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Inventing Entertainment: The Player Piano and the Origins of an American Musical Industry (英語) ハードカバー – 2008/11/30


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内容紹介

Brian Dolan's social and cultural history of the music business in relation to the history of the player piano is a critical chapter in the story of contemporary life. The player piano made the American music industry-and American music itself-modern. For years, Tin Pan Alley composers and performers labored over scores for quick ditties destined for the vaudeville circuit or librettos destined for the Broadway stage. But, the introduction of the player piano in the early 1900s, transformed Tin Pan Alley's guild of composers, performers, and theater owners into a music industry. The player piano, with its perforated music rolls that told the pianos what key to strike, changed musical performance because it made a musical piece standard, repeatable, and easy rather than something laboriously learned. It also created a national audience because the music that was played in New Orleans or Kansas City could also be played in New York or Missoula, as new music (ragtime) and dance (fox-trot) styles crisscrossed the continent along with the player piano's music rolls. By the 1920s, only automobile sales exceeded the amount generated by player pianos and their music rolls. Consigned today to the realm of collectors and technological arcane, the player piano was a moving force in American music and American life.

レビュー

A fun read with some interesting stories. The author writes in an easygoing style and the book can be a quick read. Anyone who owns a player piano will surely want this in his or her collection.--Steve Ramm "Amazon.Com Review, July 1, 2009 "

With remarkable economy, Brian Dolan takes us on a journey into a neglected but important corner of American cultural history, the player piano. Far more than a novelty, this instrument remade the entire piano industry in its image, forming a fascinating link between the Victorian piano-in-the-parlor and the modern era of mechanical reproduction. Dolan analyzes the player piano from a variety of angles, bringing to life the rich, human dimensions of the culture in which it developed and thrived.--David Suisman, University of Delaware

In this fascinating book Brian Dolan shows that the player piano was the iPod of the early twentieth century. The piano rolls an early form of digital storage sold in the millions and transformed popular music and Tin Pan Alley paving the way for the arrival of radio, the phonograph, and the juke box. Based on original research and interviews with collectors, Dolan traces the practices of the hidden musicians who made this first form of recordable music and shows how artists likes Fats Waller first learnt their trade listening to the player piano before themselves adopting a unique style suitable to the new medium. This is a book for music lovers and scholars alike.--Trevor Pinch, Goldwin Smith Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Cornell University"

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登録情報

  • ハードカバー: 205ページ
  • 出版社: Rowman & Littlefield Pub Inc; New.版 (2008/11/30)
  • 言語: 英語
  • ISBN-10: 0742561275
  • ISBN-13: 978-0742561274
  • 発売日: 2008/11/30
  • 商品パッケージの寸法: 16.1 x 1.9 x 24.1 cm
  • おすすめ度: この商品の最初のレビューを書き込んでください。
  • Amazon 売れ筋ランキング: 洋書 - 1,989,147位 (洋書の売れ筋ランキングを見る)
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Amazon.com: 5つ星のうち HASH(0x93467c78) 5 件のカスタマーレビュー
3 人中、3人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち HASH(0x9349175c) Unfortunate, poorly researched and very inaccurate. 2009/3/5
投稿者 Dan C. Brown - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー
The author based much of his research on personal contacts with some collectors and some limited literature review rather than on contact with authorities on the subject, review of the considerable technical literature, or contact with well-regarded restorers. Many technical statements are innacurate and misleading and there is little consideration of the other legal and technical developments (radio, phonographs, copyright and intellectual property rights) which likely played at least as much of a role in the entertainment industry as the player piano. This is one book to certainly skip.
2 人中、2人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち HASH(0x934917b0) Disappointing and too focused on Q.R.S. 2009/8/12
投稿者 Buzz Lightyear - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー
As an engineer interested in mechanical music, I was pleased to find a new book on the subject of the player piano. Unfortunately, I can offer only a lukewarm recommendation for this one. It seems to be the work of an author who ventured into the history of the player piano for just a few years on a whim. Its focus isn't on the technology or the music (in spite the title "Inventing Entertainment") but rather on the social reception of the player piano and its role in the world of music during the pre-radio era. The marketing strategies and lofty claims of the various player piano companies are given much attention, along with the consequences of eliminating the need for human skill in music-making.

Its coverage of the personalities and companies of the era is spotty at best, with a strong focus on the piano company Story & Clark and piano roll manufacturer Q.R.S. (not a huge surprise, given that the author is the nephew of Richard Dolan, current Chairman and President of Q.R.S. Music and its subsidiary Story & Clark). Its survey of key personalities in the field spends most of its time on Q.R.S.' star piano roll arranger J. Lawrence Cook (an amazingly gifted and prolific man who deserves a book of his own), omitting equally-significant arrangers like Frank Milne and Adam Carroll. The Ampico, Duo-Art and Welte reproducing systems and their music are discussed very little and seem to be dismissed with implications that they were too elitist.

The author seems to paint current mechanical music enthusiasts as generally eccentric folks, and I was embarrassed to read the author's account of visiting a French philosophy professor in Paris and being unable to recall the names of any famous French pianists.

In its brief mentions of present-day player pianos, this book leads the reader to believe that Q.R.S. is the only company that exists or matters today in the player piano world, failing to mention Q.R.S.' larger competitors Yamaha Corporation (Disklavier) and PianoDisc, as well as the innovation of contemporary electronic player piano system pioneers, such as Wayne Stahnke and Raymond Vincent, that made Q.R.S.' Pianomation system possible. The social and cultural role of present-day systems is barely covered at all, and their technology is waved away with a sort of "gee-whiz, couldn't even begin to imagine how all that works" attitude.

I think this book could have been better if the author had stuck with the idea of creating a detailed history of Q.R.S. and its prominent roll arrangers, with his family ties helping to give an insider's perspective instead of creating the pressure to appear non-biased.
5つ星のうち HASH(0x93491be8) For the rest of us. 2010/9/14
投稿者 Steve Schwartz - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー
This book isn't for those deep into player-piano history and technology, but for curious outsiders like me. I found it interesting and well-written. It's about reproducing pianos, but it's also about history as something as personal as memory and how that sticks with you. I don't doubt that Dolan has omitted stuff. I'm still unsure how such instruments work or how compatible competing firms rolls were. Could an Aeolian roll be played on a Welte-Mignon? Could a Duo-Art roll be played on Story & Clark? Given the sales figures, I'd imagine so, but Dolan doesn't tell me. I enjoyed the portraits of the enthusiasts. It's an eccentric bunch, in the sense that the population at large no longer shares their passion. And, yes, you do have to be a bit starry-eyed (and well-off) to collect instruments, as some do. I mean, just dedicating the space requires some devotion. It's not like collecting stamps. However, that passion makes the subjects sympathetic, rather than figures of fun. This book convinced me that the reproducing piano not only legitimately claims historical importance, but love.

The social history grabbed me. Dolan doesn't shove your nose in it but leads you along gracefully. I especially liked the sections on the African-American artists -- Fats Waller, J. P. Johnson, J. Lawrence Cook, and others -- who produced the rolls. At a time when many mainstream venues were denied them, the piano rolls offered a way to make not only money, but in some cases a living, simply because the artists were, to borrow Ralph Ellison, invisible men. Middle-class and upper-income households who never would have thought of blacks as anything but yard workers, cooks, and maids, ironically, entertained them in the parlor, through technology.

Again, I enjoyed the book, and I learned something from it as well.
2 人中、1人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち HASH(0x93491fb4) Light reading and of more interest to the person interested in collecting Player Pianos 2009/7/2
投稿者 Steve Ramm - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー
Light reading and of more interest to the person interested in collecting Player Pianos

I'll try to balance out the two reviews already posted before this one - the one-star by reader Dan Brown and the five star by the author. I think this book falls in the middle. If you are looking for a documented history of the Player Piano or how to repair one, this is not the book for you. But if you already own one and are part of the player piano collecting community (such as AMICA), then you'll find it a fun read and read some interesting stories. You know what you are in for when the FIRST chapter in the book is about the PEOPLE who collect Player Pianos (and obviously have large houses!).

No, I don't own a player piano (I ALMOST bought one years ago but it wouldn't fit through the front door!) I do, however collect antique phonographs and know the feeling of sharing your interest with other collectors and through collecting societies. (In fact, years ago, a friend took me to a local AMICA chapter meeting while I was on vacation in California.) And it was nice to read about the San Fillippo collection outside Chicago which I've also visited (because of the phonographs.)

The author writes in an easygoing style and the book can be a quick read. I learned some things I didn't know and am aware that I can research further on the Internet. I'm surprised that a book published in 2009 has no listing of Internet web pages or sites to go further into knowing more about these. Also, the illustrations are mostly of the performers (and very few at that.) I expected more illustrations of the different brands or styles of the pianos.

Anyone who owns a Player piano will surely want this in his or her collection. As for others, I'll recommend it as a discussion of the competition for the home entertainment dollar from 1910-1930 as the phonograph (cylinder and disc), and radio competed with the automated player piano.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
1 人中、0人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち HASH(0x934940b4) INVENTIG ENTRETAINMENT 2012/7/14
投稿者 Manolo - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー Amazonで購入
I like the book, Doland made an excelent review of how start the Industry of entertaiment in music with the invention of the PLAYER PIANO, the information he gives is excelent, the only thing I would like to have in the book are much pictures inside.
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