Over the past few weeks, I have offered and sent copies of 57504A.ZIP and
6118.ZIP to many subscribers of the Digest. I have been surprised at the
varied responses of the readers. In particular, I was surprised to learn
that there are several contributors who are interested in creating their
own new 88-note rolls.
The whole process of creating player-piano rolls was brought to a high
state of development during the 1920s, following on work that began at
least 30 years earlier. For the most part, the arrangers of the '20s
converged on an informal standard of using exactly 12 rows per quarter
note (24 rows per beat in 2/4 "cut time"). They also usually realized
dotted figures as triples, giving a softer "edge" to the music.
Rock-'n'-roll music of the '50s did the same thing.
I have prepared a set of QRS rolls from what is perhaps the high-water
mark of roll arranging, the 1920s. I originally did the work for a few
people interested in player-piano rolls, but it seems worthwhile to offer
it for examination by all subscribers of the Digest. All of the rolls I
chose use 12 rows per quarter note, and altogether they give a good idea
of the arranging style of the period. Interested readers can get the
roll images from me by sending me e-mail privately.
I am very happy that there is interest in creating new music rolls using
modern tools, and I am ready to provide whatever help I can in furthering
[ Watch for the appearance of the "New York swing" in these music rolls.
[ This is 7/12-beat syncopation, and that's what resulted when the
[ editor said to himself, "6/12 sounds like Bach, and 8/12 triplets
[ sounds like Boogie, so I'll use 7/12-beat !" Occasionally, as in
[ a Pete Wendling-style "jazz one-step", they used 10 rows per
[ quarter-note beat, and pure triplets had to be approximated.
[ -- Robbie