The book discusses the history and music of Gdańsk carillons. It contains valuable information on bells, carillon mechanisms, bell founders, carillonists, and bell setters, inviting the reader to study the Protestant repertoire, the unique notation of preserved manuscripts, and the remarkable soundscape of Gdańsk, which for centuries has been marked by the sound of carillons.
Table Of Contents
- Title Page
- Copyright Page
- About the author
- About the book
- Citability of the eBook
- List of abbreviations
- Introductory remarks
- Part One Automatons and instruments. Bell founders, setters, and carillonists
- 1 The Main Town Hall automatic carillon, 1561–1945
- 1 Origin and history
- 2 Bell founder Jan Moer (Moor)
- 3 Bells and mechanisms
- 4 Functions of the carillon
- 4.1 Time measurement
- 4.2 The signalling of events
- 5 Bell setters: Franciscus de Rivulo and his successors
- 6 Employment, duties and payment of bell setters
- 2 The carillons of the church of St Catherine, 1573?–1942
- 1 Unclear beginnings and granted wishes
- 2 The bell founder Jan Nicolaas Derck
- 3 Bells and mechanisms
- 4 Functions of the carillon
- 4.1 Time measurement
- 4.2 Signalling of events
- 4.3 Daily and occasional concertising
- 5 Carillonists: Eltjen Wolthers and his successors
- 6 Carillon management, carillonist employment and payroll
- Chapter 3 Other carillons in Gdańsk
- 1 The automated carillon in Milk Can Gate, 1938–45
- 2 The carillon on Bishop Hill, 1939–45
- Part Two Musical repertoire
- 1 Overview and description of sources for the Main Town Hall automated carillon repertoire
- 1 Seventeenth-century historical mentions
- 2 Manuscripts of works for the Main Town Hall carillon
- 2.1 The tablatures of Theodor Friedrich Gülich
- Tower books
- Evangelical–Lutheran songbook
- Evangelical–Reformed songbook
- 2.2 The tablature of Paul Friedrich Knaack
- 2.3 The notation of Gdańsk carillon tablatures
- 2.4 The manuscript of Carl Anton Kaschlinsky
- 3 Eighteenth-century song registers
- 4 Press announcements of 1907–28
- 5 Evolution of the Main Town Hall automated carillon repertoire
- 2 The specificity of the musical repertoire for the Main Town Hall automated carillon
- 1 The settings of Theodor Friedrich Gülich
- 1.1 Yearly cycle and holiday songs
- 1.2 Death songs and funeral songs
- 1.3 Songs for the City Council election, beginning and end of the St Dominic’s Fair, and the hymn Te Deum laudamus
- 1.4 Evangelical–Lutheran songs
- 1.5 Evangelical–Reformed songs
- 2 Settings of Theodor Friedrich Gülich copied by Paul Friedrich Knaack
- 3 The settings of Carl Anton Kaschlinsky
- 3 Overview and description of sources for the carillon repertoire of the church of St Catherine
- 1 Musical manuscripts
- 1.1 The lost manuscript of Eltjen Wolthers
- 1.2 The manuscript of Johann Ephraim Eggert
- 1.3 Notation of works in the manuscript of Johann Ephraim Eggert
- 2 Press announcements from 1910–27
- 3 Evolution of the repertoire of the St Catherine carillon
- 4 Concert repertoire
- 4 Structure of the works of Johann Ephraim Eggert
- 1 Variations for full hours
- 1.1 Variations based on repetitions of the theme
- 1.2 Figurative variations
- 1.3 Nonfigurative variations
- 1.4 Variations with a mixed texture
- 1.5 Variations with interludes
- 2 Variations for half-hours
- 3 Choral preludes for full hours
- 4 Choral preludes for half-hours
- 5 Choral preludes for quarter-hours
- 6 Monodic chorale settings for full hours
- Gdańsk carillons in the city’s soundscape
- Appendix: Summary of the repertoire of the automatic carillon of the Main Town Hall and church of St Catherine
- List of illustrations
- List of tables
- List of musical examples
- 1 Manuscript sources
- 2 Printed sources
- 3 References
- Index of names
Prayers go to Heaven as heartfelt shots.
Musics rise alongside tall towers,
Harmonies argue in broad choirs.
The town hall clock sings its symphonies
in the clouds, the great cantor of God’s glory.1
This book aims at reconstructing the history of carillons and carillon music in old Gdańsk. The time limit of my enquiry is the year 1945, a pivotal date for the city’s history and its culture both material and spiritual. Old Gdańsk, which for centuries gathered traces of its proud identity, was buried under the rubble of demolished houses and churches. During the intense post-war revival, it was not easy to refer to the past or cultivate old customs: post-1945 reality was shaped by Gdańsk’s new residents, resettled from Vilnius, Brasław, Grudziądz, Kręćkowo, and God knows where else. At the same time, it was attempted on many fields though not always successfully to return to the old Gdańsk. Its old architectural substance was recreated, and the past was recalled.
An example of this process was the 1970 transfer of bells that formerly belonged to the carillon built in 1939 in the youth hostel at Biskupia Górka (Bishop’s Hill) to the tower of the Main Town Hall. These bells replaced the Town Hall’s automatic carillon of 1561, destroyed in March 1945 after nearly four centuries of operation. It was decided the carillon would play a song by Feliks Nowowiejski to the poem Rota (The Oath) by Maria Konopnicka, beginning with the telling words: “We shall not abandon the land whence our kin…” Gdańsk residents were so serious about sounds coming from the Town Hall tower as a sign of the city’s identity that they insisted Rota should remain in the repertoire even after a new carillon was installed in 2000.
An important initiative of building a carillon in the church of St Catherine was discussed even before 1980, since the historical carillon went missing in 1942 as a result of Nazi policies. Its bells were dismounted and removed from the city; the majority did survive but were never returned to Gdańsk. Instead, they were incorporated into the carillon of St Mary’s church in Lübeck. The installation of a new set of bells was proposed by Hans Eggebrecht, born in pre-war ←9 | 10→Danzig, with contributions by the city authorities and individuals from Poland and Germany. The carillon was cast by the Dutch foundry Royal Ejisbouts in Asten. It was completed in 1989 and consecrated on 1 September, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Second World War. Initially, it functioned as a musical automaton but soon some constructors added a keyboard, thereby restoring the instrument’s historical version. Its first concert took place on 28 November 1998. The current carillon of the church of St Catherine includes fifty bells arranged in the scale from B♭3 to C8.
Since the early 1990s, a new instrument was also considered for the Main Town Hall. The project was fully justified given the faulty timbre and mistuning of the Biskupia Górka bells installed on the local tower, the technical condition of the structure, and its aged mechanism. The build of a new carillon was again commissioned with the royal Dutch foundry in Asten. The new instrument is composed of thirty-seven bells in meantone temperament from G4 to A7. It was first tired out in public on the frosty 31 December 2000.
Gdańsk currently has three concert carillons: apart from those of St Catherine’s church and the Main Town Hall, the Gdańsk Mobile Carillon has also been operating since 2009, based on forty-eight bells placed on a truck. This enables the instrument to be transported for concerts to any location. Gdańsk is the only Polish city to possess active concert carillons, which is why it has become a hotspot for this instrument type and an important venue on the worldwide carillon map, attracting musicians from many countries.
This represents the continuation of Gdańsk’s century-old tradition. The practice of bell playing has been revived, with both regular and occasional festivals and concerts organised. Enthusiasts have founded the Polish Carillon Society, which became a member of the World Carillon Federation in 2000. In 2008, the first issue of the Association’s newsletter, Carillon Review, was published. The www.carillon.pl website is also available. Since 2007, carillon playing is taught at the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk. Compositions for the three Gdańsk instruments are regularly written. Today, as in past centuries, the carillons are looked after by the city authorities, with direct supervision by the Museum of Gdańsk.
The history of Gdańsk carillons and carillon music proved to be a vast and often fascinating research topic of interest to both cultural historians and musicologists.
This book would not have been possible without the help and benevolence of many individuals. I wish to thank all those who contributed to its writing. I am ←10 | 11→particularly grateful to Prof. Barbara Przybyszewska-Jarmińska of the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the late Prof. Danuta Szlagowska of the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk, and Prof. Andrzej Januszajtis for their feedback during the book’s gestation. During my archival research, I have benefitted from the useful help and consultation of Jerzy Marian Michalak, who has systematically supplied me with source fragments and helped decipher their content. I also thank my colleague Prof. Dariusz Kaczor: our common work on the facsimile edition of a manuscript by Johann Ephraim Eggert trigger many a scientific discussion from which I have learned a great deal; I have also been able to use the work of Dariusz Kaczor, including transliterations of several important source texts. Dr. Peter Oliver Loew has communicated a number of press clippings about Gdańsk carillons, for which I am grateful. I have also been assisted in my archive and library searches by the staff of the State Archive in Gdańsk and the Polish Academy of Sciences Gdańsk Library; again, my sincere thanks for their hard and patient work. I am also indebted to Jaap Kroon, archivist of the Westrief Archief in Hoorn, and Piet Boon of the same institution, who have referred his materials on the bell founder Jan Nicolaaus Derck. I am grateful for the assistance I received at the Stadsarchiefʼs-Hertogenbosch from Monique Ruzius-Brummans and Lucas van Dijck who helped decipher a contract of Jan Moer. Dr. Frank Deleu, Dr. Carl Van Eyndhoven, Gert Oldenbeuving, Dr. Grzegorz Szychliński, Gdańsk carillonist Dr. Monika Kaźmierczak and the late Dr. Jacques Maassen have provided help in understanding the thorny issues of carillon mechanism. I also thank my colleagues from the Department of Music History, Institute of Music Theory at the Music Academy in Gdańsk for their encouragements. I thank Marta Walkusz and Anna Kasprzycka for their transcription of works for the town carillon, enabling me to analyse them. The book would have received no editorial approval without the tedious work of the late Ewa Jaskulska, for which I am thankful. My thanks also go to Wojciech Bońkowski who undertook the book’s translation so that it can find readers beyond Poland. I also thank my friends, family, and children Joanna and Małgorzata, who supported me throughout this work. Finally, I am thankful to my husband Marian for his support and patience.
Danuta Popinigis←11 | 12→←12 | 13→
1 Kałaj, ‘Klimakteryk heroiczny’.
From the lexicographical entries and remarks in the scholarly literature, it transpires that authors disagree about what carillon actually is. For example, the status of the World Carillon Federation, which unites musicians and lovers of carillon from around the world, as well as sets the technical norms of modern carillon, defines it as “a musical instrument composed of tuned bronze bells which are played from a baton keyboard.”2 For a carillon to be considered a musical instrument, it needs to include at least twenty-three bells spanning two chromatic octaves. Sets of between fifteen and twenty-two bells with a keyboard, built before 1940, should be called historical carillons. Sets of fewer bells should not be featured in the World Carillon Federation status at all, nor should automated carillons, which are numerous worldwide.
The definition proposed in 2001 by Luc Rombouts is consistent with that of the World Carillon Federation, though the author explicitly mentions a set of bells played by the carillonneur or carillonist only in the latter half of his text.3 Rombouts also remarks that that term of “carillon” is sometimes used for smaller sets of bells called chimes4 and that a large group of instruments also possesses a clock-controlled automatic mechanism.5 Rombouts thereby observes the existence of a second of type – the automatic carillon. However, in his description employs no such term.
In the latest edition of Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, the term “carillon” (German: Glockenspiel) is not a separate entry but is rather integrated in the entry on bells: “Glocken und Glockenspiele.”6 A more thorough discussion of the carillon is included in chapter seven, discussing “ringing” (Läuten), which speaks notably of fixed bells:7 automatic ones, where sound generation is triggered ←15 | 16→by striking external hammers, and those sounded by the strike of an internal clapper. Two types of bell sets are distinguished: the carillon (Glockenspiel) and the manual carillon (Handgespieltes Glockenspiel). The former type includes tuned automated bells spanning one or several octaves, while the latter, tuned bells ordered chromatically spanning two octaves or more, played from a baton keyboard.8 The author of these remarks is André Lehr, the undisputed authority on campanology and carillon history in the Low Countries, the oldest and still most important region of carillon history development. Nonetheless, I confess that, as in the definition of Luc Rombouts, I miss a direct statement that the name of “carillon” can be applied to both a musical instrument and automaton.
The precise definition of the carillon is not made easier by monographic works on instruments or by those on musical automata. Some of those writings show their authors in difficulty in defining their subject matter. A good example is Curt Sachs.9 Although he dedicates some attention to the carillon, he offers no precise definition of it, focusing instead on discussing it history, distribution, and types. Citing the German term “Glockenspiel,” Sachs mentions that it refers not to a set of bells but slabs of bronze with or without a keyboard, used in home music making, brass bands, and professional music.10 An alternative term is proposed by Stanisław Olędzki, the Polish translator of Sachs’ monograph, is “chime” (kurant), also as in “bell chimes” (kuranty dzwonowe). Sachs’ commentary, particularly that relevant to Glockenspiel, points to the broad meaning of the term and its evolution in time.
There is no definition of the carillon Mieczysław Drobner’s handbook on musical instruments, though the book does mentions chimes (kuranty), understood as mechanisms installed on bells that allow the performance of simple melodies.11
In his extensive work on musical automata, Stanisław Prószyński acknowledges the difficulties of the topic by titling one of his chapters “Definition issues.”12 This partly justifies the fact he does not offer a precise definition of the terms in question. He once mentions that “carillons, or tower chimes,” are composed of several bells,13 while elsewhere pointing out that “in Western Europe, tower chimes and watchtowers with carillons, or mechanically controlled sets of bells of varying ←16 | 17→dimensions and pitch, appeared.”14 Tellingly, the word “carillon” is italicised, reminding readers of its foreign, that is, non-Polish origin.
In his book Gdańskie zegary, dzwony i karyliony [Gdańsk clocks, bells and carillons], Andrzej Januszajtis precisely defines two types of carillon and unambiguously addresses the Polish terminology. He stresses the difference between automated bell sets from human-operated, keyboard-equipped ones, for which he uses different names: “bell chimes” (kuranty dzwonowe) for the former and “karylion” (Polish adaptation of carillon) for the latter. “Karylion” appears to be the most appropriate version given the character of the Polish language. Andrzej Januszajtis also proposes that both categories be included in the joint category of “bell playing” (gra dzwonów),15 a term itself translated from the German “Glockenspiel,” which, in my opinion, does not solve the problem.
The above examples confirm my initial opinion that authors essentially disagree on what carillon exactly is. I believe a definition should be given where the definiens part emphasises the two existing types that differ by way of sound generator. My proposal, therefore, is the following definition:
Carillon is a musical instrument or automaton, composed of a set of bells fixed to a permanent structured. In the instrument, sounds are generated by a musician, while in the automaton, by a mechanism.
This definition consciously does not mention the number of bells included in the carillon. This issue is highly problematic, especially when describing historical instruments or automata, so I will abstain from attempting to resolve it. Instead, I shall remind readers that the etymology of “carillon” goes back to the late Latin word “quaternio,” meaning a “set of four.”16
Another matter worthy of attention here, before we address the history and music of the old Gdańsk carillon, is the terminology used by Polish scholars of the topic. It has not been regulated to date. Sets of automated bells and those operated from a keyboard are called in Polish literature with one of three terms: “carillon,” “karylion,” and “kurant” (chime). A musician playing the bells is a “carillonista” (carillonist), “carilloner” (carillonneur), or “karylionista,” while “kurancista” denotes someone who sets (programmes) the mechanism in automated carillons. The lack of linguistic norms has been noted by Joanna Zimińska, who in 2003 edited a multiauthor publication on the carillons of ←17 | 18→Gdańsk.17 In that book, the terminology is not made coherent, which Zimińska explains in the conclusion, citing the fact that modern Polish dictionaries do not list a normative definition; she goes on to quote several that include the terms “carillon,” “karylion,” and “kurant” but also notes the lack therein of “carilloner” or “carillonista,” which she qualifies as “neologisms.”18
The lack of a unified nomenclature in the Polish scholarly literature can easily be explained. The post-war history of Gdańsk carillons is short, thus despite growing interest in the topic, the number of publications of historical and modern carillons is still limited. Scholars continue to use varying terminology, as binding linguistic norms have not yet emerged and consolidated both in popular and scholarly writing. Referring to the past, name the pre-war Polish literature, is useless in this case, publications from before 1945 are limited to entries in generic lexicons whose natural aim was to address a wide array of meaning for any term. For a broad overview of the topic, it is worth consulting historical dictionaries of the Polish language and generic lexicons, which Joanna Zimińska fails to do. It is particularly relevant in the context of Januszajtis’ unambiguous statement that negates the use of the word “carillon” and derived terms.
In the oldest dictionary of the Polish language, published by Samuel Bogumił Linde in the early nineteenth century, there is no mention of “carillon” or “karylion,” but the word “kurant” features with several meanings: “a conjunction of melodic tones;” “in painting, a stone to grind paints on a flat stone”; “thick silver coins.”19 In the Mrongowiusz dictionary, the meaning is extended to include the music of a clock: “die Musik die eine Spieluhr macht.”20 Maurycy Orgelbrand,21 Zygmunt Gloger,22 as well as Jan Karłowicz, Adam Kryński and Władysław Niedźwiecki23 add further meanings of “kurant,” such as: a celebratory song; a public bank; a mortar for grinding seeds or powders; a ditty or tale; and a dance.←18 | 19→
These meanings do not refer to automated playing bells, making it difficult to agree with Andrzej Januszajtis that “bell chimes” (kuranty dzwonowe) should mean an automated carillon, the more so that modern Polish language dictionaries do not link “kurant” with musical bell sets.24 I must also add that in no dictionary have I found the word “kurancista,” mentioned by Januszajtis with reference to a musician that sets melodies on a chime.25
Equally controversial is Januszajtis’ proposal to use the word “karylion” to designate sets of bells played from a baton keyboard. The term, which is a Polish adaptation of “carillon,” was indeed recorded in dictionaries as early as 1902, but with no reference to a musical instrument. Instead, it was defined as the “chiming of several bells in tune,” or “a box that plays when wound up.”26 Interestingly, a pre-war foreign words dictionary does include “karylion,” but the entry cross-references to “carillon,”27 while post-war dictionaries very often omit “karylion” altogether, and derived nouns such as “karylionista” or “karylionistka” can be found in no source.
Concerning the term “carillon,” one may point to several arguments in favour of its use in the Polish language to designate a musical instrument or automaton composed of a set of bells. First and foremost, the term appears in nineteenth-century encyclopaedias, notably in that of Samuel Orgelbrand of 1859 and that of Saturnin Sikorski of 1890, as well as several generic dictionaries and lexicons of the interwar period. More important than that very presence is the definition applied to the term in question. The definition listed by Samuel Orgelbrand is fully consistent with the one I propose:
Carillon, a set of bells of varying dimensions placed in a single row, properly tuned and made to sound via a keyboard device or springs (such as cylinders in musical clocks, barrel organs, and so forth, that likely come from this). They were placed on towers of buildings and would customarily made to play tunes on every hour or quarter of an hour.28←19 | 20→
Carillon, a musical instrument composed of bells appropriately selected and moved through keys or springs.29
An equally satisfactory definition is offered by Aleksander Poliński in the encyclopaedia of Saturnin Sikorski:
Carillon (French) bells, a type of musical instrument very widespread in the past, especially in the Netherlands. It was composed of a number of bells of varying size, that played various melodies through a clock device. C. was most often placed on church towers. There were also c. with keyboards. The title of “c.” is given by composers to works, especially for the piano, that imitate the sound of bells.30
Another argument for using the term “carillon” is the fact that it features (regardless of the definition) in post-war Polish dictionaries and musical encyclopaedias.31 A third argument is the ongoing irreversible globalisation. While the Germans are not giving up on “Glockenspiel,” the Dutch on “klokkenspel” and “beiaard,” and the Lithuanians on “kariljonas,” the remainder of the music community has adopted the French term “carillon,” pronounced variously depending on the region. In practice, the following two terms are used to denote a musician playing on bells: “carillonneur” and “carillonist,” with Polish adaptations of “carilloner” and “carillonista,” respectively. I have decided to use the latter consistently in the present book.
Terminological difficulties are haunting not only modern Polish writers on the carillon. Gdańsk citizens faced them as early as 1561 when a fourteen-bell music automaton was installed on the Main Town Hall tower. They did not know what to call it: it was an unknown oddity in Gdańsk. Similar mechanisms were familiar only to travellers who had visited the Low Countries. In the Baltic port, the carillon was identified with the clock, in that before every hourly chime, Protestant melodies would be heard from the tower.
Officials from the City Council, documenting expenses related to the automated carillon, initially also identified it with the clock.32 In the oldest extant ←20 | 21→cashbook from the accounting year 1576/77, under the name of Michael Colrep, the automaton programmer at the time (or “bell setter” as he was called), his quarterly wage was noted “wegen des Uhrwerks” (against the clockwork),33 and on 2 March 1577, “wegen des singenden Uhrwerks” (against the singing clockwork).34 In the latter note, the characteristic expression, “singing clockwork,” is used for the first time; in later sources, it would be regularly used with reference to the Main Town Hall carillon.
In cashbooks from the late sixteenth century until 1793, we find numerous name variants, referring alternately to the automated carillon of the Main Town Hall. I have notable found the following terms:
“die singende Uhr” or “die Sing-Uhr”: singing clock,
“das Singwerk” or “das singende Werk”: singing mechanism,
“das Singuhrwerk”: singing clock mechanism
“das Singwerk und Schlagwerk”: singing and striking mechanism
“das singende Glocken-Werk”: singing bells mechanism
“das Glockenwerk”: bell mechanism
It is noteworthy that in the city’s cashbooks, apart from payments to bell setters, a separate chapter was dedicated to expenses related to the repair and conservation of the automaton, titled “das Sing- und Schlaguhrwerk” or “das Singwerk.” Only in one archival source have I found a Latin name used for the Town Hall carillon: a letter from bell setter Philipp Schönberg to the City Council of 1572. In it, the author speaks of “musica automatorum,” music of the automata.35
The Town Hall carillon is mentioned by seventeenth-century historians, though these failed to contribute anything new to the terminology. Christoph Hartknoch wrote about bells “in dem Singe-Seiger” (in the singing clock);36 Reinhold Curicke used expressions “singendes Uhrwerck” and “das Uhrwerck,” known from cashbooks;37 Stephanus Grau, who referred to Curicke, added “die Sing-Glocken,” singing bells.38 In his account of the arrival to Gdańsk in 1646 of Marie Louise Gonzaga, the second wife of Polish King Ladislaus IV, Adam Jacob Martini noted the play of the Town Hall bells with the linguistic flourish “das köstliche Cymbel Vhrwerck” (the delicious cymbal of the clock mechanism).39 ←21 | 22→The term “cymbal” designating the carillon also appears in the account placed under an engraving of the city panorama by Jacobus Hoffman of around 1635. As the note, titled “A Description of the Famous City of Gdańsk,” notably reads:
there is a delicious clock on the town hall tower of the Right City, in which at every hour the cymbal plays.40
Seventeenth-century poets, such as Daniel Kałaj and Joachim Pastorius, unambiguously identified the Town Hall carillon with a clock. Kałaj, a Cracow-born Calvinist theologist, embedded a verse about the “singing clock” in his panegyric poem on John III Sobieski’s victory at Vienna.41 Pastorius, the historiographer of King John II Casimir, a Catholic priest and physician, wrote the following poem titled Na Zegar w Gdańsku o każdej godzinie wydzwaniający wielce ujmujące melodie:42
In Horologium Gedanense,
On the Gdańsk Clock,
suavissimas melodias quavis hora decantans
which on every hour chimes very charming melodies
Inclyta dum Gedani suggressus moenia lustrat
Approaching Gdańsk, the traveller
Hospes, et attonito pectore spectat opes.
sees the city’s famous walls and dumfounded, watches its riches.
Plurima mirantem turris pulcherrima tandem
He is struck by the multitude of towers, of which
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- Carillonists Historical carillon repertoire Musical manuscripts Gdańsk musical culture before 1945 Gdańsk carillon tablatures