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§ 98. The Organ and the Bell.


To the external auxiliaries of worship were added the organ and the bell.

The Organ,511511    Organum from the Greek ὄργανον, which is used in the Septuagint for several musical terms in Hebrew, as cheli, chinor (cithara), nephel (nablium), yugab. See the passages in Trommius, Concord. Gr. V. LXX, II. 144. in the sense of a particular instrument (which dates from the time of St. Augustin), is a development of the Syrinx or Pandean pipe, and in its earliest form consisted of a small box with a row of pipes in the top, which were inflated by the performer with the mouth through means of a tube at one end. It has in the course of time undergone considerable improvements. The use of organs in churches is ascribed to Pope Vitalian (657–672). Constantine Copronymos sent an organ with other presents to King Pepin of France in 767. Charlemagne received one as a present from the Caliph Haroun al Rashid, and had it put up in the cathedral of Aix-la-Chapelle. The art of organ-building was cultivated chiefly in Germany. Pope John VIII. (872–882) requested Bishop Anno of Freising to send him an organ and an organist.

The attitude of the churches towards the organ varies. It shared to some extent the fate of images, except that it never was an object of worship. The poetic legend which Raphael has immortalized by one of his master-pieces, ascribes its invention to St. Cecilia, the patron of sacred music. The Greek church disapproves the use of organs. The Latin church introduced it pretty generally, but not without the protest of eminent men, so that even in the Council of Trent a motion was made, though not carried, to prohibit the organ at least in the mass. The Lutheran church retained, the Calvinistic churches rejected it, especially in Switzerland and Scotland; but in recent times the opposition has largely ceased.512512    See Hopkins and Rimbault: The Organ, its History and Construction, 1855; E. de Coussemakee: Histoire, des instruments de musique au moyen-age, Paris 1859; Heinrich Otte: Handbuch der Kirchl. Kunstarchäologie, Leipz. 4th ed. 1866, p. 225 sqq. O. Wangermann: Gesch. der Orgel und der Orgelbaukunst, second ed. 1881. Comp. also Bingham, Augusti, Binterim, Siegel, Alt, and the art. Organ in Smith and Cheetham, Wetzer and Welte, and in Herzog.

The Bell is said to have been invented by Paulinus of Nola (d. 431) in Campania;513513    Hence the names campanum, or campana, nola(continued in the Italian language), but it is more probable that the name is derived from Campanian brass (aes campanum), which in early times furnished the material for bells. In later Latin it is called cloqua, cloccum, clocca, cloca, also tintinnabulum, English: clock; German: Glocke; French: cloche; Irish: clog (comp. the Latin clangere and the German klopfen). but he never mentions it in his description of churches. Various sonorous instruments were used since the time of Constantine the Great for announcing the commencement of public worship. Gregory of Tours mentions a “signum” for calling monks to prayer. The Irish used chiefly hand-bells from the time of St. Patrick, who himself distributed them freely. St. Columba is reported to have gone to church when the bell rang (pulsante campana) at midnight. Bede mentions the bell for prayer at funerals. St. Sturm of Fulda ordered in his dying hours all the bells of the convent to be rung (779). In the reign of Charlemagne the use of bells was common in the empire. He encouraged the art of bel-founding, and entertained bell-founders at his court. Tancho, a monk of St. Gall, cast a fine bell, weighing from four hundred to five hundred pounds, for the cathedral at Aix-la-Chapelle. In the East, church bells are not mentioned before the end of the ninth century.

Bells, like other church-furniture, were consecrated for sacred use by liturgical forms of benediction. They were sometimes even baptized; but Charlemagne, in a capitulary of 789, forbids this abuse.514514    “Ut cloccae non baptizentur.” According to Baronius, Annal. ad a. 968, Pope John XIII. baptized the great bell of the Lateran church, and called it John. The reformers of the. sixteenth century renewed the protest of Charlemagne, and abolished the baptism of bells as a profanation of the sacrament, See Siegel, Handbuch der christl. kirchlichen Alterthümer, II. 243. The office of bell-ringers515515    Campanarii, campanatores. was so highly esteemed in that age that even abbots and bishops coveted it. Popular superstition ascribed to bells a magical effect in quieting storms and expelling pestilence. Special towers were built for them.516516    Called Campanile. The one on place of San Marco at Venice is especially celebrated. The use of church bells is expressed in the old lines which are inscribed in many of them:


“Lauda Deum verum, plebem voco, congrego clerum,

Defunctos ploro, pestem fugo, festaque honoro.”517517    The literature on bells is given by Siegel, II. 239, and Otte, p.2 and 102. We mention Nic. Eggers: de Origine et Nomine Campanarum, Jen., 1684; by the same: De Campanarum Materia et Forma 1685; Waller: De Campanis et praecipuis earum Usibus, Holm., 1694; Eschenwecker: Circa Campanas, Hal. ) 1708; J. B. Thiers. Traité des Cloches, Par., 1719; Montanus: Hist. Nachricht von den Glocken, etc., Chemnitz, 1726; Chrysander: Hist. Nachricht von Kirchen-Glocken, Rinteln, 1755; Heinrich Otte: Glockenkunde, Leipz., 1858; Comp. also his Handbuch der kirchlichen Kunst-Archäologie des deutschen Mittelalters, Leipz., 1868, 4th ed., p. 245-248 (with illustrations); and the articles Bells, Glocken, in the archaeological works of Smith and Cheetham, Wetzer and Welte, and Herzog. Schiller has made the bell the subject of his greatest lyric poem, which ends with this beautiful description of its symbolic meaning:
   “Und diess sei fortan ihr Beruf,

   Wozu der Meister sie erschuf:

   Hoch über’m niedern Erdenleben

   Soll sie im blauen Himmelszelt,

   Die Nachbarin des Donners, schweben

   Und gränzen an die Sternenwelt;

   Soll eine Stimme sein von oben,

   Wie der Gestirne helle Shaar,

   Die ihren Schöpfer wandelnd loben

   Und führen das bekränzte Jahr.

   Nur ewigen und ersten Dingen

   Sei ihr metall’ner Mund geweiht,

   Und stündlich mit den schnellen Schwinger

   Berühr’ im Fluge sie die Zeit.

   Dem Schicksal leihe sie die Zunge;

   Selbst herzlos, ohne Mitgefühl,

   Begleite sie mit ihrem Schwunge

   Des Lebens wechselvolles Spiel.

   Und wie der Klang im Ohr vergehet,

   Der mächtig tönend ihr entschallt,

   So lehre sie, dass nichts bestehet,

   Dass alles Irdische verhallt.”

   



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