Spielwerke aus Prag und Wienvon Helmut Kowar
During the 19th and in the beginning of the 20th century the musical boxes made by Swiss manufacturers (and there were also some active in nearby France) dominated the international market – but also in Prague and in Vienna musical boxes were made. While the Swiss products were sold worldwide, the Austrian musical boxes were made primarily for customers in the Habsburg Monarchy and in East-European countries. The manufacturers in Prague and Vienna followed an independent and different path in the construction and design of musical boxes as well as in the musical repertoire and its arrangement. The book will point out these special features of the Austrian musical boxes. Based on a survey of roughly 1300 musical boxes (the information was collected during a research project since 1980), it is possible to present here a typology and the development of the musical boxes made in Prague and Vienna, providing also sufficient photos of many details. Analyses of several music pieces accompanied by the related scores throw light on the musical repertoire and its typical arrangement. Historical facts and biographical data of the makers complement the picture of the production of musical boxes in Prague and Vienna. The topic is completed by a catalogue of the musical boxes giving detailed information on every single instrument.