Mechanical Musical Instruments and Objects

Wind Instruments

The wind instruments represented in the Museum are organs, barrel organ, harmoniums, roller organs and organettes, serinettes and accordions. Being different in construction and design, having various mechanisms and styles of decoration, all objects are united by the way of sound extraction – a sound is originated by the air passage through the labial tubes.

Many researchers believe that a flute of Pan (a pipe) might be an ancestor of the wind instruments. According to the legend, a goat-hoofed god of forests and fields, Pan met a beautiful naiad Syrinx and fell in love with her. Young Syrinx was scared and begged the river to hide her from the enamored pursuer. Hearing to the naiad’s supplication, the river god turned Syrinx into the reed. A sorrowful Pan crouched near the reed and heard how the wind gusts caught the reed and emitted wonderful sounds. The enamored Pan found to cut off the stem of this plant and made a flute out of it.
The national wind instrument, a multi-piped flute, which has survived to our days, is called a Syrinx in Greece.
Some historians call a flute of Pan an ancient organ that preceded the emergence of a hydraulus - the prototype of a modern organ. Hydraulus (hydraulic organ) is believed to have been created in 246 BC by the ancient Greek inventor Ctesibius of Alexandria. The hydraulic organ was driven by two reciprocating pumps (one pumped air in, the other pumped it to the pipes), and used a water tank to equalize the pressure.


Other collections