Interest in street
organs - compact, mobile and mostly hand operated - saw a revival in the
seventies. Since there were so few old models available, enthusiasts
began to produce copies and, gradually, the art of building street
organs was revived. This revival first started in Germany, the home of
the street organ and spread to France, Belgium and the United Kingdom.
Because of the need to keep a street organ compact, the number of notes
is limited to between 20 and around 45. However, since one note can play
on ranks of pipes, the actual pipe count can be a staggering 150 plus,
often bent (mitred) to fit in the small space of the case. The cost of a
street organ ranges from £1,500 for a simple model upwards of £15,000
for the most sophisticated, with music being provided in the form of
cardboard 'books' or paper rolls. Recent developments have now led to
the advent of music on microchip for these delightful instruments - an
innovation that detracts not at all from the wonderful sound they
Painting The Town Red White & Blue.