An ARTCRAFT Master Roll in progress!
Here are 3 close-up views of an antique Leabarjan Music Roll perforator one of 3 in the Maine Studio creating the Master for Scott Joplin's THE CHRYSANTHEMUM An Afro-American Intermezzo

    This composition was originally transcribed by composer-arranger-pianist Mark Lutton in 1995, and debuted at the famous "Scott Joplin Festival" in Sedalia, Missouri, featuring 2 pianos and 4 keyboard pianists (viz. 8 hands!). While a single Player-Piano doesn't give the stereo effect of twin pianos, it makes up for this by introducing PRECISION striking and total clarity for the countermelodies. ARTCRAFT Rolls' exclusive Interpretive Arranging gives a different "keyboard attack" simulation for the multiple phantom pianists, due to the graduated perforation lengths created by L. Douglas Henderson. The musical result is a sparkling, effervescent performance of the 24 page Lutton-Joplin score, and one which provides the convincing illusion of several virtuoso musicians at the keyboard.

    THE CHRYSANTHEMUM is to be released in late 2000 as a Duo-Art 'reproducing' (expression) roll and as an 88-Note roll with Themodist accents for instruments so equipped.

The Leabarjan perforator tackles Scott Joplin (for 2 pianos!)

    Here, one can see the Master Roll "locked into place" for a few measures, while the music is being cut interpretively, viz. following the score but not duplicating the notation time values. Note that the lengths of the notes vary, by design. You don't see homogenous clusters of "same length" perforations on an ARTCRAFT arrangement! The key to the keyboard striking illusion is based on the minute time differences for each perforation.

Close-up of the Leabarjan punch at work

    There is no "pianist" with an ARTCRAFT Master Roll. The graduated perforations are inspired by live performances, audio recordings and ideas from the mind of Mr. Henderson. See how carefully the END of each perforation "overlaps" down to a 128th note, in many cases. These timing adjustments are possible only with the flexible moving punch-and-die system of the old Leabarjan equipment. The "keyboard" is represented above the punch, so that notes and chords can be identified.

The  ARTCRAFT Master as seen by the arranger's view

    As the single punch moves horizontally across the music sheet ... as well as forward and backward through the musical measures (in segments of the arrangement), there is "total freedom" to experiment with keyboard striking effects. Notice the bass staccato octaves as well as the crisper treble staccato effects. When the contrasting melodies and countermelodies appear as graduated-length chords, THE CHRYSANTHEMUM becomes a 'living, breathing performance' ... possessing none of the droning nature of old Ragtime rolls, which were merely notation sheet music converted to 'organlike' striking patterns.

    We hope that this photographic Webpage helps confirm the 'artisan' nature of the Pianola roll ... an arranged music medium which requires no pianist for the actual Master. [Forget those phony 'played by' box labels of the past! Arrangers did the work.]

    Modern Interpretive Arranging uses the original perforating equipment, but carries the musical refinements to new horizons, since even the staccato notes are completely under the musician's control.

ARTCRAFT Music Rolls
L. Douglas Henderson, Prop.
P.O. Box 295, Wiscasset, Maine 04578 - Tel.: (207) 882-7420 - E-Mail:

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