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THE BACK BAY POLKA from "The Shocking Miss Pilgrim" (1946) -George and Ira Gershwin-
Arranged for The Player-Piano by L. Douglas Henderson - $23.00
Never has prudishness and an "uptight attitude" ever been spoofed so musically as in this delightful Polka by the brothers Gershwin! (In fact, considering some of the 'family values' people of today - who favour censorship and employ deceptive politics in order to impose their religious dogma upon others - Ira's lyrics are just as 'fresh' now as they were over 50 years ago!)
From a musical standpoint, THE BACK BAY POLKA captivates the listener in the same fashion as a "showstopping" number by Gilbert & Sullivan, when the choral refrain rises to repeat a lyric. The melodic alliteration, the repetitive clipped staccato passages ... all pay homage to the witty British operettas such as THE PIRATES of PENZANCE and H.M.S. PINAFORE, yet with that special "Gershwin touch" which defies description. This ARTCRAFT Interpretive Arrangement brings to the Pianola all the toe-tapping rhythm and sparkle one could ever desire ... and the performance sweeps across the entire scope of the keyboard, drawing upon the resources of the pneumatic instrument for the fullest-possible comic effect! In-between the bouncy arrangement are little Gershwin 'interludes' - some being quotes from his musical successes. (Gershwin was the consummate self-promoter, and on many occasions played little "signatures" from RHAPSODY IN BLUE - on radio programmes, on his phonograph records ... and even in a few Fox Movietone newsreel clips!) This is one of those pieces which sweeps the listener along, beguiling the audience with vibrant variations and unexpected 'trick' effects. To label THE BACK BAY POLKA as an ideal "party roll" would not be inappropriate!
Eight years after George's death, his brother Ira wrote a musical - with assistance from Kay Swift - based on UNUSED 'GERSHWIN' MELODIES, pieces written for stage and film scores that never found their way into the final productions. They used what George called his "Icebox" ... a book of numbered melodies, which were written-down on the spur of the moment - over the years - and then filed-away by an assistant. (These musical note-books enabled Gershwin to assemble a stage show on short notice, since he began the process in his early years as a 'demonstration pianist' in the Remick publishing house. [Unfortunately for us, one of the books got left at an Atlantic City NJ hotel in the 'Twenties, so those melodies are "lost to history". At the time George said to Ira, "Don't worry. There's more where those came from!"]) This posthumous Gershwin musical was written for the Twentieth-Century Fox Studios and was entitled "The Shocking Miss Pilgrim", starring Dick Haymes and Betty Grable.
The story revolves about a working woman - a typist - in Boston, "shocking" because women didn't do secretarial work on the 1870's, when the story was laid. Miss Pilgrim not only masters her Remington typewriter under stressful office conditions, but she also joins the Suffragette Movement - campaigning for women's voting rights. At the time that "The Shocking Miss Pilgrim" was being written, World War II was in high gear, and working-women were everywhere. (One of the jokes in the dialogue was, "The next you thing you know, they'll put women in the military!") The Fox musical photoplay had "everything" ... period costumes, engaging songs and lush Technicolor photography. It bombed in the box-office, however! There were 2 reasons for this disaster (and possibly 3 if one counts the fact that Miss Grable's famous legs weren't that visible in Victorian costumes): first, a Technicolor strike delayed the release of the picture until 1947 - after the novelty of wartime working conditions was over; second, with the soldiers returning home, there was the short-lived campaign of putting the women "back into the kitchen again" - and giving the jobs back to the men. Thus, the 'feminist' Victorian story was presented to the American public at a time when the message had missed its mark!
History aside, "The Shocking Miss Pilgrim" holds up very well today, both as an entertaining story and as a posthumous Gershwin musical. THE BACK BAY POLKA chronicled the lives of a closed society and the prissy Boston élite. The vivacious Gershwin song also represents one of Betty Grable's best film-musical numbers [in Mr. Henderson's opinion] ... and it was set to the accompaniment of a "musical glasses" (a glass harmonica), no less! Originally this song was entitled HEIGH HO, THE MERRIO and was written for the 1937 RKO Fred Astaire motion picture "Damsel In Distress" - also featuring Burns & Allen. There was supposed to be a 'madrigal' scene involving servants, but the song got pitched by the Studio (and, believe it or not, A FOGGY DAYin LONDON TOWN almost got the axe at the same time!) Composer Howard Arlen and Ira Gershwin often sang HEIGH HO, THE MERRIO at private parties - fitted with a variety of lyrics - and a home-made disc recording from the 'Forties captures one of their impromptu performances! When "The Shocking Miss Pilgrim" commission came along, it was a simple matter for Ira to get out his pen and fashion yet another group of lyrics - AND THESE ARE AMONG THE MOST 'CLEVER' HE EVER PENNED! (We did say that this was a "party roll" above, didn't we?)
Hollywood censorship prevented some of the lines from reaching the silver screen, but this ARTCRAFT Roll presents the entire song ... complete with the "missing" material! The film version also took the 'dreamy' approach to much of the Gershwin music - including this Polka - but rest assured that the ARTCRAFT Interpretive Arrangement features all the panache which the music would have had under the Composer's fingers in the 'Thirties, when the melody was written.
Today's Bostonians are a different breed, so owners of THE BACK BAY POLKA need not fear it being discovered on the Pianola, by a visitor from Beacon Hill. However, we don't recommend playing this Word Roll for a gathering of those 'family values' types, since - when offended - they are prone to violence. So, enjoy THE BACK BAY POLKA in the company of open-minded intelligent people, and you'll have a great time!
BALLET MÉCANIQUE(1924) -George Antheil-
A NEW, Reconstructed Arrangement© by L. Douglas
Three-Roll Set with a Pianolist's Instruction Guide
The World of Opera has Wagner's Ring of the Nibelungen as its "monster" opus - though the Composer always referred to his operas as "Music Dramas" -- and the Pianola has BALLET MÉCANIQUE as its perforated music roll equivalent, though not realized until 1991 ... after The ARTCRAFT Studio had been summoned to re-perforate the music for a live broadcast performance by Swedish TV-Radio in Stockholm. Following the ground-breaking European première, featuring 2 'matched' Aeolian upright Player-Pianos and a 1926 print of the motion picture film, the new edition was further revised and copyrighted. BALLET MÉCANIQUE has been a popular staple with the Pianola-intelligentsiaever since The ARTCRAFT Studio's public release at the beginning of the 'Nineties. This descriptive text is not designed to 'market' the sweeping - and experimental - cult composition by George Antheil, often called "The Bad Boy of Music" ... but is being written to inform those who have an interest in the piece about the many facets concerning the new ARTCRAFT Interpretive Arrangement. Today, some 7 years after the début of the brand-new edition, the flawed original 1925 rolls by French Pleyel (and later by French Aeolian) have now been put into "retirement" - or junked outright! So many 3-Roll Sets have been shipped by ARTCRAFT to the far reaches of the civilized world, that it's safe to assume that when BALLET MÉCANIQUE is performed in the New Century - with or without the truncated silent motion picture which originally "synchronized" with the 'avant garde' music - that the rolls will be Mr. Henderson's arrangement ... and not the botched editions from Composer Antheil's day.
BALLET MÉCANIQUE was part of the "futurist" - or 'machine music' - movement, which played itself out between the Great War (W.W.I) and the Great Depression (the early 'Thirties). George Antheil was ahead of his time with the idea of synchronizing motion picture film to a piece written for Player-Piano music rolls -- but he understood little about the Pianola mechanism or its attributes and limitations. Thus, the original rolls never really performed as they should, burying the "superimposed rhythms" in a muddle of irregular chords ... and the Pleyel arrangers simply left out many technical passages (comprising hundreds of notes) in many places. Unless you have witnessed BALLET MÉCANIQUE as a work for SOLO Pianola (forget the film!) you really haven't heard the Composer's intentions. The 30-minute piece was written for a Player-Piano only plus a motion picture projector - and performed in a Salon for a small audience. In later years, with Atheil's many revisions - usually for money and/or publicity - it turned into an orchestral muddle featuring multiple pianists, sometimes a "drowned-out" Pianola and a host of irritating sound effects, ranging from doorbells and automobile horns to aeroplane propellers (replaced by tape loops of jet engine recordings in the 1953 revision). The work is BALANCED, though ultra-dissonant since it imitates the SOUNDS OF HEAVY MACHINERY, and various patterns resurface to yield organization to the complicated music, which - at times - encompasses up to 31 keys of the piano! One can only experience the original BALLET MÉCANIQUE through the means of a single Player-Piano, performing with "steel-like" staccato striking and its inherent precisioned rhythm. Heard any other way, the Pianola becomes a trivialized effect ... and the multiple musicians blur the rhythms [and this was stated after-the-fact by the Composer, many times, right up to his death in 1959].
The motion picture doesn't match the music, due to censorship and cutting. Nude scenes involving some of the principals were cut out, and - in fact - the Swedish broadcast presentation was accomplished with the music rolls being "adjusted" to the film, instead of the other way around! While the visual effects of CUBISM and trick photography worked with the Player-Pianos, the "balance" of the entire composition had to be compromised. In later years, George Antheil wrote that the film and the player rolls were [quote] parallel and separate compositions. Originally, however, the audio-visual work, which is what this really was, involved the talents of Antheil along with Man Ray, Dudley Murphy and Fernand Léger (the latter 3 doing the visual work only). BALLET MÉCANIQUE inspired many later composers to try "machine music", and it was the catalyst for Prokofieff's THE STEEL TROT, Honegger's PACIFIC 231 and Ravel's BOLERO. There are elements from Stravinsky's RITE OF SPRING in this complicated music, as well as ideas that surfaced in Raymond Scott's POWERHOUSE (a stable 'factory music' theme for Carl Stalling to use in many Warner Bros. cartoons, such as the "Mouse-merized Cat").
Again, it must be stressed that this music is NOT for everyone. Antheil's composition transforms the pianoforte into steam engines, pile drivers, railroad trains, aeroplane motors and all sorts of heavy machinery. These patterns - called "Time Space" by the Composer - were repeated to fit a scene from the original motion picture. It takes little imagination, however, to get the illusion of a boiler factory in one block of "time" and whirling aeroplane propellers in another. The finale came from Antheil's earlier piece called DEATH OF THE MACHINES ... and this yields the largest and most complicated and LONGEST tremolo chord in the history of Player-Piano rolls!
Several hours of hand-editing and rubber stamping (the dynamics and the 'known' movie scene numbers) go into each Set of these ARTCRAFT Rolls. A copy of the original Pleyel score, in the Composer's own handwriting (supplied by his Estate), is necessary to consult while completing each release. Together, the rolls measure about 250 feet in length! You owe it to yourself to HEAR these rolls in the concert hall sometime, even if you elect not to purchase them for yourself. BALLET MÉCANIQUE in any other form is a travesty of the original "machine music" concept, which requires absolute precision for the rhythmic effects to work. (You are unlikely to hear the original rolls which mask the patterns, when not engaged in leaving out cascades of musical notes!) Each Set is provided with a comprehensive history of the music and instructions on how to approach the arrangement with one's own Player-Piano. For those who enjoy this era of 'cubistic' musical experimentation, there is nothing like the ARTCRAFT Rolls of BALLET MÉCANIQUE. As Dr. Jürgen Hocker - of Germany - wrote, following the Swedish première, "Your music rolls were nothing short of electrifying!" [Subsequently, he purchased several ARTCRAFT Sets, for himself ... and for gifts to musicians.]
BLISSFUL TRYST or The Saga of André and Lila -Anton Titl-
Re-Issue of an old 88-Note Story Roll - $24.50
Two women — whose paths never crossed in real life — are responsible for the re-issue of this unusual roll, "special" for two reasons: a) ARTCRAFT rarely releases old commercial rolls "as is" — preferring to re-master them in the Studio, to bring the striking effects and pedal shadings up to modern 'Interpretive Arrangement' standards; b) BLISSFUL TRYST is a rare music roll, elusive because the story imprinted upon it was so sickening that the music roll factory replaced their 'Teens edition with two others, both recycling the same perforated arrangement! ARTCRAFT is re-releasing the first version of Titl's saccharine Serenade featuring a narrative that is so maudlin, so unintentionally hilarious that it is — in our time — a "party roll" for all occasions!
While the author of the 'music roll epic' remains anonymous, even on the original box labels, Mr. Henderson of ARTCRAFT attributes the story to Lee S. Roberts, Vice-President of the QRS Music Company at the time, and composer of SMILES plus another sentimental piece entitled VALSE PARISIENNE, the latter also released in its hey-day as a Story Roll. It was company policy to "write a tale" if nothing existed for the music — a clever method of adding extra rolls to the series, even when the selection possessed no 'program music' attributes when originally composed! (Some Story Rolls were total ripoffs, such as one edition of Mascagni's INTERMEZZO from Cavalleria Rusticana. What the hapless QRS customer got for his extra money (over the cost of the instrumental roll) was a bland description of the stage settings ... followed by a hymn — which doesn't appear in the Two-Act Opera. The arrangement should have been sold as a less expensive Song Roll!)
The second and third releases of the Titl composition were not suitable for hilarity at public gatherings, by comparison. No doubt the early returns from the first version caused the roll plant to write "another story" featuring two other characters who were less passionate. Finally, the Titl melody was released in a third and more common format with forgettable commentary about the period in which the music was composed, with lots of "blank space" on the roll margin where a torrid love story had been stenciled at one time.
André and Lila were the creations of a player roll enterprise — designed to synchronize their contrived love affair with a four-hand arrangement, possibly based on something that Mme. Sturkow-Ryder and Lee S. Roberts "recorded" via the Melville Clark 'marking' piano ... and then later made into an arrangement with extended perforations. The musical performance level for this commercial arrangement "isn't bad at all" — in fact, it's a beautiful lyric rendition "IF" the Pianolist looks away from the running commentary as the roll plays! As with Pandora's box, however, one "peek" and the beauty of the instrumental music will be punctuated by peals of laughter. André is the swooning lover who scales garden walls to reach his beloved. Lila weeps on a balcony. Together, they are doing a poor man's travesty of Romeo and Juliet, and they are the most nauseating pair that you've ever encountered! There are passages where André's drawn ("as by an invisible magnet to her chamber window") ... and tender moments when Lila "sobs her heart away" when youthful love is "gone—gone—GONE!" There are singing birdies, twittering about — Nightingales no less! — and their mathematical trills flit above the melodic line. Anything you could imagine for a parody of an old radio "Soap Opera" has been synchronized with what would otherwise be an appealing, admittedly sentimental, musical performance. Helen Trent and Stella Dallas weren't the first to gush in public. This 'Teens music roll, which was too "melodramatic" in its own day, now emerges from under a rock, becoming the ideal Word Roll to spring on a exuberant Player-Piano group.
The two ladies, mentioned at the start of this description were Sally Lawrence, one of the founders of the AMICA player club ... and Lois Konvalinka, who co-founded The Musical Wonder House (Music Museum) in Wiscasset, Maine. Back in the 'Fifties, Sally would casually begin playing this roll on the household Chickering Ampico grand, daring anyone to read the story with a straight face. (Few people could accomplish this feat, especially when the feathered creatures fluttered about the voyeur hero "singing his heart out" in the safety of the night shadows.) When Mr. Henderson moved to the East Coast to work with the Konvalinkas, he bought several Story Rolls with the same serial number ... but, alas! they featured the QRS imposter-lovers (who weren't funny) or the bland drivel which characterized most of the Story Rolls published by the famous company. Without André and Lila the music just wasn't the same! Lois Konvalinka discoveredthe"André and Lila" version during the evening concerts held at the museum in the late 'Sixties, and kept saying to Mr. Henderson, "Why don't you re-issue that roll? It's so AWFUL that it's hilarious!" Finally, in the 'Nineties, the original roll was re-introduced with all the bathos and treacle-dialogue which cluttered-up the old commercial release.
What else can we say? If you enjoyed Joe Piscopo as half of "Doug and Wendy Whiner" (that's "whiner" not "weiner"!) on the old Saturday Night Live television show ... or think that East Lynne or The Drunkard or The Parson's Bride (the play which takes place within the Kern-Hammerstein musical Show Boat) are comedy material, then you are sure to relish BLISSFUL TRYST — a Story Roll which makes HEARTS and FLOWERS seem like lofty, serious music. (ARTCRAFT bears no responsibility for those who get "sick" in the middle of a musical recitation.)
BLUE MONDAY - A One-Act 'Jazz' Opera (1922) -George Gershwin-
Arranged for Player-Piano by L. Douglas Henderson - $45.00
A running commentary for the Pianolist plus a description of the "stage story" complement this long-playing Interpretive Arrangement of Gershwin's little-known "jazz" opera — now offered as an effervescent Player-Piano transcription. Blues melodies, Harlem "stride" dance music, operatic interludes and 'murder-in-a-barroom' are all combined into one fantastic music roll performance! [Link to the Duo-Art description]
THE BOSTON MEDLEY - Fight Fiercely Harvard!, Take Me Back to Tech!., The MTA
-Tom Lehrer, I. W. Litchfield, & Anonymous-
Arranged for Player-Piano L. Douglas Henderson - $23.50
THE OFFICIAL ROLL for The 1989 Boston 'AMICA' (player club) Convention
Produced by Michael Potash
Illustrated WORD ROLL
How often do you see a music roll label which says "produced by" on it? Michael Potash — a resident of Framingham, Mass. and a long-time advocate of the Interpretive Arranging process — was, in the mid-'Eighties, an officer in the Boston Chapter of the international player club. Being a musician himself, on several levels, he decided that '89 Massachusetts event should have an illustrated Word Roll with a challenging musical score. He wanted this Official Roll to consist of 3 dissimilar Boston songs cleverly combined into an unforgettable medley, which would show off the full scope of the Pianola. THE BOSTON MEDLEY was to be a roll which commanded the listeners' attention, and it was to feature imaginative variations designed to keep every melodic reprise "fresh" and beguiling.
Knowing that only one music roll enterprise employs Interpretive Arranging methods, Mr. Potash asked The ARTCRAFT Studio to rise to the task and create the Boston-theme medley roll. (When the project was completed, the Studio received a letter from him which stated, "It's not often when someone's idea is carried out and he discovers that the results exceeded expectations!") The illustrations on the roll were provided by the producer, one of which is a large cartoon of Harvard football players in a huddle ... encircling a samovar and serving tea [with their little 'pinky' fingers elevated, of course!]. The roll also has several 'corrective' tempo suggestions printed on it, so the astute interpreter will be able to compensate for the paper build-up on the lower spool, resulting in tempo accelerando if ignored.
"Fight Fiercely, Harvard!" is a college "fight song" spoof, based upon old university football cheers. Tom Lehrer, the ultimate creator of enduring parody songs, fashioned this witty treasure in the 1950's - the perfect send-up of the genre, combining "tough" football language with "effete" interjections. Amazingly, this Interpretive Arrangement captures the essence of the Tom Lehrer style, even if you choose not to follow the fascinating lyrics. This number is so much fun that it gets reprised in the finale!
"Take Me Back To Tech!" is a jolly old MIT college song, written in the 1880's and still often sung at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology today. The melody will be familiar to those who know old (and we mean "ancient"!) college songs. It's the venerable "Solomon Levi" tune recycled into a tongue-twister which would rival the alliteration of Gilbert & Sullivan's comic 'patter song' numbers, such as "A Modern Major General" (for Pirates of Penzance fans). This song will require practice to master, if you choose to sing-along, but the results will be worth it. Should it be beyond your abilities to keep up with the 'flow-of-words', the "Take Me Back To Tech!" is fascinating to perform as an instrumental number. Remember, this medley was created to be a SHOWCASE for the Player-Piano, for an audience of over 200 player instrument owners! As such, it sets any group on end, turning the crowd's focus to the music roll performance and the desire to experience "what comes next"!
If you are familiar with folk music, here's a well-known politican ballad about Charlie and "The MTA", revived in the 1960's by the Kingston Trio, sung to the tune of an older railroad song, "Wreck of The Old 97". It is a protest song about a 5¢ increase proposed for the city's transit system. (It's the familiar number about "Charlie" who got stuck on a subway train, being "the man who couldn't get off" — for lack of a nickel!) Rail fans will note that a couple of the Boston subway stops no longer exist, thanks to urban renewal/removal. "The MTA" turned out to be one of the Trio's biggest hits, and was doubly clever, since the 'Sixties lyrics were used with an earlier train song. As an Interpretive Arrangment"The MTA" is so engaging that any listener who was silent previously, will join in and become a member of the impromptu chorus.
A decade after the club convention ended, THE BOSTON MEDLEY continues to entertain Pianola owners on a word-wide basis. Many copies have been shipped to Australia and continental Europe, a testament to the musical arrangement as an instrumental entity ... since many of the Boston references would not be known on foreign shores. Fans of Tom Lehrer's music should order the medley just for the spineless "fight?" song. THE BOSTON MEDLEY has something for everyone!
BRASS KNUCKLES - A Brutal Rag -William Albright & William Bolcom-
Arranged for Player-Piano by L. Douglas Henderson - $23.50
Back in the mid-'Forties pianist/composer/comedian (and radio personality) Alec Templeton recorded an album of 78's for RCA-Victor called Musical Portraits. One of the discs featured, among other things, a riotous imitation of a John MacCormack singing "Somewhere A Voice Is Calling" (ing-ing-innnnng) ... since this was a piano solo and vocal sketch that simulated a spring-wound Victrola™ or gramophone "running down" in the middle of the song. The other highlight of the record featured Mr. Templeton announcing that he would be playing Mendelssohn's SPRING SONG "with a torn Pianola roll". Immediately, the witty entertainer tore into a note-bashing performance of the familiar piece, but with a keyboard rendition that sounded exactly like a miss-tracking player roll with the frayed edges. (If you've heard this Templeton parody of a music roll, then you can imagine what's in store for you with the contemporary composition BRASS KNUCKLES, co-authored by Messrs. Bolcom and Albright — two of the premier musical talents in our time!)
BRASS KNUCKLES sounds something like the title suggests, but — unlike the unpublished Templeton opus — the "ripped music roll" effects are played against an ORIGINAL RAGTIME MELODY, one which could stand on its own legs ... and it can, to a great extent, if the Pianolist elects to suppress the irregularities which are built-into the extreme bass and treble registers of the score. This is one of those unclassifiable compositions which, through the medium of the manually-controlled Player-Piano, allows the interpreter to decide just "how much" of the two effects should dominate the performance: the syncopated Ragtime melody which is in the MIDDLE of the piano scale, or the eccentric discords which are relegated to the margins of the moving paper roll.
Our description won't twist your arm to sell you this highly unusual roll. You'll either like it ... or despise the music, and there will be no "middle ground" for the Pianolist and the audience. The ARTCRAFT Interpretive Arrangement borrows striking effects (the keyboard attack) from two published audio recordings, one by Mr. Bolcom and the other featuring Mr. Albright. Generally speaking, the elbow-on-the-keyboard sounds were adapted from the Bolcom Cassette and the melodic treatment of the original composition — in the resonant centre of the piano keyboard — is a homage to the Albright recording. An additional "ARTCRAFT Variation" (so marked on the World/Dialogue text) is added, which explores additional possibilities for this unique musical style, providing chords and performance 'tricks' which are beyond the scope of any keyboard virtuoso.
The ARTCRAFT roll of BRASS KNUCKLES received its audience première at the same player club convention in 1989, described in the text above for THE BOSTON MEDLEY — and featuring the Arranger at Peter Neilson's 1928 Brewster upright piano, equipped with a Standard Pneumatic Action. Following its début, BRASS KNUCKLES has continued to fascinate those who have the resolve and sense of humour necessary to enjoy this music. The ultimate tribute, perhaps, occurred in 1994 when Mr. Henderson (as a Pianolist) appeared on a concert at a college in Bar Harbor, Maine, sharing the stage with pianists Masanobu Ikemiya and William Albright (playing the keyboards). After the programme, Composer Albright asked to take a copy of BRASS KNUCKLES back to his home in Ann Arbor, Michigan ... even though he doesn't possess a player instrument! (He has friends that do, however.)
If someone approached Vladimir Horowitz about the subject of his Duo-Art music rolls — or made the mistake of asking him to autograph one of them — he would receive a verbal attack of the severest kind. "I never made those rolls and never had anything to do with them," he'd retort, with a restrained fury lurking beneath his words. Mr. Henderson knows five people, three of them still living today, who regretted asking Horowitz about the fraudulent 'reproducing' rolls issued in his name. (Like anecdotes can be related concerning Artur Rubinstein and the music rolls published by Ampico and Duo-Art under similar circumstances, only he didn't give the unfortunate Pianola roll owner a tirade for mentioning the subject.) [Contrast this paragraph with some of the outlandish "There's Horowitz!" claims by those who market modern solenoid players or 'discover' some "lost" music rolls, which were never missing in the first place! We've provided a sample for you to read, accessible through one of our page links: The "Earwitness" Duo-Art Case ... featuring the ARTCRAFT viewpoint vs. the contemporary 'hype' via a secondary link to another URL. Good luck!]
This description should give you, the reader, a good idea of what to expect from the music roll edition. If you have any doubts about the music, we suggest that you listen to the audio recordings by Bolcom and/or Albright. The ARTCRAFT Interpretive Arrangement will mirror these live performances, since the Master Roll was based on them. There's also an additional use for BRASS KNUCKLES, in its music roll form. If one has to put up with chatterboxes who "talk" as the piano plays (and you know the kind!), just perform the Bolcom & Albright roll at full volume. Either the babblers will leave the music room — or the superimposed conversation will cease, their having been stunned by your raucous playing!
A BREEZE FROM ALABAMA (1902) -Scott Joplin-
Arranged for Player-Piano by L. Douglas Henderson - $22.50
While THE MAPLE LEAF RAG is known to 'everybody' who enjoys syncopated music ...and THE ENTERTAINER was a rather obscure piece until a movie called The Sting catapaulted it into international domain, there are many treasures in the the Joplin folio of distinctive compositions, now aptly called "Classic Ragtime". Many pianists have skipped over Joplin titles which suggest non-Ragtime music, and this is usually due to the way in which the printed scores were arranged — but in most cases was attributable to the category into which the Composer [or his publisher John Stark] labeled the pieces. It's not uncommon for audio recordings and music books of "complete" Joplin Ragtime to overlook THE CHRYSANTHEMUM (an Intermezzo), SOLACE (a Serenade) or this winning selection, A BREEZE FROM ALABAMA (billed as a March). A "march" the latter piece might be, but in the hands of a talent like Joplin the imaginative syncopations shine through. The composition also is unique in the fact that it's a kaleidoscope of modulations, transposing into one signature after another.
[Or, put more bluntly, in the words of a self-styled "piano roll expert" in today's media — and always associated with the Disklavier solenoid player: "It changes key ... something the 'old player-piano' couldn't do." The second part of this sentence, taped from National Public Radio by The ARTCRAFT Studio, indicates to this writer that the promoter-cum-researcher never examined many pneumatic players — or the presence of a 'transposing' knob, lever or sliding tracker-bar would make the clickety-click Yamaha player a 'Johnny-Come-Lately' development in that regard. Even the Aeolian console players, built in Memphis, Tenn. until the company closed in 1985, usually sported a tracker-bar 'transposing' feature! Isn't it easy to be an expert in today's era of mass communications?]
A BREEZE FROM ALABAMA is certain to be one of your favourite Ragtime rolls, if it's this particular Interpretive Arrangement. The ever-changing Joplin tonality contrasts with Pianola variations, creating an effect which adds a new level of sophistication to pneumatic player action performance. Should your instrument be equipped with a "solo" system (such as the Themodist™ or others of similar type), there's a wonderful 'crossed-hand' melody passage, which races over the bass-treble scale divisions, creating a virtuoso effect. (If your player does not have an automatic "solo" system, most capable Pianolists can suppress, with the hammer rail lifts or action choke buttons, the divisions which don't feature the small accent perforations ... and the musical effect will be virtually identical, if one's fingers are agile!)
We recommend this ARTCRAFT 88-Note roll for anyone who enjoys good Ragtime. It has a longer running time than the published score, due to the extra variations ... and there is enough detail in the arrangement (and its striking effects) to challenge anyone interested in bringing out his/her own interpretative ideas. Order this Joplin "sleeper" and prepare to wake up your aesthetics — and entertain your musical friends!
BROADWAY RAG (1922) -James Scott-
Arranged for Player-Piano by L. Douglas Henderson - $17.50
Ragtime — especially what's called "Classic Ragtime" today — was 'dead' by 1922. General Electric and Westinghouse had the first commercial radio station running by this time, KDKA ... and the country was dancing to One-Steps and Fox-Trots, not Two-Steps and the other styles which were associated with this syncopated popular music. (Even "blues" and "jazz" tunes were on the scene, and crowding out what few copies of Ragtime music that John Stark could publish, having lost Scott Joplin in the late 'Teens.) James Scott would progress to other musical fields, such as playing a calliope and accompanying silent cinéma films ... being an accomplished organist as well as the author of many fine Ragtime pieces.
Shortly after the BROADWAY RAG sheet music was issued by the Stark enterprise, the Ragtime industry was gone — replaced by the tricky piano novelties of Zez Confrey, Roy Bargy and Jesse Greer, among others. The ARTCRAFT Studio has a few copies of Melody Magazine — a vaudeville/theatre organ publication — of the late 'Twenties. There, in music folios of the "new" complicated and highspeed piano solos were buried a couple of the late James Scott compositions ... and ... the name "Ragtime" wasn't on the collection's cover! (Stark had obviously relinquished his rights to the late James Scott numbers by this time, since another publisher was marketing the scores.) Advertising suggested that the music might be used for 'rube' sketches and 'rural' scenes in motion picture accompaniment. Viewed in this historical context, it's amazing that BROADWAY RAG ever got engraved and issued as sheet music, with the Ragtime demand being near 'zero' in The Jazz Age.
ARTCRAFT is pleased to present BROADWAY RAG among its player roll offerings. While not as frenetic as Scott's earlier FROG LEGS RAGand pyrotechnical numbers — written years before — this "end of the line" piece has all the refined rhythm and reflective 'breaks' that one would expect from the acclaimed composer. We recommend that you perform this Interpretive Arrangement as the encore on your Pianola presentations of "Classic Ragtime". It's the fitting finish to an evening of Joplin, Scott and Lamb music — the 3 composers considered to be the innovators of American Ragtime. Treat your guests to a James Scott number they've probably never heard before: BROADWAY RAG!
BY STRAUSS - from The Show Is On (1936) -George Gershwin-
Arranged for Player-Piano by L. Douglas Henderson - $24.50
The ARTCRAFT arrangement of this wonderful Vienna-meets-Manhattan music is in a class by itself, both as a 'reproducing' roll and in this spectacular Word/Dialogue 88-Note edition. The Interpretive Arrangement features both the song's lyrics as well as tips for the Pianolist in the form of a running commentary ... plus some information about the Gershwin music itself.
(Note: if you have had the misfortune of hearing the graph-paper, formula arrangement of BY STRAUSS on the original Ampico/Duo-Art rolls of "Dinner Music #15" (1937) - "played by Ralph Addison" [a.k.a. Frank Milne using pencils, marking paper strips], the ARTCRAFT interpretion is entirely different. Milne gave the public his usual background music, eliminating all the quirky aspects of the Austrian Waltz rhythm essential to a keyboard performance. ARTCRAFT presents BY STRAUSS with a genuine "Viennese lilt" — combined with Art Deco breaks and staccato chords, in the manner which suited Gershwin's own playing style.)
Don't settle for a second-rate version of BY STRAUSS! Insist on this sparkling modern Interpretive Arrangement! [Link to the Duo-Art description]
CHESTER The CAT - One-Step [Illustrated] -Ian Whitcomb-
Arranged for Player-Piano by L. Douglas Henderson - $23.50
It would be hard to determine which edition of CHESTER The CAT is more popular, this 88-Note release or the Duo-Art 'reproducing' roll. Ian Whitcomb's bouncy number works equally-well on both types of instruments, primarily because the Interpretive Arrangement features a "snappy" striking effect throughout — and some of the middle-of-the-keyboard 'solo' effects are cut with such staccato precision that the roll "plays itself", whether one lets the Duo-Art expression system determine the accents ... or a pedal Pianolist, using this standard music roll. So deft are the capricious melodic passages that one can easily visualize "Chester" (a real-life feline) hopping about and infuriating the household dog. Similarly, the lullabye theme at the end of the roll, when the cat runs out of 'steam', caresses the piano keys — as only a skilled pianist (or an ARTCRAT Roll) could do. So gentle is the fade-out for this vigorous piece that once more the 88-Note roll, through its built-in striking decisions, assures a noble finale to one of Mr. Whitcomb's most memorable compositions.
If you don't have CHESTER The CAT in your music roll library, it just isn't complete. This roll is definitive — the perfect highlight for any performance occasion. Besides, you'll want to lift your spirits again and again, guaranteed with each playing of the clever piano music. Even "cat-haters" graviate to this unique roll ... and so will you! [Link to the Duo-Art description]
THE CHICAGO MARCH (1909) [Illustrated] -Sawyer-
Arranged for Player-Piano by L. Douglas Henderson - $25.00
Possibly the "most-performed" roll at recent player club conventions, THE CHICAGO MARCH continues to win praise wherever it's presented on Pianola programmes. This spectacular roll was the brainchild of piano technician (and Pianolist) Robin Pratt ... who has, if you have read ARTCRAFT Roll descriptions, been responsible for some of the best titles in our catalogue. More than a formula "march" roll, the Interpretive Arrangement tosses-in everything from Liszt to Mrs. O'Leary's cow — plus a "6-hand" finale of the Trio, which is beyond anything you've ever heard before! There's so much to THE CHICAGO MARCH, that we suggest you use the 'link' to check out the description of the Duo-Art version. The 88-Note release has the same sound effects, the same illustrations and the same FANTASTIC arrangement. All it requires is your foot-work on the pedals, and the ARTCRAFT Roll can take it from there! After hearing THE CHICAGO MARCH you'll wonder why the old repetitive commercial rolls of this musical form are so lackluster. If you disagree with the previous sentence, you obviously don't have THE CHICAGO MARCH in your collection ... the one "march" roll that belongs on the top of your upright Player-Piano: period! [Link to the Duo-Art description]
CHOPINATA - Fox Trot Fantasie (1927) -Clément Doucet-
Arranged for Player-Piano by L. Douglas Henderson - $25.00
It's not often that a "popular" or "jazz" transcription of Fréderic Chopin's sensitive piano music appeals to BOTHthose people who enjoy the performances in the 'classical' vein ... as well as enthusiasts of syncopated rhythm. Doucet was a MASTER at presenting the music of Chopin, Liszt and Wagner in a 'Twenties "jazz" manner ... but within his distinctively-Parisian style. The roll not only mirrors the clipped striking and 'hot breaks' of Doucet's original 78's ... but the Word/Dialogue text gives any Pianolist the necessary information to duplicate the results on a standard pedal-player.
This roll has achieved the highest stature on the concert stage as well as in musical households around the world. Pianists, especially, will marvel at Doucet's imaginative treatment of a Chopin waltz in 2/4 time. His ability to twist music without distorting the melodic line is really amazing — even 70 years later in our day.
Many old Victor Records [with Paul Whiteman's Orchestra] — and Ampico rolls [arranged by Ferde Grofé] — once offered Fox Trot versions of Rimsky-Kosakov's SONG of INDIA, Puccini's MME. BUTTERFLY, Dvorak's HUMORESQUE, etc. ... but these chestnuts don't hold up now. The American "classical/jazzy" arrangements were too 'cute', too 'precious' and too 'corny' when compared to the European accomplishments of Clément Doucet! This ARTCRAFT Interpretive Arrangement is the first of a projected series of Doucet releases. (Don't confuse it with the FAKE-Doucet rolls made by French 'Pleyel' in the 'Twenties.) If you want to hear Doucet, play a gramophone record — or this superlative ARTCRAFT Roll! [Link to the Duo-Art description]
THE CHRYSANTHEMUM Afro-American Intermezzo-Scott Joplin-
Arranged for Player-Piano by L. Douglas Henderson - $22.50
When The ARTCRAFT Studio opened in 1986, devoted entirely to the creation of fine music rolls, THE CHRYSANTHEMUM was the first arrangement to be completed there. (For the prior ½-decade, ARTCRAFT Rolls had been a sideline activity at The Musical Wonder House — around-the-corner — since Mr. Henderson was dividing his energies between the museum's operation and roll-arranging, the latter activity being done when time permitted. As demand for ARTCRAFT Rolls grew, the idea for a special Studio — where the focus could be totally directed toward Interpretive Arranging — began to take hold. Finally, Lois Konvalinka, one of the three founders/owners of the museum collection, made the concept of a Studio a reality in 1986. Half of her residence, an historic 1837 Federal-style brick house, was converted for the purpose of ARTCRAFT roll-arranging work, and from that time on — production of Master Rolls increased manyfold over what it had been before.)
The Studio became a mecca for Player-Piano enthusiasts. Ragtime roll collector Ed Openshaw had just moved to New England (after years in California) ... and one evening suggested that more Scott Joplin be included in the ARTCRAFT catalogue. Being one of those people who "knows his collection" and "plays his roll library" and "LISTENS to the MUSIC", he was in a position to suggest which Joplin compositions should be perforated by means of the Interpretive Arranging process. It turns out, as he wisely indicated, that THE CHRYSANTHEMUM probably wasn't available in the old days, perhaps because of the "Afro-American Intermezzo" subtitle ... causing old factories to assume that the piece wasn't Ragtime (which it is). Of course, being a Turn-of-the-Century number, the selection would have been a formula 65-Note transfer, nothing more than perforated sheet music notation ... the old graph paper method of commercial player roll plants.
Today, due to the rediscovery of "Classic Ragtime", THE CHRYSANTHEMUM reigns as one of the more popular Joplin compositions. The ARTCRAFT edition has that 'human' effect in striking, due to the variable-length perforations being cut down to 128th-of-a-note tolerances. (Again, we must stress that the old-fashioned Ragtime rolls are so dreary because of the notes and chords being "all the same" for identical time values ... and the organ-like striking which this 'quickie' type of roll arranging yields. If you look at an ARTCRAFT roll of Ragtime music, comparing it side-by-side VISUALLY with one of the so-called 'Golden Age' arrangements, the subtle differences in the modern perforation lengths will be obvious to anyone. It isn't necessary to play the 2 rolls to notice this performance difference!)
If you are a fan of Scott Joplin's music, this roll of THE CHRYSANTHEMUM will be one of your favourites. Refined striking effects combine with restrained Pianola variations to make a memorable music roll performance.
CINDERELLA SOOT - Cakewalk (1899) -Yahrling-
Arranged for Player-Piano by L. Douglas Henderson - $22.50
Illustrated WORD ROLL
This roll only came-to-be because the "eagle-eyed" Lois Konvalinka happened to spot some obscure sheet music at the annual antique show held at the Union, Maine fairgrounds. For the readers who've never seen this rustic event — and we'll assume most of our readers have not! — it's spread all over an agricultural fairground, where sideboards and loveseats are displayed in cow barns and buildings designed for oxen-pulling contests. We happened upon the show during a very rainy day, and while squishing through the muddy exhibit alleys, she noticed some old sheet music in a sheep stall, with the dealer 'out' (probably seeking a raincoat or some hot tea). Amongst the titles was CINDERELLA SOOT, an imaginative Cakewalk with an outrageous cartoon cover of the Negro woman whose name was the music's title.
The price — at the time— seemed to be "too high" for Mr. Henderson, since it was based on the stereotype artwork(?) and not the range for a music folio of this kind. (There's a market for "framing" sheet music, for those who want wall decorations and who aren't interested in the actual pieces .)
"The next day," Mr. Henderson related, "I kept hearing Lois say repeatedly, 'That would make a terrific roll if you'd have purchased the music. The first roll sale would have pretty-much covered your expenses.'" He too had re-thought the MUSIC ITSELF, rather than the racist (by today's standards) cover illustration, and ventured back to Union, Maine the very next day. Alas! - the out-of-State dealer in the sheep stall had left, obviously waterlogged from the first day of the weekend sale.
This presented a minor crisis for ARTCRAFT Rolls, now wishing to commence the task of making a Cakewalk which "really sounded like a Cakewalk" — since original rolls of this lively music were made in the 58-Note and 65-Note days, when graph paper was used to lay out sheet music notation. (Old rolls of Cakewalk tunes have no 'snap' and won't let the dancers "shine" ... as the original slang expression said, when describing the bouncy ballroom dancers strutting in their finery.) Where could CINDERELLA SOOT be located at this late-date, being published in Lordstown, Ohio by a local music store in 1899 ... and also being the work of an unknown composer?
Mr. Henderson wrote one sheet music collector after another, and finally — in total desperation — wrote The Library of Congress, which in recent years hasn't been coming up with most of the requests. Amazingly, the Library not only rushed The ARTCRAFT Studio a copy of CINDERELLA SOOT, but they also Xeroxed the grotesque illustration of "Miss Soot" as well as the other texts that went with the original 1899 score.
Once the music roll was released, Trebor Tichenor — a Missouri composer-pianist who has an extensive collection of Ragtime player rolls and obscure music scores — the one "source" that Mr. Henderson never contacted, said, on a subsequent 'phone conversation, "Isn't that the piece by Yahrling with the odd illustration on the cover?" (He had a copy!)
We have related the true story above to give you an idea of the 'legwork' which is behind many of the unusual compositions in the ARTCRAFT catalogue.
CINDERELLA SOOT, as an Interpretive Arrangement, is a spectacular music roll. It uses the BOTTOM KEYS of the piano frequently (but duplexed for players with a limited scale, however) ... and has Pianola variations beyond anything that old Cakewalk scores ever possessed. There are piccolo solos, "ad lib" (pseudo-improvised) choruses, large chords and above all, a toe-tapping rhythm which keeps everything together and moving happily along. The sheet music illustration appears at the end of the roll, so that those who feel it shouldn't be seen in a group situation can hit the reroll switch on their Pianola and skip the artwork(?). Cakewalks were syncopated Marches, often considered the "ancestor" of true Ragtime. While many Cakewalk rolls were produced in the Player-Piano era, this is the FIRST ROLL which performs the invigorating music with the "spirit" of live musicians. If you like Kerry Mills' ever-popular AT A GEORGIA CAMPMEETING from the same period, then you must add CINDERELLA SOOT to your Ragtime or March roll library.
Thanks to Lois' persistence (and the Library of Congress), CINDERELLA SOOT became a music roll ... and a genuine Interpretive Arrangement at that! "The next time," says Mr. Henderson, "I'll listen to a fellow musician, who tells me to ignore the price!" When you hear CINDERELLA SOOT you'll agree that the 'detective work' was worth the effort.
If you are fortunate enough to own a Player-Piano with a deep bass tone, then you should consider adding this imaginative music roll to your collection. CINDERELLA SOOT brings out the fullest bass resonance on a Weber, A. B. Chase, Steinway, Packard, Stieff, Bush & Lane — or any fine player instrument with an exceptional bass sound. After all, why have the "low notes" which are never used by the commercial rolls? 'Whap away' with this rollicking Cakewalk number, and enjoy the full spectrum of your Pianola instrument!
COTTAGE BY THE SEA [Introducing: CABARET GIRL] - "Lotus Land" (1993) -Ian Whitcomb-
Arranged for Player-Piano by L. Douglas Henderson - $25.50
Can you imagine a modern musical, laid in the 'Twenties, about land development ventures featuring clever songs? This roll includes two distinctively different numbers, one an effervescent Fox Trot — and the other a 'musical interlude' in the form of a Waltz-Ballad, perforated in an affected style which Mr. Henderson calls "Fairchilding".
Such a musical play was written and produced by the multi-talented Ian Whitcomb, based on his often-torrid book of the 'Seventies bearing the same title: "Lotus Land". COTTAGE BY THE SEA is subtitled 'A Real Estate Love Song' — for obvious reasons, not stated directly in the original melodies of this genre. Actually, beneath the surface, the rhythms and chord patterns are Whitcomb originals, and those who mistake Ian's unique musical structure for genuine 'Twenties formula tunes are missing out on a galaxy of "hidden" jokes and twists — evident for those with a fondness for an era that will never return, yet with both feet firmly planted in our present time. "Lotus Land" came to The ARTCRAFT Studio by way of a rehearsal tape which Ian sent to Maine ... then by means of a published Cassette from the radio première, featuring Ian and his talented wife/singer Regina ... and finally via a CD with a well-known cast including Michael Fienstein and Buck Henry, among others — again with composer-entertainer Whitcomb in the lead.
While you can enjoy all aspects of COTTAGE BY THE SEA without knowing anything about "Lotus Land" we must tell you that this 'Real Estate Love Song' — while thoroughly original — is a hilarious pastische of every cliché that the songsmiths tossed-out in the 'Twenties. "Roses 'round the porch" .. . "birdies on the window sill" (your Pianola will start trilling whenever this is mentioned) and other familiar references are woven into a wonderful number which only someone with Whitcomb's wit and knowledge could fashion. Let us quote the last line of the chorus, which says it all: "She's getting dinner ready, I'm getting feather-beddy, as we close the curtains on our tootsy-wootsy Cottage By The Sea."
COTTAGE BY THE SEA has the distinction of being played on Whitcomb's long-running KPCC-FM radio program in Southern California before the Master Roll reached the duplicating factory in Central California. A tape of the Master Roll, interpreted on the Studio's Steinway Duo-Art 'AR', was featured on the radio show ... and a Cassette of the première was issued at the time to celebrate the broadcast coming before the factory receiving the ARTCRAFT Interpretive Arrangement. (Rolls are usually "me too, but way too late" in the industry. The typical factory waited a half year or more, quite often, before deciding to run some popular music through their graph paper 'sausage machine', as it were!)
If you like singable music with captivating 'Twenties-style (well, almost) rhythms, look no further than COTTAGE BY THE SEA. You'll be so involved with vocalizing ... or dancing ... or laughing at the purposely 'corny' words, that this roll is certain to be the 'hit' of any party. The phrasing and breaks closely parallel the rehearsal tape which the Composer sent to the Studio. The 'Twenties, and the naïveté which the era represented, are gone ... but "Lotus Land" is here-and-now, and COTTAGE BY THE SEA is ready to perform on your Pianola. Don't miss the boat!
THE CRUSH COLLISION MARCH Ragtime March-Overture-Scott Joplin-
Arranged for Player-Piano by L. Douglas henderson - $24.00
This, one of the most popular Ragtime rolls published by ARTCRAFT, and no wonder! Joplin's march-opus combines Schubert-like melodies and a grandiose Trio, with "train wreck" sound effects sandwiched into the middle. Perforated through the Interpretive Arranging process, this version of THE CRUSH COLLISION MARCH has been transformed into one of the Composer's BEST COMPOSITIONS! In fact, British Pianolist Michael Broadway sent The ARTCRAFT Studio souvenir programmes from his concerts in Prague, Venice, Budapest and Rome where this roll served as the "finale" to his spirited performances. Indeed, this particular ARTCRAFT roll is an excellent choice for the conclusion of any major Pianola recital, since it uses the Player-Piano's special attributes in order to achieve a tasteful balance between a "classical music" style and a memorable syncopated Ragtime conclusion.
There's a reason why keyboard artists — and the audio recordings featuring them — have ignored this early Joplin composition in their repertoire. The piece was published as a march, and this 'can' put off those who wish to perform an evening of Joplin's unsurpassed music. Also — and this is the MAJOR REASON why the piece is omitted from a concerts — the published sheet music was FLAWED and not engraved according to the wishes of the Composer! Many accomplished pianists, when playing THE CRUSH COLLISION MARCH, elect to follow the thin and skimpy original sheet music (which features irrational structure, such as having the "train wreck" twice before two Trio performances, and then concluding with a reprise the first two "classical" themes — ridiculous for any 'program music'!!) Others, realizing that the printed score leaves much to be desired, stage a 'corny' or 'hokey' rendition — a late-Victorian "Spike Jones" presentation — which gives the impression that the Composer penned second-rate music in his earlier days.
What REALLY happened with THE CRUSH COLLISION MARCH was that the music publisher felt that the "Ragtime" which was integral to the score would be too difficult to play, and this would ruin sheet music sales. Thus, the independent publisher, prior to the Stark enterprise striking gold with MAPLE LEAF RAG, merely put out a thin engraved score, which eliminated all the syncopated elements that were originally part of the early work! Rudi Blesh's comprehensive book They All Played Ragtime relates Joplin's long-term unhappiness with the score as printed, since the Ragtime essentials had been removed.
Ed Openshaw, a noted Ragtime collector, is responsible for this roll being made. One day he commented upon the piece, saying that he heard someone play it and that it was "really boring". Mr. Henderson secured a score and agreed that it was lackluster as printed — but lurking behind the Trio chords were STILL the elements of Classic Ragtime. What the publisher forgot to eliminate were the Joplin-style accompaniment chords, the same patterns and key modulations he employed shortly thereafter with ORIGINAL RAGS and then with the highly-successful MAPLE LEAF RAG. Knowing Ragtime as he does, Mr. Henderson created a "reconstructed" treble line, fully syncopated and drawing upon the rhythmic effects of these two early pieces. When the roll was completed, Mr. Openshaw was absolutely amazed. He, like many Ragtime fans, didn't know that so much lively music was inherent in the selection!
THE CRUSH COLLISION MARCH was composed to celebrated a staged "train wreck" event (which in reality led to an audience disaster) — featuring two train engines racing head-on at "60 miles per hour", to quote from the music score. The event took place near Sedalia, Missouri — a railroad centre at the time — which is where The Maple Leaf Club was located, and the Composer's major publisher, John Stark, had set up his Ragtime music business. Scott Joplin's music, as perforated by ARTCRAFT, begins with a fanfare of octaves, followed by a march theme which echoes Schubert's MARCHE MILITAIRE in spirit. The second theme "picks up steam" ... and Pianola variations on both these melodies contribute to the concept of the engines heading toward an eventual smash-up. There's a steam whistle and clattering locomotive wheels followed by a "collision chord" which is beyond anything you've ever heard ... and which is impossible for the keyboard pianist to play. What was an anemic chord in the sheet music score is transformed into a loud, metallic, brittle and jarring chord of 14 notes (but perforated so that 'weak' player actions can handle it, via pedal/sostentuo techniques). The listener hears the simulated "wreck" only once ... and then the spirited Ragtime Trio commences. (One Ragtime-and-railroad fan exclaimed: "You made the shrapnel into fantastic Ragtime!"
This roll is longer than the sheet music edition, since it quotes from the printed score (in a more magnificent manner) and leads to a MAJESTIC Ragtime finale. Don't let previous experiences with early Joplin put off your purchase of this truly fine Pianola roll. THE CRUSH COLLISION MARCH, as released by ARTCRAFT, contains all the elements which were hidden in the sterile score ... and it presents the selection with the splendour that befits this unusual 'program music'. Order this roll, and you won't be disappointed!
THE DARKEY TODALO - A Syncopated Negro Dance (1910) -Joe Jordan-
Arranged for Player-Piano by L. Douglas Henderson - $21.50
Very few pieces written by Joe Jordan exist today, but this is one of his surviving 'dance numbers' — a toe-tapping selection written for the Pekin Theatre, where he dashed-off compositions on short notice ... only to have most of them lost to history, eventually. (Jordan had talents beyond that of a fast-order composer, and later became a millionaire through real estate investments and high finance!)
While most of his stage production music was written, performed and 'junked' [without going through the publishing process], THE DARKEY TODALO shines brightly today — a worthy composition from any point of view!
There was a trend in black music for "stop-time" — a situation where the dancers would 'freeze' on a particular beat, only to resume their movements at a later moment of time. Scott Joplin made use of this musical device with his engaging STOP-TIME RAG and also for portions of his larger work, THE RAGTIME DANCE. Even as late as 1929 when "Pine Top" Smith vocalized on his 'Original'BOOGIE-WOOGIE record, there were calls for various dancers to "stop" until being set forward by a second command. Somewhere between the early 1900's and the late 'Twenties, a dance called the "Todalo" emerged ... a syncopated style of music which suggested places in which the couples — or stage performers, in this case — would "hold their positions" for a couple of beats. (References to the little-known "Todalo" dance continued into the 'Thirties when Duke Ellington penned his EAST ST. LOUIS TOODLE-OO, for example.)
The ARTCRAFT arrangement of Jordan's dance number is a brilliant one, for it employs all the technique (and extra 'fingers') which are part of the Player-Piano's design. BASS NOTES are used with great frequency, especially bottom 4 keys of the keyboard ... though these are duplexed in octaves for instruments with a limited playing range. The bouncy rhythms — especially in the "deep bass" passages — are like no commercial rolls, which usually 'chicken out' in the creative use of these particular keys. Only ARTCRAFT Rolls, such as CINDERELLA SOOT described above, really give the owner of a richly toned Player-Piano the full range of the instrument's spectrum. (Translation: if you have a Weber or Sohmer or Hallet & Davis player, a roll like this will "open up" musical possibilities that you didn't realize were always there!)
THE DARKEY TODALO in its Interpretive Arrangement form sparkles with catchy rhythms and frolicking patterns, often descending from the higher treble notes. The Trio is a multi-stage tribute to the "stop-time" elements of dance, first beginning as a simple melody in the middle of the keyboard, accompanied by a rocking bass pattern. This is repeated, each time at a louder dynamic — if the Pianolist follows the suggested markings printed on the music roll — until the Trio section becomes a brilliant performance of the unusual dance. Since the beginning theme with the heavy bass effects is so outstanding, the arrangement reprises all the spectacular melodies heard earlier ... giving the listener a spectacular musical contrast.
Monsieur Heffer, builder of new Duo-Art instruments in France (and also the ARTCRAFT representative for Europe), reorders THE DARKEY TODALO on a continuing basis, proof that the Interpretive Arrangement is spreading the Negro dance beyond the limitations of a single stage theatre (back in 1910). The roll is crafty and draws all who hear it into the spirit of the dance music. We recommend this roll as an "opener" for any Pianola demonstration, and if you are fortunate enough to possess a player with an outstanding bass tone, THE DARKEY TODALO is a 'must' for your collection, without question!
DON'T JAZZ ME (I'm Music) Rag (1921) -James Scott-
Arranged for Player-Piano by L. Douglas Henderson - $18.50
Two James Scott numbers — DON'T JAZZ ME and BROADWAY RAG(described above) — and both published by John Stark (of "Scott Joplin music" fame) — ended what is now called The Ragtime Era. What began with MAPLE LEAF RAG and THE PINEAPPLE ended with these two Scott compositions, which got lost in the period when Jazz and Blues were in the ascendancy. If you wish a more detailed synopsis of the Ragtime situation in the early 'Twenties, read the text which accompanies the ARTCRAFT Interpretive Arrangement of BROADWAYRAG.
You can tell from the title that John Stark was no fan of the new "jazz" music, which began — for the American public — with 'The Original Dixieland Jazz Band' in the 'Teens. Continuing the trend, other recording and performing groups arrived on the scene, such as Ted Lewis' band and Paul Whiteman's Palais Royale orchestra. From Art Hickman's ROSE ROOM to Zez Confrey's 'riff' song STUMBLING, it was pretty obvious that Ragtime had run its course ... and yet, DON'T JAZZ ME (I'm Music) was published nonetheless!
There's a gimmick to DON'T JAZZ ME, which taxes any keyboard pianist and which also challenges the Pianolist: an off-centre melody line which doesn't synchronize with the accompaniment! While any Player-Piano can handle this passage, seemingly "accented already" due to the magic of Interpretive Arranging, the creative roll interpreter will strive to separate the musical halves to the maximum. If DON'T JAZZ ME is performed with the melody emphasized over the accompaniment (at all times during this special section), the effect is jarring and totally entertaining. The listener doesn't know whether to follow the "beat" or resolve the "theme" which isn't aligned with the rhythm! "Jazz" this wasn't, but the effect is thoroughly engaging! Naturally, being mechanical, the pneumatic player can execute this out-of-kilter music with absolute precision, and the more perfect the rhythm, the greater the 'surprise' effect will be.
Since the House of Stark specialized in "Classic Ragtime" (also a term the publisher coined in his advertising hyperbole!) Mr. Henderson chose to complete the roll with a graduated graceful finale ... one that few pianists who cling to the printed score ever utilize. Since Interpretive Arranging allows for a wider variety of mathematical steppings — and an infinitely superior 'control' over the key depression times — a decision was made to shift DON'T JAZZ ME back to the Turn of the Century style of syncopated keyboard playing. Ever so slightly, the Pianola achieves a smoother performance, and the striking flows into the "Classical Ragtime" spirit. The final chords are a social comment, actually, since one is taken back to the days of elegant keyboard playing — a style that was completely gone by the early 'Twenties.
More than a Ragtime curiosity, DON'T JAZZ ME is a number which demonstrates some complicated feats that still amaze audiences today. It's good music which wasn't appreciated in its own time. The ARTCRAFT arrangement explores the stepping and striking potential of the Pianola ... and the off-centre melody section is in a performance class of its own. There's a lot to enjoy in this treasure of a roll!
DYNAMITE RAG (unpublished) -Joseph Lamb-
Arranged for Player-Piano by L. Douglas Henderson - $24.00
Joseph Lamb has, in recent years, been linked to Scott Joplin and James Scott as one of the three leading forces in the development of "Classic Ragtime". Late in life, following a renewed interest in the syncopated music medium, he wrote some new Ragtime pieces and also completed some works-in-progress which had been abandoned for many decades. DYNAMITE RAG emerged during this late period, but has not been published in sheet music form — to date. Back in the 'Sixties, Hal Boulware (in the St. Louis, Missouri area) got ahold of 4 themes, which the Joseph Lamb had assembled in the late 'Fifties, shortly before he died. Mr. Boulware was producing limited quantities of Ragtime rolls back then, and published a thin 'sheet music transfer' roll of the Lamb music as "written down" up to that point. This primitive roll of DYNAMITE RAG was used as the "source" for creating the ARTCRAFT Interpretive Arrangement offered here.
("Source" in this case means "reading" the perforations on a re-mastering perforator — and then creating a brand-new roll from scratch, using the visual information as a springboard for making a contemporary arrangement. "Source" does not mean copying the original 'Sixties roll in any way. The striking, pedal effects and the additional thematic material — due to the Pianola variations — were all perforated in The ARTCRAFT Studio in Maine.)
This new scintillating music roll of DYNAMITE RAG has to be heard to be believed! From the first ultra-staccato 'riff' patterns of the beginning melody, you know that this Ragtime roll will develop into sheer performance excitement. There are "explosion" chords — suggested by the composition's title! — and snappy twists which make this unpublished Lamb number the musical 'gem' it really was. (The four melodies were not originally connected, requiring a bit of 'composing' and 'phrasing' on the Studio perforators. When the Master Roll was completed, the music flowed "seamlessly" ... as it would have, had it been published during the Ragtime era.)
Fans of Joseph Lamb's tasteful music must have this roll of DYNAMITE RAG in their libraries. Ragtime enthusiasts are already enjoying DYNAMITE RAG on an international basis, for the Interpretive Arrangementcontains one surprise effect after another. When the Master Roll was being edited, composer-pianist Glenn Jenks happened to drop by the Studio (see THE WRONG RAG) and offered some tempo suggestions, which were incorporated into the final release. If you don't have this version of DYNAMITE RAG in your collection, you are missing out on one terrific music roll!
ELITE SYNCOPATIONS -Scott Joplin-
Arranged for Player-Piano by L. Douglas Henderson - $21.50
There is little to say about ELITE SYNCOPATIONS, except that this is an Interpretive Arrangement ... bringing to the musical performance all that the term implies. The Pianolist is provided with variable-length perforations for a 'live pianist' sound in the striking, something not experienced with the original rolls of this Joplin composition. A tasteful sustaining pedal (partly "in" the perforations themselves!) graces this acclaimed music roll version. There are — as ARTCRAFT customers have come to expect — musical variations which give the interpreter all sorts of material for creating a completely "personalized" piano solo performance. (Old Ragtime rolls were based on 'sheet music notation standards' and usually repeated everything exactly the same ad nauseam: two, three and often four times in a row! What keyboard pianist would ever want to do that ... or even wish to try?)
The ARTCRAFT version of ELITE SYNCOPATIONS has received unsolicited endorsements from all corners of the musical world. Here's what the former 'music director' of the prestigious Scott Joplin Festival (in Sedalia, Missouri) said in a published article: "These high-quality rolls differ from most other rolls in a number of ways; most are original arrangements newly cut on Mr. Henderson's perforator, especially done to impart a TRUE 'hand-played' sound, so often missing from the old original rolls."
Pianolists will like the "cues" stamped on this roll, another performance assist by The ARTCRAFT Studio. As ELITE SYNCOPATIONS plays, the interpreter sees rubber stamp markings which suggest that one emphasize either the treble or the bass, thus eliminating the necessity of 'tracking' the Joplin melody as it rises "above" and "below" the scale divisions (in the A-Theme).
This is the definitive roll of ELITE SYNCOPATIONS. Your search for the ideal 88-Note version ends right here!
ELLINGTON MEDLEY: Mood Indigo (1931) and Sophisticated Lady (1933) -Duke Ellington-
Arranged for Player-Piano by L. Douglas Henderson - $25.00
Few music rolls have created such a stir among performing musicians as ARTCRAFT's artistic achievement, the ELLINGTON MEDLEY. Organists, especially, have been charmed by the automatic sustaining pedal effects, which are a combination of sostenuto striking integrated with the more generalized pneumatic score. (To bear this out, turn off the automatic pedal sometime, and most of the ELLINGTON MEDLEY will perform as if 'nothing happened'! This is a feature called "Live" pedal — at The ARTCRAFT Studios — and it is one of the important facets for the Interpretive Arranging process. The keyboard striking, honed down to a 128th of a note, carries the essential pedal shadings, while the sluggish 'full-travel' of the dampers [as lifted by pneumatics] is but a generalized tonality for the whole. Only by juggling these two elements [striking and damper-lifting] in the arranging activities, could a roll of this integrity ever be created.)
The smoothness of the bass accompaniment for "Mood Indigo" is simply amazing — reminding the listener of the sustained orchestral sounds on the original Duke Ellington [Brunswick] record. Few keyboard pianists ever achieve the illusion of true legato ... of connected notes, but this Pianola roll accomplishes it with ease. Almost a week went into editing the pedal shadings for the ELLINGTON MEDLEY, using several pianos. The sustained playing "flows" — as if the most accomplished artist were playing for your pleasure.
Being a Word/Dialogue Roll, this ARTCRAFT release features the song lyrics for "Mood Indigo" as well as a running commentary for the interpretation ... plus a bit of Ellington history, which appears during the performance of "Sophisticated Lady". The Pianolist is even told which films present this music in a true Ellington spirit, and which commercial rolls to avoid — if one wishes to recreate the atmosphere of the two interwoven pieces. Refer to the Duo-Art text for more information about this truly amazing player roll.
Play the ELLINGTON MEDLEY when your most cultivated friends visit. If you were to perform just one ARTCRAFT Roll for the evening, this long-playing medley would be the perfect choice. Instructions are printed for the "fade-out" which makes the Duo-Art edition such a favorite with keyboard artists. Given a little practice, you can equal the 'reproducing' Piano. The arranging — after all — is what makes this such a stellar music roll!
[Link to the Duo-Art description]
THE FUTURISTIC RAG - A Piano Novelty (1929) -Rube Bloom-
Arranged for Player-Piano by L. Douglas Henderson - $21.50
Due to the artistic "excesses" and pretentiousness of 'Futurism', 'Cubism' and the 'Art Deco' movements, it was only a matter of time before some composer decided to poke fun at such moderne affectations. Rube Bloom — composer of SPRING FEVER and SOLILOQUY — rose to the occasion, at the end of the 'Twenties, and created this clever Fox Trot piano solo which spoofs the trend ... while at the same time entertaining all who hear his original music.
Note that this is a "Fox Trot" and not a "Rag", as designated on the published sheet music. It has more to do with Confrey's NICKEL IN THE SLOT and Greer's FLAPPERETTE than something written by Adeline Shepherd or Scott Joplin, since it's the type of flashy composition which would be featured on the vaudeville stage ... and early radio broadcasts. (Our pianist friend Peter Mintun, in San Francisco, correctly pointed out that the first word of the title should be "THAT" instead of "THE". ARTCRAFT changed the title because many 'Teens compositions — beginning with "That" — were really syncopated songs of the 'Irving Berlin school', and not complicated instrumentalpiano solos. We note this change for those interested in historical accuracy.)
THE FUTURISTIC RAG presents a wild array of chord progressions (considered "ultra-modern" at the time), set against a strict Fox Trot rhythm. There's a homage to "machine music" at several points in the performance, obviously inspired by some of the themes from George Atheil's experimental work BALLET MÉCANIQUE... but these are musical illusions not the raison d'être, this being a comic composition in the true sense of the word. Michael Broadway and other European concert Pianolists have performed THE FUTURISTIC RAG for many audiences, often on programmes featuring the original 'Cubistic' music of the period. You don't have to be an intellectual to enjoy this number, for it has universal appeal. Here's the ideal roll to perform when the occasion demands "something different".
GOING TO PIECES One-Step (1915) -Karl Kaffer-
Arranged for Player-Piano by L. Douglas Henderson - $25.00
There are no other rolls in the world like GOING TO PIECES, a monumental "production" arrangement by The ARTCRAFT Studio — designed to demonstrate the capabilities of the pneumatic player ... and also created to show how poor keyboard playing can be 'bested' by a perforated music roll. If you want to enjoy GOING TO PIECES as a full-length music roll, the arrangement allows you — after a galaxy of Pianola variations — to reroll, and nobody in the audience will be any the wiser about Part II, which simulates an amateur keyboard pianist. Part I of the roll explores musical avenues unique to the Player-Piano, but with the added virtuoso performance of genuine Interpretive Arranging. Part II, the send-up of a terrible keyboard pianist, is actually based on live performance tapes, recorded from the audience in concerts ... so the imitation of a rotten musician is very realistic! The roll ends with a return to "Player-Piano values", using a re-mastered commercial roll from the 'Twenties. To call GOING TO PIECES a 'laugh riot' would be an understatement!
Read the 'reproducing' roll text for more details about this spectacular arrangement. [Link to the Duo-Art description]
'HOT' RAGTIME SONG MEDLEY 12 Re-Mastered Vocalstyle™ arranged from the Minstrel Series
Re-Mastered and Augmented by L. Douglas Henderson - $22.00
Have you ever seen or played one of the 8 rolls in the Vocalstyle 'Minstrel Series' — a set of 88-Note releases which were designed for a "home show" in the parlour? The novelty wears off rapidly! Equipped with 'joke cards' which mercifully got lost in most cases, this Vocalstyle line was a collage of vaudeville and minstrel routines ... all to be accompanied by the Player-Pianist. Most of the rolls were ratty arrangements, jerky ballads and tedious dance numbers, interspersed with lines like "Stop Player. Joke #10". However, the last 30 seconds of these rolls contain the ensemble's finale, and this is where the action takes place. The question is: Who wants to sit through about 5 minutes of 'nothing' in order to hear an all-too-short melody?
ARTCRAFT Music Rolls came to the rescue in the early 'Eighties with the 'HOT' RAGTIME SONG MEDLEY, a project suggested by Maine collector John Powers (who owned a copy of each original Vocalstyle roll). Being "early ARTCRAFT", the long-playing medley was re-mastered and perforated at The Musical Wonder House (Music Museum) — an internationally-known collection established by Danilo and Lois Konvalinka and Douglas Henderson in 1962. Fortunately, a rare Model 8-B Leabarjan re-mastering perforator was in the Arranger's possession ... and this allowed all the irregular Vocalstyle perforations to be converted into precise rhythm. Moreover, using the special antique machinery, Mr. Henderson assembled a 12-tune medley, gleaning the best numbers from each roll in the series — augmenting a few of them with artistic reprises. 'HOT' RAGTIME SONG MEDLEY sparkles from start to finish, and in a manner which befits the improvements that Interpretive Arranging brings to the perforating process. (This isn't a copy, but an original roll; see the description for DYNAMITE RAG, which provides some information about using predictable 'formula' rolls for creating brand-new ARTCRAFT releases.)
Here's a list of the 12 lively songs which you'll hear on this popular INSTRUMENTAL medley roll, all linked with bridges and striking refinements: Watermelon On The Vine; Coon, Coon, Coon; What'cha Gonna Do When the Rent Comes 'Round?; Darktown Is Out Tonight; Sally Anne; Mr. Johnson, Turn Me Loose; My Gal's A High Born Lady; Hello My Baby; At A Georgia Campmeeting; Silver Bell; All Coons Look Alike To Me — and A Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight. Stripped of their 'jingoistic' lyrics, the melodies are transformed into a magnetic overture of tunes that were popular at the Turn of the (previous) Century.
If you've heard one of those "thirty second highlights" which Vocalstyle gave its customers, then you can get an idea of what to expect here, only with a virtuoso performance and nonstop music. This roll is recommended for any group that responds to the catchy vaudeville songs of bygone days.
JUST MAKE IT MOXIE FOR MINE (1904) -Mitchell & Potter-
Arranged for Player-Piano by L. Douglas Henderson - $25.00
Moxie™ began its commercial life as a 19th Century medicine and sexual elixir, but switching to a "beverage" after the creation of the Pure Food and Drug Act in the early 1900's. This is an older soft drink than one-time rival Coca-Cola™ ... and the Moxie enthusiasts — who live mostly in New England, where the drink originated — are always quick to point out this fact! (For those who've never experienced Moxie, it's difficult to describe the bitter taste. Some liken it to "Lavoris" mouthwash with a dash of onion ... and others say it reminds them of licking a dirty ash try. Moxie is an acquired taste, and the company's slogan used to be: "LEARN to Drink Moxie!")
JUST MAKE IT MOXIE FOR MINE was published during the period of the St. Louis World's Fair, for promotion of the beverage. As a Waltz-song, it's a good number ... and that's probably because it features many clips (in words and/or music) from other pieces of the day: THE MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE, IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMER TIME, AFTER THE BALL .. and MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS. The ARTCRAFT Interpretive Arrangement captures all of the spirit of the music, right down to "carbonated" treble effects to simulate the effervescence!
JUST MAKE IT MOXIE FOR MINE is a Word/Dialogue roll, with much more than the promotional Waltz performed in several variations. Since it was former company policy to slam Coca-Cola through newspaper publicity campaigns, some of the nastiest anti-Coke remarks appear on the roll as the listener hears the "Coca-Cola Cocaine Zombies" shuffle along to a surreal version of DIXIE. Next, a simulated brat ("The Moxie Wunderkind") attempts to play JUST MAKE IT MOXIE FOR MINE, but flubs through the 4 incorrect, but similar-sounding numbers, listed in the paragraph above. Tossed off the stage, this mythical prodigy? is replaced by the Pianola, which launches a fantastic finale of the engaging 1904 soft drink Waltz. (Just before the reroll, this ARTCRAFT arrangement presents a litany of Moxie supporters, including Irene Castle, Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Helen Hayes and President Calvin Coolidge!)
ARTCRAFT created JUST MAKE IT MOXIE FOR MINE (and the 1921 MOXIE One-Step) for the annual "Moxie Festival" held each year in Lisbon Falls, Maine. ARTCRAFT's travelling Pianola, the '29 Story & Clark 'Reprotone', would be set up in front of Anicetti's — the soda fountain/store which serves as "Moxie Headquarters" for the annual event. Of course, you don't have to drink the beverage or know anything about it in order to enjoy this spectacular Word/Dialogue roll, even featuring a chorus of the MAINE STEIN SONG ... along with other surprises.
This is a long-playing roll and a sparkling arrangement from start-to-finish. Give your Player-Piano a real workout with this terrific Word Roll.
(For those who wish to know more about the 'cult' soft drink, we suggest that you visit this Moxie Web site: http://www.xensei.com/users/iraseski/index.html — as you'll discover, there is much to the subject for devotées!)[Link to MOXIE One-Step (1921)]
'LECTRONIC RELIGION (Give Me That 'Lectronic Religion) TV Evangelist Parody Song -Mark Russell-
Arranged and Interpreted for Player-Piano by L. Douglas Henderson - $25.00
This is most popular roll ARTCRAFT ever released! (Historic records also indicate that 'LECTRONIC RELIGION had more "advance sales" than any other player roll since 1931!)
This song — based on the old gospel tune GIVE ME THAT OLD-TIME RELIGION — is one of satirist Mark Russell's most hilarious spoofs ... and it puts television religion's obsession with a "cash flow" into proper perspective, to say the least! The roll was based on video and audio tapes recorded during Mark Russell's frequent visits to Maine in the 'Eighties, and the portions which were spoken by the political comedian were "set to musical accompaniment" by Mr. Henderson. The result is a long-playing roll, a veritable "TENT SHOW" in perforated paper form!
We won't spoil any of Mark Russell's witty surprises for you in this descriptive text. The ARTCRAFT Interpretive Arrangement quotes from Rachmaninoff, includes THE ELMER GANTRY GLIDE, a "Zealot's Chant" and WE'RE IN THE MONEY from Golddiggers of 1933 — plus a rousing finale, after which one is told to "send in those envelopes" (before rerolling).
'LECTRONIC RELIGION had the good fortune of being released on the same week that a noted TV Evangelist (who is mentioned in the lyrics) blubbered in the media and slobbered on the cover pages of national magazines, such as Newsweek, Time and Playboy. Orders rushed to ARTCRAFT long before the actual rolls were available. In fact, so many advance requests were arriving, that The ARTCRAFT Studio had to increase the production run manyfold before the first copies were shipped out. Since then, 'LECTRONIC RELIGION has been a consistent favourite with everyone who enjoys biting satire (which is also combined with good music). All the well-known "religious" fund-raisers are mentioned in this song, so whenever any one of them yammers on television, there's a renewed demand for this Mark Russell opus. If you visit a Player-Piano owner with a large music roll library, you'll probably find 'LECTRONIC RELIGION on the top shelf.
What else can we say? The continuing sales speak for themselves. It's not for everyone, of course, but those who enjoy outrageous satire will have found the funniest roll ever perforated!
LINNMANIA-MARSEILLAISE - 'Fantasie Grotesque' upon the French National Anthem (1989) -Björn Linnman-
Arranged for Player-Piano by L. Douglas Henderson - $31.50
The Word/Dialogue version of this landmark composition for the Pianola has all the features of the Duo-Art edition, since the same 'live' sustaining pedal score and "interpretive" striking are in this pedal-player arrangement. In order for the Pianolist to achieve IDENTICAL PERFORMANCE results, there's a running commentary — providing both suggestions for accents and dynamic levels as well as some 'history' about the performance début in Boston, Mass. We suggest that you read the Duo-Art description, since it contains all the details about LINNMANIA-MARSEILLAISE ... one of the most unusual and exciting music rolls ever created! [Link to the Duo-Art description]
LION TAMER RAG (1913) -Janza-
Arranged for Player-Piano by L. Douglas Henderson - $25.00
This roll has "brought down the house" on many Pianola concerts. If you like brilliant music with riveting variations, LION TAMER RAG — by ARTCRAFT — is a 'must' for any music roll library. The roll was created by from a live performance by Mark Lutton, at an annual piano-playing contest in Decatur, Illinois. Refer to the Duo-Art text for LION TAMER RAG ... a virtuoso music roll extraordinaire! [Link to the Duo-Art description]
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