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MMD > Archives > November 2002 > 2002.11.27 > 05Prev  Next

Impact Of the Player Piano Upon Society
By Matthew Caulfield

Why was the player piano developed?  To fulfill a need.

Most people alive today have no idea of what life would have been like
around 1900 without mechanical music machines.  No TV, no radios, no
phonographs -- in short no way of producing music or entertainment
except by making your own or hiring others to make it for you.  If a
business wanted to provide music for its customers, what was it to do
except to hire an orchestra, band, or small ensemble?  If a farm family
wanted music in the evening after a hard day's work, someone in the
family needed to own an instrument and to be able to play it.

Mechanical music machines -- music(al) boxes, orchestrions, player
pianos, player organs, player violins, dance organs, carousel organs --
filled the same need then as radio, TV, sound systems, and other
electronic marvels fill now.  Just that simple -- and just that obvious
if you stop to think about it.

Matthew Caulfield (Irondequoit, N.Y.)

(Message sent Wed 27 Nov 2002, 15:01:11 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Impact, Piano, Player, Society, Upon

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