Barcelona Music Museum

Player piano

Player piano MDMB 1702 © Rafael Vargas

Player piano MDMB 1702 © Rafael Vargas

A product of the technological revolution that took place in the 19th century, the pianola is an instrument that reproduces music mechanically, and it represents one of the first recording systems designed to market the medium, a roll of perforated paper. A pneumatic system blows air as the roll turns, playing a note if there is a hole, but remaining silent if there is not. The tempo and volume could be controlled to add a personal touch. This example, made in New York, shows the roll prepared for turning and part of the complex internal mechanism.

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11. Play it again

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