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Types of Music Rolls

All paper music rolls are not the same!! Some are designed for regular player pianos. Some are designed for reproducing pianos and expression pianos (see Example below). Some are designed for nickelodeons, orchestrions, player organs, band organs, and a host of other roll-operated mechanical musical instruments.The QRS Music Rolls that we sell at Player-Care will work in all regular 88-note, 64-note, reproducing, and expression pianos. (However, QRS rolls DO NOT have special Expression or Reproducing Coding.) They WILL NOT WORK in nickelodeons, orchestrions, 65-note players, or other types of mechanical musical instruments. But how can you tell for sure if QRS music rolls will work in your instrument?

The surest way is to compare the pictures below against your unit. The first picture shows the right roll chuck. Measurements are provided for absolute accuracy. The second picture shows the flange on the right end of the music roll. If both the roll chuck and the right flange match what you have, you have an 88-note player piano music roll and all regular 88-note player piano rolls will work in your player piano. If you don't have a roll to check, measure the number of note holes per inch in the trackerbar. All 88-note player pianos use a spacing of 9 holes per inch.

Also, player pianos like the 64-note Aeolian Pianola utilize "octave coupling". This allows all of the notes on a standard 88-note roll to play within the 64-note range of the instrument. Also note that standard 88-note music roll 'paper' measures exactly 11-1/4 inches wide, and the spacing between the left and right roll chucks (with no roll in the unit) is 11-1/2 inches. Also note that the spacing of the holes in a standard 88-note trackerbar is exactly 9 holes per inch.

Expression and Reproducing Rolls

Expression and Reproducing rolls have what's known as 'expression perforations' or binary coding at the edges of the roll (see image below). In almost all cases, most of these 'extra' holes are located within the regular 88 note range on the trackerbar. As a result, those perforations play unwanted notes in the extreme bass and treble registers as the music is playing.

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John A Tuttle

This page was last revised January 26, 2013 by John A. Tuttle, who Assumes No Liability
For The Accuracy or Validity of the Statements and/or Opinions
Expressed within the Pages of the Player-Care Domain.
Cartoon Graphics by "Eric Styles"

Since "Player-Care" is an internet business, I prefer that we correspond via E-Mail (click here to fill out the 'Request Form'). However, if I'm not in the middle of some other activity, you can reach me at 732-840-8787. But please understand that during the hours from 8AM-5PM EST (Mon-Sat), I'm generally quite busy. So, I probably won't answer the phone. If you get the answering machine, please leave a detailed message stating the reason for your call. Also, repeat your name and phone number clearly and distinctly. By necessity, I prioritize everything in my life. And, if you call and just leave your name and number, and ask me to call you back, it might be a day or two before I return your call. Why? Because I don't know why you want me to call and I might not be prepared to assist you in an effective and efficient manner. If you leave me an E-Mail address (which I prefer), spell it out phonetically. The more you do to help me, the more I can help you in return. Don't rush. You have four minutes to record your message.

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