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MMD > Archives > December 2007 > 2007.12.05 > 01Prev  Next

Frank Holland Musical Museum in Brentford
By Marc Sachnoff

Hello All,  I was encouraged to hear that Frank Holland's British
Piano Museum has a new home.  As an exchange student in the late
1970s I remember visiting the drafty old church that was home to this

It was with great amusement that I joined a tour led by Frank.  He was,
to this very unworldly American student, the picture perfect example of
a British eccentric.  He wore a smoking jacket and tasseled cap and his
eyes practically bulged with excitement as he demonstrated his organs
and music boxes.  He was very kind to me and answered all my questions
sincerely and completely.

Then, upon expressing my interest in Edison phonographs, he led me to
a bank of Edison cylinder machines and proceeded to put on an impromptu
concert.  The highlight was listening to various rare cylinders with
an improvised set of "headphones" Frank had created.  The scratchy and
indistinct sound quality I was used to vanished and suddenly I was back
in Edwardian England at a London Music Hall.

Frank saw my look of shock and responded that most people have no idea
what mechanical music machines are capable of, from lowly Edisons to
the great theater organ he'd rescued.  Then he went on to join a group
of school kids to share in their glee as he filled that church with the
sound of his big Wurlitzer.

I'm glad to hear his dream has been realized with a new modern building
that will keep his collection humming for years to come.

Marc J. Sachnoff

(Message sent Wed 5 Dec 2007, 18:50:39 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  Brentford, Frank, Holland, Museum, Musical

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