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MMD > Archives > March 2002 > 2002.03.23 > 06Prev  Next

Mechanical Music and The Next Generation
By Mark Williamson

I guess that, at 28, I'm relatively young in mechanical music circles.
I sometimes worry that the instruments we love are not appreciate by
younger people and I wonder how many player pianos, player organs,
orchestrions, etc., will be around as the years go by and aging
enthusiasts quit this life.

But I was encouraged a few days ago.  I am currently studying and
living at The Salvation Army Officer Training College in Sydney,
Australia.  Some of my session mates shake their heads in disbelief,
but I now have an 88-note player piano in my hostel room.

On Friday night, upon returning from selling 'The War Cry' in hotels,
I decided to pump through a few rolls.  At the end of the first roll
I heard applause outside my window.  I drew back the curtain to find
that the children of some of the other cadets had been listening and
were impressed with my pianistic ability.

I beckoned them over and showed them the player.  They were amazed.
Comments like "There's a ghost playing the piano!" were made as they
watched the keys dance up and down.  They then spent about half an hour
listening, dancing and marching about as I pumped through some more
rolls.  Even in these days of television and computer games, the humble
player piano has not lost it's appeal!

Cadet Mark A. Williamson

(Message sent Sat 23 Mar 2002, 12:41:03 GMT, from time zone GMT.)

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