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MMD > Archives > October 2004 > 2004.10.16 > 04Prev  Next

Aeolian Residence Organ Player Rolls
By Mike Walter

Hi Terry,  Aeolian produced a pipe organ player and accompanying rolls
for many of their residence organs.  The installation would have either
a small spoolbox that would accommodate a roll 10-1/8" wide or a large
spoolbox that would accommodate a roll 15-1/4" wide.

The small roll had two rows of holes (total 116) that were spaced
12-to-the-inch and staggered between the two rows.  The wide roll had
176 holes in the same format.

The small roll ("Aeolian Pipe Organ Roll") played two manuals and pedal,
the pedal being combined with the Great manual on the lower set of holes.
The top set of holes operated the Swell division.  When the roll was
played the organist/operator was kept busy changing registration by
hand and also making certain that the roll was tracking properly.

Some of the earlier players of this kind did not have an automatic
tracking device that worked effectively, and so the operator had to sit
at the console with his left hand on a key that was located to the left
of the spoolbox, turning it left or right, to keep the holes in the
rolls lined up with the holes in the tracker bar.

The large roll ("Aeolian Duo-Art Organ Roll") was much more complicated.
It automatically tracked the roll, changed the registration as required
by the original organist, opened and closed the swell shades, and
rewound the roll at the end.  Since the roll was so large (15+") the
tracker bar was segmented into five sections that would automatically
gauge the size of the roll and expand or compress, to compensate for
swelling of paper due to humidity.

This is probably more information than you really wanted to know.
There are also hundreds of people out there with more information than
I have.

Best wishes,
Mike Walter

(Message sent Sat 16 Oct 2004, 14:11:24 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  Aeolian, Organ, Player, Residence, Rolls

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