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For the first purpose Ctesibius used air-pumps fitted with handles for convenient working.
To get anything like a regular flow of wind, it was necessary to have a number of bellows worked by several men.it is very unlikely that different stops produced different qualities of tone, as in the modern organ. For the convenient management of the slides each was provided with an angular lever, so that on pressing down one arm of the lever, the slide was pushed in; the lever being released, the slide was pulled out again by a spring. It was used to heighten the pleasures of banquets and was associated particularly with the theatre and the circus.This organ, called hydraulus , or organum hydraulicum , from the water used in the blowing apparatus, enjoyed great popularity. Numerous representations, particularly on coins called contorniates, also testify to its general repute.This double control is still a leading principle in modern organ-building, and a row of pipes, differing in pitch, but having the same quality of tone, is called a stop, because its wind supply can be stopped by one action.it is not quite certain what the stops in the ancient organ meant.When, therefore, the air-pumps were worked, the air inside the bell was compressed and pushed out some of the water below.
The level of the water consequently rose and kept the air inside compressed.
Any wind taken from the bell to supply the pipes would naturally have a tendency to raise the level of the water in the bell and to lower that outside.
But if the supply from the air-pumps was kept slightly in excess of the demand by the pipes, so that some of the air would always escape through the water in bubbles, a very even pressure would be maintained.
The pipes, then, stood over the holes of the upper-board, each row, representing a scale-like progression, standing over its own channel, and all the pipes belonging to the same key, standing over the same groove.
The sliders also were perforated, their holes corresponding to those in the upper board and the roof of the channels.
(Greek organon , "an instrument") A musical instrument which consists of one or several sets of pipes, each pipe giving only one tone, and which is blown and played by mechanical means.