50 Years

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News from Italy

News From Italy

from Franco Severi. President of the Associazione Italiana Musica Meccanica, (AMMI), our sister Society in Italy.

Music Arrangement Course for Barrel Piano.

The Master, Vittorio Bonafede, his willing pupils and plaques to commemorate the occasion.

From 8th to 13th April, 2002 the first music arranging course for Barrel Pianos was held in Longiano, Italy. Three members of AMMI took part in the lessons which were organised and given by Vittorio Bonafede the only master still alive able to pass on the knowledge that he acquired when he worked in the business when he was young. In fact, his father and grandfather before him rented out barrel pianos to beggars in Rome. They owned about thirty instruments which they had to check and tune every day and of course they would often have to write new arrangements of tunes that were in fashion.

He began to study music when he was eleven years old and by the age of fifteen he was working in his father's workshop. He started by fixing nails into the cylinders and carried on in the business until about 1950 when the demand for barrel pianos declined and he had to seek employment elsewhere. Vittorio also composed and arranged music and pinned barrels for about twenty Italian films for directors such as DeSica, Toto, Modugno and Fabrizi.

6th Mechanical Music, Gramophone and 78rpm Record Market.

Some of the sights of the 2002 Market.

The 6th Mechanical Music Market was held on April 7th, 2002 in Longiano, (North East Italy). It is the only event of its kind devoted exclusively to mechanical music, gramophones and 78rpm records that is held in Italy and approximately thirty exhibitors took part in the event which was attended by quite a large number of visitors. Another market was planned for September 8th. 2002.

© 2002 Franco Severi

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