1898 Luis Casali Mechanical Crank Barrel Piano Music Machine Rare Design &
Color. Brass tag on front reads,”Luis Casals SUCor De POMBIA Y CIA Amalia 38
Barcelona”. Crank lock and crank work fine, piano is out of tune, but plays and
rotates fine. Service sticker on inside. 46” tall by 23” deep by 37” wide.
I can deliver within a 500 mile radius of Richmond Indiana for $.75 a mile.
Barrel pianos were often set on a cart and played in the streets by Italian
street musicians, sometimes known as organ grinders, who earned money through
the musical entertainment they provided. Organ grinders could hire their barrel
piano from local manufacturers, rather than having to invest in their own.
Barrel pianos are also know as 'self-acting' or 'automatic' pianos, because
inside the piano is a barrel, onto which the music to be played is encoded
using pins. The musician turns a hand crank to spin the barrel. As the barrel
rotates, its pins operate a combination of hammers, which strike strings to
sound different notes and produce a tune. The musician can control the speed at
which the tune is played by turning the handle slower or faster. They can also
select the tune to be played, with one barrel able to hold the information for
several different songs.