Via the blog of the Biblioteca Nacional de España, a long list. Scans are accessible via “Enlace a la imagen del rollo” on each item page, which automatically plays the audio. Kudos to the BNE and to sponsors Telefónica, but I wonder why the decision was taken not to post the MIDI output. It would certainly have pleased me, Richard Stibbons, Warren Trachtman and Wayne Stahnke even more.
The rolls are virtually all the first three decades of the twentieth century and tend to be simply performed marketing supports for light operas and the like. Personal favourites include the two Josés: José Padilla, who wrote “Valencia” (funereal version here) but didn’t go there very much, and a couple of whose songs I sing; and zarzuelista José Serrano, who was born there, took up fishing, and donated much of his liver to the Mediterranean.
- In praise of oranges
A First World War letter from a Palestinian orange grove, an orange (lower case) song, and this winter’s favourite orange cake recipe.
- MIDI versions of player piano rolls
I just found Terry Smythe’s tremendous player piano site, which roughly 5782 MIDI files converted from scanned rolls. The relevance to street organ repertoire development is obvious – an hour’s tweaking and you’ve got something perfectly adequate for purpose. I hope someone, somewhere is writing a PhD answering such questions as: did piano rolls influence …
- From Charles Trenet, two musical De Gaulle anecdotes
Re the songs, L’âme des poètes and Douce France.
A new translation of Joan Maragall’s poem about the anarchist bombing of the Barcelona Opera in 1893, and a limerick by the monkey.