This page presents a small collection of 14-note organette music from the 1880s, preserved in computer format as freely downloadable MIDI files.
These rolls and "tune sheets" from my own collection have been transcribed by hand or scanned electronically into computer MIDI format. They have then been edited to remove the effects of age and wear, and to correct timing and punching errors in the original sheets.
The resulting MIDI files are electronic "master rolls" which conform to the original punching and timing specifications. They can be played directly on a computer or synthesiser, or used with suitable machinery to punch new paper copies.
Note that when playing paper rolls on a real Organette, it takes a finite time for each note slot to pass over the reading apparatus (the "tracker bar"). This lengthens each note by a small amount, and gives a smoother (or more "legato") result than when the MIDI files are played electronically. The difference is noticeable, but does not affect the enjoyment of the music.
Timing data for punching new paper rolls is included in the MIDI file headers. Physical data for the original tune sheets is provided on the 14-Note American Ogranette page.
The relative numbers of popular and religious songs in this collection may suggest something about the nature of American society in the 1880s. It may also indicate that "popular" rolls were played more often, and were damaged and discarded sooner.
Sweet Belle Mahone
Dare To Be A Daniel.
Draw Me Nearer.
Glory Glory Hallelujah.
Hold The Fort.
I Want To Be An Angel.
Ring The Bells Of Heaven
Sun Of My Soul
Sweet Hour Of Prayer
Whiter Than Snow