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MMD > Archives > July 1998 > 1998.07.12 > 05Prev  Next


Sources of Player Piano Rolls - Summary
By Dan Wilson, London

Robbie says to my suggestion there are other sources of rolls than
QRS that I should tell the Digest about them.

_I_ tell the _Digest_ ?  It's got the only worldwide summary of roll
suppliers in its resources list that I know of, and I tell _it_ ?

I have difficulty in using the Web, for sundry technical reasons which
$1000 and a new machine would solve if I thought I could find the time
to use it.  The only list I have is in archived past requests for
updates from Paul Johnson, who maintains the Digest list, so [I'm]
automatically out of date.  Perhaps there's a case for summarizing the
list from time to time - rolls, instruments, web sites, bibliography,
interest groups.

I only know for certain about those few roll sources whose milk-white
necks I have my personal yellow fangs into.  Paul Johnson's Hot Piano
Classics is still going strong.  Keystone Music Rolls is being
computerized.

In the UK, Steve Cox has ceased instrument rebuilds and now runs
Laguna Rolls full-time (good Duo-Art and 88n recuts), Southport Rolls'
tortoise-speed perforator is seriously ill and there is no production
at present, and Universal Music Rolls in Rye has been taking a rest
while the establishment attempts to handle the flood of orders for
instruments generated by the Rye Treasury of Mechanical Music next
door, mentioned here in MMDigest 980418.

I think all would agree with QRS that there aren't enough new
players being made and sold to create a good solid market of
collectors.  We've probably gone beyond traditional pneumatic
instruments now, but certainly there's a case for making pneumatic
roll-to-MIDI desks so you can pedal a roll "into" a digital or
solenoid-acoustic piano.

I hanker after making some pushups but keep being told there's no
market.  Stuff and nonsense -- you _make_ the market.  I have a super
brochure already mapped out for my Lost Treasures of Leipzig list,
covering recuts of the splendid Ludwig Hupfeld rolls that are scarcely
known about in America, and only really to be appreciated on a Hupfeld
88n Solophonola, Aeolian Themodist, or my pushup.  Available with a
seven-foot Fazioli grand for only $55,000 extra ...

Slightly off this topic, I do notice over the last 30 years that while
the player fraternity has shrunk, it has become a great deal better
informed.  We are all industrial archaeologists now as much as
enthusiasts, I suppose.  And MMD is right in the middle, for which
grateful thanks.

Dan Wilson

 [ I like "industrial archaeologists"!  Thanks for the overview, Dan.
 [ The last complete "Sources of Mechanical Music" list was posted by
 [ Paul Johnson in Digest 980125.  -- Robbie


Key Words in Subject:  Piano, Player, Rolls, Sources, Summary

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