This paper model is a Reed Organ, the papercraft is designed by Canon Papercraft. A reed organ, also called a parlor (or parlour) organ, pump organ, cabinet organ, cottage organ, is an organ that generates its sounds using free metal reeds. Smaller, cheaper and more portable than pipe organs, reed organs were widely used in smaller churches and in private homes in the 19th century, but their volume and tonal range are limited, and they were generally confined to one or two manuals, with pedal-boards being extremely rare.
The reed organ was popular in the late 19th century, replacing the melodion. Advances in piano manufacturing technology in the early 1900s made pianos more affordable, causing reed organs to fall out of favor. Other reasons for the replacement of reed organs were their wavering status somewhere between a sacred pipe organ surrogate and a secular home instrument and the lack of original compositions for reed organs.
A handful of instruments continued to be made until about 1950, some with innovations such as electric blowers; the last US company making reed organs was Estey, which closed down in 1957. Some of the companies also made pianos – Mason & Hamlin, Baldwin, and Steinway, for example – and are still in business. Another, Kimball, made both pianos and reed organs, but is no longer in the music business; it now makes furniture.
A small number of self-playing reed organs were built in the early 20th century. These used a pin-hole music roll and a pneumatic action as used on player pianos. These often had a much higher number of stops than normal reed organs, since the player’s hands were freed from the need to operate the keyboard. This allowed more complex stop arrangements. However, by the time these instruments reached their developmental peak, the market for reed organs in general was starting to decline.
Many reed organs were shipped overseas to support missionary efforts, though they remain common in both private and ecclesiastical ownership. Reed organs were preferable to pianos in tropical climates and regions of the world with poor transport infrastructure. As well as being cheaper to purchase, reed organs kept their tune regardless of temperature or humidity. They lacked the fragile strings, hammers and sounding boards found in pianos and so stood up much more easily to being shipped long distances, even on poor roads. Portable foot-pumped reed organs remained in use in the U.S. armed forces until the end of World War II, where they were used by chaplains to lead worship services aboard ships and in remote locations. Although rudimentary as musical instruments they were adequate for their purpose – keeping a group of untrained singers more-or-less on pitch.
These portable reed organs were brought to India by British missionaries and army chaplains. Indian musicians took them up and incorporated them into their musical life; various companies in India still make reed organs for this market. However, in response to the differences between Indian and Western musical practices, certain changes were made.
Indian music emphasizes melody, rather than harmony; furthermore, Indian musicians prefer to sit on the ground, rather than on chairs. Hence, rather than having the bellows operated by the feet while both hands play on the keyboard, Indian harmonia have bellows on the back operated by one hand while the player picks out the melody on the other. The Indian Harmonium also has a drone stop.
One would think that the accordion or concertina would serve Indian musicians’ needs better, but while the British knew the accordion, it wasn’t their instrument as it was for either the French or the Germans; hence, few accordions were brought into India by the British, and the Indians were not exposed to that instrument.
Reed organs have been largely replaced by electronic organs, but there remain a number of enthusiasts. The finer instruments have a unique tone, and the cabinets of those intended for churches and affluent homes were often excellent pieces of furniture. Several million reed organs and melodeons were made in the U.S. between the 1850s and the 1920s.
You can download the paper craft toy here: Canon Papercraft – Reed Organ Free Paper Craft Download
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