Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Essay on Perfect Intonation; with Remarks, Showing the Practicability of Attaining it in the Organ; Together with a Brief Description of the Enharmonic Organ, of Messrs. Alley and Poole
Poole, Henry Ward
Essay on Perfect Intonation. 
stops will not for a long part of their visit “ batter the ears” with 
their discordant din. They may have a taste of the full organ, 
if the organist is at hand, in a “ Hail-stone chorus,” where “ hail¬ 
stones run along the ground,” or perhaps in “ Jenny Lind’s” ex¬ 
cellent “Polka.” After the organ is placed in the church, it is 
found that but a small part (of the large instruments) is needed or 
used, except it be, perhaps at the close of service, to assist in 
clearing the house, for which purpose the full organ is admirably 
adapted. There exists a serious objection in making a large tem¬ 
pered organ, in the fact that the louder it is, the more discordant 
and disagreeable it becomes, and it does not appear to this writer 
to be good economy to pay for superfluous stops which can not 
be used. It seems much better to apply the same expense to 
perfecting the important stops which are in constant requisition 
for the church service. It is moreover the fact that all of the de¬ 
sirable kind of pipes, which have yet been invented, and which 
vary from each other sufficiently to be called different, (including 
the desirable solo and fancy stops,) together with the Great and 
Swell organs and Sub-Base, can be put into an organ in perfect 
tune, for the expense usually appropriated to the larger class of 
instruments of imperfect intonation. As has been before stated, 
the theory of the instrument permits it to be of any size, and 
with an unlimited amount of power and grandeur. 
54. Until it had been shown to be practicable by experiment, 
it was to be expected that a conservative portion of the public 
would view, with caution, a plan like the present, which proposes 
such a radical reformation in a system of so long standing as the 
organ scale. This feeling certainly operated against the plan 
when we proposed to undertake it two years since. It is with no 
little gratification that, since the completion of the enharmonic 
organ, it has had the unanimous approval of the musical people 
who have examined it, and the scientific principles on which it 
is built. We believe it is certain that public musical opinion, 
will ere long, among other improvements in the music of our 
churches, demand that it be given in pure harmony, and in ac¬ 
cordance with the fixed and demonstrable principles of music. 
That music may be investigated with something of the same 
learning and research which is bestowed upon almost every other 
science, is an end much to be desired. It will be gratifying to 
the writer—even if some of his opinions are shown to be incor¬ 
rect—if his labors in this department of science, shall have the 
effect of calling to this subject the attention of those who are bet¬ 
ter qualified to make further investigations, and who can lay them 
before the public in a more interesting manner. 
The writer intends to treat this subject more fully in a future Essay, and to illus¬ 
trate it with copper-plate engravings.


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