Dear Friends, I have had many great emails and letters lately asking
about the Salzburg Stiers restoration progress. We will be updating
the Stier web site with lots of new goodies real soon, but until then
here is a short report.
Work has progressed all winter at the Fortress Hohensalzburg, which
is located high over the old city of Salzburg. Once again the castles
walls are hearing the noise of craftsmen installing oversize wooden
beams and fittings to support the gigantic main pumps and bellows.
The organ room is once again going back together as it was in the
centuries past. In the 1950's electricity was finally available in
the castle and soon a blower was fitted to provide the wind needed by
Now all of that is gone and the original bellows, feeders and
reservoirs, etc., are in position and ready to supply the wind up
to the Stier which is actually located on the floor above and on the
outside of the castles wall! It actually would of made a good target
for cannons to take aim at in the 1500's.
Also the pipe work has been completed and returned to Hohensalzburg.
Many of the pipes were found to contain names of the first "tourists"
from the 1800's as well as soldiers who served at the Fort.
The music barrels and key frame work is being done at the National
Museum, Van Speelklok Tot Pierement, in Utrecht, NL. Bob Van Wely, the
assistant conservator, is presently preparing the 12 songs that Leopold
Mozart pinned onto the barrels circa 1759.
Once approval is received from the University of Salzburg, this music
will be repinned on to a new barrel that was recently made (by the
workmen at the fortress) from old wood found at the Festung and
estimated to be around 400 years old -- very well seasoned, I'd say! --
and perfect for a barrel that will once again be exposed to the
elements. The organ room is not heated and faces north over the old
Over the centuries some of the original Mozart work was removed and
replaced with various patriotic songs. Now this new barrel will
contain all 12 songs (one for each month of the year) which were
actually written by Leopold Mozart and his colleague, Johann Ernst
Bob Van Wely will use a MIDI program to map out the pin locations for
the barrel. The Mozart music will be played on a electronic keyboard
and loaded into Bob's computer. By hand playing the music he will
capture the human feel which is often lost in the pinning process of a
mechanical musical instrument using the old methods of barrel pinning.
This work is expected to be completed and ready to install late this
The celebrations for the Stier's homecoming is really taking shape
under the guidance of my good friend Herr Otto Fichtinger of Salzburg,
The date of the celebration is to be October 26, 2002. This date will
assure us mechanical music nuts that all of the tourists will be gone
and so we will have the entire city at our disposal. Many special
tours and walks are being arranged especially for the "Friends of the
Salzburg Stier" sponsors. Places that no one is ever allowed into will
be opened for us. The following is some of the program that is planned
up to now and as submitted by Herr Otto Fichtinger:
The festival will be on 26th of October 2002 at the fortress
Hohensalzburg. At 11 AM will be the opening with some VIPs of Salzburg
and honorable guests, especially friends of mechanical music instruments.
Afterwards is presentation of the bull. In the meantime some organ
grinders will perform their music. We have already secured agreements
1. Mr. Robert Huber from Wiener Neustadt with his original barrel
organ of Vienna.
2. Mr. Norbert Schermann, Vienna, with his Bacigalupo organ. We are
also very happy to welcome
3. Mr. and Mrs. Wohlgemuth from Germany with their simultaneous
performance of Mozart music with two organs.
4. Mr. Gotthard Arnold and his 'Pierrot'. He is the chief restaurateur
of the museum in Sinsheim and Speyer. He, too, will give us a concert
with some of his very special barrel organs.
Moreover, there will be an exhibition of barrel organs, specially
from the famous museum, "Carolino Augusteum", in Salzburg and our
Every 20 minutes, there will be a presentation of the Stier bull
roaring for groups of 20 persons only, as there is limited space.
Finally showing rounds will take place through the fortress,
specially to rooms, which are not accessible by the public normally.
For updated information please visit the Stier web site at
Also, if you are a member of any of the various society's of automated
music. _please_ ask your president if your club is going to be
represented at the celebration? We hope _every_ group will have their
name on the special plaque that will stand beside the Salzburg Stier.
Remember this organ is played three times a day, every day! So when
you visit Salzburg you are assured of a concert. Also we hope to have
many more organ grinders and music groups so if you or your group wish
to sponsor performers or to organize your own group of organs to attend
the celebration, please let me know. Email to <Schmuck@wightman.ca>
I hope to see you at Salzburg,
Ron Schmuck, Canada