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Although Amsterdam on the whole is one of the most beautiful cities but if you want to experience something different while visiting Amsterdam then donít miss to have a tour of ĎThe Pianola Museumí. This museum lies at a short walking distance from Anne Frank Museum in the Jordaan quarter in the west of the old town centre. This is a special place crammed with pianolas from early 1900ís and probably one of the smallest museums in Amsterdam. The museum includes several original, beautiful instruments.
The museum houses a unique collection of numerous pianolas, automatic pianos (in addition to the one which was invented in USA in 1984) and the related items. About 20,000 music rolls are available here that can be played on different instruments present in the museum. The famous Steinway grand piano has been adapted as a mechanical instrument. Automatic pianos from the beginning of the 20th century are at display. About 15 original instruments with 20,000 music rolls are on display. The music archives can be played on different instruments present in the museum. A player pipe organ is also display. Stock of about 50 pianolas is there but only a dozen is displayed at a given time.
One canít see anyone playing the music but only hear the melodious music. Great musician like Mahler, Debussy, Ravel have recorded their work on music rolls of punched paper. The same music is heard on the unplayable piano that gives a feeling of real sound as if the music is being played on the instruments itself. There are about more than fifteen thousand music rolls stored in this musical archive. Not only this but one can have the pleasure of viewing different kinds of pianolas.
First pianola was introduced in the year 1900. It was having separate and external player was used to use with a regular piano. The mechanism was then developed and it result in building of grand pianos. Pianolas were very popular in Amsterdam till 1930ís. They became archaic due to the development of the phonographic industry. Music is reproduced on Pianolas using carton rolls having punched holes for each music note. Pianolas were very popular as the music on the recording on wax cylinder and gramophone records has been very primitive.
In spite of being one of the smallest museum Pianola museums includes a great collection of automatic pianos and related objects. Itís a great place to visit as one can see a good collection of musical instruments, music, photography and theatre can be seen here. The mechanical music and quality of sound impress the visitors very much. Music pieces written by great artist as Milhaud, Stravinsky can be found here. In this museum one can learn about the history and working of the instruments displayed here. Facility of giving details and the techniques of the instrument is available in the museum. Although a number of instruments are at display but special focus is always given on music.
The opening Hours are - Afternoon from 14 hours to 17 hours Ė Very Sunday By appointment - Other days
Audio- visual information, explanatory text on brochures and guided tour in Dutch is available. Besides this brochures and guided tour in English and guided tour in French and German is also provided so that visitors could enjoy the place completely. Taking pictures without flash is allowed. Children along with adults are allowed and it is better to visit here with appointment if you are visiting in group. Cafe is present for the light refreshment.
Before planning for visit itís better to take an idea of the schedule of the museum whether online or the hotel at which you are staying at. Transport facilities as tram, bus, train are easily accessible. Car parking is available at Euro parking places in the street. Paid parking directly on street is available as Westerstraat is the widest street in the Jordaan.
Itís a great place to get the full idea of history of modern civilization of music. Information about various interesting instruments in the pleasant atmosphere with old furniture and dimmed light could be collected from this place. Various concerts on pianola is also organized here.The visit to Pianola museum is also fruitful and knowledgeable for kids also. Player piano concert are organised every month in which rare classical or jazz music is composed for the instruments. Curators are present to give the details.
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