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MMD > Archives > July 2004 > 2004.07.10 > 01Prev  Next

"Blow-a-Tune" Player Panpipe Musical Toy
By Beatrice Robertson

Hello Phillip,  I have been watching your inquiry with interest, since
I have great fascination with musical toys and have a fairly large

I suspect that the "Blow-a-Tune" by Kenner would meet your criteria.
It is basically a plastic pan flute which has a bracket into which
a disc is placed, and -- if you are very coordinated and can blow with
great enthusiasm -- a tune is produced.

One of the details of this toy that I find particularly fascinating
is that the arrangers of the discs made the slots in various lengths,
so that if you could ever blow hard enough and continuously enough,
there would be varying lengths of notes, just the same as a bellows
type crank organ.  The discs are almost 8 inches in diameter, but the
pan flute itself is only 3 inches wide and has 10 notes.

Beatrice Robertson

 [ My 7 kg dictionary of 1927 says about the Panpipe:
 [   Panpipe: A primitive wind instrument consisting of a series
 [   of short hollow reeds or pipes graduated n length according to
 [   a musical scale and bound together side by side, the lower ends
 [   being stopped, the upper ones open and level for playing on with
 [   the lips; -- said by the Greeks to have been invented by Pan.
 [ I guess the name is a shortening of "Pan's pipes" and that's why
 [ it is capitalized.  In French the instrument is the <flute de Pan>,
 [ and same the term is applied to the brass tracker bar of <la piano
 [ pneumatic> -- a perfectly marvelous descriptive name! 
 [ The Blow-a-Tune player panpipe was also apparently sold as "Lawrence
 [ Welk's Music Maker", manufactured ca. 1956 by the Kenner Products
 [ Co. in Cincinnati, Ohio.  See the article and Dean Randall's photos
 [ at
 [ -- Robbie

(Message sent Sat 10 Jul 2004, 12:22:57 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Blow-a-Tune, Musical, Panpipe, Player, Toy

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