player piano

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player piano,

an upright pianopiano
or pianoforte,
musical instrument whose sound is produced by vibrating strings struck by felt hammers that are controlled from a keyboard.

The piano's earliest predecessor was the dulcimer. The first piano was made c.
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 incorporating a mechanical system that automatically plays the encoded contents of a paper strip. This strip, perforated with holes whose position and length determine pitch and duration, is drawn over a pneumatic device that shoots streams of air through the holes. The air is guided through a tube to the corresponding hammer, which strikes the string. The pieces used in player pianos often reproduced performances by famous pianists. Although popular during the late 19th and early 20th cent., the player piano was eclipsed by phonographs and radios.
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player piano

a mechanical piano; Pianola
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
In "Ticklers' Secrets: Ragtime Performance Practices, 1900-1920--A Bibliographic Essay," Karen Rege evaluates a variety of sources on piano ragtime music: books, journals, magazines, and instruction manuals, as well as player-piano rolls, 78-rpm recordings, and sheet music; her essay concludes with an appendix, "Bibliography of Ragtime Materials." Kent Holliday focuses on music technology in "Some American Firms and Their Contributions to the Development of the Reproducing Piano," examining the attempts by manufacturers of player pianos to reproduce accurately qualities of human performance.
The advantage of this format is that you can hear (and see in the case of reproducing pianos like Yamaha Disklavier Pianos) the performance played back on the same instrument it was recorded on.
Thus we can only regret that Dvorak - unlike his contemporaries and members of the next generation of composers - died (in May 19o4) shortly before the German company Welte, using Welte-Mignon reproducing pianos, recorded the composers Grieg, Mahler, Strauss and Saint-Saens playing.
Berkman's essay that focuses on historical player and reproducing pianos. A categorized, selected bibliography contains recommended titles in areas such as piano pedagogy and lists other useful, general piano dictionaries.
Selling Sounds doesn't merely explore the recording industry but also examines the commodification of sounds as reproduced on sheet music, mechanically reproducing pianos, music publishing.