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Jere Ryder - unknown Mermod ragtime
Unknown Ragtime Tunes on Swiss Musical Movement
by Jere Ryder (130213 MMDigest)

Here at the Morris Museum, Kelly McCartney (Curator of the Guinness Collection) and I have been gathering materials for an exhibit later this year, focused on American ragtime music and utilizing a variety of instruments, automata and original sheet music from the Guinness Collection.

In this vein, we are hoping that MMD readers might be able to assist us to identify some morsels of recorded music.  They are from an uncased, Swiss cylinder musical box mechanism made circa 1905 by Mermod Frères of Ste. Croix, Switzerland.  Our guess at this point is that this nickel-washed mechanism may well have been originally mounted inside an upright slot machine of some variety, but all that remained was the mechanism.

On hearing the unusual nature of the arrangements, a cassette tape recording was made and that tape has recently resurfaced here at the museum.  From what we are hearing all eight melodies are some of the earliest ragtime arrangements held as a period document via the pinning on the music cylinder.

These recordings have been transferred to MP3 audio files, which we would dearly like to have independently identified.  Already identified are tune #1, "A Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight" (1896), and tune #6, "Harlem Rag" (1897).

We apologize for the lack in quality of these cassette tape recordings, which were made back in 1974 while visiting a now deceased collector of antique musical boxes in Geneva, Switzerland.  At this point, there are no immediate relatives and we cannot trace what happened to this piece after the owner passed.

If you like a fun musical challenge, please have a listen to these audio files and attempt the tune identification, and if not, maybe you could be so kind as to refer us to another knowledgeable ragtime enthusiast who would give it a try.

Thank you in advance for any assistance and as our special ragtime exhibit gets closer, you should look forward to reading about it in MMD!

Jeremie Ryder - Conservator of the Guinness Collection
Morris Museum, Morristown, New Jersey [delete ".geentroep" to reply]
13 Feb 2013 11:35:48 -0500

Each tune plays for 30 seconds.

1.  ryder_Mermod1.mp3  (475 kb)  A Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight (Theo. A Metz, 1896)
2.  ryder_Mermod2.mp3  (523 kb)
3.  ryder_Mermod3.mp3  (487 kb)
4.  ryder_Mermod4.mp3  (516 kb)
5.  ryder_Mermod5.mp3  (542 kb)
6.  ryder_Mermod6.mp3  (474 kb)  Harlem Rag (Tom Turpin, 1897)
7.  ryder_Mermod7.mp3  (509 kb)
8.  ryder_Mermod8.mp3  (547 kb)

13 February 2013

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