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@Madelaine McMasters  That's a fascinating video.  I can't figure out how that player piano works.  The person at the keyboard is doing something rhythmic with his feet -- rhythmic but not on the same time scale as the tempo of the music -- that I interpret as pumping the machinery.  But what the heck is he doing with his fingers?  He seems to be manipulating buttons of some kind with each hand, but why?  I can't see any pattern to the button pushing that seems to correlate with the music.  It looks completely random.  And then there's the white box-looking thing in the place where you might expect a piano roll (or sheet music in a regular piano).  It's a bit hard to tell without being able to zoom in, but it looks like something is moving on the boxy thing, but the box itself isn't moving. What is it?  Do you have any clues, or is this one of those mechanical mysteries that will have me still guessing at 3 a.m.?

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24 minutes ago, Rolig Loon said:

@Madelaine McMasters  That's a fascinating video.  I can't figure out how that player piano works.  The person at the keyboard is doing something rhythmic with his feet -- rhythmic but not on the same time scale as the tempo of the music -- that I interpret as pumping the machinery.  But what the heck is he doing with his fingers?  He seems to be manipulating buttons of some kind with each hand, but why?  I can't see any pattern to the button pushing that seems to correlate with the music.  It looks completely random.  And then there's the white box-looking thing in the place where you might expect a piano roll (or sheet music in a regular piano).  It's a bit hard to tell without being able to zoom in, but it looks like something is moving on the boxy thing, but the box itself isn't moving. What is it?  Do you have any clues, or is this one of those mechanical mysteries that will have me still guessing at 3 a.m.?

This might help Rolig

"History of the Player Piano"

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   Thankless job.

image.png.dbb2a6a4c570bb94c1d3afbd7561f5de.png

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Rolig Loon said:

@Madelaine McMasters  That's a fascinating video.  I can't figure out how that player piano works.  The person at the keyboard is doing something rhythmic with his feet -- rhythmic but not on the same time scale as the tempo of the music -- that I interpret as pumping the machinery.  But what the heck is he doing with his fingers?  He seems to be manipulating buttons of some kind with each hand, but why?  I can't see any pattern to the button pushing that seems to correlate with the music.  It looks completely random.  And then there's the white box-looking thing in the place where you might expect a piano roll (or sheet music in a regular piano).  It's a bit hard to tell without being able to zoom in, but it looks like something is moving on the boxy thing, but the box itself isn't moving. What is it?  Do you have any clues, or is this one of those mechanical mysteries that will have me still guessing at 3 a.m.?

I think the man's left hand is manipulating two volume controls. The left one is for the left half of the keyboard (bass notes/rhythm) and the right is for the right half (treble/melody). His right hand is operating the tempo control and perhaps a sustain lever and his feet are pedaling the pneumatic pump. Most early player pianos were like that, but many people didn't want to put any effort into decorating the basic music from the rolls, so more sophisticated players were developed, until "recording pianos" finally captured just about every nuance of the human recordist's playing. By the time those became popular, electricity was widely available and they were powered by electric motors, requiring no human intervention other than to load the roll and turn it on.

We once had a player piano out in the barn, but it was in such bad shape that rehabilitation was out of the question. It had originally been used to play the scores for silent movies shown in the dance hall in Mom's home town. I have seen mini player pianos with 65 keys.

ETA: If you look closely, the “white box” is actually the paper roll, wrapped around the supply and take up tubes and the reading tube in the center. It takes that square path to keep tight against the reading tube. 

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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Continuing on the player piano topic, a friend of mine has a modern Yamaha computerized baby grand player piano. It's a lovely thing to see and hear, but there's a fatal flaw in its design. It's electronic. In 1000 years, I'm fairly sure there will be, somewhere on Earth, an early 1900s pneumatic player piano still in working condition, or a least a working replica of one. There will, however, be no working Yamaha electronic player pianos. The flash memory that holds the piano's operating code will have degraded to the point the piano is no longer operable. There will be no online copies of the memory image, nor of the source code for it. There will be no available replacement parts, nor any tools for making repairs to the circuit boards. No amount of poking and prodding the thing will reveal how it works.

This is the price we pay for making things that cannot be understood by direct human observation nor copied by direct human labor using man-made tools.

Now, back on topic...

 

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Posted (edited)

To be more specific

Thankless Boss  <<<beaten by Maddi

Image result for thankless boss

Job Security 

 

Edited by CheriColette
pipped at the post
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