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Kotykiewicz in Vienna

Prof. dr. Krysztof Rottermund, in: Muzyka, 2001-4

SUMMARY Teofil Kotykiewicz and his company have been accorded very little attention in the literature devoted to the subject of harmonium building. Yet the harmony-producing company, started in Vienna in 1852 by Peter Titz and then taken over by his son-in-law Teofil Kotykiewicz (1849-1920), was one of the best establishments of its kind, not only in the Austro- Hungarian Empire and then in the Republic of Austria after the First World War, but in the whole of Europe.

Instruments produced by the company, which after the death of Kotykiewicz was managed by his sons, won medals and prizes at manufacturing and crafts exhibitions and were highly regarded by performers. The peak of the company's prosperity coincided with the period of the harmonium's greatest popularity, when the instrument was expected to have excellent prospects for the future.

The Kotykiewicz family built harmoniums of different sizes, from small one-manual ones, through the larger "drawing-room" models, to the concert - three-manual ones, with a pedal and many registers. Apart from building harmoniums, the Kotykiewicz family were also active members of various Polish organisations in Vienna. The article presents an outline of the activities of the Kotykiewicz family and their company, discussing also the features of the instruments they built.

For Polish visitors we have two articles in Polish, both written by prof. Rottermund. (Acrobat files)

Przepraszamy, że nie języka polskiego kontroli. Ale mamy dwa artykuły w języku polskim. Możesz przeczytać plik Acrobat :-)


Ruch Myzyczny-1996

Harmoniumnet as a source in Wikipedia

Recently Wikipedia was expanded with a page about Teofil Kotykiewicz. See the pdf file to see the wiki

For many decades - starting more than a century ago - this harmonium builder has been famous. The firm was founded 1852 by Peter Titz. He was succeeded by his son in law Teofil Kotykiewicz (1849-1920) who also was succeeded by his son Teofil Kotykiewicz (1880-1971)

Some facts about Peter Titz and Kotykiewicz
Peter Titz worked as an apprentice at Jakob Deutschmann.


from: Orgelinstrumente Harmonium
Klaus Gernhardt / Hubert Henkel / Winfried Schrammek
Band 6 Musikinstrumenten Museum der Karl-Marx Universität Leipzig. 1983

Jakob Deutschmann

Piano, organ and harmonium builder. Born in 1795 in Lauben, died March 11 1853 in Vienna.
Lived at Laimgrube 125, from 1825 at Laimbruge 32. From 1840 Lumbertgasse 821.

quoted from: Haupt [1956, Helga Haupt, Studien zur Musikwissenschaft. 24. Band Graz - Wien - Köln 1960, S. 120-184]
Haupt mentioned 3 existing organs made by Deutschmann. Also in a number of villages in Russia organ stops based on free reeds are known, where Deutschmann supplied these stops to Russian orgenbuilders.


Uit: Arthur W.J.G. ord-Hume
Harmonium. The history of the Reed Organ ans its makers. 1986

Deutchmann, Jakob, Wiestrasse 39 Vienna, Austria. Exhibited a melodium at the 1851 Great Exhibition in Londen, where he described himself as 'manufacturer'. An early apprentice of his was Peter Titz.


uit: Robert F. Gellerman
Gellerman's International Reed Organ Atlas, 1998

Deutschmann, Jakob. Laimgrube 32 in 1825, Lumpergasse 821 in 1840, Wienstrasse 39 in 1883, all in Vienna, Austria. Maker of seraphines and harmoniums. See Peter Titz.


Peter Titz:

from: Ord-Hume & R.F.Gellerman's Atlas:

Vienna, Austria. Titz was an apprentice with Jakob Deutschmann at Wienstrasse 39 in 1851 but began his own account by 1852 as a maker of harmoniums until his death in 1873 where the business was contined by his son in law Theofil Kotykiewicz at Straussengasse 18.


For many years the Kotykiewicz catalog 1922 was known to a few. Showing in the last pages of this catalog, giant pedal harmoniums. It was known that some of them have been built. However, after World War II none has ever been seen.

O miraculum gloria

Of course this headline is not Latin. It shows however my feelings when just a few days ago two boxpallets were delivered at a secret location, containing a disassembled Kotykiewicz 3 manual and pedal harmonium. And - from here this paragraph sounds apocryphal! - a request: "Can this be restored to glory?"

Top secret

Of course this project will remain top secret in the sense as: it is top secret that mrs. Obama is Michelle. All other details will remain top secret. However, wouldn't it be nice to see some pictures. Of wich I am almost sure that you have not seen these before. There is one other fact to be known to all of you: The instrument will be in skilled hands. Only a few know. You could try to find out, it's rather easy: Meet me at the parking wearing your overcoat and make sure that nobody notices the brown envelope contaning 2000 euro in unmarked bills. Next dial 0800-kotykiewicz and enter the code I gave you.

What is it all about

Below are four harmoniums from 13 to 21 ranks, 2 manuals and pedal to 3 manuals and pedal.

13 ranks

This harmonium has 2 stops as pipes (both wood), 21 stops, 2 Manuals C-c4, Pedal C-d1, 4 couplers, 3 footlevers, Grand Jeu in 3 levels. Organ is built for easy transport, the top part (pipes) can be taken off. Without the top the bottom part is playable as a full and complete harmonium.
569 reeds and 122 pipes. Voicing for concert hall.

13 ranks

13 ranks, 29 stops. 3 Manuals C-c4, pedal C-d1, Percussion, Full Prolongement and Prolongement-Automat, 4 couplers, 4 kneelevers. 693 reeds.

20 ranks

20 ranks, 41 stops, 4 ranks pipes ( 2 x wood, 2 x metal), 4 pedalranks, 3 Manuals c-c4, pedals C-d1, Percussion, Grand Prolongement, Prolongement Automat, 6 couplers, 5 kneelevers, built in wind machine with on/off switch, 232 pipes and 881 reeds.

21 ranks

21 ranks, 41 stops, 4 ranks pipes (metal) 1 rank pipes (wood), 3 Manuals 6 Octaves FF-f4 (mind you: on the picture the upper manual is only C-f4 !!), Percussion, Grand Prolongement, Prolongement-Automat, 6 couplers, 5 kneelevers, electric windmachine (switchable on/of). Total of 1325 'tones'.



The moment it becomes relevant to inform you about details we will update this page. At the present we know that pallets were delivered, even the case taken apart in pieces.

According to Robert F. Gellermans web site we know of 2 catalogs:

  • Kotykiewicz, 5x8", 24 pp., 4 p. cover, 4 p. pricelist. 1922. Collection Olthof.
  • Kotykiewicz, Teofil. Vienna. 24 pp., price list. Collection CF (is: Saltaire Harmonium Museum now)

In fact we know of only one catalog, the two mentioned above are the same.


A 3mp 14,5 ranks built in 1884

Yet another design, so we start with a picture, taken from Zeitschrift für Instrumenten Bau [ZfIB] no. 10 (January 1885) This is an instrument with free reeds only (despite of the looks of the instrument).


1884 Kotykiewicz 13 rks 3mp

This instrument and another one were mentioned in ZfiB January 1885 and Zfib February 1887. Also there was an article in the Polish magazine "Ruch Muzyczny" (februari 1996) by dr. Krzystof Rottermund (Berlin). This article was translated and published in Vox Humana 12-01 and Vox Humana 12-02 ( 2001).

Click the logo to read the Acrobat file logo Acrobat


Article of prof. dr. Krzystof Rottermund

English translation: TommyLee Whitlock (Reston, Virginia, USA)
(based upon original German and Dutch texts)

Dr. Krzystof Rottermund (Berlin, Germany) - First published in the Polish music magazine Ruch Muzyczny (February 1996) and with the permission of the author translated, edited and supplemented by Dick Sanderman and published in Vox Humana 12/01 and 12/02.


A Polish harmonium builder in Vienna

Teofil Kotykiewicz was born in 1849 and died in Vienna on February 17, 1920. He married a daughter of the organ and harmonium builder Peter Titz (1823-1873), who in turn probably had learned the trade from Jakob Deutschmann. It was through his marriage to Titz's daughter that Kotykiewicz became co-owner of the Titz firm. After the death of Titz on February 6, 1873, his widow Anastasja initially took over the leadership of the firm. In 1878, the firm founded by Peter Titz in 1852 began operating fully under the hand of his son-in-law Kotykiewicz. Kotykiewicz probably started out as Titz's apprentice. Both the workshop and warehouse were located at Stauengasse 18 in Vienna. The company adopted the designation K.u.K Hof-Harmonium-Fabrik (English - Imperial and Royal Court Harmonium Works.)

Kotykiewicz was very active in various associations and organizations and he also supported composers who wrote music for the harmonium. In 1893 he was deputy director at the Association of Piano and Organ Builders in Vienna and in 1900 he became a committee chairman in the organization.  Within the administration of the vocational education group for instrument construction founded in 1893, Kotykiewicz was vice-president and treasurer in 1900. Sources from the years 1909-1912 report his name repeatedly in various administrative positions. In 1912, he was also named as a sworn expert on the subject of pipe organs and harmoniums. In 1894 at Kotykiewicz’s initiative, the Society of the Friends of Harmonium Music was established which, after a reorganization in 1902, was led by Professor Rudolph Glick.

Teofil Kotykiewicz was also very active in organizations that represented the interests of Polish immigrants in Vienna. In the second half of the nineteenth century in the capital of the then Austro-Hungary, there were several active Polish organizations active, such as Sifa, Zgoda and Strzecha. The Polish Association Zgoda, founded in 1872, split in 1892 into the Polish workers union "Sifa" and the Polish social organization "Lutnia" (The Lute). Kotykiewicz became President of Lutnia and one of the society’s honorary members was the Polish poet Kornel Ujejski. Additionally, there were two choral groups in Lutnia, a male choir and a mixed choir, and there was also a theater group. Kotykiewicz was later both a founder and honorary member of the Polish association Strzecha, which arose out of a combination of Zgoda and Lutnia.

At that time many Poles were active in Vienna as laborers, industrialists, as merchants or as students. Józef Beck, later Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, studied here, as well as Kazimierz Twardowski who became a philosopher and Marian Smoluchowski who became a renowned physicist. The writer Tadeusz Ritter also lived in Vienna. The Polish journalist Smolski Grzegorz wrote at the time that the Poles in Vienna owned model companies and workshops that the Austrians could barely compete against. As examples he mentioned Teofil Kotykiewicz’s workshop for harmonium construction, Hernik’s art foundry and many others.

After the death of Peter Titz (1873) Kotykiewicz was a key figure within the company. At the Vienna World Exhibition of 1873 the company received the Medal of Progress, followed in 1880 during an industrial exhibition in Vienna by a Certificate of Honor, a gold medal in 1881 in Eger, in 1882 an Certificate of Honor in Trieste, in 1891 a similar honor in Prague. In 1894 in Lwów (Poland) the National General Exhibition took place where mostly Polish products were represented. In the music section of this exhibition, instruments of companies from Poland (Sliwinski from Lemberg, Drozdowski from Krakow) and Polish firms from Vienna (Kotykiewicz, Pokorny) were represented. Kotykiewicz was present with the following harmoniums:

  • a harmonium with a Janko keyboard;
  • a salon harmonium, 3 ranks, 12 stops;
  • a two manual salon harmonium with pedal, 6 ranks, 11 stops;
  • a concert harmonium, 6 ½ ranks, 23 stops with percussion and prolongement;
  • a deluxe model concert harmonium, 3 manuals and pedal, with ornamentation.

There are still many preserved examples of the little three rank salon harmonium scattered throughout the world. An example of this Kotykiewicz harmonium has already been described in Vox Humana. The disposition reads as follows:

Percussion  E Expression P Percussion
1 Cor Anglais 8 G Grand Jeu 1 Flute 8
2 Bourdon 16     2 Clarinette 16
3 Voix Celeste 8     3 Voix Celeste 8
O Forte     O Forte
S Sourdine pour 1        

Kotykiewicz appears to have delivered this model in three different intonations for living room, lounge and concert hall. In the concert hall version, the sound is very loud and the percussion is also particularly powerful. [note: In Kotykiewicz's catalogue, this is not just appearance but is concretely and elaborately described in the catalogue's introduction. FvdG]

A concert harmonium built by Kotykiewicz was exhibited on December 3, 1884 first time in the famous Bösendorfer Hall in Vienna. The Zeitschrift für Instrumenten Bau [ZfIB] (Magazine for Instrument Building) number10, January 1885, reported the event as follows:    

"At the invitation of the Imperial and Royal Court Harmonium manufacturer Teofil Kotykiewicz, artists and art lovers gathered to attend the extraordinarily interesting demonstration of a superbly constructed pedal harmonium, produced by the above named factory. Among the performers at the concert were Mr. Rudolf Bibl, imperial and royal court organist; Josef Labor, royal court virtuoso at Hanover; L.A. Zellner, organ virtuoso;;, Carl Lustig, C. Kirschbaumer, Emil Rotter, and the imperial and royal court virtuoso Zamara Anton (harp). Our interest was primarily in the disposition of this instrument, the composition of the individual stops and the manuals themselves. Therefore offrom the program, we mention only the Fugue in a minor by Bach, performed with customary mastery by Labor, Schubert 's Hymne for harmonium and harp (Zamaran, Zellner), Mendelssohn's Andante for Piano and Harmonium (Rotter and Weber), and finally C. Lustig's free improvisation on various motives which was , performed truly musically and masterfully performed with richly varied registrations. For all these musical offerings, the builder and the performers deserve equal praise and the enthusiastic audience appropriately delivered it.

Let us now discuss the instrument itself. It has (including upper casework) a height of 295 cm, a width of 147 cm and a depth of 96 cm, 5 octave compass keyboards, 7 octaves tonal range, 14 ½ ranks, 3 manuals, percussion, pedal (30 notes C-f), 4 couplers, a general-coupler foot lever and 2 knee swells. In total, this pedal harmonium possesses 824 reeds.
The disposition is as follows:


Manual I (white stop faces)

1 Cor Anglais 8 1 Flûte 8
2 Bourdon 16 2 Clarinette 16
3 Dolce 4 3 Dolce 4
4 Viola 8 4 Viola 8
5 Voix Celeste 8 5 Voix Celeste 8
6 Quinte 5 1/3 (throughout 5 octaves)

Manual II (red stop faces)

7 Clairon 4 7 Fifre 4
8 Basson 8 8 Hautbois 8
9 Aeoline 16 9 Aeoline 16
    10 Musette 16

Manual III (blauwe registertrekkers)

11 Fagot 8 11 Flûte Douce 8
12 Cello 16 12 Cello 16
13 Trombone 8 13 Trombone 8

Pedal (green stop faces)

14 Soubasse 16    
15 Bourdon 8    

Mechanical stops (white stop faces)

  Expression   Grand Jeu
  Forte Manual II   Forte Manual II
  Forte Manual III   Forte Manual III
  Copula Pedal   Copula Manual I - II
      Copula Manual I - III
      Copula Manual II - III

    • Manual 1 has 6 ranks, including a Quinte 5 1/3', which gives the instrument the character of an organ sound.
    • The second manual has 3½  ranks (4', 8' and 16') whereof each individual rank has a different sound character in imitation of  the orchestral instruments after which they are named.
    • The third manual has 3 ranks (8', 16' en 8') which each have differing characteristics and characters but which are distinguished from the ranks of the other two manuals in that they generally are more brightly voiced.       

    When all stops are drawn together, the sound of manual 1 is full and strong, the second manual resembles the character of a woodwind ensemble, and the sound of the third manual approaches the tonal character of string instruments. The manuals are placed so closely placed to each other that the player may easily play with one hand on two manuals simultaneously. The stops are arranged in two rows and are easily accessible.

    Because two manuals may be combined if desired whilst playing - or even all three - by means of the couplers, the performer has an innumerable combination of sound effects at his disposal. The pedal coupler connects the first manual, as well as both other manuals on Full Organ, with the pedals. 
    The General-Coupler pedal (for the right foot) simultaneously pulls all stops on all manuals on or off and connects the pedal with the manuals. This pedal works independently of hand registration.

    Of the two knee swells, the right one controls the Grand Jeu (i.e., it puls all stops on all manuals), the left controls the Forte. They may be used for sudden effects, or if desired, longer time may be taken to engage the stops. If that be the case, the right knee swell replaces the Grand Jeu stop. With an imperceptible upward movement of the knee, the Grand Jeu may be again disengaged.
    When the music necessitates that the pedals be played, another person is required to maintain the wind supply by means of the iron handle on the left side of the organ. The function of the bellows may be monitored is controlled by means of a wind gauge reservoirs. In everything pertaining to the implementation and perfection of the character of the stops, we can only wholeheartedly agree with the general acknowledgement of Kotykiewicz's mastery. The stops of the first manual achieve a sublime tone,; the remaining stops give clear voice, teeming with noble and pure colors, to imitated orchestral instruments, until finally the full power of the Grand Jeu with couplers and pedals leaves the listener with an impression of Olympian majesty.

    We consider this latest work of the Austro-Hungarian harmonium grandmaster to be the most perfect reed instrument that we have ever heard. With that, we offer with satisfaction the following general opinion: it is our pleasure to recognize Kotykiewicz as one of only a few colleagues who attaches great value to the honor of our profession and the perfecting of itour profession.
    Two years later, in 1886, Kotykiewicz presented his newest instrument: The Grand Concert Harmonium. The Zeitschrift für Instrumentenbau (number 13, February 1887) reported:
    "A grand concert harmonium with 21 ranks, 41 stops, 3 manuals of 5 octaves with a tonal range of 8 octaves, percussion, pedal (30 notes) from C to f, 4 couplers, 3 push buttons, a general pedal lever and 2 knee swells, has just been completed in the workshop of Teofil Kotykiewicz of Vienna, Straussengasse 18, and is available for viewing by interested persons. The disposition is as follows:

    Manual I (white stop faces)

    1 Cor Anglais Percussion 8 1 Flûte Percussion 8
    2 Bourdon 16 2 Clarinette 16
    3 Dolce 4 3 Dolce 4
    4 Viola 8 4 Viola 8
    5 Voix Céleste 8 5 Voix Céleste 8
    6 Quinte 5 1/3 (throughout)    
    7 Flageolet 2 (throughout)    

    Manual II (red stop faces)

    8 Clairon 4 8 Fifre 4
    9 Basson 8 9 Hautbois 8
    10 Aeoline 16 10 Aeoline 16
    11 Fugara 8 11 Fugara 8
        12 Baryton 32

    Manual III (blue stop faces)

    13 Clarino 4 (throughout)
    14 Diapason 8 14 Diapason 8
    15 Cello 16 (througout)
    16 Bariton 8 16 Hautbois 8
    17 Flûte 8 (throughout)
    18 Jeux Doux (throughout)

    Pedal (green stop faces)

    19 Subbass 16    
    20 Bourdon 8    
    21 Cornett II    

    Mechanical stops
    (white stop faces in a seperate group)

      Coupler I - II   Sourdine pour I
      Coupler I - III   Expression
      Coupler II - III    
      Forte Manuaal II   Forte Manuaal II
      Forte Manuaal III   Forte Manuaal III
      Coupler Ped - I   Grand Jeu
      Knee Swell Forte   Knee Swell Grand Jeu
      Footlever: General    

    Then the Zeitschrift für Instrumentenbau again gives a description of the sound, which for the most part parallels the description of the instrument of 1884/85. New is the observation that the key drop for the lower keyboard is 9mm, 8mm for the other two manuals. It is light and springy to play, even when all the three manuals are coupled together. Also, there is more is reported about the bellows. The winding system consists of four feeder bellows, a large reservoir bellows and a small wind regulator for the pipe work. The pedaling takes only little effort; a gentle slow movement is sufficient, even at full organ. When it is necessary to play the pedals, a second person is needed to supply the wind and; for this purpose uses the an iron handle on the right is used, which automatically opens the reservoir bellows. The bellows function can be monitored by means of a wind gauge.
    Like most instrument builders, Kotykiewicz was also engaged in selling musical instruments (harmoniums, perhaps also pianos). It is fully possible that he occasionally he also built small pipe organs, also.. From the year 1910, there is a meticulous description of a Kotykiewicz salon organ-harmonium by Kotykiewicz, which also had standard organ pipes. The Kotykiewicz company distributed its own catalogs and flyers, and also produced special harmoniums for tropical countries.

    In 1912, an article about Kotykiewicz appears in Das Pianoforte (no.1a), which refers to a two manual concert harmonium. The two manuals have a compass of 6 octaves (F-f), percussion, and great prolongement and automatic prolongement.



    The above illustration shows the plate in the middle octave of the Flûte rank with the pitch of a= 870 Hz.  The On the second image, the large reed is the 16' C from the Subbas with the pitch of 65 Hz. The little reed at the right (next to subbas reed) is the 1/8' c from the Fifre rank with a pitch of 8272 Hz.
    Through the large range of six octaves, in which all ranks in the highest and lowest octaves are fully built out (not repeating!), the Bourdon and Aeoline reach down to the range of 32', while Dolce and Fifre go up to 1/8'. (Alternately: With a voice pitch of a=870, the lowest F reed in this harmonium vibrates at 43 beats per second, while the highest pitched reed vibrates at 11,056 beats per second.)
    The Prolongement on the Great works throughout all six octaves for the Basson & Hautbois stops. Also the Prolongement Doux (divided in two parts) also works on the Basson & Hautbois as well as and also on the Aeoline 8' which is a double rank celeste stop.

    The manual coupler is divided into bass and treble and can be switched on and off by means of push buttons, which are located between the manuals. The division between bass and treble is at F. (e1/f1.)

    From the description above, it appears that in 1912 Kotykiewicz went to a voice pitch of a = 870, which is equivalent to a1 = 435. The previously mentioned small salon harmonium, probably dating from around 1900, has a voice pitch of 440.5.

    Kotykiewicz died in Vienna on February 17, 1920. Two of his sons were at that time active in the firm: Teofil junior (1880-1971) and Emil (born 1882). From around 1909, Teofil Kotykiewicz junior was the firmsfirm’s general manager. Like his father, he was also very active in instrument buildersbuilders’ organizations. In the Verband der Klavierfabriken Österreichs (Austrian Association of Keyboard Manufacturers, founded 1921) he was chairman of the arbitration committee, in the Reichsverband der Musikinstrumenten- und Sprechmaschinen-Erzeuger und Händler Österreichs (Imperial Association of Music Instrument and Speech Machine Developers and Sellers of Austria, 1923) he was the recorder.

    By the end of the twenties, the firm made harmoniums of varying sizes, including three manual instruments with organ pipes and instruments with a "pure mathematical voicing". From the year 1932, there is some information preserved which indicates that the company manufactured harmoniums with other voicing / tunings for scientific purposes, for example according to the system Brandsma, Krohn, Schwanzara, Clemens (an Indian musical system with 20 notes per octave).

    The Kotykiewicz company continued until the 1970s, but its heyday was around the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of twentieth centuries, when the harmonium was especially popular. The Vienna-based Polish firm Teofil Kotykiewicz belongs alongside renowned harmonium manufacturers such as Debain, Mannborg, Hofberg and others as among the best builders.

    Additional pictures

    Some pictures of various instrument, courtesy of prof. dr. Krzystof Rottermund, Berlin

    Kotykiewicz harmonium


    Kotykiewicz harmonium

    Kotykiewicz nameplate


    Kotykiewicz advertizing 1893

    Advertizing 1893


    Kotykiewicz advertizing 1909

    Advertizing 1909

    Advertizing 1912



    The pictures below I have marked as 'teaser images'. To prove that some of these marvellous instruments are still extant and/or playable, I have downsized some pictures to small size. What I don't tell you is the whereabouts of these instruments. There is a reason for that, and even the reason will not be revealed. Just enjoy the pictures.

    Should you feel the urge to contribute a massive donation to restore or investigate these instruments, feel free to contact me.

    Mind you: all of these teaser images are copyright pictures of the respective owners.




    A 3 rank Kotykiewicz at the Annual Meeting of Harmonium Vereniging Nederland



    Stops Kotykiewicz
    Hinge Kotykiewicz