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MMD > Archives > September 2000 > 2000.09.22 > 05Prev  Next


Mechanical Organ Repertoire & Carved Figures
By Julie Porter

After visiting the museum in Utrecht, I became once again interested in
band organs, particularly the carved figures and facades.  I used to
love watching the ones at Playland, and on the merry-go-round at Golden
Gate Park in San Francisco.  I think this is what attracted me to
puppetry and the Jaquet-Droz automatons.  One of my projects is to
build (or restore if I could find one for the cost of shipping) a
medium sized instrument.  I am a respectable sculptor.  The head of the
Adelmous fey doll on my web site is entirely my own work.  Designing
the case will not be too difficult.

Most of my musical taste is classical operatic, which includes show
tunes such as Gilbert and Sullivan, or even 20th century Broadway
(which in my opinion is opera.)  I am not to fond of pop, preferring
Mozart, Verdi and Strauss.  As I learned from musical training in
school, I have trouble with rhythm -- another reason for liking
mechanical music.  As I was exposed to out-of-tune honky-tonk players
early on (I have a decent ear for tonality), I do not care for piano
music.  Yes, I have heard many reproducing pianos since; while they
sound nice, these are not my cup of tea.

I am looking to start collecting music rolls for this future
instrument.  I have a CNC machine, so making tracker bars or key frames
is not a problem.  Given my musical taste, what tracker scale should I
look for to start collecting rolls?  Or would I be better off looking
at book-music instruments?  I noticed in the Archives there seems to me
quite a few discussions on this.  None seems to answer my question
exactly.

Julie Porter


(Message sent Sat 23 Sep 2000, 03:49:24 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  Carved, Figures, Mechanical, Organ, Repertoire

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