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pianolin

Chet W. 06 Nov 98 - 10:27 PM
Art Thieme 09 Nov 98 - 01:41 PM
Alice 09 Nov 98 - 05:30 PM
Bill D 09 Nov 98 - 07:28 PM
Alice 09 Nov 98 - 07:47 PM
takeo 10 Nov 98 - 07:37 PM
gargoyle 10 Nov 98 - 07:59 PM
Alice 10 Nov 98 - 10:35 PM
takeo 15 Nov 98 - 08:31 PM
Alice 16 Nov 98 - 12:14 AM
takeo 16 Nov 98 - 03:14 AM
Steve in Wisconsin 16 Nov 98 - 08:13 PM
Chet W. 16 Nov 98 - 09:54 PM
GUEST,Cubinoid 16 Aug 08 - 03:05 PM
Genie 16 Aug 08 - 04:02 PM
GUEST,Dianna 07 Apr 11 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,Arlene Ahlgrim 24 Feb 15 - 03:49 PM
GUEST,Wisconsin 23 Jan 16 - 11:03 AM
Jack Campin 24 Jan 16 - 09:40 AM
Jack Campin 24 Jan 16 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 24 Jan 16 - 11:36 AM
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Subject: pianolin
From: Chet W.
Date: 06 Nov 98 - 10:27 PM

Someone was asking for info about pianolins in the favorite instruments thread. I didn't have time to read the whole thread but I'd like to offer this. I believe there was more than one instrument called by this name, but the one I have seen and heard was also called a dulceola and it was basically an autoharp with a little piano-like keyboard instead of chord bars. The only recording I know of is the Yazoo collection of Washington Phillips, who used to preach and sing with this instrument. There is also a guy who plays one and sells his own recordings on the Charles Bridge in Prague in the Czech Republic. It's a fun little instrument, but probably quite a job to restore if such is needed. Then again, restoring a nice old instrument is fun too.

Good luck, Chet W.


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Subject: RE: pianolin
From: Art Thieme
Date: 09 Nov 98 - 01:41 PM

The dulciola that Washington Phillips played DOES have a piano keyboard attatched. The Patons have one at Folk Legacy. I know 'cause I've photographed it there. But the pianolin was made by a fellow in Michigan. I think his name was Marx. Claudia Schmidt played several of his strange inventions.

The pianolin had hammers on tempered wires over the strings. These could be bent downward & used to hammer a string sort o' like a hammered dulcimer. Might be wrong though.


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Subject: RE: pianolin
From: Alice
Date: 09 Nov 98 - 05:30 PM

While searching for keyboard acoustic instruments on the internet last year, I found one I really wanted for my collection of instruments. It's price is $15, US, and is sold by a company in New Delhi, India, called Bina Enterprises. I emailed to confirm the price of $15, and found that although it is $15, the shipping to me from India is $130.

It's called a banjo by Bina Enterprises, and is also what the Japanese call 'Taeshokoto'. It is a stringed instrument, with keys on the strings. The strings are strummed with a pick, and the keys are played simultaneuosly with the other hand.
You can see it at
http://www.binaswar.com/
Look under keyboard instruments. There is also a little harmonium called a dulcetina, which I would dearly like to have.


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Subject: RE: pianolin
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Nov 98 - 07:28 PM

someone has refreshed the "favorite instruments" thread with more on the dulceola


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Subject: RE: pianolin
From: Alice
Date: 09 Nov 98 - 07:47 PM

Thanks for noticing, Bill, 'someone' was me. I would be interested in knowing of any more sources/manufacturers of acoustic instruments that make use of a keyboard. alice in montana


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Subject: RE: pianolin
From: takeo
Date: 10 Nov 98 - 07:37 PM

hi alice again, 'taisho-koto' that you mention is still sold in japan. 'taisho' means the era of 2nd former japanese emperor 80 years ago, and 'koto' means japanese harp. it possibly made by suzuki, violin and harmonica and many other acoustic instrument maker in japan, price is not cheap around $500 i suppose. taisho-koto is similar to auto harp. it has very unique sound that has only 3 string in different pitch, maybe unison: 2 same pitch and one octave low, closely arranged to be picked at the same time, and when key down, capo like bar place to the each fret. not mute like autoharp but fret like a finger to the guitar. what's interesting for me is that there are electric taisho-koto and i astonished about sampling synthesized taisho-koto also exist. -takeo


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Subject: RE: pianolin
From: gargoyle
Date: 10 Nov 98 - 07:59 PM

Thanks for posting Alice.

I visited the India site. VERY interesting...and tempting. I recieved a quote in less than 8 hours. However, the prices begin at $150.00 U.S. (not including shipping)


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Subject: RE: pianolin
From: Alice
Date: 10 Nov 98 - 10:35 PM

takeo, very interesting description. Look at the photo on the page:
http://www.binaswar.com/string01.htm

This is the quote I got in March '98, but as gargoyle mentions, prices change.

---------------

Dear Alice,

Thanks for your email. Yes, the price of the Banjo is US$ 15.00. Will you please let me know the airport where it will be sent to? It will make it easier for me to calculate the total cost including air freight.

Thank you again.

Sincerely,

J.P. Singh
-----------

Freight from India, of course, turned out to be $130.

alice in montana


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Subject: RE: pianolin
From: takeo
Date: 15 Nov 98 - 08:31 PM

alice, i checked the photo and it looks like different than japanese one. the most different point is the key width which is constant like piano in japan. what a funny order in this picture! my hometown, nagoya, is the birthplace of 'taisho-koto' and many players are living around here though all are aged. one day i happened to see 10s of people walking playing their taisho-koto in the street of shopping mall on festival day. not samba walking but taisho-koto walking, they all dressed in japanese traditional cloths. i was very surprised and felt like standing on my knee. anyway, the price $15 or even mr. gargoire's report $150 is so cheap. -takeo


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Subject: RE: pianolin
From: Alice
Date: 16 Nov 98 - 12:14 AM

Very interesting, takeo.
Maybe this could be an instrument you could learn from the older musicians in your town.

alice


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Subject: RE: pianolin
From: takeo
Date: 16 Nov 98 - 03:14 AM

yes, yes. ill try someday... maybe all of my friend laugh at me when i play the symbol of old 'ohsu' town, located at the center of our nagoya city. it has a little bit funny meaning for us, not cool but funny. koto(japanese harp), syamisen(japanese 3 string banjo), and syakuhachi(japanese whistle) all are cool for us, but not cool about taisho-koto. i dont know whats the difference, maybe taisho-koto has short history and is for only ordinaly people. i know this instrument must have rights to be honored. -takeo


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Subject: RE: pianolin
From: Steve in Wisconsin
Date: 16 Nov 98 - 08:13 PM

I, too, am familiar with the pianolin that Claudia Schmidt played, Art. However, I never saw it up close. The last time I heard her play it was at Northwestern i Evanston in a huge hall-quite unconducive to a folk experience and impossible to see in.

I have long looked for a photo of the pianolin to show my friends (and students). Any idea where I can find a photo (or an actual) pianolin like Claudia used to play?

Thanks, Steve


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Subject: RE: pianolin
From: Chet W.
Date: 16 Nov 98 - 09:54 PM

Or what would be really nice for some of us would be if we could find detailed drawings, photos, or even plans for these unusual instruments. Pianolin, ukelin, dulceola. I recently saw a similar thing in an antique shop (or museum, since it was not for sale and they had no idea what it might be worth) a "Harp-Mandolin". They don't look like they would be terribly difficult to build.

Chet W.


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Subject: RE: pianolin
From: GUEST,Cubinoid
Date: 16 Aug 08 - 03:05 PM

The strange thing is that I have one of these instruments and I use it all the time on my recordings - I didn't know what it was - the actual name on the instrument is written in English and it is called a "Music Benjo"

It has three strings tuned identically that are played with Mother of pearl picks (there were two in the case with it)

On either side are two strings, a fourth above and a fourth below tuned in fourths.

The frets are upright bars of metal, and a typewriter spring based systm frets the note - giving a metallic bright and creepy sound.

Robert Wyatt played one - there is a video on youtube.

The name translates as "Waves of Nightingales".

Isn't that lovely?

You guys might also be interested in searching out:

Bubul tarang
Waves of Nightingales

If you have any questions about this lovely instrument, ask me on myspace and I'll try to help out!

myspace . com/cubinoid


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Subject: RE: pianolin
From: Genie
Date: 16 Aug 08 - 04:02 PM

I have a pianolin on a shelf in my living room. The strings are over 50 years old, maybe over 60 and I have no idea how to tune them or even what kind of strings to use to replace them.   My uncle gave this to my mom decades ago and she had it stuffed in a closet till about 10-15 years ago.

I have no idea if it's worth anything or if I could actually start playing it, but it's an interesting instrument.   I'll see if I can take a pic and post a link to that.

G


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Subject: RE: pianolin
From: GUEST,Dianna
Date: 07 Apr 11 - 11:42 AM

I just spent the weekend with some old family friends and they played their pianolin. The instrument was created by their relative, Carey Oral Kirk in the mid 20's. He later had the Marx-O-Chime Colony help him produce the instrument and later the Colony stole the patent from him. I have pictures on my cell phone of Jim Kirk and Arlene Kirk playing the instrument. Arlene was just 16 when Carey, his brother (her husband), Jack, and some other men were selling the pianolin door to door. She learned to play some hymns and the "Beer Barrel Polka" on it. She is still pretty good on it, even at 86 years old. Jim and Arlene have one of the original instruments built by Carey and one of the prototypes put out by the Marx-O-Chime Colony. Because of their stories about the instrument, I decided to do some research on it. I would be willing to send pictures to any cell phone that would like to have a copy of the picture's of my friends and their instruments.


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Subject: RE: pianolin
From: GUEST,Arlene Ahlgrim
Date: 24 Feb 15 - 03:49 PM

I have a beautiful Pianolin of my grandmother's she was born in 1880 in Switzerland, and played the Pianolin it looks very old and then gave it to my father in 1939, all the pieces are there bow, chalk and the pianolin also a music book for it. Just wondering if there is a place that can tell me how to play this I am so interested in this thing and my mother gave this to me before she passed away, she was 92.


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Subject: RE: pianolin
From: GUEST,Wisconsin
Date: 23 Jan 16 - 11:03 AM

I have a pianolin for sale. It was made by the pianolin company in troy michigan. It was made in 1930. It is is mint condition. Also has the tool for the strings and sheet music. If anyone is interested, please contact me. Cindystate@hotmail.com


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Subject: RE: pianolin
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Jan 16 - 09:40 AM

The same idea was once used in Czechoslovakia. I have a cassette by this guy:

Jiri Klenha
video with awful sound
book by Klenha (in Czech)
http://www.aa.cz/citera/ (Klenha's website)

Sounds pretty but a bit twee and music-box-like.


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Subject: RE: pianolin
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Jan 16 - 09:45 AM

Klenha's English page
Klenha's books and recordings

He's done a lot.


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Subject: RE: pianolin
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 24 Jan 16 - 11:36 AM

If he's the guy who busked on Charles Bridge, I had a chat with him about 20 years ago
about my Great Grandad's 'Piano harp'

[a basic late 19th Cent / early 20th cent chord zither ..]


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