Sankyo Music Box

The Music Box Man
March 13, 2016 – 02:28 pm
20 notes Sankyo Music-Box

Most manufacturers of music mechanisms link the name of the tune used to a number inscribed on the cylinder roll.
Both Reuge and Sankyo do. Reuge also stencils the number on the comb. The cylinder (with the comb) determines what tune is played.
A few manufacturers of music mechanisms, for instance Mapsa Switzerland, do not and for those there is no way to link the tune to the music mechanism.

For the period we try to represent, 1945 to 1990, Reuge and Sankyo are the main providers of music mechanisms and therefore this exercise is limited to those two. We contacted both Reuge and Sankyo to try to obtain from them the lists relating cylinder numbers to tunes. We never got a reply from Sankyo, but their web site strongly warns against taking over any content from them. They do publish on their web site a small list of tunes relating to numbers for the music mechanisms they presently offer. Reuge did reply (thank you) but said that such lists would not be made available. We can only speculate as to why these manufacturers take this point of view. They may consider this ‘Proprietary Information’ that they would like to protect. Why? For fear of imitation? That seems highly unlikely within the entrenched market both have, despite recent Chinese production.

From my point of view, this linking of tunes to numbers, and vice versa, is an important contribution to understanding and interpreting our cultural heritage in so far music boxes are concerned. Many music box lovers are interested in the tune played, certainly in buying one. We get many questions in that regard. We therefore decided to make our own lists based on our own Collection and not using any published information.

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