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MMD > Archives > July 1995 > 1995.07.02 > 05Prev  Next

Piano Roll Cutting
By Mike Walter

Piano Roll Cutting:

I just finished reading Robbie Rhodes discussion of Roll Perforating systems and I believe that I will add a small comment concerning Keystone Music Rolls. I believe that they are still using the original 3 to 1 masters and also an original perforator in the pro- duction of many AMPICO rolls. Where a master roll is not available a 1 to 1 copy is made from an existing original. I have overlaid new rolls from Keystone on top of existing original AMPICO and they have matched exactly. I can not be completely certain if Keystone's perforator is one of the originals or not. A call to Keystone could resolve that question.

Another comment thrown in for good measure. I have two copies of "The sweetheart of Sigma Chi" and also Rachmaninoff's "Prelude in c# minor", all four are originals, all four are "B" copies. The "Sweetheart" rolls have different coding at the beginning of the roll, including the addition/deletion of the soft pedal. On the "Prelude" rolls, one roll's chords are held for about 2 1/2 inches, the other roll has chords held for about 1 inch. Both have sustain on at those spots. It seems as if they changed the roll during its production to compensate for a deficiency in the coding or else the artist's wishes. I also have a copy of Kreisler's "Caprice Viennois" on a "A" roll with a wrong note in the bass line which is corrected in a subsequent "B" issue. Has anyone else come up with strange anomolies?

Also, Elmer Brooks, during his tenure at the American Piano Company in Rochester as plant manager(?)would give tours, I have heard. During these tours, if someone impressed Mr. Brooks as being gen uinely interested in the field, he would present that person with rolls, gratis. These would often be trial cuttings. I have come across a few of these over a period of years. Does anyone know of any trial cuttings which were never issued as regular rolls? I know for example that Rachmaninoff recorded his 2nd Piano Concerto, but that it was never issued. It would be a veritable treasure if the trial cuttings for the three movements could be found and issued after all these years!!!

Mike Walter

(Message sent Mon 3 Jul 1995, 02:42:03 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Cutting, Piano, Roll

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