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Time Machine – Deep Past – Whiting – My Blue Heaven – MP3


From Album


My Blue Heaven

River Bank Razzma Tazz


We, composers, tease each other a lot about using “cheesy” sampled sounds. (Tried using a sampled clarinet sound lately?) One hundred years ago composers were experimenting with the same cheese. Listen to this mechanical Double Violin. Pure cheese.
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  1. I am a mechanical music enthusiast from Upstate New York and I have some info on your double-violin playing machine that plays “My Blue Heaven”.
    From the sounds of the machine, especially if it’s a double violin model, this device is probably a “Violano Virtuoso”. These were made by the Mills Novelty Company of Chicago mainly in the 1910’s and 1920’s, for both public and home use. The company was also well known for its production of gaming devices, especially slot machines.
    Many Violano Virtuosos are coin-operated machines, somewhat similar to the Cremona G piano and Coinola C-2 piano elsewhere on your website. They operate from a perforated paper roll, just like the latter two instruments. However, the Coinola and Cremona pianos use a pneumatic system to read the holes in the rolls, whereas the Violano use an electric system. The “bow” is actually a set of four rosined discs made of celluoid that revolve and press downward on the strings, and the fingering is done by electromagnetically controlled metal “fingers” which are below the strings. The strings are kept in tune by weights hanging on the left side of each violin.
    Thanks for helping to keep the mechanical music hobby alive!

  2. I just stumbled across your site “Deep Past” and enjoyed it very much……Not that it really matters, but as a point of information, the song My Blue Heaven was composed by Walter Donaldson (music) with the lyrics by George Whiting.
    Thanks for the effort that must have gone into a site such as this.

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