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Ignoz Bruder (1780-1845) and Frau Maria Anna Bruder (1787-1834) shown here, on left, in original oil paintings located at the Waldkirch Music Museum.   Fast forward to 2014!  The current Ms. Bruder (on right)  enjoying retirement and the recent festival at Waldkirch.   She was accompanied by Mr. Stefan Fleck, of the world famous Paul Fleck Organ Builders.  They continue the long tradition of organ builders and restorers in Waldkirch.

Ms. Bruder is the daughter of Mr. Gustav Bruder, the resemblance to her ancestors of almost two centuries ago is striking.

Gustav Bruder is considered to have been the greatest musical arranger in the history of mechanical music machines.   For many years he devoted his considerable talents to the Weber company which created many of the finest orchestrions ever built.


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The classic view of Waldkirch, the little black forest city.  At the top of the hill you see the ruins of the centuries old town castle.   It is interesting to note that on many musical clocks (circa 1790-1830) the dials were usually hand painted but unsigned.  Often they were decorated with images of the local town castle.  Today much research has been done to determine the makers of these old musical "flute" clocks by identification of these castles! 


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Bob Brown and George Collar of the Mills Novelty Company, enjoying one of many original Ruth Fair Organs at the Waldkirch festival.

George checks out one of the street window displays in downtown Waldkirch.  Since so many organ builders and arrangers of music originated from this area, during the every three year festival, many such displays are to be found all over town!


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Much fun was had by all!  Our dear friends Johnny and Marijke Verbeeck of organ builder fame, enjoy a funny moment with Ursala Matter.  The great collections in the Black Forest area include examples from builders such as Ruth, Bruder, Weber, and many others. Recently we installed a digital player system on a Mills Violano located in Waldkirch!

Kurt and Ursula Matter in front of a big Ruth Organ.


20140628 112740 thumb200h20140628 110415 thumb200w20140628 110641 thumb200h20140628 112415 thumb200hMonkey Organs are every where, lining the streets of Waldkirch.

Something for everyone, the organ makes the music, the fine singer adds the words!


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A wonderful Gavioli & Cie Flute barrel organ, circa 1860’s from Waldkirch. Still entertains today almost 150 years after its manufacture. Click here to see the video.


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The open air market during the festival makes it possible to enjoy the music and endless amount of fruit, drink, etc.  Oh yes, they do have BEER!


Of the half dozen known Weber Maesto instruments, this one is unique.  It currently resides in the Waldkirch Museum.  It is the only remaining example located in the place where it was manufactured.   Not the standard ornate case style, this orchestrion and its Weber piano had many added controls.  It original purpose may have been to use as a demonstration instrument.

It is acknowledged by many (including this writer) to be the most beautiful sounding mechanical music instrument ever made.   One of the other known examples (in a prominent American collection) displays a brass inlay on its facade that says "Weber's Maesto".  So the Weber factory must have also thought the Maesto was its best!

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Here is a lovely Black Forest autimata flute clock, likely ca. 1820.


This large barrel operated instrument can make GREAT music.


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In commerical locations, where it was desired to "sell" the music, these wooden coin operated walls boxes often were on prominent display.  This example is connected to a very nice organ in the museum collection.


keith harding bruder marking machine thumb200wOur friend from England, Keith Harding demonstrates the
Gustav Bruder original "marking table" for production of book music.


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Days gone by, a look at the Weber factory during its hayday.