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The AMICA Bulletin
AMICA Bulletin is a bi-monthly journal devoted to mechanical music. The Bulletin includes new articles about artists and events related to mechanical music, technical pieces, reprints of ads from the heyday of the player piano, reports on chapter activities and other good stuff. Members receive the AMICA Bulletin as a membership benefit. Back issues are sold as single copies (as available) or bound annuals for the years 1971 through 1999. (contact our Membership Secretary for more information from the Our Organization page).

Members also receive a copy of the AMICA Member Directory as a membership benefit. The Directory is publish bi-annually, and contains a listing of members and their contact information and their published instrument list. Data is sorted by Last name and by State/Region for easy indexing. Members may also order additional copies. (contact our Membership Secretary for more information from the Our Organization page)

Click on the image to preview the current edition, or see below to view previously published bulletin covers and complete bulletins


 

                                                 AMICA Bulletin Covers from the Past
Archived in the Members Only Section are digital copies of over 400 AMICA Bulletins dating back to 1964, that members can access for research and nostalgic pleasure. Here are what some of the covers looked like. Click on any to display full size.


Mar-Apr 1987


Jul-Aug 2015


Sep-Oct 2009


Jul-Aug 1991


Aug 1984

AMICA Bulletins from the Past - click on any to read complete bulletin


Jul-Aug 2001


Sept-Oct 2004


Mar-Apr 2010


Jan-Feb 2007


Mar-Apr 2006


Some Technical Articles that have appeared in past Bulletins ...

The Choralcelo by C.W. Jenkins
Victor Arden and Adam Carroll, The Preeminent Piano Duo
by Barry Leedy
Welte Covered
by Denis Condon

J. Lawrence Cook Biography - Part 1 of 2
by
Jean Lawrence Cook M.D.

J. Lawrence Cook Biography - Part 2 of 2
by Jean Lawrence Cook M.D.
T-100 Welte-Mignon; The actual cost of Ownership
by Mark Reinhart
The Evolution of the Ampico
by Richard Howe and Jeff Morgan
Self-Tuning Pianos Soon to be a Commercial Reality
by Karl Ellison
Fidelity and the Ampico System by Nelson Barden, Jeff Morgan, Richard Howe
Tech-Tips: Ampico Modification Systems by Jeff Morgan
Tech-Tips: Duo-Art Accordion Pneumatics
by David Saul
History of the Player - McTammany
by Julian Dyer
- This *RARE* book was found by AMICA member Julian Dyer. This is an article about the book that appeared in the "Player Piano Group" Bulletin.

How to submit Articles, Reports or Original Literature for publication
Advertise in the AMICA Bulletin and reach 1200+ Members!

 

Book Publications:

Encyclopedia of American Organettes
1870s - 1910s
History, Catalog, Raisonné, and Appreciation

An AMICA Publication for 2019 By "Q. David Bowers"
Members price, $49.95 + $6.00 postage Continental US
(For non-USA orders, contact AMICA Vice President)

AMICA members, to purchase online login to the Members-Only area
For a printable advertisement with ordering information, click
here

I am pleased to announce that our resident AMICA author, Q. David Bowers, has contributed another of the “Encyclopedia” series, this time all about American organettes. This is a wonderful book that should be in all members’ collection. It is very high quality hard back, some 325+ pages, and some 1,000+ images, many in glorious color. A fine presentation on your favorite coffee table.

The book is a great example what of emerges from research, something all AMICAs will be pleased with. It contains 33 chapters, embracing their history, observations about collecting, and an in-depth review of 29 American manufacturers. Many previously undocumented surprises emerge. Kevin McElhone in the UK, an author in his own right, has made numerous contributions towards publication of this book. He comments in his Foreword– “I hope any reader ofthis new book will have their imagination inspired to find out more and perhaps even to start collecting these interesting early automatic musical instruments.” While I did the layout of the book, in preparation for printing, I was delighted that AMICAns Mike Walter and Joel Clusky, stepped in to complete the project and bring it to life in its full glory! Very much appreciated.

The book is now available to members at an introductory price of $49.95 + $6 postage (continental US), valid until the initial print run is sold out. Purchase may be made by personal check or bank money order, made payable to AMICA International, mailed to Project Coordinator, Mike Walter. When the initial print run is sold out, the book will be printed within the “Print On Demand” concept, at a price of $79.95 + postage (US) from our Publishing House (Book Baby). Notice of this will appear within a future issue of our AMICA Bulletin, and within our Facebook page. All are encouraged to take advantage of this initial favorable introductory price.

   Terry Smythe

 

Encyclopedia of Disc Music Boxes
1881 - 1920
A History, Catalog Raisonné, and Appreciation


Click on image for preview

An AMICA Publication for 2017 By "Q. David Bowers"
     Members price, $75.00 Continental US
(For non-USA orders, contact AMICA Treasurer)

AMICA members, to purchase online login to the Members-Only area
For a printable order form click
here

Consistent within AMICA's stated objective of " ... educating the public about the historical and cultural significance of automatic musical instruments.", AMICA is about to publish a new book Encyclopedia of Disc Music Boxes, authored by the elder statesman, Q. David Bowers. This book is of equal magnitude and importance to David's earlier monumental Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments, published in 1972, which is still an excellent reference.

This high-quality book, with 43 chapters, 715 pages and some 1 ,600+ images, is a "must have" book for all AMICAns and others sharing an interest in disc music boxes. A classic coffee table type book to be prominently displayed in members' homes, it is certain to provoke interest in automatic musical instruments, and enhance membership numbers. After many years of gathering new information, David has skillfully traced the origins and development of disc music boxes from the 1880's to the early 1920's. This book contains information about disc-type music boxes made in Germany, Switzerland, America, and a few other places, much of which is new information not previously published. Each company has its own chapter, beginning with its history, publicity and news as reflected in German and American trade papers and elsewhere, followed by a listing of models in order by disc sizes, original catalogue illustrations, specifications, and other rarely found information. Throughout is a "gallery" of full color photographs showing examples from private collections and museums around the world.

Members are encouraged to participate in this outstanding offering. Non-members may take advantage of this offer if they join AMICA, where they will also enjoy reduced prices for future books planned for release.

  Terry Smythe

Non-Members price $95



* Join AMICA now and receive the reduced rate! 

 

 

The Violin-Playing Machines
Hupfeld Phonoliszt-Violina
Mills Violano-Virtuoso
A Study and Appreciation


Click on image for preview
An AMICA Publication for 2012 By "Q. David Bowers"  

Exclusively through AMICA ...

Sold out as of October 2015

 

"Mechanical Music" by Kevin McElhone
(In it's Third-Printing!)



Available directly through Kevin McElhone

As an AMICA project, the Midwest Chapter has available the book "Mechanical Music" by Kevin McElhone for a very reasonable cost.  The 4"x 8" paperback book is an excellent introduction to all aspects of automatic musical instruments including history, descriptions, and basic principles of operation.  The book has 48 pages with over 100 color photographs including a photograph of J. Lawrence Cook at his arranging piano.  The book is ideal to acquaint individuals to automatic music and encourage prospective collectors to participate in AMICA.  AMICA members who host groups and individuals for display and demonstration of their instruments should have a number of copies on hand to make available to people that wish to learn more and/or have a memento of their visit.  Each book will
be provided with a large AMICA label on the inside front cover and an AMICA membership pamphlet insert.  

Synopsis:
The sound of a street "barrel organ" or a fairground organ may revive distant memories for older folk or stir an interest in younger people.  Wealthier families may have possessed their own automatic musical machines in the form of a player piano, a Polyphone, Regina, or cylinder music box.  If well treated, these instruments may still be in working order.  This book covers the history, development, use, and fall from favor of many types of exotic instruments, from pocket-sized musical boxes to roll-playing pipe organs, and everything else in between.  It describes pianolas, organettes, roller organs, orchestrions, carillons, and many more.  It introduces a complex subject in a way that will encourage readers to visit collections open to the public or join one of the societies that encourage restoration of instruments to their former glory.

Partial able-Of-Contents: 
Music Boxes - Including cylinder & disk of many types and manivelles
Street Instruments
- Including roll & barrel monkey organs, fairground organs, street organs, and barrel pianos
Player Pianos
- Including Pianola (push up), barrel & planchette, standard & reproducing roll played, coin,  nickelodeon, and  orchestrions
Indoor Organs - Including table top organettes of many kinds, barrel pipe, roll played reed, dance, and orchestral 

Other Instruments
- Including novelty, violin players, singing birds, musical clocks, carillons, automatons, player harps, and photoplayers

 


  Contact Us 

AMICA International
Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors' Association,
a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

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