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ptindall

History of the Tremulant

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"There was a contrivance to give a tremulous motion to the bellows, which stop is, I believe, called a 'tremulant,' but I did not like the unsteady effect it produced."

 

So, Vincent Novello had not seen a tremulant until 1829, when he visited the Heilig Geist Kirche in Heidelberg. (A Mozart Pilgrimage, 1975 London edition, p. 296)

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Hi

I think I read a quote from Dom Bedos suggesting using a tremulant to hide out of tune reeds!  If that's correct, then it's a relatively early device.

Every Blessing

Tony

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There's a quotation about tremulants from a French organ builder working in Dublin at the end of the 17th century in Bicknell's The History of the English Organ (p. 189):-

Quote

"No organ in England can show the like, for they have not found how to make the tramblen [sic] stop; and for want of that stop all their vox humanas are deficient, whereas I have made this stop ... as perfect as any organ beyond the sea."

 

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Thomas Dallam’s famous organ for Sultan Mehmet III included a ‘shaking stop’ in 1599. Later on, Christopher Simpson, in ‘The Division Viol’ (1659 if my memory is correct..?) described a ‘shake or tremble with the [viol] bow’ that resembled the ‘shaking stop of an organ’. Thomas Mace (1676) and Roger North (1724) also likened this bowing technique (which I imagine is the ‘tremolo con l’arco’ technique of varying the pressure of a single bow stroke) to shaking organ stops. Organs used with viols would have been chamber consort organs, but I’m not aware of any survivals of tremulant mechanisms on the extant instruments. Would these writers have known tremulants from contemporary church organs? 

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