hosted on condor3913
 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 > January 1998 > 1998.01.03 > 09Prev  Next


Beginner's Player Piano Tutorial
By John A. Tuttle

Hi Jo Ann, you wrote:

> Hi John,  I appreciate a couple of minutes of your time.
> I have a question or two.  I'll apologize in advance as I know these
> are probably simple questions but I want to study players and know
> what I'm getting into.  In other words, I don't want to put the cart
> before the horse.  I should mention (so this makes sense), that my
> grandmother owned a player piano (Wurlitzer) and a pump organ.  Since
> her death, my uncle has them.  I plan to study music and player
> pianos and attempt to purchase one or both from my uncle.  I'm hoping
> he can and will give me information on their origin.  So here goes...
>
> 1) Are rolls for player pianos "universal" when it comes to size? In
> other words regardless of the make/model of player will the "Educator
> Set" you mentioned work on all makes/models.

I know you're not writing a trick question but I like to be very
specific even when I get a general question.  If the unit is a
Wurlitzer Player Piano, it takes standard 11-1/4" rolls with the holes
spaced at 9 holes per inch.  Wurlitzer did make other types of mechanical
musical instruments, known as orchestrions and nickelodeons, which use
entirely different rolls.

> 2) I know where to find the brand (i.e. Wurlitzer) but what inform-
> ation do I need to attempt to find the value of a player (besides
> interior and exterior condition) or even determine how old the player
> is.  What kind of things should I look at to determine the value?

The value of any instrument is basically established by it's condition
both inside and out.  The only reliable way to determine the fair-
market value is to have the unit professionally evaluated by a well-
trained technician.  The age of the unit is determined by researching
the serial number.  I provide information about the location of the
serial number on my web page: http://www.playercare.com/serial.html

> 3) Is playing a player different from regular pianos?  I'm guessing,
> but on players is it just put in a roll of music and pump?  Correct?
> No musical expertise needed?

Yes: no musical ability is required.  Put the roll in and pump.

> 4) What are the rolls made of -- paper?

Yes.

> 5) I would be interested in purchasing your book when it is finished.
> Are you creating a mailing list to notify people, if so, please put
> me on it.

No list is being compiled at this time since I am a long way from
finishing my book.  It's becoming very likely that all the information
which was designed to be in the book will eventually end up at the
web site.

> I appreciate the help -- no hurry with answers -- at your conveni-
> ence.  I work two jobs, one in a city I don't live in so most my
> studying is done every other weekend.  I hope you and your family
> have a Happy New Year.
>
> Jo Ann Schulte
> Jo_Ann_Schulte@mailsvr.hsc.missouri.edu

I hope your studies go well.  I answer all mail within twelve hours.

Musically,
John A. Tuttle


Key Words in Subject:  Beginner's, Piano, Player, Tutorial

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 1995-2022 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