[ Jeff Bridges wrote in 070630 MMDigest:
> Hi everyone, I was wondering who was the very first inventor of
> the player piano? I never really knew. Any guesses out there?
Jeff's question on this subject is quite interesting, but I cannot
answer it before I know what exactly is meant by this term. Mechanical
pianos were made from the early 1800s, but are they "player pianos?"
Around 1900 Welte of Freiburg took patent on a machine which I am
sure is some kind of player piano, but maybe someone else made an
instrument that could be a player piano: Gavioli's pianista? Debain?
The Cartonium? Where does it start?
Regards from the Netherlands,
Dr. Hans van Oost
[ For this discussion thread let's define "player piano" as the
[ piano with the foot pedals that plays a perforated paper music
[ roll. It's also the musical machine that displaced the pump
[ organ or harmonium in the parlour and that preceded the radio
[ set as the "home entertainment center" of the 1920s. -- Robbie