Die pyporrel - vir twee eeue draer van die Westerse musiekkultuur in Suid-Afrika
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Pipe organs were imported to South Africa from Europe (including England) and America from as early as 1806. The pipe organ was an important cornerstone of cultural activities in many South African towns and villages. Before the availability of concert halls, music-making in the 19th century, such as organ, choral and oratorio performances, centred around the organ and the church. Even for piano, violin and singing recitals the church often was the only available venue. The European music culture therefore became firmly embedded in South Africa through the import of organs, as well as the constant stream of visiting musicians. A significant number of musicians, and specifically organists, from abroad settled in South Africa and the European music culture flowered as a result of the important role they played in society as teachers, composers, conductors, performers, church musicians and organ builders. This led to the founding of local organ building firms from around 1948, adhering to European organ building traditions. South Africa is blessed with a great number of excellent historic organs (imported from Europe) as well as modern instruments built locally. Although the building of new pipe organs has almost come to a standstill, our organ culture is constantly enriched with the occasional import of new instruments from Europe. Through the training of organists at universities, organ examinations and competitions, the publishing of new organ music, the activities of organ societies and a healthy culture of organ recitals by local and overseas organists, the European music culture is still actively promoted in South Africa.