I feel that Paul Morris's posting needs further clarification,
so here goes. At least it is my opinion, for what it's worth.
The music done by the "Aeolian Organ Guild" has two sources that
many just may not know about. If one takes a 116 note Aeolian roll
and the same music selection on a Duo-Art roll, and unrolls them
out for some feet, often the notes are indeed identical.
Aeolian did indeed transfer a lot of the 116 note rolls over to the
fully automatic rolls by adding stop and expression holes. Why pay
some organist to come in and record the music again, when you already
had a good edited master from the earlier system? And, Aeolian
management never paid one cent out that they didn't have to; they
charged very high prices and were most successfully devoted to making
Now, there are two ways that they could have done this:
1) By playing the 116 note roll on the studio recording organ while
a good organist added the stop, tempo, and expression changes, the
combined result was then recorded in the mastering recorder. This
exact method has to be done today with the Möller Artiste and
Aeolian 116-note rolls for digital scanning. Möller registration
and expression codes were added to the player roll for only the exact
Möller organ that the roll was to be played on, while the Aeolian roll
had no such coding to begin with. The organist plays the roll several
times, then sets up the combination action and pushes the pistons on
pre-located positions on the roll as it plays. The end result is
a fully automatic roll.
2) The orchestral Duo-Art organ roll that says "Aeolian Organ
Guild" were done by a most skilled musician on the drafting board.
Interesting enough, some of the draft board arrangements show a very
strict tempo, due to their process of using rulers and precise hole
locations on the paper. The hand played rolls show a noticeably more
human element in slight variations in tempo, to mention one thing.
Also, with the transferred rolls from one format to the other, one
often sees added notes and other musical embellishment, making the
music more dramatic. However, close examination of the two rolls shows
that the basic music lines were identical. Then, if the music was some
big and noisy orchestral score, these added notes certainly were done
by the "Aeolian Organ Guild." He who was on duty with the paper punch
that day. No, these grand orchestral transcriptions are really good
music and thrilling to listen to on a big and good organ. It does
appear, however, that the big orchestral and operatic scores were done
primarily by draft board arrangements.
The term "Aeolian Organ Guild" was their way of covering this need,
and these people did a fine job. Their task was to edit the roll,
take out the wrong notes, make sure the stop changes made sense, and
to produce a nice piece of music. The hand played rolls were edited
for wrong notes and not so hot stop changes, and to be sure the stop
changes came at the right time.
This still does not answer the prime question. Was the Aeolian master
recorder one that punched the roll in real time, or did it simply mark
the roll, which then went in for editing and correction before the
master roll was punched? We do know that the Skinner, Wurlitzer R,
and probably the Welte rolls, were marked first, edited and then the
master was punched. Fun, isn't it!