Pictures Of The Salzburg Stier (Bull) Barrel Organ
Dr. Bayr, Director of Hohensalzburg showing the two
barrels that have survived, he is holding the worm gear in place on the
Dr. Bayr is showing where the main pumps of the organ are
going to be placed, exactly where they were originally. These pumps require
five men to operate and one more man to turn the barrel. This pump room is
located one floor below the organ.
Dr. Bayr holding the heavy weighted drive wheel which turns
the barrel. It takes one man to operate this wheel, he also controls the
tempo of the music by the speed of his turning.
This is the little room in which the Stier lives.
This is one of the two remaining barrels. This one was pinned by
Leopold Mozare with 12 songs, one for each month of the year.
This side view of the Stier's pipes chest shows how each note was made
to be very powerful by the use of many pipes to play each note, This
produced an almost trumpet sound and could be heard many miles from the
This remarkable picture shows the Stier in concert. The man in the
picture is turning the heavily weighted wheel which turns the barrel, He
must also keep the tempo correct for each melody by varing the speed at
which he turns the wheel.
This is a close up view of both of the Stiers barrels
together, the one straight ahead has an iron gear which would last much
longer then the usual wood gear which is visible on the second barrel to
This close up view of the second barrel shows the way the pins
are placed. The various lengths or bridges tell the organ how long to hold
a note. At the beginning of each song the Stier barrel organ lets out a
loud bellow, This first tells the good people of Salzburg that the organ is
about to play and that their daily activity is about to begin and is also
said to honor an age old legend, be sure to look into this story at our
"Salzburg Steer washers" page.
Another good close up picture showing the iron gear which has
lasted many hundreds of years of daily playing, Pinned by Leopold
Mozart (father of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) and Michael Haydn
among others who we will be discussing in depth.
This is the actual drive gear which truns the large wooden music barrel in
the Stier. The heavy weighted wheel fastens to the left side which also has
the bearing attached. The momentum of the weighted wheel on the the drive gear makes the task of
playing the Stiers music easier by smoothing out the effect of turning a
wheel by hand.
This key frame is quite unique to more modern key frames. One thing is that
it contains heavy lead weights for each of the fingers, this keeps the pin
resting on the barrel while the other end of the finger rests on the pallet
rod of the organ, As the barrel turns underneath this key frame the pegs on
the music barrel lift one end of the key frame fingers and this of course
pushes the other end down as well as the pallet rod causing the note of the
organ to play. each pin on the key frame that comes in contact with the
barrels pegs is adjustable so that there is good contact and that the music
played will be accurate.
This shows the key frame being used to set up the barrels "scale template".
This template will then be used to rediscover previously "recorded songs"
as well as to record on paper the songs that are presently on the barrels.
The barrel has a shaft that runs completely through it and it is this shaft
that it turns on. One end of the shaft has groves cut in it. A blade rests
in these groves and hold the barrel in place as it turns. Each grove
represents one song and all of the pegs for that song line up with the pins
of the key frame. to play another song, the blade is lifted and the barrel
slid over about 1/8th inch to the next grove. The blade is placed on this
grove which holds the barrel in place and all of the pegs for this second
song now engage the pins of key frame. This allows for 12 songs to be
pinned on the one barrel.
This picture shows the inside of the little room that the Stier has sat in
for over 500 years. This room is actually hung outside the great wall for
Fortress Hohensalzburg. When the organ is played the windows are swung open
to allow the music to be heard in the city of Salzburg far below. These
windows will be changed so that the window swings from the bottom out, this
will help direct the sound down to the city.