Hi All, Everything came to a screeching halt when my copy of the new
MBSI DVD, "Marvels of Mechanical Music", arrived yesterday, and at the
outset I want to say that it was very well done. The audio and video
work was excellent, and overall I found the DVD very entertaining. Not
only did the producers do a terrific job at educating the viewer, they
also proved rather conclusively that the allure of mechanical music
typically begins at a fairly young age.
While I could go on and on about how this work explains the transition
from the earliest mechanical musical devices to the mystique that keeps
them so captivating in the 21st Century, the feeling I was left with
at the end of the show was one of renewed enthusiasm. I also felt very
strongly that the work would serve very well to stimulate young minds
and cause young people to want to learn more about the intriguing
marriage of music and machines.
Even though it wasn't spelled out in so many words, another point
that was made obvious was the need for skilled rebuilders and people
who could maintain these intricate machines. It was also clear that
if one possessed such skills they could make a very comfortable living
and have a lot of fun in the process. Looking deeper into this aspect
of the production, I realized that this line of work never finds an
individual, but rather the individual finds the work. Thinking back,
I couldn't recall ever hearing about an ad that offered a position for
a "mechanical musical instrument rebuilder", but I didn't find that
odd or a problem.
Those of us who are in this trade are here strictly by choice.
We were not, and are not, motivated by the need to make a living.
I would venture to say that anyone in this trade could easily find
a position in dozens of other businesses or trades, and I would hope
that those who do enter the trade do so only because they love the
work. And of all the points that shined through in this production,
it was that those who are involved have a love affair with mechanical
musical machines. Love is a powerful motivating force that drives
individuals to do things above and beyond the norm, and it was plainly
visible that the folks in this industry are not normal. Why? Because
unlike the individuals in 99% of all other businesses, those in this
business are happy.
Lastly, it's my hope that this production will be used by music
teachers and other educators as a way to expose the art to millions of
young people. I plan to take my copy to our local high schools and let
them borrow it for a week or two. If only one in 10,000 students gets
stimulated by the film, perhaps we can stop worrying about where the
next generation of enthusiasts and technicians will come from.
Congratulations to all who were involved in this work. You did a nice
job! It's much more than just a history lesson.
John A Tuttle
Brick, New Jersey, USA