Last Updated: 10/8/2008


"Player-Piano; The History of the Mechanical Piano and How to Repair it" by Arthur W. J. G. Ord-Hume. Published in 1970 for George Allen & Unwin, London, by A.S. Barnes & Co., Cranberry, NJ. Hard cover with dust jacket, 296 pages with 112 Plates and 110 Line Illustrations. The book measures 10 inches (25.2 cm) high by 7 inches (19.2 cm) wide.

Text from the dust jacket is as follows:

"Player-Piano tells for the first time the fascinating story of the mechanical piano from earliest times up to the heyday of the instrument in the 1930's. Never before has this story been related, although the end of the player-piano is certainly still within the living memory of most of us and many hundreds of these devices are still to be found in our homes.

In addition to telling the story of the development of these pianos which strove to produce perfect music without the need for skills on the part of the 'performer', this book sets out in copious detail exactly how these complex mechanisms work. For the owner of an instrument, step by step instructions for the restoration and preservation of both the early barrel-playing pianos and the more sophisticated player and reproducing instruments are given. To fully illustrate their development, design and mechanical processes, no less than 112 plates and 110 line drawings are included.

The value of this book is best expressed in the words of one of the many famous piano manufacturers who have gladly co-operated with the author in the sifting of information. 'We are so glad that at last someone has found time to preserve for always the story of these wonderful instruments'.

With a resurgence of interest in player-pianos, here is a work which will earn a valued place not only amongst the many pianola enthusiasts, but also with those who cherish the endeavours of a past era."

      List Of Illustrations
      List Of Line Illustrations

  1. Musik The Goethe With a Whele a History of the Mechanical Piano
  2. The Barrel Piano
  3. From Cardboard Music to Pneumatic Action and the Paper Roll
  4. The Development of the Player Piano
  5. Other Forms of Roll-Playing Instrument
  6. Overhauling the Barrel Piano
  7. How the Player Piano Works
  8. Rebuilding the Player Piano
  9. The Reproducing Piano
  10. Player Organs and their Overhaul
  11. List of Principal Makers and Patentees

      Appendix Some Serial Numbers of Player Pianos

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