Making Sound Present: Reenactment and Reconstruction in Historical Organ Building Practices

Julia Kursell, Peter Peters

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


Pipe organs have always reflected the artisanal knowledge and skills of their makers. Since the 1990s, replicating historical instruments has opened new ways of studying practices of knowledge and making that revolve around historical organs. In this chapter, we argue that the idea of how a pipe should sound always involves a certain degree of reenactment of the building process. We follow the history of explicating concepts of sound, from one of the most prominent sources for organ builders and reconstructors written by the 18th-century monk Bédos de Celles via an explication of why sound was not centrally discussed in sources before the mid-19th century up to the historically informed pipe making and voicing by Japanese organ builder Munetaka Yokota.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReconstruction, Replication and Re-enactment in the Humanities and Social Sciences
EditorsSven Dupré, Anna Harris, Julia Kursell, Patricia Lulof, Maartje Stols-Witlox
PublisherAmsterdam University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9789048543854
ISBN (Print)9789463728003
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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