Mike Kitner was wondering what the purpose of the lead-screw rewind-
repeat device on Stoddard Ampico in MMD 981213.
One of the most obvious uses for such a device is a method of learning
to hand play the tune on the roll, by repeating either the whole chorus
or verse or a particularly hard section of one of the above, by hearing
it over and over and playing along with it over and over.
Those who play by ear quite commonly pick up tunes like this either
from rolls or sound recordings. (The player roll here has a definite
advantage as it can be slowed way down or even stopped to "freeze" a
particular chord or parts of a passage note by note.)
I noticed a few years ago, when I realized that 33's were on their way
out and went shopping for a CD player, that some of the models of these
little digital darlings had a hi-tech version of the same function that
has been found on some of the old Ampicos. You could set up a portion
of a tract to play over and over until you stopped it. Their litera-
ture even explained that it was for purposes of learning a song from
Such devices could also be handy for working out the rough spots while
rehearsing playing the lead part on another instrument or singing with
an accompaniment roll; could be used with dance routines too.
Musicians have been shifting the play and reroll lever, setting the
tone arm back a few grooves, or working the fast reverse-plays buttons,
to repeat sections of a tune to learn it for a long time; these devices
were just to automate the procedure.