Bach's first position as organist was at the Church of St. Boniface in Arnstadt, called the "New Church" as it had been for years when Bach started to play there. The organ was built by J. F. Wender, who signed a contract with the church in 1699. Bach tested the instrument in 1703 and subsequently became organist there - - at the age of 18.
Scholars disagree about the specific disposition of the organ during Bach's tenure. It is not surprising that the organ was altered over the years, but even though the specifics of the contract are known, there is no certainty that it was built exactly as the contract describes. Parts of the organ survive, including the case and some of the pipe work, but there can be no assurance that any stop is today as it was in Bach's lifetime. 163
The stoplist as given below is based on a composite reading of several different published copies.
|Viola da Gamba||8||Spitzflöte||4||Posaune||16|
|Quinte||5 1/3||Sesquialtera II|
Please note these characteristics. They are typical of organs in the area of central Germany where Bach spent most of his life:
© 2000 AD James H. Cook