Did you know that...the Orquestrophone is a rare musical instrument, made in France, in 1900 by Limonaire Frères?
This mechanical music reproduction instrument demonstrates the close relationship between the history of science, art and entertainment, integrates Quinta das Cruzes Museum collections, in Funchal.
Consisting of a huge wooden main structure beautifully decorated, the Orquestrophone has a mechanical system for reading punch cards, operated by handle with an electric motor adaptation, which sends a signal to the various instruments, allowing for the reproduction of music.
These instruments, which have always been aimed for public displays in large spaces (theatres, fairs and ballrooms) were widely manufactured in Europe during the late nineteenth/early twentieth century.
The Orquestrophone, with its mechanical complexity and acoustic power, was widely used during balls and parties, to the rhythm of polkas, waltzes, among other tunes, replacing valuably the musicians. Nowadays, it is a piece of great heritage interest, not only because of been a rare item in the world of mechanical musical instruments, but also for documenting purposes, dating to an exuberant period, depicted on its neo-baroque decorations, mechanical dolls (robots) and music, played in halls and theatres.
Come to Madeira and take part in the Music Festival, and take time to discover some of the musical rarity pieces on display in our museums!
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