The Original Virtual Concert

A giant mechanized orchestra

Oompah, oompah. Listen to a giant mechanized orchestra machine called the Apollonia. It’s housed at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Apollonia is run by a computer program now, but used to be based on scrolls such as those used in player pianos.

Here’s a device used to make those scrolls.

There’s a whole gallery at the MIM dedicated to mechanized instruments.

Play a trumpet without knowing how to play a trumpet. Blow into the mouthpiece and let it play on its own.

The musical components aren’t always obvious. The clown plays songs, moves its arms and legs and sticks out its tongue.

The bird flutters and sings.

Travel tip: Schedule a full day, or two half days, to explore the entire museum.


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