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Author Topic: Mechanical melodeons  (Read 533 times)

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WestOz

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Mechanical melodeons
« on: August 25, 2017, 01:04:36 PM »

I am currently travelling in southern Germany and came across these instruments on display. Whilst not actually melodeons I thought they might be of passing interest to some Melnetters, particularly as one is a Hohner. The Bandoneon-like one has a full set of dummy buttons and plays using pins on a metal disk. The other (Hohner) uses a paper roll, but whether they blow air through reeds I do not know.
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Pearse Rossa

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Re: Mechanical melodeons
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2017, 11:30:56 PM »

... The other (Hohner) uses a paper roll, but whether they blow air through reeds I do not know.

It's a Tanzbar. There are no reeds.
See here.
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Theo

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Re: Mechanical melodeons
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2017, 11:41:43 PM »

... The other (Hohner) uses a paper roll, but whether they blow air through reeds I do not know.

It's a Tanzbar. There are no reeds.
See here.

Not sure about that,  The one example of a Hohner Tanzbar that I've had in my hands had reeds.  The mechanism opens and closes air passages to individual reeds and the "player" has to work the bellows to make the reeds sound.  I know there are various different Tanzbar models, but some certainly do have reeds.
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Theo Gibb

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Pearse Rossa

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Re: Mechanical melodeons
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2017, 11:52:23 PM »

... The other (Hohner) uses a paper roll, but whether they blow air through reeds I do not know.

It's a Tanzbar. There are no reeds.
See here.

Not sure about that,  The one example of a Hohner Tanzbar that I've had in my hands had reeds.  The mechanism opens and closes air passages to individual reeds and the "player" has to work the bellows to make the reeds sound.  I know there are various different Tanzbar models, but some certainly do have reeds.

I stand corrected!
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Sebastian

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Re: Mechanical melodeons
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2017, 12:23:46 AM »

Neither of them really is a Tanzbär (lit. "dance-bear", tame bear). Tanzbär was originally the name of a mechanical free reed instrument produced in the 1920 in Leipzig, which was driven by a lever. (Yes, today the name is sometimes used as a kind of generic term for all kinds of automatic melodeons.)

http://www.vintageaudioberlin.de/vabgalerien/kurioses/mechanische%20selbstspielende%20Zieharmonika/index.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJG_XzaFNB8

The second one, specifically, is a Magic Organa, and yes, it uses reeds. (It was produced in the beginning of the 1930 and is way to old to use electronic sounds. :D )

http://www.vintageaudioberlin.de/vabgalerien/kurioses/Hohner%20Magic%20Organa/index.htm

See the reeds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upa2vgxZeCM
Hear the reeds slightly out of tune: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWV7SHuM-Z0
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NickF

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Re: Mechanical melodeons
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2017, 11:47:10 AM »

I remember seeing something very similar in a National Trust property (IIRC Lanhydrock in Cornwall or Tredegar in Wales near Swansea...). A big disk in a very nicely made wooden, glass fronted case - I didn't have the sense to examine it more closely.
Noticed it as I wondered what was playing 'Winster Gallop'...
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Mechanical melodeons
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2017, 12:07:11 PM »

I remember seeing something very similar in a National Trust property (IIRC Lanhydrock in Cornwall or Tredegar in Wales near Swansea...). A big disk in a very nicely made wooden, glass fronted case - I didn't have the sense to examine it more closely.
Noticed it as I wondered what was playing 'Winster Gallop'...

Was it visiting or incumbant?
I live close to Lanhydrock  and I would like to see it it's there.
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Theo

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Re: Mechanical melodeons
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2017, 02:16:09 PM »

That sound like a Polyphon or something similar. For example http://www.mechanicalmusic.co.uk/disc-players/

Well known box player uses one in his show "Revolve and Rotate" https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/music/2016/jun/02/luke-daniels-revolve-rotate-review
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Theo Gibb

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NickF

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Re: Mechanical melodeons
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2017, 06:53:34 AM »

It looked like it was a fairly permanent fixture - it was situated in a corridor adjacent to one of the 'main' rooms. Didn't look to be overly portable the disk was about 3' diameter!

However, as I said, I can't remember if it was at Lanhydrock or Tredegar - either way they are both very interesting (one of them has a black dalek in the stables...)
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Nick Collis Bird

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Re: Mechanical melodeons
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2017, 07:11:37 AM »

I don't recall it at Lanhydrock Nick, I've been there twice recently. I'm pretty sure I would have noticed one if there was. I must admit that my attention was mostly taken up with the library though.
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NickF

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Re: Mechanical melodeons
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2017, 06:41:24 PM »

Must be Tredegar then :)
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Serenellini 233, Streb, D/G Pokerwork, D/G Liliput, C/F Liliput, Eb/Bb Comedy Wardrobe (Hohner Model X)

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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Mechanical melodeons
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2017, 09:33:25 PM »

Must be Tredegar then :)
Shame, bit too far to walk in an afternoon.
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Greg Smith
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