously. Rather than creating the impression of parallel octaves, the higher-pitched stops reinforce the partials of the unison- and lower-pitched stops, adding brilliance and clarity to the timbre.

The label on a stop knob or rocker tab indicates the stop’s name and its pitch level expressed in feet. In the case of stops that control multiple ranks, a Roman numeral indicating the number of ranks will be present and may preclude the pitch level indication. Thus, a stop labelled "Open flute 8′" is a single-rank flute stop sounding at 8′ pitch. A stop labelled "Mixture V" is a five-rank mixture.

When a rank of pipes is made available as part of more than one stop, the rank is said to be unified or borrowed. For example, an 8′ Diapason rank may also be made available as a 4′ Octave. When both of these stops are selected and a key (for example, c′)[22] is pressed, two pipes of the same rank will sound: the pipe normally corresponding to the key played (c′), and the pipe one octave above that (c′′). Because the 8′ rank does not have enough pipes to sound the top octave of the keyboard at 4′ pitch, it is common for an extra octave of pipes used only for the borrowed 4′ stop to be added. In this case, the full rank of pipes (now an extended rank) is one octave longer than the keyboard. An organ that includes many extended ranks is called an extension organ.

Some organs feature stops that do not employ pipes at all or use them in a way different from a traditional stop. The "Zimbelstern" (cymbal star), for example, is a revolving wheel of bells. The "Nightingale" admits wind into a pipe submerged in a small pool of water, creating the sound of a bird warbling. The "Effet d'orage" (thunder effect) is a device that sounds many of the large bass pipes simultaneously, creating the effect of thunder. Other stops imitate various percussion instruments, including the "Drum," "Chimes," "Celesta," and "Harp."

All the controls available to the organist, including the keyboards, couplers, expression pedals, stops, and registration aids, are accessed from the console. If the console is attached to the organ case (as in many mechanical-action organs), it may also be called the keydesk. If the console is separate from the organ case, it may be movable. Some organs have more than one console, allowing the organ to be played from different parts of the room.

Keyboards played by the hands are known as manuals (from the Latin manus, meaning "hand"). The keyboard played by the feet is a pedalboard. All organs have at least one manual (though most organs today have two or more manuals), and most also have a pedalboard. Each keyboard is named for a particular division of the organ (a group of ranks) and generally controls only the stops from that division. The range of the keyboards has varied widely across time and between countries. Most current specifications call for two or more manuals with sixty-one notes (five octaves, from C to c″″) and a pedalboard with thirty or thirty-two notes (two and a half octaves, from C to f′ or g′).

A coupler allows the stops of one division to be played from the keyboard of another division. For example, a coupler labelled "Swell to Great" allows the stops drawn in the Swell division to be played on the Great manual. This coupler is a unison coupler, because it causes the pipes of the Swell division to sound at the same pitch as the keys played on the Great manual. Coupling allows stops from different divisions to be combined to create various tonal effects. It also allows all the stops of the organ to be played simultaneously from one manual.

Some organs feature octave couplers, which add the pipes an octave above ("super-octave") or below ("sub-octave") each note that is played. Octave couplers may operate on one division only (for example, the "Swell super octave," which adds the octave above what is being played on the Swell to itself), or they may act as a coupler to another keyboard (for example, the "Swell super-octave to Great," which adds to the Great manual the ranks of the Swell division an octave above what is being played on the Great manual).

In addition, some organs feature unison off couplers, which prevent the stops pulled in a particular division from sounding at their normal pitch. Unison off couplers can be used in combination with octave couplers to create innovative aural effects, and can also be used to effectively rearrange the order of the manuals to make specific pieces easier to play.

The term enclosure refers to a system that allows for the control of volume without requiring the addition or subtraction of stops. The pipes of an enclosed division are placed in a chamber generally called the swell box. At least one side of the box is constructed from horizontal palettes known as swell shades or louvres (much like Venetian blinds), which can be fully or partially opened or closed from the console. When the shades are open, more sound is heard than when they are closed. In a two-manual organ with Great and Swell divisions, the Swell will be enclosed.[26] In larger organs, often part or all of the Choir and Solo divisions will be enclosed as well.
The most common way of controlling the movement of the swell shades is the balanced expression pedal. This device is usually placed above the centre of the pedalboard and is configured to rotate away from the organist from a near-vertical position (in which the shades are closed) to a near-horizontal position (in which the shades are open).

An organ may also have a similar-looking crescendo pedal, found alongside any expression pedals. Pressing the crescendo pedal forward cumulatively activates all the stops of the organ, starting with the softest and ending with the loudest; pressing it backwards reverses this process.

The stops of an organ can be combined in many different ways, resulting in a great variety of sounds. A specific combination of stops is called a registration. A combination action can be used to switch instantly from one registration to another, much more quickly than the organist could change the stops by hand. The most common combination action features pistons, which are buttons that can be pressed by the organist. They are generally located beneath the keys of each manual ("thumb pistons") or above the pedalboard ("toe studs"). Combination actions allow the organist to program a registration (usually many registrations in different memory levels in modern organs) into each piston. Combination actions are based on computer memory chips, though simple mechanical combination actions combination actions were used before computer memory was introduced to organs in the 1960s.

The pipes, action, and wind system are contained in a case, the design of which may also incorporate the console. The case may be either freestanding or integrated with the building that houses the organ. It is often designed to complement the building's architectural style and it may contain ornamental carvings and other decorations. The visible, "front" portion of the case, called the façade, features decoratively arranged pipes. The façade pipes may be playable (in which case they are usually part of the 8′ principal-scale rank of the organ's primary division) or non-playable (in which case they are "dummy" pipes intended solely for decoration). The pipes may be plain, burnished, gilded, or painted.

Some organs feature a few ranks of pipes protruding horizontally from the case in the manner of a row of trumpets. These are referred to as pipes en chamade and are particularly common in organs of the Iberian peninsula and large modern instruments.

Many organs are contained in one or more rooms called organ chambers. Because sound does not project from a chamber into the room as clearly as from a freestanding organ case, enchambered organs may sound muffled and distant.

The organ is one of the oldest instruments still used in classical music. Its earliest predecessors were built in Ancient Greece in the third century BC.

The word organ is derived from the Latin organum, an instrument similar to a portative organ used in ancient Roman circus games. Organum is derived in turn from the Greek organon, a generic term for an instrument or a tool.

By 750, wind organs, originally from Byzantium, started to replace water organs in Europe, and, by 980, an organ with 400 pipes was finished at Winchester Monastery, England.

Large organs such as the one installed in 1361 in Halberstadt, Germany (the first documented permanent organ installation) likely prompted Guillaume de Machaut to describe the organ as "the king of instruments," a characterization still frequently applied.

The Halberstadt organ was the first instrument to use a chromatic key layout across its three manuals and pedalboard, although the keys were wider than on modern instruments.

It had 20 bellows operated by ten men, and the wind pressure was so high that the player had to use the full power of his arm to hold down a key.

[8140 Guiraut de Borneilh / 8133 Leonin / 8100 Hindustani Music]