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How A Mechanical Music Box Works

How A Mechanical Music Box Works

Posted by Boris Muchnik on Dec 18th 2020

Music boxes are fascinating to watch! Some music boxes, like our Crystal, Clear & Glass Music Boxes are designed so that you can watch the moving parts turn when you wind up the music box. But do you know exactly how a mechanical music box works? Here’s some insight into how a music box plays its tinkling tunes!

Before getting started, it’s important to understand that there are many different types of mechanical music boxes. We will focus on the most renowned: cylinder type music boxes/

How a Cylinder Type Music Box Works

Cylinder type music boxes operate with several small moving parts. These are the main parts:

  • Cylinder. The cylinder is the cylindrical piece of metal that has the music printed on it in small, readable bumps. The cylinder turns when it is powered, and is the piece that produces the music.
  • Comb. The comb is a metal piece that goes beneath the cylinder to help read and produce the music. The comb is shaped just like that – a comb with metal teeth that reach up to the cylinder.
  • Spring Housing. This is where the power comes from in order to power the mechanical music box.
  • Lever. When you pull, turn, or rotate the lever of the music box, the lever activates the spring in the spring housing, which in turn creates the power for the box. With turning the lever you are powering the box yourself!
  • Governor. Also called the air-brake, this part of the music box regulates the speed of all the other pieces, so that the music doesn’t go too fast or too slow.
  • Bed-plate. Everything in the music box is placed and attached to this one piece, so that it all fits together without moving.

Invented in 1796 by Swiss watchmaker Antoine Favre, these music boxes have been creating memories for generations. Often passed down as family heirlooms, there is no better time than the present to purchase a music box, and no better place than Music Box Attic!

Get Your Music Box Today!

Mechanical music boxes are fascinating pieces of art that produce beautiful sounds. Whether for you or a loved one, this is the perfect way to make someone’s day special. Choose from an incredible variety of music boxes, no matter your style or budget, at Music Box Attic!

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