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Announcing the Player Piano Project



The Stanford Music Department and Archive of Recorded Sound are pleased to announce the launch of the Player Piano Project at Stanford University. The Player Piano Project will promote study and research into all aspects relating to the player piano and organ, especially as they relate to historically informed performance practice of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Project seeks to bring together researchers, musicians, and others interested in contributing to knowledge of the player piano and organ. 

The Project will develop an extensive collection of piano and organ rolls with a corresponding set of instruments capable of playing each of the major types of rolls. The rolls will be cataloged, preserved, and digitized.  

A news article about this initiative, along with a video featuring interviews with both faculty and librarians involved in the project, and demonstrations of certain instruments, has been published by Stanford News. 

More detailed information about the project can be found at the project website.


by Jonathan Manton


I'm excited about your project! I live in San Mateo and have inherited a beautiful Knabe grand piano in a hand carved walnut case that my grandfather bought in the 20's in San Francisco. Unfortunately, the player mechanism (in a drawer under the keyboard) doesn't work any longer as the lead tubes have corroded. I do have several Ampico piano roles and cabinet that housed them. Can I be of any use to our project? I'd love to offer any help I can (and of course give you any piano rolls you might like)…I have to make a list of titles!
Dear Ms Criste

Many thanks for your comments and interest in the project. Please contact Jerry McBride ( about the rolls you mention.

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