What actually is a SCHWEINEORGEL ?

The way YOUR SCHWEINEORGELS comes into the SCHWEINEORGEL homepage

The first virtual SCHWEINEORGEL museum


What actually is a SCHWEINEORGEL ?


The word SCHWEINEORGEL is a German term and means translated "PORK ORGAN" or "PIGGY ORGAN".

The term SCHWEINEORGEL was normally used for the accordeon, which anyway got very bizarre names. Later it was spitefully used for all cheap organs, that were sounding mostly awful (filthy/ piggy). I used it for all nasty sounding synthesizers and organs, later for ALL electronic musical instruments, which is not a satisfying description. Therefore we should watch the term from different positions:

First approach: (the global)

If we asume that an accordion is a SCHWEINEORGEL, we also have to admit, that a harmonium is of the same category, because it's just a bigger version of these instruments. Because the stop mechanism of church pipe organs is of the same kind than the one of harmoniums, and the only difference between them is the fact, that some uses pipes the others metal tongues, they are SCHWEINEORGELS too. In exactly the same way theatre organs belongs to this category, because they are also pipe organs and have only additional stops and voices and some other features.

Well, we can't answer the question this way, because it semms that the sound don't matter for this problem!

Scond approach: (the rudimentary)

On the other hand the cheeping cheap electronic organs became its name for precisely its sound. Then we have to squueze all electronic synthesizers into this category, which are sounding nasty enough, but are certainly not cheap. Anyhow, this leads us away from keyboard instruments, becuase the Theremin or the Trautonium are played completely without keys. The same way, we have to add the whole bunch of digital organs and rotten fickfuck keyboards, which surely have the most terrific sound of all (think of the awful "plastiv violins"!).

We also detect, that Hammond organs, which are a mixture of mechanic and electric organs, are certainly SCHWEINEORGELs, because of their bizarre construction, and because of their significance in Jazz and Rock music. These instruments sound certainly not awful (far from it!), but have elctric AND mechanic tone generation, so we can't take the kind of the tone generation as a criteria. If we follow this argumentation, we'll recognize, that guitars are also SCHWEINEORGELs, and that it would be no problem to prove that trumpets and trombones ALSO are SHWEINEORGELs.

This leads us to an even bigger dissatisfaction in answering the question: "What now, is a SCHWEINEORGEL?"

Third approach: (the encyclopaedic)

We have therefore to admit, that we cant't associate the word SCHWEINEORGEL with some technical, acoustic or musical characteristics of the instruments. (not to mention other!) This leads us to the following definition:

  • SCHWEINEORGELs are electronic, elctro-mechanic or mechanic organic (means: organ similar) instruments, which must have something piggy (means: something special) to qualify.
For example this may be: piggy sound, piggy look, piggc construction or piggy features, i.e. like accompaniment unit, lighted music-stand, loo-paper holder,... Of course this is a easily subjective approach, but it makes a precise and subtle estimation of the instrument possible for us.

Finally I want to point out once again, that the terms piggy and SCHWEINEORGEL are just a loving description of the special features of a most beautiful kind of musical instruments, and are not meant vicious or derogatory.

The SCHWEINEORGELS in this homepage may be accordingly all kinds of electronic musical instruments and all elctromechanically or pneumatically or whatever driven organs. I believe indeed that church organs are out of proportion of this homepage and that there already exist many information for this kind of organs, but church organs are somehow SCHWEINEORGELS, are they ? Besides all kind of additional units like accompaniment units and bass synthesizers or amplifiers and loudspeaker cabinets or something like that are welcome in this homepage. I think it's a matter of course, that I don't set great store on the digital byte guzzling Aldi Keyboards...

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The way YOUR SCHWEINEORGELS comes into the SCHWEINEORGEL homepage


To present your organ the best way, it is important to get as many information about your instrument as possible. I don't matter of course if you have only a few data.

Please send all of an organ too, even if it is already in this homepage.

Of course you'll be mentioned by name (and/or with EMail address) besides your organ, and you can get a link to YOUR homepage, if you want it. For that reason don't forget to send your personal data, too.

Photos of your organ would be great, but aren't necessary. If you want to send them by EMail, please use the JPEG (.jpg), GIF (.gif) or PING (.png) (or TIFF) format.

For that you have an approximate idea, what is important on the SHWEINEORGELS, here is a list with two example organs with some description, which you can load as a form:

  Example #1 Example #2 Description
Brand ELKA Dr.Böhm manufacturer of the organ
Location of the manufacturer Italy Minden in Germany location and/or address of the manufacturer of the organ
Model name X 705 DnT model description or name of the organ look)***
Model number X 705 DnT model- or type number look)***
Series number 234 2344 45 ? series number of the organ
Date of constructiom 1979 1974 date of construction (even approximate)
Type portable suitcase organ with metal stand (combo organ) home organ, walnut furniture type of construction look)**
Dimension (W/H/D), weight 123, 97, 63 cm, ? 131, 97, 66 cm, ? dimension of the organ in the form width, height (without music reck), depth; and weight
Manuals 2 X 49 keys 2 X 61 keys number and kind of the manuals, number of the keys of a manual
Pedals 13 pedals, seperate unit 30 pedals, radial built-in number and kind of the pedals
Amplifier/ speakers line OUT/ additional ELKATIONE 2 X 50W/ 4 speakers built-in or additional amplifier and speakers
Additional effects reverb, chorus vibrato, sine percussion, sustain reverb, vibrato, tremolo, glissando, Synthemat, pizzicato reverb, sustain, piccicato= repeat percussion - means all technical toys
Additional units rhythm unit with accompaniment, monophonic synthesizer Böhmat (rhythm unit with accompaniment) all additional built-in units i.e. casstte recorder, leslie, rhythm unit, accompaniment machine, chord machine, solosynthi, citchen mixer... or external units like leslie cabinets...
Tone generator IC technology 1.st type germanium transistors, 9 octaves, sawtooth type of construction (and number) of the tone generators
Tone forming UM (1st manual) 9 rank sine drawbars with percussion and presets, strings, piano, brass, fully polyphonic, monophonic synthesizer with presets and adjustment posibilities 10 rank sine drawbars and 20+8 stops, piano, fully plyphonic look )*
Tone forming MM (2nd manual) - - look )*
Tone forming MM (3rd manual) - - look )*
Tone forming LM (lower manual) 7 rank sine drawbars, strings, piano, fully polyphonic 10 rank sine drawbars and 18 stops, fully polyphonic look )*
Tone forming PD (pedals) 2 rank monophonic 4 rank with 7 stops, fully polyphonic look )*
Sound super sine sounds (Hammond!), super strings and brass sound, nasty piano sound, spacy synthi sounds aggressive sine sounds, super sacral stops sounds, first-class Böhmat subjektive description of the sound of the organ (sine sound is the sound of the Hammond organs)
Price (new/ payed/ value) DM 9500,-/DM 200,-/ DM 1000,- DM12000,-/ ?/ DM600,- What was the price when the organ was new?/ What did you pay for this organ?/ What do you think it is worth?
Anything else volume controls for all parts (mixer), connection for external Elkatone (leslie) speakers self-built kit everything else what you know about your organ (i.e. more technology, where do you got it ?, special features...)

Load form as Text in TXT format.

*) explanatory notes:

The tone forming means everything, which is available to form the sound of the notes of ONE manual of the organ. Usually this are:

Speaking stops:

  • sine drawbars or tibia or flutes stops (these produces the smooth, warm Hammond sound)
  • sine presets (mixture of drawbar settings)
  • stops of a church organ (for example like Bordun, Principal, Trompete, Oktave, Quinte...)
  • normal presets (i.e. full organ...)
  • special stops, for example like strings, brass, piano, chimes, and more...
  • solo voices, which often are monophonic, for example trumpet, trombone, guitar or a solo synthesizer
  • ...

Not sounding stops:

  • Vibrato
  • Tremmolo
  • Reverb
  • Couplers
  • ...

The number of the ranks means the number of the tones, which you may hear if only ONE key is depressed. This way the real organ sound is made. A three rank organ is therefore able to play up to three tones if one key is depressed.

The labeling of the stops comes from the church organs. The numbers on the stops are corresponding with the footage of the largest organ pipe of all pipes of one rank, for example 16', 5 1/3', 8',4',2 2/3', 2', 1 3/5', 1 1/3' or 1'. Our three rank organ could have therefore three drawbars with the labeling 8', 4', and 2'. The organs often have only or additional stops for one footage. For example our three rank organ could have the following stops: Baßflöte 8', Principal 8', Octave 4', Cello 4', Gamba 4', Superoctave 2', and Viola 2'. It has then seven stops but although only three ranks (harmonics)! One rank organs have mostly only 8' stops, which are not labeled with the footage number. (Sometimes the stops are labeled completely different or have pictures instead...)

Fully polyphonic means with an organ that every key makes at least independent of the other keys one tone. If you play 10 keys simultaneously, you can hear 10 tones. In contrast to the organs, many old synthesizers are only able to make one tone at the same time. If you play 10 keys, you can only hear ONE tone (mostly the highest depressed). This is called monophonic.

**) explanatory notes:

The type of construction describes the different styles of an organ:

  • COMBO organ: small mostly one manual suitcase organ without amplifier and speakers, that is played on a table or on a stand.
  • HOME or SPINET organ: organ with mostly two four octave manuals and a one octave pedal, that unites organ, amplifier and speakers in one housing.
  • CONCERT or THEATRE organ : big organ with two or more five octave manuals and a two or three octave pedal.

***) explanatory notes:

Some organ manufactures use beautiful sounding organ names and model numbers (mostly located on the plate on the backside of the organ) to specify a certain model. Others just use a type description.

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The first SCHWEINEORGEL museum


The Internet with its extremely many and varied possibilities and its worldwide user group is suitable for the idea of a Virtual Organ Museum.

Every interested person should find here the great variaty of the elctronic organs as well as all electronic musical instruments ever made, particularly because the elctronic organs are disappearing little by little. He should may have a look on the organs, find out technical data, perhaps "test-hear" the organs, too, and find out some details and something about their history - just like in a real museum - only by the web.

If you like this idea and would probably make a link on this SCHWEINEORGEL Homepage, you can use one of the following icons - Thank's a lot!

SO symbol white SO symbol black
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