The Sea Organ
The Sea Organ (morske orgulje) is located on the shores of Zadar, Croatia, and is the world’s first pipe organ that is played by the sea. Simple and elegant steps, carved in white stone, were built on the quayside. Underneath, there are 35 pipes with whistle openings on the sidewalk. The movement of the sea pushes air through, and – depending on the size and velocity of the wave – musical chords are played. The waves create random harmonic sounds.
This masterpiece of acoustics and architecture was created by expert Dalmatian stone carvers and architect Nikola Basic in 2005, who recently received the European Prize for Urban Public Space for this project. Many tourists come to listen to this unique aerophone, and enjoy unforgettable sunsets with a view of nearby islands. Famed director Alfred Hitchcock said that the most beautiful sunset in the world can be seen from precisely this spot on the Zadar quay. That was how he described it after his visit to Zadar, a visit he remembered throughout his life by the meeting of the sinking sun and the sea.
Listen to some sounds of the Sea Organ
In this part of Croatia the prevailing musical tradition is the spontaneous four-voice male singing, with melodies and chords conforming to the diatonic major scale. The 5 pipes of each section are arranged in 1.5 meter spacings.
A listener, standing or sitting on a chosen point on the scalinade, should be able to hear 5 to 7 pipes. Thus, whole five-pipe sections are tuned to one chord. The citizens of Zadar are extremely proud of the first organ driven by the sea waves ever to be constructed. This installation, absolutely unique in the world, was designed to let people enjoy the point where the medieval town of Zadar embraces the Adriatic.