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If you can breathe, you can PlaRola
March 18, 2008 10:40 AM   Subscribe

If you were around between the 1870s and the early 1900s, you were rocking out to the sweet tunes of the organette. Some were ornate wooden boxes played by turning a crank. Cool kids had tiny organette/harmonica hybrids called Rolmonicas that were played by mouth. Other variations included the Celestina, the Musical Casket, the Playasax, the PlaRola, and the Triola mechanical zither among others. Happen to have one? Pull it out of that yard sale! You can still find music for it.
posted by katillathehun (6 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
I love ads of that era. There are so many words, arranged into complete sentences! It is as if people were intelligent and unafraid of reading. These days the ad campaign would be

"Blow. Music. Rolmonica."
posted by Wolfdog at 10:50 AM on March 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is great, I love things like this. I'd love to get my hands on some of these things and work out how to write for them.
posted by ob at 10:51 AM on March 18, 2008


Reminds me of Nancarrow composing for player pianos... great tones from Organettes in the post
posted by Spacelegoman at 12:07 PM on March 18, 2008


I've been looking for a Triola for a while but have never been able to track one down. Those others, I've never heard of; cool stuff.

If you want a more modern alternative, you can get a Otokibako.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 12:58 PM on March 18, 2008


I like this stuff. Get me my monkey!
posted by dhammond at 11:11 PM on March 18, 2008


"Triola" can also refer to a toy wind instrument, by the way. I don't know how you might go about "preparing" that one, though.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 1:54 AM on March 29, 2008


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