I spent part of my Christmas at my aunt and uncle’s house. They recently acquired a player piano, and since I had never seen one before and thought it was so neat, I wanted to share it with you! Here’s a little peek:
Player pianos are self-playing pianos that read musical notes mechanically off of a roll. (You can see some rolls in boxes in the upper left photo, and a roll in action in the bottom left). To work the mechanism, you press the pedals (which look slightly similar to those of a regular piano). The whole effect is kind of magical, because the keys depress and rise with the notes of the song, as if an invisible hand was playing! These pianos were very popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries until the Great Depression virtually wiped out production. However, I think the neatest thing is that a few companies still produce rolls for sale! My aunt and uncle’s is in beautiful shape, and it was fun to sing along to songs old (“My Blue Heaven”) and new (Disney tunes!) while we were visiting.