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Maihingen, ehem Klosterkirche, Hauptorgel

Maihingen, ehem Klosterkirche, Hauptorgel

Johann Martin Baumeister 1734-1737

State of preservation: almost completely original; restored in 1990/91.

The organ of Maihingen is an extraordinary case of luck for posterity. Two almost unbelievable organ accidents led to the instrument having been enclosed in sort of time capsule in the state its maker Johann Martin Baumeister had left it. Maihingen abbey having been dissolved in 1803 had been kept intact as a building but hardly ever used since the parish had its own church. The organ might have required a repair already in the later 18th century but Baumeister, for hardly understandable but lucky reasons (for posterity) had omitted an entrance into the organ case. So for any tuning or repair the organ had to be dismantled completely which might have been unnoticed at the time because Baumeister omitted any reed stops. Since church and organ were used only a few times per year this huge effort was avoided and the organ stayed being unplayable during the 19th and 20th centuries, the phase when most older organs were revised, retuned, reshaped, renovated, modernised asf asf.

Johann Martin Baumeister of Eichstätt certainly was not one of the famous organ makers of the 18th century. The unique "forgetting" an entrance into the case justifies some serious doubts about his abilities but it saved the instrument's preservation for centuries. Economic necessities to save money wherever possible are shown by the wooden front pipes with tinfoil cover of little durability even then. Stilistically Baumeister's organ – matching Maihingen's geography  – shows a merger of swabian, bavarian and franconian patterns. The trapezoid pipe towers for instance were an element typical rather of organs in Franconia while the multitude of 8' stops and the high mixture stops are rather rooted south of the Danube.

Music sample

Anton Estendorffer : Aria quinti toni (6 Variationen)
played by Klaus Linsenmeyer




Bordun                                   16’

Principal                                  8’

Quintatön                                8’

Spitzflauten                            8’

Salecinal                                 8’

Gamba                                     8’

Octava                                      4’

Quint                                         3’

Superoctava                             2’

Mixtur                                       1’ 4f.

Cymbal                                     ½’ 3f.


Copel                                     8’

Flauten                                  8’

Cythara                                  8’
(undulating: „mit der Flauten allein“)

Principal                                4’

Quint                                      3’

Gemshorn                             2’

Mixtur                                    1’ 3f.



Principalbaß                       16’
(wood, tinfoil, in front)

Subbaß                                 16’

Octavbaß                                8’

Quintbaß                                 6’


© Greifenberger Institut für Musikinstrumentenkunde |