Organ in Istria
The Organs of the Poreč and Pula Diocese
According to the written evidence on the territory of the present-day Croatia the organs appeared in the 14th century, what does not mean they didn’t exist before that period. Many archives with documents from previous periods disappeared due to wars and catastrophic events like fires, plague and earthquakes. That’s why about organs before the 14th century we can only make suppositions. From the 16th till the end of the 19th century a more complete evidence on organs is available. It can be deduced from that sources that the organs of that time interval present in churches of the southern Croatia are identical to the organs of the northern Italy, while the organs of the northern Croatia are much more similar to the Mitteleuropean organs. The difference is in their number and dimension which depended on the dimensions of the churches and on the financial power of the sponsor. Certainly, some variations occurred as a result of interchange of war and peace periods in some regions.
The Diocese of Poreč and Pula has totally 46 instruments, more than any other region of the southern Croatia . Many of them belong to A and B category of historical significance.
The organ is an instrument acceptable to all social classes thanks to its dimensions, complexity, adjustable tonal power and harmonic sonority. Their purpose was principally liturgical, but musical performances were also very common. The organ was present in every church and was a proof of the economic power and cultural elevation of the territory. A church with an organ had one or two permanent musicians, chapel master and organist and they all influenced the development of music both within the church and in the town. In other words, the organ fostered the development of the musical arts and has left a strong mark in our musical history.