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MMD > Archives > April 2011 > 2011.04.11 > 02Prev  Next

Reproducing Piano Roll Catalogs & Rollographies
By Douglas Heckrotte

I understand that there are two Ampico rollographies out there, the
expensive and rare Obenchain, and the RPRF 'secured' 50+ page PDF.
Additionally the RPRF has some of the pianists' classical music
rollographies listed for several makes of rolls; this second group
of rollographies is not 'secured'.

I think it would be desirable to have a searchable database type of
listing, so that the incurably curious could find all the rolls in some
sort of category, composer, pianist, title, opera or show, number, etc.
To that end, I have downloaded the unsecured RPRF listings for Ampico
and reconstituted each roll's listing into an Excel spreadsheet.

This spreadsheet of classical music contains 510 recordings, and it
took only a moment to realize that a good many pianists were not
included.  I then continued by 'filling in' the missing listings as
contained on the secured PDF, which contains both classical and popular
pieces.  I'm up to about 1400 completed listings.

One of the curiosities of the RPRF listings is that the roll numbers
contain only 4 digits, starting at 5000 and ending at 7190.  'Jumbo'
rolls run from 10000 to 10106.  If I pull #57504-H off the shelf, I'll
find it on the RPRF list as 5750.  But where is #208453-F?

Huntin' and peckin' in Philly,

Doug Heckrotte
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 [ Offered at are lists of certain
 [ classical music and historical performances.  The compiler omitted
 [ the size and price code digits from the Ampico catalog number since
 [ they have no bearing on the performances.  An exhaustive rollography
 [ conceivably could include the minute details of the label (such as
 [ the type face and addition of stars at the corners) which might
 [ indicate the roll has Ampico B coding, etc.  -- Editor (Robbie)

(Message sent Mon 11 Apr 2011, 13:19:21 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Catalogs, Piano, Reproducing, Roll, Rollographies

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