>> a. The main parts of a music box
The comb is a piece of steel in which the teeth have been cut and then tuned to reproduce musical notes, defined for each individual tune.
The cylinder is usually made of brass. It holds the pins, which lift up the teeth of the comb. These pins are held in place by resin, injected inside the cylinder. They are in steel and their positioning is determined by the tune.
This is a spring mechanism, wound up by the means of a key, which allows the musical movement to work.
-The speed governor:
The speed governor, or regulator, controls the speed at which the spring unwinds and ensures a regular rhythm for the music.
All the parts of the movement are assembled on a base plate, ususally in brass.
The movement is fitted into a box, most often made of wood, which enhances it. It transmits the sound and works as an amplifier. Wood is a living material with natural irregularities which make each box a unique piece.
>> b. The traditional musical movements and their working:
Note: The length of play of the tune, the number of pins and the running reserve are different for each tune.
Basic musical movements: a cylinder with one tune
A tune corresponds to one complete turn of the cylinder.
1 tune of 30 - 35 seconds
Running reserve is 7 - 8 minutes
1 cylinder of 3 tunes
On these movements, a mechanism moves the cylinder sideways after the first tune allowing the comb's teeth to play a second tune with different pins. It moves another time to play the third tune, then returns automatically to its starting position.
3 tunes, each lasts 24 to 40 seconds
Running reserve: 10 minutes
*The above two types of sample representations of movements are just two out of many that are available, please email us for others.
2. Recommendations For Use
- To obtain the best sound, keep a distance of about 30cm between the music box and the ear.
- Avoid winding up the spring while the movement is playing. It is better to wait until the end of the tune.
- To prepare for transport of the box, wait until the end of the tune so that all the pins on the cylinder no longer lift up any tooth on the comb, then close the lid.
3. Maintenance Tips
- Your music box does not require any particular maintenance. However, for dust, use a soft, dry cloth. Try not to use any cleaning materials.
- Do not touch the musical movement.
- Keep your music box away from sunlight. For wooden boxes, please note that wood is a natural material whose colour can vary slightly and darkens naturally with time.
- Keep your music box in a dry place at a moderate temperature.
Music Box Attic Staff