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MMD > Archives > August 1997 > 1997.08.13 > 12Prev  Next

DeCap Music Roll
By Hal Davis

Yes, it appears that DeCap or somebody made an instrument designed to
use DeCap rolls.  As to the model it was, I'm not sure because I have
practically no experience with DeCap instruments.

Here are the details that I can supply about the roll.

  The label clearly is marked "De Cap Nr 63"  It appears to have been
originalized with a type-writer or similar writing instrument.

  The 'leader' appears to be some kind of cloth-like fabric and has a
metal 'ring' in the end for hooking onto the take up spool.

  The paper is of the semi-translucent paper often found in European

  The width of the paper is approximately 13.75 inches.  The holes appear
to be spaced at about 0.151 inches on centers.  The extended notes are
chain perforations rather than the elongated type holes usually found in
ordinary player piano rolls.

  The tune list was given earlier.  I am familiar with "La Vie en Rose" and
the "La plus belle" waltz as these are fairly common tunes.  I have no
idea about the other two tunes.

  The roll is on a spool having wooden ends and one end has a metal
projection with a dimple for a pin to fit into.  The opposite, or
'driven' end has a metal projection with a plain slot across it like a
screwdriver slot.  There is also a small screw driven into the wooden
flange that apparently is a driving 'key' for re-roll.

  The overall diameter of the paper on the roll is about 1.875 inches.

  The diameter of the flanges is about 3.00 inches and they are about
0.3125 inches thick.

I bought this roll in a large batch of European rolls about twenty-five
years ago and it is the only one like it that I have ever had in my
possession.  It is in what appears to be the original box.

I hope that there is someone that knows more about this roll than I do.
If you have read this far, you know all that I know about it.

Musically yours,

Hal Davis

 [ The Bowers' "Enclyclopedia" notes that the DeCap company often
 [ converted older instruments built by others.  Perhaps the machine
 [ which plays your roll was a Hupfeld orchestrion in a previous life!
 [ -- Robbie

(Message sent Wed 13 Aug 1997, 21:26:48 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  DeCap, Music, Roll

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