Mechanical Music Digest  Archives
You Are Not Logged In Login/Get New Account
Please Log In. Accounts are free!
Logged In users are granted additional features including a more current version of the Archives and a simplified process for submitting articles.
Home Archives Calendar Gallery Store Links Info

Announcement: End-of-Year Fundraising Drive In Progress

Our End-Of-Year Fundraising drive is in progress. If you haven't contributed to the operation of the MMD in the last 12 months, this would be a great time to contribute. There's a PayPal link at the bottom of each page on the website.

If you aren't sure when you last contributed, please send me a note using the contact form at the bottom of this page and I'll look you up in my records.

Thank you for your generous support!
Jody

P.S. While your support is needed and appreciated, you do not need to contribute to be a subscriber. If you have subscribed and aren't receiving your Digest, please use the contact form at the bottom of the page and let me know. Thanks!

MMD > Archives > February 2008 > 2008.02.19 > 01Prev  Next


1908 Buffalo Convention Piano Roll Specifications
By Matthew Caulfield

Buffalo Convention Sets Piano Roll Standards

Last year Wayne Stahnke and I became interested in tracking down
the convention held 100 years ago which set the standards for 88-note
piano roll hole spacing.  We had heard it referred to as the "Buffalo
Convention" or the "Chicago Convention," and it was said to have been
held in 1910 or any number of dates around that year, depending on
whose account you read.

Recently Dave Bowers gave to the MBSI a set of the "Music Trade Review"
(MTR) magazines which he owned.  That weekly publication has now been
scanned into digital format by the MBSI, so that it can be searched and
copies can be printed out as PDF files.  The resulting scan is very
large, taking up most of a 200 GB hard drive, and the searching time,
if you don't know the approximate date of what you are trying to
locate, can be enormous.

By the power of the computer and the good offices of the MBSI, the MTR
report on that elusive standard-setting convention has been located.
The convention, attended by representatives of the roll-making
industry and by player piano manufacturers, was held December 10,
1908, in Buffalo at the Iroquois Hotel.  It was there that, after
a day-long debate, the 9-holes-to-the-inch hole spacing won out over
8-holes-to-the-inch by a twelve to six vote, which was later made
unanimous.  Page 31 of the December 12, 1908, MTR issue (v. 47,
no. 24) contains a full-page report on the debate.

Two issues later (v. 47, no. 26, p. 27) an MTR staff writer worries
that the close spacing chosen would make tracking devices on player
pianos necessary, although he admits it did leave room at the edges
of a roll for expression holes.

I will forward to MMDigest the PDF image of the MTR's report on the
convention, which Robbie might want to try scanning and posting to the
MMD archives.

Matthew Caulfield
Irondequoit, New York

 [ Thanks, Matthew and MBSI.  A history of the Iroquois Hotel of
 [ Buffalo, New York, is given at http://ah.bfn.org/h/iroqH/index.html
 [ -- Robbie


(Message sent Tue 19 Feb 2008, 22:40:36 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  1908, Buffalo, Convention, Piano, Roll, Specifications

Home    Archives    Calendar    Gallery    Store    Links    Info   


Enter text below to search the MMD Website with Google
Loading



CONTACT FORM: Click HERE to write to the editor, or to post a message about Mechanical Musical Instruments to the MMD

Unless otherwise noted, all opinions are those of the individual authors and may not represent those of the editors. Compilation copyright 1995-2017 by Jody Kravitz.

Please read our Republication Policy before copying information from or creating links to this web site.

Click HERE to contact the webmaster regarding problems with the website.

Please support publication of the MMD by donating online

Pay via PayPal

No PayPal account required

                                                       
Translate This Page

. .