3rd French conference on acoustics
J. Phys. IV France 04 (1994) C5-641-C5-644
Traitements informatiques de la notation du jeu instrumental pour instrument de musique mécanique : la tonotechnieP. SANCHEZ1 and R. HOPP2
1 CNRS-LAS, Traverse du Siphon, 13012 Marseille, France
2 Facteur d'Orgue, Château des Confines, 84300 Monteux, France
"Tonotechnics" was the term which used to denote the art of driving embossed cylinders used for the manufacture of automated musical instruments. "The art of the organ builder" written in the 18th century by Dom Bedos de Celles describes the technique. Nowadays the term is used more widely to include the transcription of musical notes not only on cylinders but on other materials such as paper or cardboard, and more particularly on the cards used for mechanical organ music. A machine using "tonotecnics" designed by Robert Hopp has just been presented at the 1992 September music fair in Paris. The purpose of the machine is to produce perforated cards for mechanical organ music using a musical file (format MIDIFILE) recorded on an ordinary musical sequencer. Until now perforating the cards was a long and often hazardous task frequently subject to error. Today, thanks to this machine one can not only reproduce the authentic manner of playing with greater ease and precision but also imagine a new, wider scope for the composition of mechanical organ music. Some parts of the musical score composed by M. Michel PORTAL for the film "l'anniversaire du poisson lune" were only made possible by the design of this machine. Its originality lies in its capacity to reproduce the traditional sounds of the instrument and thanks to sophisticated technology to improve the quality of the cards necessary to produce such music. In the near future we hope to restore to perfect musical order mechanical organ music cards which are too old or badly damaged for use. Currently prized by collectors but impossible to exploit these cards could be scanned by means of a camera or a coupled charge device in order to transcribe their original music onto new cards. Thus the cultural wealth of mechanical organ music could be saved from oblivion.
© EDP Sciences 1994