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Click Images to Enlarge!

We are working on our website! We try to make our information interesting, reliable and detailed, and the sizes of our illustrations are just as important to us as the accuracy of our text. However, to save the pages from becoming too long, we are gradually replacing some of the photographs and drawings with smaller ones.

, you will be able to magnify almost any image by clicking on it, and the new enlarged images are significantly more detailed than those currently in place.
Watch out for the prompt in red, at the left-hand side of the page; if you see it,
then all the images on that page can be enlarged with a click or the tap of a finger. Happy hunting!


Videos and CDs of Player and Reproducing Pianos

Look for this banner on the Pianola Institute's Youtube page!

Just in case you are not aware, the Pianola Institute has its own channel on Youtube, under the simple title of pianolainstitute. We have been there since May 2009, with performances on the Pianola, the Duo-Art and the Welte-Mignon. Our most recent additions include the Liszt Piano Sonata in B minor, recorded by Arthur Friedheim for Ludwig Hupfeld in October 1905, Delius' "Brigg Fair," played by Percy Grainger and Ralph Leopold in a New York Duo-Art recording from the late 1920s, and a transcription for Pianola by Rex Lawson of the Second Movement of Rachmaninoff's Second Symphony, arranged, perforated and uploaded between 2019 and 2020. Who says the player piano is only a historical resource?!



As well as our in-house videos, we also have a significant quantity of playlists, mainly because companies who own the rights to Rex Lawson's CDs and TV broadcasts have decided to place them on Youtube, but they generally do so in a way that makes them very difficult to find. Our playlists will help you discover the correct locations of CD tracks and concert performances, including Darius Milhaud's "La Bien-Aimée" from the Philharmonie in Paris, Geroge Antheil's "Ballet Mécanique," with the same musicians who played it at Carnegie Hall in 1989, and Gabriel Jackson's "Airplane Cantata," a poetically beautiful work written for the BBC Singers and Pianola.



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A 2020 Lockdown Gift from the Pianola Institute

All 26 Pianola Journals now available for Free Download

In late 2019 the Board of the Pianola Institute had decided to make all past Pianola Journals available free online. The enforced lockdown in the UK as a result of Coronavirus has provided the opportunity for scanning and/or editing all the former issues, and these can now be downloaded on their individual webpages, in the Pianola Journal section of this website. In future each Journal will be available online roughly one year after it has been published in print, so that the Friends of the Pianola Institute and our academic subscribers will retain the advantage of the first year's exclusivity. We have taken this decision in order to make this wealth of player piano research freely available to the academic world, and the uncertainties surrounding the current medical and financial crisis have only confirmed us in our view that our archive should be preserved in this additional way. We hope you will enjoy these colourful publications and find them both informative and entertaining!

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Darius MILHAUD - La Bien-Aimée

A lost Ballet for Pianola and Orchestra

World Première Recording - May 2018

The First-ever Recording of Milhaud's 1928 Ballet, La Bien-Aimée


In the spring of 2016, thanks to the energy and enterprise of Enrique Mazzola and the Orchestre National d'Île de France, Darius Milhaud's ballet score, La Bien-Aimée, received its first performances since 1931 in the composer's original version. For many years the work was thought to be lost, but in 2003 Rex Lawson traced the manuscript score to NorthWestern University in Evanston, Illinois, which had purchased it from a British music dealer sometime in the 1970s. Now a CD recording has been made, published in May 2018 by the French record company, NoMadMusic, and this is widely available on the internet, and for download as well. For more details of this unusual project, please visit our Current News page.

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Second Global Piano Roll Meeting

Online Zoom Prelude - 21 November 2020

The First Zoom-Assisted Global Piano Roll Meeting


This is a private link for those attending the Zoom conference today. It points to a video of an Autograph-Metrostyle roll of Debussy's Arabesque no. 1 in E.

The Pianola Institute was launched in 1985 to breathe new life into player pianos around the world, and to lure them back into the mainstream of music by means of recordings, exhibitions, publications and archive and study facilities.

The Aims of the Pianola Institute:
A small number of pianola owners and musicians have been concerned for some time at the unnatural break between the world of music rolls and the world of music.  Few members of the musical public know much about player pianos, and the Institute aims to bring about a better understanding and appreciation of the instrument in a number of ways.

The Institute publishes an annual Journal, and presents regular concerts. Occasional CD recordings are produced.

The Pianola Institute endeavours to preserve, research and document the pianola's history, to improve the instrument's present standing, and, by the commissioning of new compositions, to ensure that it remains an important musical force for the future.

On this website you will find information about the history and development of the pianola, and also about the Pianola Institute itself. Take the time to browse - we have many mp3 audio files, several instruction booklets on playing different types of pianolas, published as pdf files, and a wealth of fascinating facts and pertinent pictures, all available free of charge. If you would like to subscribe to the Pianola Journal, look on our Pianola Journal or Friends of the Institute pages. If you would like more information, you can email us at: info@pianola.org

Site last updated: July 2018

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