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Dutch street organ museum expands opening hours

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

DE WIJK Barrel organs have been part of Dutch street life for centuries. Beautifully decorated and mechanically operated figurines helped generate fascination for the upbeat music producing mobile 'machines' (or should they be called instruments?). These days, the barrel organs are carted around on trailers pulled by cars, but in the past the street organ operator was accompanied by a horse or pony which pulled it or, in other cases, pushed the contraption himself. There is an interesting history connected with this tradition, which can be studied in more detail at the dedicated Draaiorgelmuseum Folkloreklanken, run privately by organ builder Henk Veeningen of the northern Dutch town of De Wijk. Veeningen's collection is the only one in the northern region of the country accessible to the public, albeit still at restricted hours. Street organ enthusiasts: consider a visit to De Wijk this year.