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Perforated Music - Cartons Perforés, Carboard Book Music

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Perforated Music, Cartons Perforés, Cardboard Music, Book Music

In the old barrel organs, music was stored on a turned wooden cylinder with hundreds & sometimes thousands of metal pins set into it. The musical arrangements were expertly made by musicians who knew & understood the capabilities of the mechanics in the organ.

The amount of music the barrels could hold was limited & although most could be changed, it was not a quick task to do. With further development a new system 'Cartons Perforés' was patented by Gavioli & Cie, Paris in 1882 & used folded cardboard books perforated with holes to store the music. Instead of marking the music onto the wooden barrel, the folding card book enabled much longer melodies and greater choice.

Barrel Organ, Barrel Pinning, Cylinder Organ

The musical arrangers specifically wrote the music to fit the organ scales perfectly. Most of these instruments were not chromatic and had a much smaller scale than the compass of a piano, so it was never a straight forward task.

The noteurs would mark the arrangement onto a master scroll ready for punching by a manually operated machine with foot treadle. After several hours of punching through the master & cardboard underneath, the finished perforated music was complete and the master could be stored for when another copy was required and simply stencilled out next time prior to punching.

This method of making perforated music stayed the same for about the last 100 years until the introduction of MIDI and the modern PC. The next step was to replace the master scroll by marking the music on screen. The MIDI computer enabled the arrangement to be heard instantly instead of only the arranger knowing how it would sound in his head. Once the music was finished a program to print the master stencil was implemented and then this could be punched manually as in the old days.

Today a midi controlled punch completes the task by punching the card music straight from the file and so there is no need for the long task of manually punching all the holes !

Of course, a computer can never replace a human musician to make the arrangement. The actual music is still produced by musical artisans who understand the mechanical organ, its sound & capabilities completely.

The Teánola Mechanical Organ plays many styles of music including Classical, Waltzes, Mazurka's, Dances, Polka's, Songs & Marches. An ever growing musical repertoire is always available ! Please ask your local agent for a tune list - Click here for Agent / Stockist details.

The Teánola 20 Note Musical Box comes with a small selection of ready perforated melodies. You can make more yourself with extra blank paper & the hand punch tool included!


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