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Mechanical Music in China
By Eliyahu Shahar

I just got back from a week's trip to China.  I will skip all the
normal tourist stuff, if anyone is interested, they can contact me
personally, but I was absolutely stunned to find a few examples of
antique automatic music in China.

In the Forbidden city, in the bedroom of the emperor's wife, there
were two beautiful singing birds (of course I couldn't get close enough
to see if the maker's mark was there), several (assumed non-musical)
automaton clocks.  Then when we went to the Summer Palace, I found
an orchestrion and a push-up pianola in a room next to the stage and
performance area for the opera.

Unfortunately the orchestrion was in a very dark room and I wasn't
allowed to photograph it; there was a maker's name but I couldn't make
it out.

Eliyahu Shahar


(Message sent Sun 21 Sep 2003, 03:24:46 GMT, from time zone GMT+0300.)

Key Words in Subject:  China, Mechanical, Music

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