Beauty will save

Beauty in everything

Street organ or barrel organ

Street organ or barrel organ

Charming animated image of a street musician and his cat. Street organ or barrel organ

Street organ or barrel organ
“I love to hear singing to a street organ,” said Raskolnikov, and his manner seemed strangely out of keeping with the subject–“I like it on cold, dark, damp autumn evenings–they must be damp–when all the passers-by have pale green, sickly faces, or better still when wet snow is falling straight down, when there’s no wind–you know what I mean?”. Crime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
Called in Russia “Sharmanka”, the word came from the French Charmante Catherine – “Beautiful Catherine”, the name of one of the first songs performed on a mechanical device. Meanwhile the inventor of street organ was Italian master Barbieri. Originally, it was a small organ without a keyboard. Turning the knob, the organ-grinder could reproduce 6-8 melodies recorded on the platen.


Uetersen City Festival 2009

Traditional Street organ or barrel organ in Uetersen City Festival 2009

However, in the Holland of the XV century, such instruments were a complex stationary structure, acting by means of hydraulics, weights or a winding mechanism. In the XVIII-XIX centuries used a variety of barrel organ in English churches, where hymns and psalms played. Nevertheless, we associate a barrel organ with a stray musicians with a portable instrument, with the rotation of the handle performing 6-8 melodies.

Street organ or barrel organ

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