Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Music please Little Jo

Little Jo has acquired a piano and a rather fine one at that. I sat down to play it, hoping some instinct would kick in, but no, not even Mary had a Little lamb. Maybe I could have played something simple if I had some music. I am not even sure about that. I gave my music away, so maybe if I can just find some on the net and print it out.

The piano was Little Jo's great grandfather's, that is Bone Doctor's grandfather. Bone Doctor's parents gave it to them when Sister, BD and Little Jo recently moved into their new house. Even my inexpert ear can tell it has quite a good sound, very pure and sweet.

At this early age, unlike her mother, Little Jo is showing no interest in sport. She is not even keen to throw a ball. She is not much interested in cars, train, boats and planes. She seems to more of the creative type. It will be interesting to observe as she progresses.

Already the questions of started. Andrew, is that tall house taller than your tall house, as we passed by in a tram a very tall building near Dorcas Street. R what is an intercom? His reply was that it was a bit like a telephone. What's a telephone? She knows full well what a telephone is.

We took her to see the Myer christmas windows last weekend. She did not seem as interested in them as last year. Must say, I didn't think they were that interesting to kids. We had good fun inside Myer where she peeled bits of contact paper off a picture a piece at a time and sprinkled coloured sand to make a rather good picture. No, she did not want to see Santa, no she did not want to go on the toy train. She patiently went with us while we did a bit of shopping and had brunch. We bought her a breakfast muffin, no not from the Mc place. She removed the egg, ate the bacon, then the cheese and then the two buns. While we had coffee elsewhere, she had a strawberry milkshake. Don't tell Mummy, we warned her.

Anyway, the piano maker was Albert Fahr, of Zeitz in Germany. With some net searching, they are either worth a lot of money or very little? One interesting thing is that the other pianos I can see online have the word Zeitz below Albert Fahr whereas this one does not but does have The Orchestrelle Co. Melbourne. Now, I understand Orchestrelle was owned by an English company which was in turned owned by the American company Aeolian. The name Orchestrelle came from the name of a self playing reed organ. Now I am not so sure that the piano was made in Germany. Perhaps it was made here under a license to Albert Fahr by Orchestrelle in Australia.

Right, in 1945 the company here was called Aeolian Orchestrelle Co, located next to the Regent Theatre in Collins Street.

Looks like I must pull the piano to pieces to find a date and location of manufacturer.


  1. "Little Jo is showing no interest in sport."

    Finally, an intelligent Australian.

  2. MiLord Hughes I thought you'd be rubbing it in about the Aussies gettng mangled by some other team from some frozen homeland.

  3. Beautiful woodwork on the piano. Wouldn't it be ironic if you took it to pieces for the manufacturer's details etc, then found it to be hugely valuable, but only if it hadn't been tampered with?!

    Happy travels!

  4. What a beautiful piece of workmanship that piano is!

  5. Jahteh, he wouldn't know a cricket bail if it fell on him. Neither would I really.

    I will bear that in mind Red. I used to take our pianola to bits, so I have a vague idea of piano workings. Ah, I don't mean the strings, keys etc.

    It is Jayne. I was very impressed.

  6. Brian's comment cracked me up. Although I think I've encountered more Australians NOT interested in sport than those who are.

    Jack asks questions he already knows the answers to. I'm not sure why. Sometimes I'll answer wrong, and he'll give me the right answer. Then I ask "Why did you ask if you already knew the answer?"

    I guess he's trying to test me, make sure I'm not stupid.

  7. The best thing in this post Andrew is that, at last, you wrote 'ate' instead of 'et'. Long may it continue!

  8. Dina, perhaps children do this because they subconsciously want their knowledge reinforced? I very much doubt Jack would think his mother was stupid. As for what the rest of us think... :-P

    Thanks for the reminder Victor. Et had slipped my mind. I will remember next time.

  9. oh goody I can brag that I can actually play Mary Had A Little Lamb, and with two hands, and only because the last place I looked after had a baby grand and I just picked it out by ear.
    Little Jo is indeed lucky.
    'aeolian' mean wind or air.

  10. Mary had a little lamb was how I started MOD, just picking out the right keys to hit. Wind or air makes sense as it was originally a name for a wind reed organ I think.

  11. I dont know if you are still blogging but Im looking at buying a Pianola and this too has the Orchestrelle Co. Melbourne on it, I was told that they did really good restorations so perhaps your piano had been to them as some stage.

    1. Ah Dotty, that would make sense. Thanks and good luck with your Pianola. They are great fun.