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April 7, 2018

The invention in the 18th century of mechanical musical boxes in Leipzig revolutionised the idea of popular music, making popular tunes accessible to people with no personal musical skill. By the 1840s, cylinder music boxes could play between one and a dozen or so musical pieces, powered by clockwork motors and operated by tiny pins set into a brass cylinder which plucked steel forks arranged as a comb as it rotated. At the end of each piece, the cylinder would shift across slightly to select the next tune. Large instrumen...

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