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ISAAC BARRE (1726-1802)

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Originally appearing in Volume V03, Page 433 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ISAAC BARRE (1726-1802), British soldier and politician, was born at Dublin in 1726, the son of a French refugee. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, entered the army, and in 1959 was with Wolfe at the taking of Quebec, on which occasion he was wounded in the cheek. His entry into parliament in 1761 under the auspices of Lord Shelburne, who had selected him " as a bravo to run down Mr Pitt," was characterized by a virulent have been made with as many as three or four cylinders set in a circular revolving frame, but these more elaborate instruments were mainly used in churches' and chapels, a purpose for which they were in great demand for playing hymns, chants and voluntaries during the 18th and early 19th centuries. A barrel-organ was built for Fulham church by Wright, and a large instrument with four barrels was constructed by Bishop for Northallerton church in 182o. The origin of the barrel-organ is now clearly established, and many will doubtless be surprised to find that it must be sought in the Netherlands as early as the middle of the 15th century, and that accurate and detailed diagrams of every part of the mechanism for a large stationary barrel-organ worked by hydraulic power were published in 1615. There are letters patent preserved in the archives of Belgium appointing a certain organ-builder, Jehan van Steenken, dit Aren, " Master of organs which play of themselves "; in the original Flemish Meester van ergelen spelende bij hen selven.9 This organ was not a portable one like English street-organs, but a more imposing instrument, as we learn from other documents giving a detailed account of the moneys paid to Maistre Jehan for conveying the organs from Bruges to Brussels.1 Steenken was, by virtue of the same letters patent, awarded an annual pension of fifty Rhenish florins in consideration of the services rendered to the duke of Burgundy, and on condition of his submitting to his liege Philip the Good all other instruments he might make in the future. There is nothing singular in the early date of this invention, for the 15th century was distinguished for the extraordinary impulse which the patronage and appreciation of the dukes of Burgundy ' This practice had evidently not been adopted in Germany, as the following instance will show. The use of barrel-organs (Drehorgeln) in country churches was seriously recommended by an anonymous writer in two German papers at the beginning of the 19th century (Beobachter an der Spree, Berlin, 22nd October 1821, and in Mdrkische Bolen, Nos. 138 and 139, 1821). The organist Wilke of Leipzig published in reply an article in the Allgem. musik. Zeitung (1822, pp. 777 et seq.) in which " he very properly repudiated such a laughable recommendation." 9 Archives generales du royaume de Belgique, Chambre des Cam pies, No. 2, 449 r°. cf. 52 r°. ; and Edmund van der Straeten, La Musique aux Pays-Bas, vol. vii. pp. 230-232. 9 Van der Straeten, op. cit. p. 299.gave to automatic contrivances of all kinds, carillons, clocks, speaking animals and other curiosities due to Flemish genius., No contemporary illustration is forthcoming, but in 1615 Solomon de Caus, who avowedly owed his inspiration to Hero and Vitruvius, describes a number of hydraulic machines, amongst which is the barrel-organ,' illustrating his description by means of several large drawings and diagrams very carefully carried out. De Caus' organ, entitled " Machine par laquelle l'on fera sonner un jeu d'orgues par le moyen de 1'eau," was built up on a wall a foot thick. In the illustrations the barrel is shown to be divided into bars, and each bar into eight beats for the quavers. The whole drum is pierced with holes at the intersecting points, the pins being movable, so that when the performer grew tired of one tune, he could re-arrange the pins to form another. The four bellows are set in motion by means of ropes strained over pulleys and attached to four cranks on the rotating shaft. Solomon de Caus lays no claim to the invention of this organ, but only to the adaptation of hydraulic power for revolving the drum; on the contrary, in a dissertation on the invention of hydraulic machines dnd organs, he states that there was evidently some difference between the organs of the ancients and those of his day, since there is no mention in the classics of any musical wheel by means of which tunes could be played in several parts—the ancients, indeed, seem to have used their fingers on the keyboard to sound their organs. The eighteen keys drawn in one diagram bear names, beginning at the left, D, C, B, A, G, F, F$f, E, D, C, B, A, G, F, E, D, C, B; De Caus states that only half the keyboard is given for want of space; the compass, therefore, prob- ably was as shown, with a few accidentals. A barrel-organ, also worked by hydraulic power, is somewhat fantastically drawn by Robert Fludd in a work° published two years after that of Solomon de Caus. This diagram is of no value except as a curiosity, for the author betrays a very imperfect knowledge of the mechanical principles involved. The piece of music actually set on de Caus' barrel-organ, six bars of which can be made out,' consists of a madrigal, " Chi fara fed' al ciel," by Alessandro Striggio, written in organ tablature by Peter Philips, organist of the Chapel Royal, Brussels, at the end of the 16th century.° A French barrelorgan9 in the collection of the Brussels Conservatoire, bearing the date " 5 Mars 1797," has the following compass with flats, beginning at the left: 4 t A Other evidences of the origin of the barrel-organ are not wanting. The inventory of the organs and other keyboard instruments were also known as " Dutch organs," and the name clung to the instrument even in its diminutive form of hand-organ of the itinerant musician. In Jedediah Morse's description of the 9 Van der Straeten, op. cit. p. 231. ' Solomon de Caus, Les Raisons des forces mouvantes (Frankfort, 1615), problems 25, 28, 29, 30. 6 Historia utriusque cosmi (Oppenheim, 1617), t. i.,experimentum viii. p. 483. 7 Op. cit. problem 29 shows the arrangement of the bellows for the wind-supply. In problem 30 is drawn a large section of the barrel, showing six bars of music represented by the pin tablature, which can be actually deciphered by the help of the keyboard included in the drawing. These diagrams are admirably clear and of real technical value. A copy of this work is in the library of the British Museum. 8 See also E. van der Straeten, who has translated Philips' setting into modern notation, op. cit. t. vi. pp. 5o6 and 510. ° See V. C. Mahillon, Cataloguedescriptif (Brussels, 1896), No. 1137, ~Nluuul~ f I1IM1111l111111101 Pl' °II F 1~81fimu -min umuNmmflNIIIIIIIININIIIIII , W %//p/N/I III/II/INII/I//II, //I/////II//I//N/INIIIIIII,
End of Article: ISAAC BARRE (1726-1802)
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