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Archive for the Mechanical Music Category

Do you have more mechanical musical instruments available than what you show in your photo gallery of items for sale?

Always! I am always being asked to sell mechanical musical instruments. Thus the collection sales inventory is constantly changing. If you don’t see something you are looking for, don’t hesitate to e-mail me with your request.

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What qualifies you to be an expert on mechanical music?

For over 30 years I have been actively involved in all aspects of mechanical music as a dealer, restorer, historian, lecturer, and consultant.  I maintain a large respected archive for my business.  I have written articles for the Journal of the Musical Box Society International and have served on their publication committee.  I have written e-articles for MMD, the Mechanical Music Digest with an eye toward promoting the exposure and sale of mechanical music.  I have presented many lectures and workshops on various mechanical music topics to the annual meetings of the Musical Box Society International, MBSI; the Automatic Musical Instrument Collector’s Association, AMICA; the Mid-America Chapter of the MBSI, and the National Carousel Association, NCA.  I have supplied instruments and music boxes to countless enthusiasts and have helped build some of the largest displays of mechanical music in the world.   I have helped form international museum collections.  I have been a consultant to corporations that use mechanical music such as the House on the Rock, the Marriott Corporation and  the Six Flags Corporation.

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The COAA Band Organ Rally in St. Joseph, Michigan was a tremendous success! People attended from all over the Midwest. 30 Band Organs came despite the severe storms that hit the area several days earlier.

Band Organs, Band Organs, Band Organs! There has been a lot of excitement recently over band organs! They have been a hot seller! Why? BECAUSE THEY ARE FUN! And there are alot of events called Band Organ Rallies that you can take them to! On top of that you can rent them out and make money while you are having fun! Check out the fine restored Wurlitzer 146A that was just listed on the Items For Sale page! How many of you have heard a Kalliope disc music box? The Kalliope firm built fine disc music boxes in Leipzig, Germany. In their later years, around the turn of the century, they redesigned their music boxes to feature short bedplate mechanisms which allowed the case of the music box to act like a soundboard. The Kalliope discs featured great musical arrangements! One of these recently was found in Germany. It is a Style 107D playing 45 cm (17 3/4″) discs which is the largest and most deluxe table top Kalliope disc music box. I have heard it an it simply sounds GREAT! Other Kalliope disc music boxes will soon be available. If you are interested in learning more about these, contact […]

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Bruce Springsteen’s Band Organ!

I was recently contacted by the staff of Bruce Springsteen to consult on their band organ.  Bruce recently was given the band organ by two long time close friends and associates in memory of Terry Magovern, Bruce Springsteen’s late personal assistant.  The organ was built in the DeKleist Style by Bill Kromer of Pennsylvania.  It plays the style 125 roll.  Bruce Springsteen has long had an interest in Asbury Park, a historic amusement park New Jersey’s Atlantic coast and even moved a carousel to the vacant Asbury Park carousel pavilion for a video.  Bruce was thrilled to get the band organ and decided to take it on his current show!  On October 21, I went down to see the organ.  I drove up to the secured back door entrance.  The organ was mounted on a lift to take it up to stage level.  After going over the organ with the staff, I was invited to have dinner with the band.  On the way I met Bruce Springsteen and complimented him on the band organ!  I gave him and his staff two CD’s; one of Asbury Park’s Wurlitzer 157 courtesy of Chris Carlisle and the other of the Cushing’s Thursford Collection […]

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“Gypsy Queen” Gasparini Fair Organ Gets a New Home!

The famous Gypsy Queen Gasparini now has a new home playing for a beautiful restored carousel which is displayed with one of Americas fabulous car collections.  For years the Gypsy Queen fair organ was a featured attraction at Bellm’s Cars and Music.  Before that it was part of pioneer collector, Paul Eakins, collection and was featured on many many recordings.  This organ has 5 carved animated figures that add to the visual display.   The organ was built in Paris circa 1895.  Mechanical music adds life to the vintage car display and really enhances the atmosphere!  If you have a vintage car display consider adding mechanical music machines.

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The Continual Thrill of Mechanical Music!

I am here to tell you that the novelty, excitement, and enjoyment of mechanical music NEVER wears off! For most enthusiasts the interest lasts a lifetime.  Music machines are not static items, they perform for you.   They combine the arts of fine cabinetry, intriguing mechanism, and music.  A reporter for the Chicago Tribune called Mechanical Music the ULTIMATE interest!  Vintage arcade machines, slot machines, vintage cars, etc. are ENHANCED by adding mechanical music to a display because it gives the display life.  Once a mechanical music machine is restored, the fun begins as each roll, book, or disc becomes a NEW experience which is often educational.  For example if you have been raised on Rock music, your horizons get expanded to Classical music, concert waltzes, cake walks, one steps, fox trots, Ragtime, blues, etc.  And for your friends and guests you can demonstrate the instruments versatility though its library of music.  Also you can enjoy a basic nickelodeon as well as a complex orchestrion from just it musical presentation alone!  Recently carousel owner have rediscovered the fact that the carousel experience is enhanced 100% by adding a band organ!  It is like adding sound to the movie.

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The Exciting Happy Sound of Nickelodeons are Available on New CD!

The sound of nickelodeons and orchestrions have been brought to life on the new CD, Rags, Blues, and Fox Trots! The orchestrions and nickelodeons on the recording are from the collection of John Motto-ros who resides in the famous California gold rush town of Sutter Creek. On the CD or download, you can hear a Wurlitzer Pianino, a Cremona G, an Empress Y with the finest sounding xylophone west of the Mississippi, a Seeburg G, and a wonderful sounding Coinola C2 with with flute pipes. The Irma Rag played on the Coinola C2 is worth the price alone! Treat yourself to a great recording! The only problem is that the recording is sooooo good, it will make you want to buy an orchestrion!!!! And, of course, I can help you with that!

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Demonstration Mechanical Instruments

To most people mechanical music is an unknown.  Exposure and education are key to generating interest.  A person can literally go their whole lifetime without being exposed to mechanical music.  As many of you know, I have put on display at restoration locations, public festivals, libraries, and conventions instruments that give a three dimensional experience of representative examples of mechanical music which creates demand for the instruments I sell.  Nothing excites and generates interest like a first hand experience in mechanical music!  I maintain a group of mechanical musical instruments for this purpose.  If you have a high visibility secure display location that requires such an instrument, contact me and lets discuss the potential.

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Are all Mechanical Music Dealers the Same?

No! What is most important is knowledge of the item, its history, and its condition. Not every dealer has a firm foundation in the mechanics and history of a piece of mechanical music or has worked in a prominent restoration shop as I have. Their lack of expertise will result in you making a bad purchase decision. Not every dealer understands music and is a trained musician as I am. I am generous with my time and give a lot back to the field of mechanical music. Few such as I have given numerous lectures and have written articles on mechanical music. Few such as I have been consulted by the top experts in the field. I freely offer my vast knowledge about the field of mechanical music to those who want to learn. If you want valuable insight into the world of mechanical music, then contact me with your questions about mechanical music! My knowledge of the mechanical music business is backed by a huge mechanical music archive that has taken years to build which fills numerous file cabinets! Enthusiasts have told me I am a “walking encyclopedia” on mechanical musical instruments of all types. And I am faster […]

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Announcing a GREAT Source for New Coin Piano and Orchestrion Rolls!

Announcing a GREAT Source for New Coin Piano and Orchestrion Rolls! John Motto-Ros is known by many mechanical music enthusiasts as the affable President of the Automatic Musical Instrument Collector’s Association or AMICA.  He has a passion for coin pianos.  An extension of the passion is his desire to have fine orchestrion and coin piano rolls recut.  They are cut on a state of the art perforator which literally makes them BETTER than the originals! Click Here To Go to John’s Roll Website

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