While the Do-It-Yourself craze is sweeping the world, there is nothing new about it in the realm of music.
While the Do-It-Yourself craze is sweeping the world, there is nothing new about it in the realm of music. For generations music lovers who realised they could never be second Paganinis or Franz Liszts have resorted to mechanical aids to melody. Today, in a small shop in Paris, Alain Vian has assembled an impressive and at times bizarre collection of mechanical musical aids of yesterday. They will never make the Hit Parade, but, as this film shows, there's many a good tune played on an old fiddle, barrel-organ or 19th-Century record player.....
SYNOPSIS: Paris -- always a city of distinctive musical sounds. And in it today is a small shop which houses the mechanical aids for the Do-It-Yourself music lovers of yesterday. They show the ways in which generations of melody makers, who knew they could never be second Paganinis of Franz Liszts, performed their own music. This ia a GAVIOLI, dating from 1890.
Here is the ORGANINA DE THIBOUVILLE, which also operated on paper musical strips. This type of organ, like a vintage car, becomes more valuable with age. A model like this would cost up to 800 pounds to buy second-hand. A festival dedicated to these street musicians' instruments still exists in Holland.
Some mechanical musical boxes -- like this STELLA -- took their cue from perforated zinc discs. This model was made for the discos of 1897.
Jumping ahead to the gay twenties, this UNIC Jazz band cylinder could play ten dance tunes that were all the rage at the time. It seems a far cry from the Hit Parade of today.
This is the GRAPHAPHONE -- yes, graphaphone, not gramophone or phonograph. Assembled in 1897 it is the ancestor of the jukebox at the cafe round the corner.
One of the oldest instruments in the collection is this 18th-Century SERINETTE, a potent twin-cylinder model playing tunes through tiny organ pipes.
The golden disk of yesterday -- being played by the ARISTON of 1880.
There's nothing new in personalised music, as is shown by these addicts tuned in to the EDISON SOME PHONOGRAPH. The shop-owner is going to publish a book about the era of mechanical music. Meanwhile, a visit to his collection shows there's many a good tune played on an old fiddle, barrel-organ or 18th-Century record player.