Jacob van Eyck and Utrecht’s music culture have since become irrecoverably intwined. Van Eyck was instrumental in the building of Utrecht’s carillon in the Domtoren and the development of the Hemony bells played a major role in Utrecht’s history. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that without Van Eyck, the city would never have acquired this distinctive and special instrument.

The carillon plays its music for all those living in the city, completely indiscriminately. All of the city’s carillonneurs have perpetuated the tradition of sourcing their repertoire in the broadest of senses. City carillonneur Malgosia Fiebif for example surprised its citizens to Bowie tunes on the day he died, but on a given day it could just as well be André Hazes or Händel that they find themselves treated to. They are all following the musical legacy Van Eyck left them, as he liked to make variations on tunes he heard in his local pubs.

Not everyone is aware just how modern an instrument the carillon actually is. The automatic carillon was a Dutch invention and once a famous export product. The drum mechanism starts turning around every quarter of an hour and makes the carillon play a small tune. Yet the instrument can also be played using your hands and feet. You can in fact see it as the precursor to today’s sequencers, and it is therefore by no means an old-fashioned instrument, but instead it’s quite a revolutionary one.


Alle locaties waar Van Eyck heeft gewoond en gewerkt zijn nog steeds binnen het centrum van de stad te vinden, op loopafstand van elkaar. Volg de Jacobsroute vanaf het Janskerkhof, langs de Dom, Oudegracht, de oude Weeskerk (het huidige Kytopia en voormalige Tivoli), met als eindpunt de Nicolaïkerk.

Thiemo Wind, musicoloog en ’s werelds grootste Jacob van Eyck-specialist, schrijver van het boek Jacob van Eyck and the Others Dutch Solo Repertoire for Recorder in the Golden Age (2011), is uw gids.

Volg de voetstappen van Van Eyck met Thiemo Wind en leer Utrecht pas echt goed kennen. Te bestellen via Festival Oude Muziek (link)