History of the music box

The ancestor of the “Music box” (as we know it now) was a completely mechanical contraption consisting of 4 bells connected properly with the keyboard of an organ. The name comes from the medieval Latin quatrinio, which means 4 bells.
Even today these types of music box, although with modern materials, are still being built and a widespread cultural movement preserves use. (see in the “links” related videos).
With the invention of the mechanical clock there were musical devices powered from the same charge, the clock moves a wheel with the protruding actuate the levers that strike a series of bells.
Varying the position of the pins, you can compose an endless series of melodies.
The official history of the music box begins in 1796, when the Swiss watchmaker Antoine Favre perfected the concept of the watch musical devices of reduced dimensions.
Initially they were used gears to hit the metal blades suitable accorded, after which these wheels were replaced by toothed cylinders more practical and stable.
At that time the production of the music box was very traditional. The parts were in fact executed individually by artisans at their homes. Them were often farmers who took advantage of the long winter days to earn a while. The musical mechanisms were then assembled and placed in boxes from other people hired by the manufacturers themselves.
Around the year 1820 there was the idea of replacing the segmented blades with a comb or keyboard made of a single axis to increase the resonance.
The most important improvement was the invention of the damper whose function was to limit parasite vibrations of the blades. These dampers were initially constructed with chicken feathers.
Around 1875 Charles Paillardthe, the brothers Nicole and many others
Swiss manufacturer began to produce carillon an industrial manner.
The methods changed and miracles of industrialization made it possible to invent machines that can reproduce the cylinders in large quantities and at lower cost. So it was that we managed to overcome competition from French manufacturers, among which the Epée.
Other innovations were the aim of increasing the rhythm of the melodies and make the music box richest, from the point of view of the sound restitution.
Today the mechanisms that are usually used (Sankio) are top quality and make use of advanced computer technology.

  carillon antico saint pierre

Partial view of the hold music box in the Saint-Pierre cathedral (Geneve)

 Orologio inglese da camino con carillon

English clock for fireplace with music box to 13 bells (XVIII century)

Carillon moderno
Modern music box

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