ISSN : 2266-6060

Turn, turn, turn

Paris, October 2021.

On Saturdays and Sundays, the grinder takes his organ down and sets it up on the corner of the market, in front of a café. As a mechanical musical instrument attached to the French folklore of the 19th and the first half of the 20th century, the barrel organ is composed of a crank activating a pneumatic mechanism to play a programmed melody. This mechanism makes it possible to read a punched paper tape, folded into a “cardboard book” in a zigzag movement.
The cardboard books from the middle of the 20th century are still the most numerous in use. That Sunday, the grinder came with La romance de Paris (1941), Milord (1959), the original tapes of My Uncle or On the Waterfront (1958), Rock around the Clock (1952) or Parlez-moi d’amour (1930).
 Another sign of the collection form? Do not be surprised, in order to live the tradition in the present, as soon as he makes enough profit, the barrel organ player orders a notator to make perforated cards, meaning the arrangement of the music of his choice for the 27 pneumatic keys of the organ and the writing of a MIDI file commanding a perforator, which will edit a new card. Angèle is coming soon, he cheerfully announces to the young boy who is dancing in front of this folkloric reading.

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