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MMD > Archives > July 2000 > 2000.07.05 > 02Prev  Next

Player Piano Reference Books
By John A. Tuttle

Hi Miguel, I saw your posting in the 000704 MMD.  There is no one
book that covers all of the information you seek.  There are four
books that (together) cover the majority of the areas you mentioned
in your posting.

One very good reference is no longer available. It is the listing
of player piano companies cross-referenced to a listing of around 50
different player piano mechanism makers.  That listing used to be a
part of the Player Piano Co. parts & publications catalog.  To my
knowledge, the last catalog that contained the information was
PPCo's 1983-1985 catalog.

The most comprehensive book containing a listing of around 10,000 piano
companies and serial numbers (broken down by year) is the Pierce Piano
Atlas, 10th Edition, publ. 1997.  Another very good reference that
offers detailed information about hundreds of piano companies, and the
comparative quality of their instruments, is 'The Blue Book of
Pianos', by Bob Furst.

(The 'Presto Buyer's Guide from 1926' is also helpful in determining
the relative quality of a few hundred companies, but that information
was provided mainly by the manufacturer and is, therefore, slightly

The best 'brand-specific' book about servicing and rebuilding
techniques is Art Reblitz's 'Player Piano Servicing & Rebuilding'.
Another excellent reference on pneumatic principles and construction
techniques is Craig Brougher's 'The Orchestrion Builder's Manual and
Pneumatics Handbook'.  Although out of print, Larry Given's 'Rebuilding
the Player Piano' was the 'bible' for player rebuilders from 1963 until
Art's book became available in 1985.

I hope this helps to answer your question, even though I realize that
it might not make your quest any easier.  Typically, web sites like
Player-Care ( and The Blue Book of Pianos
( will be happy to assist you in finding out
information about your specific instrument.  However, since we also
sell reference material/s, visitors are often encouraged to buy a copy
of certain books that are available.  Player-Care also maintains the
largest on-line listing of available technical reprints and service
manuals for about forty different player mechanisms.


John A. Tuttle
tel.: 732-840-8787

(Message sent Wed 5 Jul 2000, 12:01:20 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Books, Piano, Player, Reference

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