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MMD > Archives > February 2011 > 2011.02.04 > 02Prev  Next

Wurlitzer APP Rolls With Bells Added
By Julie Porter

[ Robert Loeffler wrote in 110203 MMDigest:

> I'm seeking available APP rolls that are known to have been arranged
> with the addition of bells for the Wurlitzer single roll frame.

About two years ago I scanned in most of the known APP song titles.
The resulting database was about 10,000 entries across some 1000 rolls
or so.  Many of these entries were documented in catalogs Wurlitzer
produced around 1927.  Also scanned were the catalogs of Play-Rite,
Ray Siou and Doyle Lane, as well as listings from private collections
such as Ed Sprankle and Tom Grace.

These catalogs cover the rolls that survived to be copied.  There
is not a lot of crossover between the catalogs of the 1920s and the
survivors collected in the 1970s.  Many of the 1930s era titles are
actually QRS arrangements.  Starting about 1939 the APP catalog seems
to have become a catch-all generic scale.  It is my understanding that
most of these were arranged by T.R.T. under the direction of Ralph

Several years ago I formatted the APP list using the same HTML as found
on .  The resulting database has become
too large for a single person to maintain.  Matthew Caulfield has
indicated that this is not an area he was interested in.  The papers
I scanned were forwarded on to Terry Smythe.

Any given song might or might not have active bell registration.
Only by looking at the roll can this be determined.  In later years,
after about 1928 through 1967, the APP rolls could be used to play
a band organ or a piano.  The roll format could control up to two ranks
of pipes, bells (metal), xylophone (wood), chimes and percussion (bass
drum and snare drum).  Many of the rolls I have looked at, including
those sold under the Caliola name, have the registration punched.

My guess is that it was easier to arrange the roll for all the possible
bells and whistles so that there were fewer complaints from those who
paid for bells and the extra ranks of pipes.

Julie Porter

(Message sent Sat 5 Feb 2011, 00:36:11 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  Added, APP, Bells, Rolls, Wurlitzer

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