Apollo Music Roll Types

Early 58-note, 6 per inch, player piano music roll with cardboard box.

(Photograph courtesy of Jere DeBacker.)

Early 58-note, 6 per inch, player piano music roll with its cardboard box. Wound on a wooden spool, the lettering on the spool flange's outside face reads: "Adjustable Flange—Pat'd Mar. 7, 1905." The flange shown is on the non-powered end of the spool, and is fitted with a metal cup to receive a spring-loaded pin that holds the roll in place once correctly mounted in the spoolbox.

(Photograph courtesy of Jere DeBacker.)

58-note, 6 per inch, 10-3/8" wide music roll leader. The first leading (bass) piano note perforations are visible at left, along with the dotted Dynaline. The dotted line is a graphical representation of how loudly the musical piece is to be played, which is determined by how vigorously the piano's foot pedals are pumped. If the piano is equipped with a Dynaline pointer device, the operator merely pumps the foot pedals to the degree necessary for the Dynaline pointer to hover over the dotted line. For this music roll the loudness and tempo setting are rubber-stamped onto the right side of the roll leader: Intensity starts out at "P.P., Very Soft;" and the music roll tempo is to bet at "Allegretto, Tempo D."

(Photograph courtesy of Jere DeBacker.)

65-note, 6 per inch, 11 1/4 wide music roll leader. With the dotted Dynaline starting out at the left side of the paper, this 65-note piano roll also starts out "P.P., Very Soft." The tempo indicator is to be set to "Moderato, Medium Fast, Tempo E." Towards the top of the photograph the Dynaline can be seen to steadily move to the centerline of the paper. At the start of this abrupt change in indicated volume the notation "CRES," the abbreviation for Crescendo, is rubber stamped at the right side of the paper.

(Photograph courtesy of Jere DeBacker.)

65-note, 6 per inch, 11 1/4" wide boxed music roll. The 65-note rolls have wooden flanges with pin ends. The wooden spacers located at each inside end of the box have a groove cut into them to accommodate the metal pins protruding from the spool flanges.

(Photograph courtesy of Jere DeBacker.)

Music roll leader for a (6 per inch hole spacing) 88-note player piano roll, with a typical "Q R S Co., Chicago," leader tab.

(Photograph courtesy of Jere DeBacker.)

Music roll leader for a (6 per inch hole spacing) 88-note player piano roll, with an unusual "Q R S" leader tab.

Early Melville Clark Apollo Tempo Indicator Scale.

(Photograph courtesy of Jere DeBacker.)

Early alphabetic type Apollo Piano Tempo Indicator Scale. In this photograph the tempo indicator pointer is arbitrarily located midway between the "OFF" and "A" positions on the scale. The large metal handle sticking up to the right of the "G" position is the control switch for selecting either 88-note or 58-note music rolls. Note that the Italian based speed definitions are angled above the alpha based "English" tempo designations.

(Photograph courtesy of Jere DeBacker.)

Early 88-note, 9 per inch, 11 1/4" wide music roll leader. Here the dotted Dynaline is near the right side of the paper, along with a rubber-stamped notation of "F.F., Very Loud." Below the metal ruler is a rubber-stamped transitional tempo setting chart. Both the Italian based tempo notations and a numeric scale are shown, with an hand-inked check mark at the tempo 70 (or Moderato) position.

Late Melville Clark Apollo Tempo Indicator Scale.

(Photograph courtesy of Jere DeBacker.)

Late transitional numeric type Apollo Piano Tempo Indicator Scale. Here the tempo indicator pointer is set to a tempo of approximately 65. The Italian based speed definitions angled above the equivalent numeric tempo designations have been retained, probably to accommodate the massive number of old piano rolls still in use and that did not have numeric tempo markings.

(Photograph courtesy of Jere DeBacker.)

Assortment of early boxed Apollo music rolls. From left to right:

  1. 58-note, 6 per inch hole spacing, 10-3/8" wide roll.
  2. 65-note, 6 per inch hole spacing, 11-1/4" wide roll.
  3. 88-note, 6 per inch hole spacing, 15-1/4" wide roll.
  4. 88-note, 9 per inch hole spacing, 11-1/4" wide roll.
  5. 143-note, 9 per inch hole spacing, 15-1/4" wide, Solo Apollo roll (The name "Tempograph" was used on many of the Solo-Apollo rolls).
  6. 139-note, 9 per inch hole spacing, 15-1/4" wide, Solo Art Apollo roll.

(Photograph courtesy of Jere DeBacker.)

Rubber-stamped instructions on the leader of a Solo Apollo roll cut by QRS. It text reads: The "DOTTED line" indicates the necessary bellows-pressure for the following variations in volume:

   P P - Least Pressure (Soft);
      M F - Medium Pressure;
         F F - Greatest Pressure (Loud).

The TEMPOGRAPH NUMBERS correspond to numbers on indicator (minus the zero). They indicate position of pointer to secure proper tempo.

N. B. - TEMPOGRAPH NUMBERS always appear at the M. F. (Central) position of dotted line.

(Photograph courtesy of Jere DeBacker.)

143-note Autograph "Hand Played" rolls for Solo Apollo style pianos. As pictured, the Hand Played logo is conspicuously affixed to the top of each Autograph roll box. The Autograph roll used a 9 per inch hole spacing, and was 15-1/4" wide. It was used exclusively for the Solo Apollo pianos that had both a principle stack or chest, plus a secondary solo chest.

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