Remove this ad

Lead

Apr 3 07 2:02 AM

Tags : :

Anyone fancy having a go at creating a few new music rolls? New compositions of your own or any existing piece. Let me know as I've had a fair bit of fun doing a few myself and am happy to share my experiences and ideas. In the computer age it's not actually that hard either!



Adam

www.undergroundpianola.com
*1907 Brinsmead Angelus 58/65
*1913 Bluthner Hupfeld 65/88
*1904 Aeolian "D" Orchestrelle
*1926 Aeolian PDA Duo-Art
*1916 Gilbert Higel 88n

Quote    Reply   
Remove this ad
Remove this ad

#1 [url]

Apr 3 07 10:53 AM

Hi Adam

Just a question displaying my ignorance.

How do you set about creating metronomically cut rolls?
I can (just about) get my mind around scanning existing rolls, or converting a recorded performance, but surely creating a reasonable size roll from sheet music - with themeing - is a daunting task to say the least.

Not only that, but it is clear that some ordinary rolls 'play' a lot better than others, so there must be some art in the arranging.

I would love to see some ordinary arranged rolls of music that was not known or popular in the pianola age - late Schubert or Haydn sonatas for example.

Cheers

Neil

Quote    Reply   

#2 [url]

Apr 3 07 6:08 PM

Hi Neil,

Metronomic rolls are easy so long as you can program a decent midi file. I suppose a piano roll is like Victorian-midi using paper instead of an electronic data file and a pneumatic system instead of a sound card. The principles behind it all are the same.

The midi file goes thru software to convert in into the punch pattern used in the perforator. Years ago this was done on card like programming a knitting machine but now it’s electronic. For “themed” notes the note to be “themed” is extended forwards a few paces and an aligned “theme punch” is added in the roll margins a set distance ahead of that note. That’s all there is to it. Of course, you have to determine when you need and should use the “theme” facility. Merely highlighting the melody all the way through is not necessarily musically correct. Look as some all rolls and see where they used themeing and musically why they did it. The rationale behind is not always musically consistent however.

The reason some rolls play better than others is usually down to the fine programming of note lengths. Rolls with, say, all crotchets and minims exactly the same physical length will always sound clunky. Notes might be a certain value on paper but live pianists never play exactly the total note lengths as written….thank goodness!

I’d definitely be interested in some Schubert or Haydn and was looking at some Haydn sonatas last week. They’re musically very interesting and agreeable. What was popular in classical music 100 years ago is not necessarily what is popular today hence many titles are scarce or lacking on roll.

What Schubert and Haydn did you have in mind? Anyone else got any suggestions?


Adam

Quote    Reply   

#3 [url]

Apr 5 07 2:33 AM

I presume that you have a roll cutter?

I don't know how one goes about scanning and converting his rolls to midi, and conversely, how to program a vintage roll cutting machine (if you can find one) to work with midi files.

I know Ian Whitcomb's wife Rita, and he has produced several of his compositions on Piano rolls, so I know it is still done. I just wonder about the process.

Quote    Reply   

#4 [url]

Apr 5 07 7:09 PM

Schubert and Haydn

Hi Adam
Where do you start with a wish list?

There must have been a few Themodist rolls of Haydn sonatas produced - I have a roll of Sonata 'No2' TL23276 (actually Sonata 53!)
It would be nice to have Numbers 58, 32, 51, 62 ... well just about anything really, although I think No33 (HobXVI:20) would be my first choice.

Schubert is easier - any of the last 6 sonatas, with D960 probably the number one choice, although I guess the repeats in the first movement would have to be left off. One piece I have always thought would make a great roll (or more likely three)is the fantasy for piano duet D940.

I think somerthing like D960 would be quite popular, although I guess a lot people might prefer a hand played version (not me).


Cheers

Neil

Quote    Reply   
Remove this ad

#5 [url]

Apr 6 07 8:40 PM

Hi there Neil,

Many thanks for pointing me in the direction of all this great music! I downloaded midi files off the internet to have a listen to what they all were. I've not the Schubert Fantasi D940 before but what a wonderful piece it is!

To make it a worthwhile project Julian (Dyer) at www.pianorolls.co.uk likes a minimum of 4-5 copies of a roll to be cut typically. Can 4-5 people be rustled up who would fancy a copy of this??? I am sure there can.

Anyone who's reading this and fancies a piano roll copy let the forum know or message Neil or myself. I am happy to undertake the editing of the midi files to make them into workable piano rolls.

Anyone got any other titles they have been dying to get a-hold of for years?


Adam

Quote    Reply   

#6 [url]

Apr 9 07 1:23 AM

Hi Adam
- its a wonderful piece, I think it would play really well on the pianola. Despite your assurances, I still reckon it will be a lot of work for you, so I'm glad that you like it

The only downside might be that it would not fit on just one roll, which is a shame. There is a good 'break point' about two thirds of the way through, where the first theme restarts and becomes a sort of fugue, as long as the first bit wasn't too long.

I know of at least one other who would appreciate a roll - gives me an excuse to give him a ring.

Neil

Quote    Reply   

#7 [url]

May 3 07 12:43 PM

Adam & Neil --
Just found and joined this forum, and so happy I did! Count me in on any Shubert or Haydn roll projects as a definite purchaser (you can add Mozart and Beethoven to that list also for me!)!

Jim Canavan
Alexandria, VA usa

Quote    Reply   

#8 [url]

May 5 07 11:10 PM

Haydn Sonata #10 on home-punched roll

Several years ago I came across a box of half a dozen rolls at a Pennsylvania flea market that were all hand-punched on what I assume was a Leabarjan home perforator. All are classical pieces, the titles and other info beautifully hand-written in script, and boxed in dark green 2 piece sturdy boxes with hand written labels. Although there were only 6 for sale, there must have been much more of them originally -- each roll is numbered, and the ones I bought include #76 and #127.

These two numbers are my favorites: #76 is marked: "Mozart: Andante Grazioso, Trio No. 5, Violin. Cello & Piano," and #127 is: "Joseph Haydn: Sonata No. 10, Second and Third Movements, Adagio & Presto." They're a lot of fun to play, even without any theme nor sustain perforations.

Jim Canavan
Alexandria, VA usa

Quote    Reply   
Remove this ad
Add Reply

Quick Reply

bbcode help