Weekly Photo Challenge: Intricate


Music boxes have always fascinated me. Mom used to have one with a twirling ballerina – I remember how the dainty ballerina would flip and lie down when you shut the lid and bounce up again when you opened the box.

When I was last in Japan, I was delighted to find a museum entirely dedicated to mechanical music. This was the Kawaguchiko Music Forest at the foot of Mount Fuji. Here are a few pictures of the inner workings of some of the music boxes, which are truly intricate. Hat-tip to the craftsmen who designed and made these.

This large music box is about the size of a piano and has three separate sections of notes. The large drum gives an indication of the length of the music. Note the additional bells towards the back
The museum shop was very tempting and the Japanese versions were a third the price of the Swiss ones.
Close-up of one of the boxes – note how tiny the protruding tines on the drum are

Posted in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge – Intricate

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10 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Intricate”

  1. I have a precious Swiss music box that plays snippets of two songs, one being The Blue Danube Waltz, the other a tune called Rose Marie. Inside the wooden top is a sliding piece of glass that allows you to see the roll and mechanism. I have been fascinated by this treasure since I was a very young girl! I love its sound, delicate, happy.

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    1. Does yours play in strict timing or does the music have a natural rubato? I wonder whether the craftsmen with musical sensibilities made better music boxes with the slight irregularities than when computers and machines made the drums.

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