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.