Hupfeld Animatic S Pianos and Music Rolls
By Julian Dyer
The Hupfeld Animatic S is a cadet branch of the orchestrion family,
rather than what is normally meant by 'reproducing piano', most of
which managed quite adequately without a percussion unit! It is a
German take on such things as American Seeburg instruments, albeit
based on reproducing piano (Triphonola) technology. It was aimed for
restaurants and cafes, and I gather that the pianos sold to more
genteel establishments frequently didn't have the percussion (xylophone
and drums), and many rolls were made without the xylophone notes.
You can have modern replica percussion units built to original pattern.
Selina Powers (presently based in Switzerland) certainly has made
percussion units for the Popper equivalent and I'm sure Animatic S's
lie in her repertoire as well.
Animatic S pianos were also sold in the UK branded "Keith Prowse"
(there is one in the Rye Treasury) although there was almost no UK
market for this type of instrument. Rolls were made for them (labelled
Keith Prowse) during the 1930s by the "Up To Date" music roll company.
Those I have seen have been multiple-tune popular numbers.
It should be possible to make recuts of these rolls using a standard
9-to-the-inch perforator (as long as it continues right to the edge of
the paper), and I'm sure those participating in roll scanning projects
could come up with some scanned rolls to copy.
(Message sent Tue 11 Sep 2001, 08:31:31 GMT, from time zone GMT+0100.)