During the Ancient Greek period, there were organs in churches. However, this practice became controversial and many Orthodox Christians would argue that instrumental music should not be used in worship.
Table of Contents
Ancient Greek churches had organs
During the Greco-Roman period, organs were used in the church, but they weren’t very popular. This is because the church fathers disapproved of the use of musical instruments during the service. However, this was not the case in ancient Greece, where organs were commonly found in the Greek Orthodox Church.
The word “organ” comes from the ancient Greek word organon, which translates into Latin as organum. It was a mechanical instrument that consisted of several tubes that were operated by sliders. Originally, the instrument was used to control the pressure of the wind, but later, air was used to generate the same effect.
In addition to its mechanical capability, the organ also had a large number of pipes. Some writers describe it as a “wind chest,” which was made of molded metal, or a “wind-chest,” which was made of wood.
Some authors claim that the organ was invented by Ctesibius of Alexandria in the third century BC. He designed the organ as a demonstration of the mechanics of a pnigeus, or water-organ.
New Orleans church organs were introduced in the mid-1880s
During the nineteenth century, New Orleans was a musical hub. Its diverse tastes and the presence of international composers contributed to the development of music in the region. Some of the most notable names included German, French, Portuguese, Italian, and Moravian composers.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, organ builders began building instruments in large secular venues, such as concert halls. The era also marked the beginning of the Organ Reform Movement. These instruments, which were designed with fewer mixture stops and thinner pipe scales, were voiced with lower wind pressures.
The organ’s origins are rooted in the Ancient Greek organon. The first pipe organ in Greece was created in the third century BC by a Greek engineer named Ctesibius. Later, the instrument was introduced in the Roman Empire, where it was played in arenas. It was also used in the circus games of the ancient Romans.
As organs became more popular in secular society, they were also used as part of an orchestra. Today, the organ’s repertoire includes a wide variety of sacred and secular music. The genres include hymn versets for alternatitim use, fugues, suites, and transcriptions of orchestral works.
Orthodox argument against instrumental music in worship
Using musical instruments in the church service was a relatively common practice during the Old Testament era, but it was never permitted in the New Testament.
In the earliest days of Christianity, the worship service was a time for prayer, scripture and song. During the early days of the Church, a Eucharistic meal was a communal affair, with Christians eating together in their homes.
Nevertheless, the use of instrumental music in Christian worship has been a source of debate. Various denominations have argued for or against the use of instrumental music in their services. It is not uncommon for an Orthodox church to have an organ in its services.
While it is true that the church has used bells in its services since the beginning of time, the use of the newest technology has led many to replace traditional bells with electric systems. Nonetheless, the Orthodox Church has been slow to embrace the technology.
One might be tempted to dismiss the use of the melodeon as the fanciest of the fancies. However, this musical instrument was introduced by L.L. Pinkerton in 1859 in Midway, Kentucky.
Purity of organs in the church
During the early part of the 20th century, organs were used in many Greek Orthodox churches. Initially, these instruments were not regarded as a Western innovation. Instead, they were thought to be the product of the Byzantines. However, it is unclear when this musical instrument was introduced to the church. It is possible that the Greek churches were built by the Orthodox community and that the organ was passed on through the generations.
In the mid-1920s, choirs and organs were added to Greek church services. However, these instruments were condemned by the Orthodox hierarchy. The apologists for Abp Athenagoras claimed that he was a music lover and encouraged the use of organs in Orthodox worship. He was also criticized by his fellow hierarchs for not complying with their demands. Despite these criticisms, the Cathedral of St. Spyridon in Greece continued to employ an organ in its services. The court case that was held against Athenagoras for using an organ in his church was published in the church’s publications.