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MMD > Archives > February 1999 > 1999.02.02 > 05Prev  Next


Aeolian Pipe Organ Duo-Art Music Rolls
By Bob Taylor

Regarding the comments that Hal Davis made in identifying various types
of Aeolian Organ rolls, I fear that this confusing subject has surfaced
once more.  I know of no other group of rolls that requires such exact
terminology to correctly identify each of several roll types.   His
remarks were just fine until he used the word "Skinner" to identify
the fully automatic Duo-Art Pipe organ roll.  Let me explain.

The first generation of rolls for the Aeolian pipe organ do not set the
stop tabs.  They can play on two manuals of 58-notes each (two rows of
holes on the tracker bar, each having 58 notes).  The rolls are 10-1/8
inches wide and the holes are spaced 12-to-the-inch total, or 6-to-the-
inch on each row.  These rolls are labeled on the box as  "AEOLIAN PIPE
ORGAN" They are called informally, 116-note rolls.  In the literature,
Aeolian calls the player mechanism of these rolls as the "Aeolian
Patent SOLO Music Roll Mechanism".  This mechanism can also play the
58-note Aeolian Grand Organ Roll.

Next comes the fully automatic Duo-Art pipe organ roll, circa 1915.
This roll is a 15-1/4 inch width with 176 total holes, again arranged
in two rows at 6-to-the-inch on each row.  The extra holes can control
28 ranks plus two sets of expression shades.  The label on these rolls
says "Aeolian Pipe Organ DUO-ART MUSIC".  These rolls were made by
Aeolian and later by Aeolian-Skinner.  I have never seen a box label
that identifies the manufacturer as anything except Aeolian, yet the
later rolls have tabs with the "A-S" design.

Before Skinner merged with Aeolian they also made two types of organ
rolls.  They are both entirely different from the Aeolian products.
I am not certain of the exact wording on these rolls but they are
referred to as "semi-automatic" and "fully automatic".

Lastly, rolls manufactured for the Aeolian Hammond player electric
organ are adapted from the semi-automatic Skinner rolls.  The box label
on these rolls read "Duo-Art Music SEMI-AUTOMATIC".  These boxes are
further labeled "Aeolian-Skinner Organ Co."

I am sure Hal knows all this stuff, but made a slight slip of words
that ruffled my feathers.  Anyway, I post this only for clarity.

I am assembling a large collection of 116-note and Aeolian Duo-Art
organ rolls and soon will be announcing a campaign to trade duplicates
and acquire missing rolls.  I have not fully organized that effort yet,
but it looks as if I will have several hundred rolls to trade.

Bob Taylor

 [ I'd like to publish a list of organ roll types at the MMD web site,
 [ organized by physical characteristics, so that, for example, an
 [ antique dealer could identify a music roll which has no label.
 [ Could you please propose short informal names for the types?
 [ -- Robbie


(Message sent Tue 2 Feb 1999, 03:35:05 GMT, from time zone GMT-0600.)

Key Words in Subject:  Aeolian, Duo-Art, Music, Organ, Pipe, Rolls

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