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Music Trade Review

Theodore Kloba

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For the curious, I found this occasionally useful but frequently amusing resource:


The Music Box Society International (MBSI.org) has digitized the American magazines Music Trade Review. from 1880-1933 and 1940-1954 and Presto-Times from 1920-1941. I actually found the site accidentally while researching a violin I inherited from my grandfather; Google gave me an article on the violin dealer that appeared in MTR in 1928.


There is a search function for both publications here: http://www.arcade-museum.com/library/search-music/


Here's a 1908 history of the Concertina (originally from the London Globe.): http://www.arcade-museum.com/mtr/MTR-1908-46-21/MTR-1908-46-21-39.pdf


And an article about Accordions from 1882 (originally from New York Sun) which concludes that the concertina is "much the better" though "not so easily managed": http://www.arcade-museum.com/mtr/MTR-1882-5-22/MTR-1882-5-22-17.pdf


An upbeat view of the English Concertina market in New York from 1914: http://www.arcade-museum.com/mtr/MTR-1914-59-4/index.php?page_no=64&frame=MTR-1914-59-4-64.pdf


Here's Vitak-Elsnic's announcement of a new quadruple-reed 104-key model [Chemnitzer]. Vitak-Elsnic was also a frequent advertiser: http://www.arcade-museum.com/mtr/MTR-1927-85-11-SECTION-2/MTR-1927-85-11-SECTION-2-21.pdf


I've especially enjoyed seeing advertisements for forgotten products. This page has the "Rolmonica", a player harmonica made of bakelite (also the "Octofone" a now-rare 8-string guitar/mandolin/tenor banjo hybrid): http://www.arcade-museum.com/mtr/MTR-1928-86-23-SECTION-2/MTR-1928-86-23-SECTION-2-24.pdf


And here's the "Welte-Mignon Musicalle", a remote controlled (!) electric player piano system: http://www.arcade-museum.com/mtr/MTR-1928-87-19-SECTION-1/index.php


Misspelled versions of the Rolmonica and Octofone in a piece on odd instruments at a trade show: http://www.arcade-museum.com/presto/PRESTO-1929-2235/PRESTO-1929-2235-16.pdf


And an outlook on the German Concertina Trade (which attributes the Bandonion to C.F. Uhlig!): http://www.arcade-museum.com/presto/PRESTO-1925-2055/index.php?page_no=22&frame=PRESTO-1925-2055-22.pdf


Also: The issues are stored as single page PDFs on arcade-museum.com, and have been OCR'd and indexed by Google so you can also do a Google full-text search by adding site:arcade-museum.com next to your search terms.

Edited by Theodore Kloba
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I wonder if Mr. Worrall has been through these?




"Mr" Worrall, is it? Well, Mr. Worrall has not, but he is definitely intrigued! I spent an hour just now paging through it...some nice gems, so thank you Theodore.


I've scaled back my history browsing these days, after the son of a British friend (I have not met the son) gazed upon my Anglo history books and observed that I "must be a bit of an anorak"! Looking up that piece of British slang on Wikipedia, I see that I am probably guilty as charged....but I should take most of this Forum with me. ;) Also, I've already stated elsewhere on this forum that I shall only produce a fourth edition, with yet more new material, if someone finds a picture of Charlie Wheatstone jamming with Charlie Uhlig. A brief scan of Theodore's wonderful find is relieving in that regard.


The discussion of sales of the accordion as being vastly larger than that of the 20 button (German) concertina in 1882 is about right....the Anglo-German concertina's heyday was in the 1850s-1870s; it hung on but was secondary to the accordion thereafter. I saw several other gems; a comment about the "negro in his cabin playing concertina and banjo" was one; this is fully in accord with a number of observations of African Americans playing them back in the heyday (and of the close symbiosis of banjo and German concertina in the minstrels). Must turn off the screen now, however...no more anorak behavior. Must find some more mainstream pursuits...watching reality TV and listening to hip-hop, maybe?




Edited by Dan Worrall
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Apologies Dan, I was sitting here after a wild day a work and couldn't remember your first name! That was what came out, meant as a term a respect, believe me!


Ken B)




I was joking! I don't know you, and I never know when some young whippersnapper is doing the senior thing to me! :P


Now if you called me Mr Anorak, them's fightin' words.




Edited by Dan Worrall
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