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"concertina Roller Organ"

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A friend of mine is an enthusiastic organ grinder. He takes his barrel organ (or it takes him?) to festivals all over Germany and into the neighbouring countries. He also collects interesting "organalia", and one piece that caught my eye in his living-room was very much like the ones in your links. He played it for me, and I was amazed at its dulcet tones. It had free reeds instead of pipes!


He informed me that it was an American "preacher's organ," formerly used by itinerant preachers to accompany hymns in out-of the-way places. My friend had a few rolls for it, and they were predominantly old Gospel songs and popular hymns.


The timbre of this organ resembles the harmonium - which is also a free-reeder - and has none of the "worldly" brashness of the normal piped barrel-organ.




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I remember being at the Frankfurt Toy Fair about 16 years ago and seeing a very skilled Melodeon player, there was something not quite right about his style. I returned and realised that he was not actually playing. He explained the machine to me "Micro process control " . It was at that point when I saw the ultimate nightmare of being in a Session and someone calling out "Number 69 on the pink stick " and then a host of pumping Melodeons belting out the same cacophony AAGH

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