I agree in principle that one should be guided towards the purchase of
appropriate books to advance one's knowledge. Also, that answers to
questions should be freely given, whether by MMD or any other mechanical
In my opinion Hans van Oost gives the best advice in that a
recommendation for a particular book should be 'honey, not vinegar',
otherwise it can be misconstrued as a sales boost by a particular
author with commercial interest in his publication.
The books we refer to are those of Kevin McElhone for the Organette
Book and Todd Augsburger for his Cob Organ Book. I cannot speak for
Todd except to say it is a major contribution and I would recommend his
book to anyone with an interest in organettes.
I also chair the Musical Box Society of Great Britain's publications
committee and thus have a vested, but not commercial, interest in our
publications. Since 2000, we have paid for the production of two books
from MBSGB funds with a view to recovering the outlay but not making a
One was the Tune Sheet book by Anthony Bulleid and the other is
'Kevin's' Organette Book. Kevin is the principle author. Also,
because he also has his own business interests (along with many other
members who provide publications and other services) we use him to
promote the sales of 'our' book. In the same way, we use Todd's
services to promote our sales of the organette book in the US.
I noted Paul E. Kelly's comment that Kevin could provide a promotional
advertisement and make a donation of a gift to the moderators. Can I
assure him that Kevin has spent five years or more of research, hours
of his own time and money and not yet recovered a penny (or is it a
dime) in return? The only thing he has got is a free copy of a book,
the Organette Book, and a debt. All the other contributing authors
paid for their copy of this book.
Why? Because it is MBSGB policy to use its human and limited financial
resources to research and publish these lesser known, although hardly
specialised, areas of mechanical music.
I look forward to further MMD responses and commend Robbie for not
holding back on any comments, including his own. This is what MMD is
A happy New Year to you all.
Publications Chair and Vice President, MBSGB