Thursday, 23 June 2011

Canons Ashby House, Daventry - Video of The 17th century Chamber Organ


I was photographing this, when a couple of German ladies asked about it. The National Trust these days are very hands on, and asked if she could play and would like a go. Hence the video above. I feel very lucky to have been able to hear this very old instrument and imagine the entertainment it must have given all those years ago.

As with lots of small organs, it's difficult to establish its exact age, but from the style of the mouldings, construction and stops, it's about 1675.  Similar organs exist and are known as "Father Smith Chamber Organs", but this is thought to be older. It's builder also constructed two others at Compton Wynyates and the Galpin Organ at Canterbury Cathedral no less.

It was probably used for music meetings, perhaps accompanying sacred music at services in the house.

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