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Portative Organ

Portativ 2

The portative organ is the smallest type of organ – small enough to have it on your lap. The left hand pumps the bellow, while the right hand plays the keyboard. The earliest traces of the portative organ go back to late Roman times. By the early 16th century it completely disappears. It is therefore a truly medieval instrument. In the 15th century the portative organ seemed to hit its peak. We can see it on many paintings, murals, and sculptures.

My portative organ, which was built in 2005 by Walter Chinaglia, is a 3’ instrument, which makes it the biggest version of its type.

Music Samples:

Taken from the Buxheimer Orgelbuch (ca. 1460):
Vierhundert jare, nach Oswald von Wolkenstein (~1377-1445)
Tant apart, nach Walter Frye (fl. 1443-1466)

I have put together the following arrangement using it as a solo instrument:

Paumanns Gotik - Musik rund um den süddeutschen Orgelmeister Conrad Paumann (*1409/1415 Nürnberg, +1473 München)