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Jacob van Eyck

Jacob van Eyck, also known as 'the Orpheus of Utrecht', was one of the most important Dutch musicians of the 17th century. As an expert in bell casting and tuning he was of crucial importance to the development of the carillon. He was born blind, but had an extraordinary acute sense of hearing, which enabled him to trace the composition of the overtone structure of bells and to discover the way in which they are tuned. His collaboration with the bell founders Hemony resulted in the first well-tuned carillons.
In 1623 Van Eyck settled in Utrecht, where he became carillon player of the Dom Tower two years later. In 1628 he was appointed as ‘Director of the Carillons of Utrecht’, and became responsible for all of the carillons in the city. As a result of his efforts, Hemony-carillons were made for two of the churches in Utrecht.
Today Van Eyck is primarily known as a recorder virtuoso. In the evenings he played his variations on popular melodies at the Janskerkhof. These variations are notated in the collection Der Fluyten Lust-hof, which contains around 150 compositions.

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