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MMD > Archives > April 2000 > 2000.04.26 > 10Prev  Next

Engelhardt Banjorchestra Bass Drum Effect
By Andrew Barrett

I was reading a very interesting article about the Banjorchestra, and
have heard that there were two Engelhardt Banjorchestras discovered.
One was at Knott's Berry Farm, and all drums and traps on the front,
as well as the banjo, had been removed.

I also have a brochure with it pictured on the cover, belonging to the
Musee Mecanique in San Francisco.  The latter one apparently had the
banjo removed, too, and replaced with two ranks of pipes, violin and
flute, and a bass drum mounted on top, along with a suction box.  The
lowermost section had a thick, rewind type roll, apparently a G roll or
whatever it had been converted to use (probably not the original roll).
From the case, at first glance I thought it was a Peerless style F.

Apparently, from examination of existing instruments, the Banjorchestras
"bass drum effect" (also called as such on the style F instrumentation)
was a beater that struck the soundboard.  How awful!  Isn't that very
destructive?  I can just imagine cracks appearing where the soundboard
was hit!  The only other instrument(s) I have heard to use this were
some 200-year-old pianos with extra pedals for sound effects (such as
"Bassoon" which lowered a roll of paper onto the strings, causing a
buzzing tone).  Has anybody got pictures of this assembly?  And were
the existing Banjorchestras sound boards intact?

Andrew Barrett

(Message sent Wed 26 Apr 2000, 05:14:23 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  Banjorchestra, Bass, Drum, Effect, Engelhardt

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