Player Pianos

Orchestrion "Clavitist Universal"

    Orchestrion "Clavitist Universal"

    Germany, Leipzig


    Hupfeld, Ludwig, A.G.

    Wood (oak, maple), brass, glass, beads, mirror; carving, lathe, casting

    145 x 70 x 190 cm


    Orchestrion is a combined automatic musical piano-based instrument, supplemented with a 30-tones xylophone and device simulating the sound of a mandolin. The instrument is mounted in the vertical oak-varnished case, with protruding keyboard on the key bottom support, on straight consoles, continued up and completed with chiselled balls. Consoles are standing on feet with metal wheels. Two piano pedals are plinth center. The keyboard has the range of eighty-five tones. White plastic and ebony keys are covered with the hinged lid with mounted music rack on its internal side. The case facade is divided into several sections. Central sections are poking, horizontal window made of clear glass with facets, through which a xylophone is visible, is in the upper section. Tape drive mechanism, closed with the sliding door with mirror-latticed window is the bottom section, framed by thin paired columns on both sides. Tape drive mechanism pulls the tape above the tracker bar with seventy-seven apertures. Paired brass wall-mounted lights with lampshades made of colored beads are set on rhombic mirror inserts of the side sections. Curved attic with carved wooden onlay is mounted on the protruding cornice. An aperture with the button switching on the mandolin effect is on the case right lateral side. Belt drive pulleys are on the case rear side. The audio playback tempo lever is beneath the key bottom support. The instrument can be played like an ordinary piano. In automatic operation mode, the orchestrion plays the music encoded on paper music roll; it is possible to switch on the xylophone and the device that creates a mandolin sound. Buttons on the case rear and lateral sides operate the orchestrion modes. Orchestrion movement is driven by electric motor, mounted in the case bottom part. Musical media: paper music roll.