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MMD > Archives > January 2000 > 2000.01.29 > 01Prev  Next

Street Organs in Belgium and The Netherlands
By Hans van Oost

Dear MMD,  Here is some update on Adam Ramet's pictures from the
Benelux.  Adam Ramet wrote in 000124 MMDigest:

> 3.  A large Carl Frei street organ (at Scheveningen, Netherlands)

This organ bears the name Willem Parel, who was a character by the
famous Dutch artist Wim Sonneveld in the fifties of last century.  This
was the first organ built by Mr. Verdonk in The Hague, in 1976, with
the front as you can see on the picture.  He sold the original organ to
another Dutchman in the early nineties, but kept the front and built a
new organ behind it.  The organ plays the 72-key Carl Frei scale, but
we should call it a Verdonk product.

> 4.  Veronica, a small street organ, maker unknown from the facade
> (at Katwijk, Netherlands)

This 52-key organ was built by Dick Gillet of Rotterdam in 1952.  The
original name was "Kleine Beer".  It is playing Limonaire type book
music.  This was the first Dutch street organ with extended percussion
effects, so it was a perfect instrument for playing the later style
music of the fifties and sixties.  Hundreds of records were made of the
organ in those years.  You should hear it playing rock-and-roll !

> 6. Book music cases for the Hooghuys organ in the above picture.  The
> cases hold a continuous stack of music that plays for a considerable
> period without needing changing.  Each case opens both ends.  The
> operator places one to the left in-feed end of the organs keyframe.
> The music case stands on the floor and the music is fed through the
> key frame from the top open end of the case.
> The music exiting the keyframe falls straight into and folds up again
> into an empty identical case on the right hand side.  When the music
> case is empty and all the book has passed through the keyframe the
> operator closes the lid on the full hopper and turns it upside down
> ready to play again, puts the empty case on the right hand side and
> opens a new case of music.

A great picture.  Most fairground organs in Europe are playing music
from chests like these.  The system was invented and patented by
Gavioli.  To ease the moving of the chests they are often placed on
little trolleys with swivel castors.

Thanks to Adam for his beautiful and interesting pictures!

Best regards from the Netherlands,

Hans van Oost

(Message sent Sat 29 Jan 2000, 12:31:17 GMT, from time zone GMT+0100.)

Key Words in Subject:  Belgium, Netherlands, Organs, Street

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