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
MMD > Archives > November 1996 > 1996.11.30 > 06Prev  Next


Adding a Xylophone: Questions
By Craig Brougher

S.K. Goodman asked, in regard to adding a xylophone to an 88 note pedal player:

>1) How is "25% vacuum loss" arrived at?

Well, 24-30 notes of a xylophone represent about 30% of the total number of playing notes in an 88 note player (actually only 82 notes were usually cut). On the other hand, the percentage of treble notes which play may account for over 50% of the notes playing at any one time. But keeping it simple, and not knowing where you intend to tube it into the trackerbar (you might also want to octave couple as well), valve losses will be almost identical to the player stack, so just add that extra number of valves. (If you octave couple, however, add twelve more).

> 2) Wasn't the Ceclian a foot pumped piano player of 58 notes that
> operated both pnuematics that played the piano as well as
> contained a reed organ?

I've heard of it, but never seen one. Maybe somebody on this page knows more about them. On the other hand, the reed organ only requires an inch or two of vacuum pressure, maybe a little more or less depending on the reed, so the power required to play reeds is *about* 1/5 to 1/10th that required to play piano notes. By bleeding a very small percentage of your player vacuum into another reservoir controlling the reed pressure, you could play the reeds by vacuum, or, conversely, you could also build pressure using a double pump system the way orchestrions play their pipes. I'd be interested to know how this was actually done. power-wise, however, you have no problem.

> 3) Did the 58 note range of that push up compensate for the vacuum
> loss of having both a piano stack and reed organ, or did it not
> use a vaccum motor to turn the rolls?

I doubt that the 58 note range compensated too much, since those early pianos used a pneumatic twice the size of later models, and the valves used were also twice as big. Everything was lower pressure and bigger. But I suspect it still used a vacuum motor to drive a roll. Some of those vacuum motors were humongous, too. I have one that's about 15" long, and the bellows look big enough to power a go cart. (And speaking of "go-carts," someone already thought of that. The Link trainer actually had their own version of one; very slow, powered by an air motor, to trace the path of an imaginary instrument flight by rolling around on an air chart below the trainer. Very precision. I don't think the pilot had to pump any pedals on that thing, though.)

Craig B.


(Message sent Fri 29 Nov 1996, 17:38:08 GMT, from time zone GMT.)

Key Words in Subject:  Adding, Questions, Xylophone

Home    Archives    Calendar    Gallery    Store    Links    Info   


Enter text below to search the MMD Website with Google



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 1995-2020 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

. .