Last Updated: 10/7/2008


From Music Boxes To Street Organs," by Romke DeWaard, English Translation by Wade Jenkins. Published in 1967 by The Vestal Press, Vestal, NY. This book was originally published in Dutch by De Toorts, Haarlem, the Netherlands. Hard cover, 263 pages with numerous black-and-white drawings and photographs. The book measures 8-3/4 inches (22.1 cm) high by 5-5/8 inches (14.3 cm) wide.

Text from the Preface to the English Edition, by Harvey N. Roehl, reads as follows:

"Since 1961 when The Vestal Press was founded, it has brought to the music-loving public several books and many paper-back brochures dealing with the history and the technicalities of automatic musical instruments of many varieties. Many of itss customers have been most anxious to obtain information on the famous Dutch street organs, particularly in view of the fact that theser wonderful and fascinating machines are almost unknown in America and are, indeed, pretty much known only to occupants of Holland itself.

There they have enjoyed a rich historical background, and it is fortunate that Mr. Romke DeWaard several years ago combined his great interest in the instruments with his literary ability and historical knowledge, and wrote for the benefit of ours and future generations this wonderful story...

It is also indeed fortunate that Mr. Wade Jenkins of Hanover, Massachusetts, an eminent linguist as well as a student of mechanical music became interested in the translation of this work... The appreciation of both of these men for these wonderful machines will become apparent to the reader."

Text from the publisher's catalog reads as follows:

"Every traveller to Holland has been enchanted by the wonderful street-organs that ply the avenues of Rotterdam, Amsterdam and the Hague... organs which are now considered national art treasures by the citizens of that country!"


Preface to the English Edition

  1. How Do Automatically-Playing Musical Instruments Work?
  2. The Carillon
  3. Pipe Organs
  4. Reed Organs
  5. String Instruments
  6. Music Boxes

  1. The Origin of the "Pierement" (Street Organ)
  2. The Pierement in the Twenties
  3. The Development of the Pierement in the Period 1920-1940
  4. The Notation of the Organ Books
  5. The Preservation of the Pierement
  6. Discography

e-mail me now to reserve this book

Return to: Bill Wineburgh's Home Page