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History and importance of music boxes [257]


Music boxes have very significant history. The history of the music boxes can be traced back to 18th century. In the earlier music boxes a set of pins are placed and it is rotated over the teeth made out of steel comb.  A metal comb or sometimes attached with the tiny bells, or drums. Original music boxes are created out of snuff boxes, which are made to fit into coat packets. From there, the music boxes started evolving from that size to bigger size. Big size music boxes were manufactured on the later part of the 18th century. Artisans were trained to manufacture them on a large scale.  The first batch of mass production of these music boxes started in the Switzerland. In the modern world you can find the Horse music box and many other varieties. 

But who invented music boxes is not known exactly and there are no documents available.  However, it is believed that an artisan watch maker manufactured the very first music box in 18th century, in Geneva. The phonograph or music boxes were operated by inserting a coin in the slot.  They are manufactured at the end of 18th century where a nickel is inserted into the slot and the music was played. It is retrofitted device designed by the William Arnold and Louis Glass.  The principle of playing the music is just similar to that of watches. Pins are placed around the revolving cylinder and when the cylinder is stuck with the teeth of these pins music is produced. This is one of the simplest music boxes manufactured in the beginning. They were known as Carillons a musique.  By and large the credit of musical box invention goes to Swiss watchmaker Antony Farve.  From the 18th century they have been evolved to a great extent. You can find musical jewellery boxes as a gift item in the recent years. 

In the first ever invented musical box, there were only pins and no bells or strings found in them.  It is in fact, a miniature mechanical music box. The beauty of these musical boxes is that they are stand alone boxes, and they don’t have any other support and they are self playing mechanical gadgets.  The modern gadgets are equipped with good inlay work, and the gadget is embedded with wood inlay case.  The multiple songs played in the musical boxes are called as airs.  To choose the required tune a lever should be pushed towards the indicator. A thin metal bar when struck to a pin resonates to produce the sound and it is known as tooth. The metal disk is etched to produce dips and curves so that when teeth are played over actuated in the production of pleasing music. 

Depending upon the manufacturing type there may be single or multiple combs. They are designed to enhance the tone quality.  Damper and Zither are other two important parts of the musical boxes that supports the quality of the sound created in the musical boxes. Antique jewellery musical boxes have become a status symbol and they have joined the list of gift items. 

About The Author:
The writer is an expert in the field of music gifts with focus on Horse Music Box & Jewelry Boxes.

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