The piano roll was the first medium which could be produced and copied industrially and made it possible to provide the customer with actual music quickly and easily. It consisted of a roll of paper with perforations punched in it, the position and length of which determined the note played on the ‘autopiano’ (also known as a player piano, or pianola). These self-playing pianos contained a pneumatic mechanism that operated the piano action via the pre-programmed rolls. These recordings are from the rolls of the Aeolian Company, one of the biggest producers of the automatic piano. By 1903, the Aeolian Company had more than 9,000 roll titles in their catalog, adding 200 titles per month. (Wikipedia)
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