Tag Archives: mechanism

Alphabet Photography Project: M is for Mechanism

Inside a Gavioli Organ…Or machinery. Or Mechanical Music. This picture is a view into the working parts of a Gavioli fairground organ, built in 1902 – well over a century ago, and computers (as we know them) a long way from  being invented!
A piece of ‘sheet music’ for an organ like this comprises a large number (a hundred or more would not be unusual) of rigid cardboard plates, joined together in one enormous ‘zig-zag’ which is carried through a system of rollers and guides as the music plays. These plates have on each of them a pattern of holes, similar to those in pianola music. These holes control a very complex pneumatic system!
It would be hard to put a value on a restored organ of this kind, together with a large collection of music, and to restore one, and then regularly display it at shows, has to become a way of life for the owner.
The front of this instrument is typical; it is beautifully ornamented and decorated, complete with delicately carved wooden figures that dance in time to the music!
If you have any heart for engineering, or music, or especially both, look over one of these instruments if you ever get the chance. Find out if any are displayed near to where you live!

This post continues my involvement in the Alphabet Photo Project.

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