Archive
Music
MUSIC PLAYED BY TOUCH (Jul, 1947)

MUSIC PLAYED BY TOUCH

Designed as an educational toy, an electric xylophone introduced by Barr. Inc., of Rockford, Ill., produces a tune when a pointer is inserted in holes constituting the notes of special music sheets. Each contact closes a low-voltage circuit, energizing a solenoid and causing a glass tube to be struck. The instrument has nine notes, and operates on A.C. only. Six music sheets are available.

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AUTO DISPENSES MUSIC FROM AUTOMATIC PLAYER (Jun, 1924)

AUTO DISPENSES MUSIC FROM AUTOMATIC PLAYER
Fitted into a specially designed automobile, a self-playing musical instrument with a tone somewhat like an air calliope, has attracted attention in the west. Played with a keyboard, by hand or with an ordinary piano-player roll, it furnished music that could be heard nearly a mile. The device occupies floor space of only twenty-four by thirty-one inches in the auto-mobile, which has sleeping quarters built in it.

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Electric Violin Has No Sounding Board (Aug, 1933)

Electric Violin Has No Sounding Board

A VIOLIN that has no sounding board has made its appearance in the musical world. Instead of the usual tone chamber, this violin has only a light skeleton frame, but concealed under the bridge is a small pick-up of the electro-magnetic type.

When the violin is being played, the vibrations of the string and bridge are converted into electrical energy by the pick-up and this energy is then carried into an amplifying unit and a loud speaker.

On the amplifier a variable tone and volume control changes the timbre and generates a volume that fills an entire auditorium.

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BAMBOO ORCHESTRA TONES VIE WITH “JAZZ” (Jun, 1924)

BAMBOO ORCHESTRA TONES VIE WITH “JAZZ”

Tones said to rival the notes produced by the modern metal saxophone are blown by members of a Manila orchestra on their bamboo instruments. Variations in the length and diameter of the pipes of the saxophones cause different tones and some of the players have devised crude stops to increase the range. The abundance of the wood places the orchestral equipment within the reach of those of moderate means.

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STRINGS GO ‘ROUND ON NOVEL HARP (Jul, 1936)

STRINGS GO ‘ROUND ON NOVEL HARP
Unusual musical effects may be evoked from a “merry-go-round” harp created by three Seattle, Wash., musicians. By operating foot pedals like those of a bicycle, the performer rotates a five-foot vertical spindle carrying the strings, and plucks them as they go past. The odd mechanism provides enough strings to play four chromatic octaves on a portable instrument, and brings them all within easy reach of the player. A pair of disk-shaped sounding boxes, attached to the spindle, enhance the tones produced. The inventors, who have named the instrument “rondolin,” expect their unusual harp to find a place in concert as well as dance orchestras.

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Full Orchestra on Empty Stage (Jul, 1933)

Among other innovations this article is one of the earliest references I have to stereo or surround sound, what they call “auditory perspective”. This is another article that goes further in depth about surround sound.

NEW ELECTRICAL SYSTEM GIVES VAST TONE TO

Full Orchestra on Empty Stage

Conductor, 150 Miles from Musicians, Controls Expression with Master Key

ORCHESTRAL music such as never before had been publicly heard, poured from the apparently empty stage of Constitution Hall, Washington, D. C, a few nights ago when Dr. Leopold Stokowski, conductor of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, demonstrated before the National Academy of Sciences, a new electrical system of musical reproduction and transmission developed by engineers of the Bell Telephone Laboratories.

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It’s Lots of Fun to PLAY the DRUMS … and EASY, too! (Jun, 1939)

There is something unusual about this ad. Can you guess what it is?
That’s right, Chick Webb, “The King of the Drums” is a black man! Do you know how many ads I’ve found from before the late 60′s that have a black person who’s not a maid or a porter? This is it folks. I think I have one or two articles that have pictures of black people in them. If you were a kid growing up in the mid-west reading science and tech magazines, black people simply did not exist.

It’s Lots of Fun to PLAY the DRUMS … and EASY, too!

Step out in front! Be entertaining … popular … sought-after by friends. Start to play a GRETSCH DRUM. Begin a BIG MONEY career—be an ace drummer like Chick Webb; “The King of the Drums”. Chick and thousands of others have won success on radio, stage and screen using GRETSCH equipment. EASY TO PLAY—no difficult lessons. Buy GRETSCH DRUMS, on NEW EASY-PAYMENT plan.

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Junk Yard Yields Parts for Odd Organ (May, 1939)

Junk Yard Yields Parts for Odd Organ

Discarded bottles, an old vacuum-cleaner motor, sections of inner tubing, and other objects salvaged from the scrap heap comprise the parts of a unique junk-yard organ recently exhibited at Atlantic City, N.J. Individual notes are sounded by air from the cleaner motor blowing across small holes in the caps of bottles tuned by partly filling them with water. Supplementary noise makers are attached to the organ’s console.

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BRASS HORN TWELVE FEET LONG PLAYED BY SIX MIDGETS (Jan, 1924)

BRASS HORN TWELVE FEET LONG PLAYED BY SIX MIDGETS

Measuring 12 feet in length, a giant horn requires at least two men to play it, as it is so cumbersome that one person cannot carry it. Recently, at a convention in the South, six midget men were necessary to handle the instrument: one at the mouth-
piece, another at the keys, and four to support it. This huge band piece was made in Paris and brought to this country about 75 years ago.

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Rifle Barrel Becomes Bugle for Musical Stunt (Mar, 1938)

Rifle Barrel Becomes Bugle for Musical Stunt

Using the barrel for a horn, an English musician can play bugle calls on a rifle. A trumpet mouthpiece is inserted into the muzzle and the bolt removed. The notes produced are shrill and piercing, but are said to be perfect in both tone and pitch. The originator of the idea is shown in the photograph reproduced at the left holding the novel instrument in the correct position for sounding a bugle call.

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