My Thomas Pacconi Music Box

Wednesday, February 23, 2011
What is a Music Box?

The music box is a 19th century automatic musical instrument that produces sounds by the use of a set of pins placed on a revolving cylinder so as to strike the tuned teeth of a steel comb. They were developed from musical snuff boxes of the 18th century and called “Carillons a Musique.” Some of the more complex boxes also have tiny drum and small bells, in addition to the metal comb. Alec Templeton, an avid collector of music boxes and a professional concert musician, once noted that the tone of a musical box is unlike that of any musical instrument.
History of the Music Box.

The original snuff box music boxes were tiny containers which could fit into a gentleman’s waist coat pocket. The musical boxes could have any size from that of a hatbox to a large piece of furniture though most were tabletop sized. They were usually powered by clockwork and originally produced by artisan watchmakers.
For most of the 19th century the bulk of music box production was concentrated in Switzerland, building upon a strong watch making tradition. The first music box factory was opened Switzerland in 1815 by Jeremie Recordon and Samuel Junod. There were also a few manufacturers in Bohemia and Germany. By the end of the 19th century some of the European makers had opened factories in the United States.
 The cylinders were normally made of metal and powered by a spring. In some of the costlier models, the cylinders could be removed to change melodies, thanks to an invention by Paillard in 1862, which was perfected by Metert, of Geneva in 1879. In some exceptional models there were four springs, to provide continuous play for up to three hours.
The first boxes at the end of the 18th century made use of metal disks. The switch over to cylinders seems to have been complete after the Napoleonic wars. In the last decades of the 19th century however, mass produced models such as the Polyphon and others all made use of interchangeable metal disks instead of cylinders. The cylinder based machines rapidly became a minority.

The term musical box is also applied to clockwork devices where a removable metal disk or cylinder was used only in a programming function without producing the sounds directly by means of pins and a comb. Instead, the cylinder or disk worked by actuating bellows and levers which fed and opened pneumatic valves which activated a modified wind instrument or plucked the chords on a modified string instrument. Some devices could do both at the same time and were often combinations of player pianos and musical boxes, such as the Orchestrion, which is a large mechanical instrument resembling a barrel organ that produces sound in imitation of an orchestra.
Stores six discs in the back of music box.

Award from Lila

Friday, February 18, 2011
1. My friend Lila, has sent this my way, a blogger award. I thank her very much for even thinking of me! There are so many wonderful blogs out there, but these are the ones that I know of that I would recommend visiting.


All of the above have something wonderful to offer their readers!

2. Things about me: 

Name:  Dorothy Jean
Music:  Light Classical, Classic Rock, Pop
Mood:  I try to be in a happy state if possible!
Color:  Red, I love it, all of my cars I've ever had were red!
Time of year:  Spring and Fall
How do you prefer to travel?:  by car
Phrase or word spoken by you:  Please tell me....I'm not a mind reader!
Series Preferred:  Not sure if this means a television series, but if so, I enjoy watching Ancient Discoveries, and Ancient Aliens on the History channel.                                                   
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Born Feb. 3, 1894
Died Nov. 8, 1978
Norman Rockwell is known for his timeless art and illustrations of everyday life scenarios he created for The Saturday Evening Post magazine for more than fourty years. His last painting for the Post was in 1963, which marked the end of his publishing relationship with the magazine which included 322 cover paintings. He produced over 4,000 orginal works in his lifetime. He was also commissioned to illustrate over 40 books, Boy Scouts' calendars, his most popular calendars the "Four Seasons" which were published for 17 years, booklets, catalogs, posters ( particularly movie promo's ) , stamps, playing cards, murals, sheet music. This pretty much rounded out his career as an illustrator.

Our tax accountant used to send out Norman Rockwell calendars at the beginning of each year. I enjoyed looking at the pictures. The ones I enjoy most are the Christmas illustrations. I went online and found images...many of them...but didn't want to post many of them. I was lucky enough to find this video on You Tube which has some of his timeless Christmas illustrations. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I did.

Another video from You Tube I found interesting is about a small town in Stockbridge, Mass. Rockwell used this town as a setting for his painting of an idyllic American Christmas. Each year this town pays tribute to him by recreating his painting.

I also found Norman Rockwell's Christmas Book: revised and updated [ Hardcover] on Amazon. I'm going to order this one! It features his art, eight ready to frame limited-edition prints, poems and stories from writers such as Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Hans Christian Andersen, and Lewis Carroll. It also includes Christmas Carol music & lyrics, and Christmas dinner recipes. I may order two of them, one for myself and one for a friend of mine for Christmas. I think she will enjoy it as much as I will!

I may only be posting once a month between now and October. It just depends on whether or not I have something to post about! Christmas only comes once a year and sometimes I really have to put some thought into what topic I want to post about! I think there is only so much you can say about organizing and traditions, etc. without it becoming a little dull. I certainly don't want my posts to become dull and bore you! So, I'll be thinking about some topics of interest....hopefully! :]

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