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Organist Paul-Martin Maki standing next to the Skinner Organ at First Unitarian Universalist Church in Detroit

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Pipe Organs of Spain Day 2 | Montserrat | Museu de la Musica

Day two of the Pipe Dreams Tour was our first full day in Barcelona, the group got up early and drove into the mountains of Montserrat. The drive was through incredible rock formations up

steep and winding roads to a Benedictine Monastery that was originally formed in the 9TH Century. The Basilica has a new mechanical action pipe organ built by Blacnafort of 4-manuals and 63 ranks. It is a very modern case but works well in the church. The monastery has 8 monks who are organists and Brother Ramon Ornias played for us during our visit.


After a quick lunch we drove to the Museu de la Musica. The museum has three different working organs from three different time periods. The Manuel Pérez Molero organ is an 18th century Baroque organ. Baroque cabinet with a great wealth of gildings and polychrome decoration. It has a keyboard with 45 keys and there are thirteen half stops. Air is supplied by means of three exterior bellows. The Zaragozano Organ is a portable instrument commonly used for special religious festivities and processions, and would usually be found as well in smaller churches. The instrument has been preserved almost entirely in its original state and there seem to be no signs of any major changes. There has been a complete restoration of the organ and now, this unique instrument is fully functional and musically satisfying. We also got to hear and see a 16th-century claviorgan, an
instrument formed by an organ (wind instrument) and a spinet (string
instrument). In the course of the 16th century, the claviorgan was
highly esteemed by the Spanish courts as a symbol of technological and 
social ostentation.


No visit to Barcelona would be complete without a visit to the Basílica de la Sagrada Família. The building was designed by Antoni Gaudi. An outstanding figure of Catalan culture and international architecture. Gaudí used highly symbolic content in the Sagrada Família, both in architecture and sculpture, dedicating each part of the church to a religious theme. The organ here is also by Blancfort it is one of several organs that will be put into the completed church. I skipped going back after the building closed to hear the organ as I was totally exhausted and we had a long day ahead of us finally flying to Mallorca the next evening.