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MMD > Archives > December 1997 > 1997.12.19 > 04Prev  Next

Did B.A.B. make Book Music?
By Matthew Caulfield

Bob Conant asked earlier this week whether B.A.B. made book music.
Marc Elbasani answered that the company did.  I vaguely remember
hearing about this, but have no hard information.  The notebooks Ozzie
Wurdeman kept, and which his son lent to me to copy, are entirely lists
of roll-music masters -- or at least I have assumed that the masters
were used only to make rolls.  Certainly Ozzie's terminology is always
in terms of rolls rather than books.

The economics of the perforation business makes it a lot more expensive
to punch books (one copy at a time) as opposed to rolls (upwards of a
dozen copies at a time).  I imagine that, if B.A.B. did make books --
and I'm not disputing my friend Marc, it did so early-on in its

I am in the process of exchanging some information with Larry Villano
and with Gavin McDonough, both of whom know more than I do about B.A.B.
history.  I will put the question to them.  Larry knew J. Lawrence Cook
and learned something about Cook's work for B.A.B.

Matthew Caulfield

 [ B.A.B. probably supplied the book music on special order for
 [ customers who wanted new songs for old book-playing instruments.
 [ Possibly they hired a European firm to assemble the book and
 [ perforate it; those skills and equipment would have been terribly
 [ scarce in the USA.  -- Robbie

(Message sent Fri 19 Dec 1997, 18:24:02 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  B.A.B, Book, Did, make, Music

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