David Francis URROWS (Hong Kong Baptist University), The Pipe Organ and the Jesuits in China: A Brief Survey, English/22pages, September 2008.

Abstract

The musical and technical accomplishments of Jesuit missionaries in China, and the esteem shown to them by a succession of rulers over several centuries, have long been acknowledged. While the harpsichord¡¦s specific role in this history has been treated to scholarly attention (in relationship to its diplomatic as well as musical position), the pipe organ has fared less well in this regard. However, no one musical instrument more represents the confluence ¡V or perhaps, the amalgamation ¡V of Western musical art, architecture, and religious practice more than the pipe organ. Piecing together reports and comments in letters, publications, memorials, antiquarian print and photography collections, and a range of biographical writings, a picture can be delineated of a cottage industry dedicated to the manufacture of pipe organs in China, beginning with a small portative made in Macau in 1601; then stretching to the work of Tomás Pereira, Teodorico Pedrini, Karel Slaviček, and Charles (Joseph) Paris, all of whom built or maintained pipe organs in the seventeenth and eighteenth Centuries; and finally to the Jesuits at Zikawei in Shanghai, who built the splendid ¡¥Bamboo Organ of Tungkadoo¡¦ in the mid-nineteenth Century. This paper provides an overview of this little-known history of cultural-artistic exchange, confrontation, and collaboration.

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