• Swedish 18th-Century Organs

    Project management – Göteborg International Organ Academy Association


    Photo: Musikanta



    In 2019, the Organ Academy will conduct a project aiming at presenting a selection of the best preserved Swedish 18th-century organs in an open database. Each instrument will be presented with detailed technical information and will be documented in video and audio recordings, with interviews with organ experts and musical examples provided foremost by the organist Sietze de Vries, Groningen, The Netherlands. This project is funded by the Swedish National Heritage Board (RAÄ).
    Sweden boasts a unique treasure of preserved 18th-century organs. These instruments constitute an important but relatively little-known cultural heritage, consisting mainly of organs built by Johan Niclas Cahman (ca 1680–1737), Pehr Schiörlin (1736–1815) and Olof Schwan (1744–1812). These organ builders were mainly active in Stockholm (Cahman, Schwan) and Linköping (Schiörlin).


    In the late 1990s and the first years of the new millennium, the organ research center GOArt collaborated with the Swedish National Heritage Board in developing a plan for the preservation of the country’s historical organs. A central part of that project was a high-quality technical documentation of a selection of the best-preserved instruments. The result of this work forms the core of the material to be digitalized within the present project. One-third of these documentations (of the organs in Slaka, Tryserum and Kölingared) was funded by RAÄ.


    The project aims at making this documentation material available, together with sound files and video walk-throughs, in GOArt’s organ database. The database makes possible the storing even of very detailed information, including measurements, impressions, drawings, etc., which can all be accessed through an interface designed to be attractive and easy to use for culture-minded members of the public.


    The project’s overarching goal is the online publication of an open, accessible database of documentations of a number of Swedish 18th-century organs, in which the instruments are also presented in audio and video.

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