Hi from Sydney, Regarding the same arrangements on different brand's
Early on, "Broadway" music rolls (based in Melbourne and absorbed
by Mastertouch since the death of the founder, Len Luscombe, in the
1950s) had an arrangement with QRS to buy masters for perforating here.
This seemed quite common in Australia.
Some QRS arrangements appear on the early "DUO" rolls ("Duo" was the
original company name for "Mastertouch"). Ching Chong" is one of the
rolls that I have in my collection, in identical arrangements on QRS
and "The Duo". There is some more information about this on the
Mastertouch website: http://members.ozemail.com.au/~pianola/
Also, don't forget that often, especially with classical music, masters
were prepared directly from the score, with no interpretation, rubato,
etc.; i.e., a middle C in the music for 1 crotchet beat would be cut
as eight holes, a minim as 16 holes, etc. This is why you often
constantly have to change the tempo lever in early classical rolls:
they didn't change the lengths of chains of holes, just the speed the
paper ran past the tracker bar.
I am positive this is why many early rolls are uninteresting. This
type of graphing the rolls from the musical score is another reason
for finding identical performances on differing brands. Any thoughts?