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PRELUDE to the 2nd Global Piano Roll Meeting | 21.11.2020 - 21.11.2020
Internationale Konferenz an der Hochschule der Künste Bern

Prelude ONLINE: 21. November 2020 18.00 Bern time (CET)

Please register on: https://eventfrog.ch/en/p/wissenschaft-und-technik/global-piano-roll-meeting-prelude-6712658256713511894.html

The Global Piano Roll Meeting is excited to announce an online virtual conference on November 21, 2020 at 18:00 CET (17:00 GMT, 09:00 PST, 04:00 AEDT). This half-day meeting will include condensed lectures from representative topics in piano roll study. It aims to continue the communication and collaboration sparked by the 2018 gathering, and to be a prelude to a planned 2021 conference in Switzerland. 

The conference will occur online via Zoom and will offer interactive opportunities for questions and group discussion. Topics will include the scanning and digitization of rolls, history of roll manufacturers, performance practice on rolls, and the pianola and roll performance today. Speakers include Rex Lawson, Birgit Heise and Neal Peres Da Costa

Full Program (pdf)


Music rolls and pneumatic instruments are a vital part of the history of recording and mechanical music. They provide a rich window into the technological, musical, cultural and economic history of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Recent projects to preserve rolls by scanning and digitization have sparked wider interest in the field. This has allowed for technical studies of rolls, which are an early digital record of music making. Archival documents are also yielding insights into the business and technology of roll manufacturing. These are among the many diverse topics that have brought individuals together from around the world to share their work with rolls.

This conference continues the work of the 1st Global Piano Roll Meeting in Leipzig, 2018. Based on feedback received, this three-day event allows more time for presentations, discussions, and networking. The conference will be conducted in English. It aims to be an international forum for enthusiasts and professionals working with paper rolls and pneumatic roll playing instruments.

Hochschule der Künste Bern / Museum für Musikautomaten Seewen / Stanford University / Faszination Pianola


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