Toy gramophone "Nirona" in the column "Exhibit in Details"

It has become a good tradition for educational and cultural organisations to hold the Music Week for Children and Youth every year at the end of March to awaken the interest of schoolchildren in musical art, broaden their cultural outlook and involve them in research work.

Children's music is an eternal theme. Many composers, even the most "serious" ones, have turned to creating pieces for children. And this is not surprising – music organically enters a kid’s world from the very early childhood: lullabies and musical counting songs, musical games and fairy tales, children's songs and even operas. And the traditions of children's music – the shaping of images, topics, genres of children's music, musical language, etc. – were established in the second half of the 19th century.

Many composers of the second half of the 19th century wrote pieces and songs for children and compiled music books for different levels of education. These composers and musicians also wrote manuals and developed methods for teaching the children music.

Often compilers of books emphasized the purpose of their work, for example, with such remarks: “a collection of children’s plays to promote love of music and cultivation of taste”, «a collection of light pieces for children compiled of favourite motifs to excite the little ones seek for music”, “dedicated to the good mothers that intend to teach their children the first principles of playing the piano”, “playing the piano should be fun for a child, and not scholastic lessons”, etc.

A large number of sheet music, gamuts, and initial exercises were published. Most of them contained not only notes and texts, but also were decorated with drawings related to the content of musical works. Such publications especially attracted the attention of parents and children, stimulated children to be more willing to take music.

In addition to books that can answer a little reader's questions related to music, narrate about its mysteries, musical instruments and composers in entertaining and lucid way, make them think, get interested and understand the beauty and power of music, there are musical toys.

In the section “Mechanical Musical Instruments and Objects” of the museum explosion there are several such items.

Today our traditional section "Exhibit in details" features toy gramophone "Nirona". This amusive object with an unusual arrangement of the horn was created in 1920, in Beierfeld (Germany) by the masters of the company "Nirona-Werke Nier & Ehmer "1).

The toy gramophone is mounted in rectangular metal case. Disc for the record, covered with grey-green cloth, with spring motor is on the upper panel. Funny scenes from the life of children are depicted on the lateral side. A handle for winding the spring, button for activating the mechanism and bracket with bell-shaped reflector, to which the sound box with needle is connected through cylindrical curved tonearm are on the case lateral surface as well. After a gramophone record is placed on the disc and the mechanism is switched on, the needle moves along the sound track of the record, transmits mechanical vibrations to the diaphragm, which converts them into sound.
Album of children's songs on six gramophone records is in the set.

Musical selection of digitised recordings of children's songs from this album is posted in the museum Phonotheque.

The material has been prepared on the basis of information from open sources and the Russian State Library for the Blind