Bible Regal

German or French

Not on view

The regal is a small pipe organ with a single rank of pipes. Inside each pipe is a thin brass tongue (or reed) that produced a loud, nasal sound when air is pushed through the pipe. Although the pipes function as resonators, because on a regal they are very short they do little to moderate the reeds' aggressive tone. Usually used as a continuo instrument, the regal's louder tone made it of use in larger groups of musicians than a more typical chamber organ. Composers occasionally specified it, as Monteverdid did in Orfeo, for his scenes of the underworld. 

This crude example was probably made in the late 19th century to resemble those made in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Bible Regal, Various materials, German or French

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