Mechanical Piano

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Mechanical Piano


a piano with an installed or attached device for playing without a pianist. Mechanical pianos included the phonola, the Welte-Mignon, and the pianola.

In mechanical pianos dating from the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, the keys, which are controlled by perforated paper rolls (mechanical note rolls), are set in action by a complex pneumatic system with a pedal or electrical driving gear. The use of perforated rolls was a novel means of transcribing the notes of a musical piece. Almost all mechanical pianos can be played like a regular piano. With the spread of the phonograph and tape recorder, mechanical pianos fell into disuse.

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One of the main reasons why Mechanical Piano was considered to be an adaptation of Platonov was that Mikhalkov and Adabashian kept most of the cast of characters.
Interestingly, Sasha is the only one who can't stand the mechanical piano performance: she faints.
Mikhalkov and Adabashian, indeed, created a screenplay for Mechanical Piano in complete accordance with Chekhov's vision: a play in which drama never unfolds into tragedy but instead produces a comic outcome with tragic overtones.
Nor does it change for the characters in Mechanical Piano. Yet, there is a gleam of hope for a better future in Mikhalkov's film.
The final sequence of scenes in Mechanical Piano echoes the final scene sequence in the Italian masterpiece: Guido's words to his wife, "But this confusion is me, not as I'd like to be, but as I am.

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