Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Music roll

Music roll

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Music roll'
Start a new discussion about 'Music roll'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
A music roll is a storage medium used to operate a mechanical musical instrument. They are used for the player piano
Player piano
A player piano is a self-playing piano, containing a pneumatic or electro-mechanical mechanism that operates the piano action via pre-programmed music perforated paper, or in rare instances, metallic rolls. The rise of the player piano grew with the rise of the mass-produced piano for the home in...

, mechanical organ
Mechanical organ
A mechanical organ is an organ that is self playing, rather than played by a musician.Usually, mechanical organs are pipe organs although some instruments were built using reeds similar to those found in a harmonium. Since the 1950s, some instruments have been built using electronics to generate...

, electronic carillon and various types of orchestrion
Orchestrion
An orchestrion is a generic name for a machine that plays music and is designed to sound like an orchestra or band. Orchestrions may be operated by means of a large pinned cylinder or by a music roll and less commonly book music. The sound is usually produced by pipes, though they will be voiced...

. The vast majority of music rolls are made of paper. Other materials that have been utilized include thin card (Imhof-system), thin sheet brass (Telektra-system), composite multi-layered electro-conductive aluminium and paper roll (Triste-system) and, in the modern era, thin plastic or PET film
PET film (biaxially oriented)
BoPET is a polyester film made from stretched polyethylene terephthalate and is used for its high tensile strength, chemical and dimensional stability, transparency, reflectivity, gas and aroma barrier properties and electrical insulation.A variety of companies manufacture boPET and other...

.

The music data is stored by means of perforations. The mechanism of the instrument reads these as the roll unwinds, using a pneumatic, mechanical or electrical sensing device called a tracker bar, and the mechanism subsequently plays the instrument.

After a roll is played, it is necessary for it to be rewound before it can be played again. This necessitates a break in a musical performance. To over come this, some instruments were built with two player mechanisms allowing one roll to play while the other rewinds.

A piano roll
Piano roll
A piano roll is a music storage medium used to operate a player piano, piano player or reproducing piano. A piano roll is a continuous roll of paper with perforations punched into it. The peforations represent note control data...

 is a specific type of music roll, and is designed to operate an automatic piano like the player piano
Player piano
A player piano is a self-playing piano, containing a pneumatic or electro-mechanical mechanism that operates the piano action via pre-programmed music perforated paper, or in rare instances, metallic rolls. The rise of the player piano grew with the rise of the mass-produced piano for the home in...

 or the reproducing piano.

See also

  • Book music
    Book music
    Book Music is a medium for storing the music played on mechanical organs, mainly of European manufacture. Book music is made from thick cardboard, containing perforated holes representing the musical notes to be played, with the book folded zig-zag style...

  • Piano roll
    Piano roll
    A piano roll is a music storage medium used to operate a player piano, piano player or reproducing piano. A piano roll is a continuous roll of paper with perforations punched into it. The peforations represent note control data...

  • Punched card
    Punched card
    A punched card, punch card, IBM card, or Hollerith card is a piece of stiff paper that contains digital information represented by the presence or absence of holes in predefined positions...

  • Punched tape
    Punched tape
    Punched tape or paper tape is an obsolete form of data storage, consisting of a long strip of paper in which holes are punched to store data...

  • Jacquard loom
    Jacquard loom
    The Jacquard loom is a mechanical loom, invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard in 1801, that simplifies the process of manufacturing textiles with complex patterns such as brocade, damask and matelasse. The loom is controlled by punched cards with punched holes, each row of which corresponds to one row...