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.
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.
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.
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!