Studio 31+

Archiorgano Mechanicm
Copyright: Elleni Ralli 2019, Musik Akademie Basel

Studio31 is a collective of musicians, composers, researchers and instrument builders. We create or support artistic projects that involve the Arciorgano or the Clavemusicum Omnitonum. The Arciorgano is the reconstruction of a renaissance organ with 36 keys per octave, after descriptions by Nicola Vicentino. The Clavemusicum Omnitonum is a harpsichord with 31 keys per octave, based on an original instrument by Vito Trasuntino (1609). Both instruments are unique prototypes and create fascinating bridges between epochs, styles and cultures. Being highly specialised instruments coming from a tiny niche in music history, they bring together artists and audiences from all kinds of backgrounds, creating most surprising and meaningful projects and insights. 

The Arciorgano has a ‘adaptive-just’ tuning as a built-in default. The sounding pitch of the pipes can be lowered with small pieces of wood. Like this, we manages to set up the instrument for a tuning based on Partch’s system, with a subset of 36 pitches. Due to the diatonic structure of the keyboard it is possible to play comfortably all the 36 pitches, maintaining the distance of a normal octave. The density and complexity of playable chords is impressive.