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MMD > Archives > February 1999 > 1999.02.10 > 04Prev  Next

Classical Rollographies At New RPRF Web Site
By Albert Petrak

"It's gonna be a great day!"  Already is!  As the header suggests, we
are at last ready with the complete offering.  Having refined the web
site to within a byte of its digital existence, Webmaster has finally
approved the introduction of the Reproducing Piano Roll Foundation,

where you will find complete classical detail on all known such
reproducing piano rolls.  The following information is included in the

Duo-Art and Ampico catalogs are numerically complete in the so-called
"classical" category, on the premise that most MMD'ers will have one or
the other.

Welte (original German, dropping the suffix "Mignon") and the American
spin-off, Welte-Mignon (Licensee) are complete in that all classical
compositions by all performers are included.

Artrio Angelus, Art-Echo, Recordo, Virtuola and smaller labels are
listed, with only performers of historical importance included.
Pleyela is also detailed, even though all but a few of the rolls were

Finally, the two most important German competitors of Welte, Triphonola
and Duca.  These catalogs also contain only the rolls made by seminal
composers/performers.  Most pop, rag, jazz, show, film and Broadway-
oriented, accompaniment, march and specialty rolls have also been

Further, you will find "rollographies" of the pianists deemed most
important for all the catalogs, including all rolls made by a
particular pianist.  The selections are accessed by clicking on the
artist's name in the listing to the left of that section.

Every attempt has been made to be as complete and as accurate as
possible.  I have edited the listings to conform with contemporary
practice, and have confined each description to one line.  In the
"rollographies" you will find that space limitations have abrogated
this intent, made necessary by the wish to place the descriptions next
to the artist listing.

All of this material is furnished by RPRF at no charge and may be
browsed and if desired down-loaded in PDF at will.  If unable to
access, be advised that Adobe "Acrobat" is available at no charge from
the company.

Some may find the listings "pale" in comparison to the usual computer
screen print.  This was occasioned by the use of the font: "Palatino"
for all detail.  Downloaded to "print" however, produces a sharp,
consistent image.  We hope this will not prove to be a problem for
potential users.

There is no doubt but that the material will not please everyone.  Your
comments on the site, and suggested improvements are solicited.  We
urge everyone to examine the complete offering before responding.

Finally, I would like to say that the service is intended for archival
purposes in addition to serving the roll community.  I am hoping that
pianistic enthusiasts the world over -- roll piano owners and everyone
else -- will be astounded at the incredible wealth of material contained
in these pages.

It has been a labor of love over much of the past two years, and is my
personal contribution to an enterprise begun in the mid-'60's as the
International Piano Library.  Only now do I feel that that intent may
be realized with the aid of this material.

Best all,

Albert M. Petrak

(Message sent Wed 10 Feb 1999, 22:20:23 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Classical, New, Rollographies, RPRF, Site, Web

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