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Dispersing a Mechanical Music Collection
By Franco Severi

I have a different experience.  Since 1990 I am a collector of mechanical instruments.  In 1998, together with fans and friends, we founded the Italian Association of Mechanical Music (AMMI) http://www.ammi-mm.it/ 

Now my instruments are in an eighteenth-century villa with five hectares of government-owned park.  The villa has been restored (one million euros) to achieve Musicalia Museum, http://www.museomusicalia.it/ 

The cost of the restoration was paid by the government, sponsors, friends, and by our association.  In the museum we only operate guided tours and all the instruments are playing -- in seven rooms that tell the story of five hundred years of mechanical music.

In the first room you enter into a military war tent with the mechanical drum of Leonardo da Vinci.  In room number five is a Melodica Racca Piano that belonged to our Queen Margherita.  You can see the pictures of all the seven rooms at this link: http://www.museomusicalia.it/le-7-stanze/ 

Many schools bring students to visit the museum -- school children, aged five and over, that at the end of the visit are enthusiastic about what they have seen and heard.  They all are invited to play a small barrel piano for photos while wearing a straw hat and neckerchief.

Our library with 500 publications is also used by students for their University thesis.  Our associates build crank-organs and their music cartons and build music cylinders for barrel pianos.  Our Ammilab, an advanced R&D laboratory, has developed and built electronic scanners to scan every kind of mechanical music media: pinned cylinders, punched music cartons, rolls for autopiano, every kind of records: carton, metal, etc.   http://www.ammilab.com/ 

We have set up a foundation (Franco Severi Onlus Foundation) to which I donated all my instruments.  Nothing will be with us in the future.

It would be a pleasure to receive your visit.

Franco Severi - President AMMI
Cesena, Italy


(Message sent Thu 9 Mar 2017, 12:16:36 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  Collection, Dispersing, Mechanical, Music

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