Friday, January 2, 2015

Friday Video: Beautiful Music from an 1890 Music Box

Friday, January 2, 2015

Isabella reporting,

We're not officially done with the holiday season until Twelfth Night on January 6, which is reason enough to share this video. According to the YouTube caption,

This is a coin-operated Polyphon music box (c. 1890) in the collection of the Canada Science and Technology Museum. Here, it plays a rendition of Oh Come, All Ye Faithful on a pressed metal disk. As the disk rotates, projections on the back turn wheels which pluck the teeth of the comb. Listen for the sound of the coin dropping at 1:10.

It all makes for a beautiful sound from the past, and one to relish before the craziness of the new year begins all over again.


Historical Ken said...

Beautiful...a time-travel experience in sound.

Anonymous said...

This is so lovely. I,too, am a major proponent of the liturgical Christmas season, which (sorry to sound obsessive about this, but I am staring at my Christian seasons calendar)actually starts on December 25 and ends on January 5, which is Twelfth Night. (January 6 is Epiphany.)I do wish our culture saw Christmas as more than a one-day, buy-everything blowout.

LorieG said...

When I was in grammar school, my parents had an album of these music boxes playing Christmas Carols.
Listening to it was always a big part of our Christmas Eve tradition. What wonderful memories your video brought up! It is bittersweet - Dad's been gone for 12 years now and Momma died this past June. Thank you, with tears in my eyes.

Elinor Aspen said...

What a beautifully-maintained music box! There is a collection of these at House on the Rock in Wisconsin, but most are no longer playable.

Elena Jardiniz said...

There's a place here in southern California: The Nethercutt Collection in Sylmar, the prize collection of a classic robber baron that contains magnificent restored cars but, more importantly for this thread, instruments.

J.P.Bethercutt also collected music boxes, but because he wanted THE biggest and best, he started finding and collecting larger and larger ones. the turn of the century orchestrions - giant music boxes - were a thing. They were pneumatically driven orchestras, controlled by 'punch ribbons' similar to that disk. His foundation now houses an impressive collection AND a workshop and skilled craftsmen to restore and care for them. It's marvelous to see and hear the results of their work.

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