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Comments 1996 (Archives)
- 1996, a good vintage for Mechanical Music!
- First, it was the year of the bicentennial of the invention of the music box (by Antoine Favre, in Geneva, in 1796).
- This bicentennial was celebrated by several events:
- In Sainte-Croix (Switzerland), several exhibitions and a festival in August;
- In Zürich (Switzerland), a large exhibition of music boxes from July to October
- In the USA, during the annual convention of the MBSI (association of american collectors of mechanical music)
- This convention gathered 750 people (a record), of whom 100 foreigners, exhibitions, visits of collections, numerous workshops and conferences.
- Several new Web sites (Musica Mecanica is one of them) appeared for Mechanical Music. Proposed by individuals, associations, dealers.
- Numerous street organ festivals took place in America and in Europe, especially in France (20 of them!).
- In public auctions, prices of standard pieces stagnates, but the price of exceptionnal pieces takes off.
- Several important collections changed hands these last years:
- After the French Musée d'Instruments de Musique mécanique de Paris departed to Belgium,
- The huge Reuge collection went from Switzerland to Japan,
- And the largest dance organ in the World, the Mortier Taj Mahal, left Switzerland to Australia.
- No really new instrument appeared on the market, but more and more automatic organs are driven with computerized systems (Midi), more versatile than the usual paper rolls or books.
- Several courageous builders go on making in small numbers reproductions of prestigious old instruments, sometimes with small improvements:
- In the USA, Ramey produces his banjo Orchestra.
- The German Siegfried Wendel, after issuing several 6 violins Hupfeld instruments, brought this summer to the USA a reproduction of the big orchestrion Weber Maesto.
Copyrights: Musica Mecanica.