Printing Street Organ Cards
by Alfred Meyer
This little manual complements the general user
that you can
access in HTML format via the documents index on
our web site or
read directly through clicking on the ?>Documentation...
item in the program. It is designed for all those
who use Harmony to
punched cards or rolls for street organs, player
pianos, etc., and it
a detailed example of the creation of street organ
cards with the
aid of Harmony.
If you only have an evaluation version of Harmony,
you can still print
one page to judge the results.
Harmony and organ cards
Until now, the preparation of street organ
a long and tedious business. With Harmony, it has
become child's play.
This is the case for practically all types of
organ card or piano roll.
create your favorite tunes yourself using the
mouse, the keyboard, or
re-entry of notes from your synthesiser. The less
can use the
demos provided with the program or import midi
files from commercial
or floppies. Of course, these midi sequences must
be tailored to match
your instrument and to ensure that as few notes as
possible are lost.
contains all the tools necessary for this.
Launching the program
Installing Harmony on your computer creates
and its documentation. In Windows choose Programs>Harmony
the Start Menu. On the Macintosh simply
double click on the Harmony
When the program opens you will see an empty
document. We are going to load one of the
demonstration tunes provided
An important bit of advice: keep an eye on the
little yellow window
- it gives you all sorts of information on
whatever your mouse is
Select File>Open. In the folder Harmony\Demos\Myriad,
select the file NENES.MUS. The score for
this piece will appear
on screen. Listen to it by hitting the space bar
on your keyboard.
you listen, I will carry on setting out the
instructions for use. Are
still with me?
Setting up your organ
Now it is necessary to adapt this music to your
For that, open
the Score menu and choose Apply street
This opens the Street organ setup dialog
box in which you
are going to define the setup options for an
organ. If the one already
selected is not yours, choose Load Organ.A
organs are available in the Harmony\Organs
folder. Is yours
If so, click on its name and confirm your choice.
If not, click on Cancel
and return to the select organ dialog.
The pipes listed in the Pipe definition
table must correspond to the keys available on
instrument, and it may be
necessary to modify them to ensure correct
registration. Begin by
on the first line of the table. It will display in
color: it is
Delete the contents of the little windows on the
right (hit Del on the
keyboard). Insert valid note information for your
instrument (e.g. Note:
D, Octave: 4). Confirm with the Apply
button or by
hitting carriage return. Move on to pipe 2 and
repeat, etc... You may
have fewer notes available than there are entries
in the table. Remove
entries with the Delete button, having
note(s). If you have more notes, write in the
extra ones and confirm
You can save the organ thus defined to a file by
clicking on the Save
From now on, Harmony knows the notes that can be
used to make punched
cards for your particular organ. Those that do not
exist will be
suppressed. Click OK to
to the staves.
Analysis of the music
Harmony analyses the notes present in the tune
that are not playable on the selected organ. A
message tells you that,
for example, 135 notes are going to be suppressed
because they do not
to any key on your organ. It suggests that a shift
semitones would minimise the number of lost notes,
reducing them to 78.
Since you only wish to lose the minimum, do not
confirm the elimination
of 135 notes. Click No. To avoid
unneccesary note loss we are
to transpose the whole score down 10 semitones.
Open the Edit menu and choose Select
All. Your 2 staves turn green. Return to Edit
and choose Shift.
As the program has suggested a shift of -10
semitones, you should
semitone down 10 times in succession. At
each operation you will
all the notes shift down. You could equally, and
more rapidly, click 10
in succession on the transpose down icon
in the Action
Now return to Apply street organ filter
(in the Score
menu). There you will be asked if you are sure
that this is the organ
for which you want to apply the filter. Colorize
the faulty notes. It
be easy to see them on score and then to shift
them so that they match
your organ range. Apply the organ filter when
Listening to the result
It is important to listen to the result to ensure
or shifting of notes is not too deleterious to the
To get closer to the sound produced by your organ,
it is possible to
change the instrument sound played by the program.
For that, click on
the instrument icon -- the
yellow and black box (it is a picture of piano
keys) -- to the left of
a staff. Select Pipe, then Ocarina.
Depending on your
instrument set(s), you may have other appropriate
choices, e.g. street
barrel organs. Click on OK. You have now
modified the sound of
staff. Do the same for the remaining staves.
In some pieces of music you will find drum
sets or other percussion instruments, usually
below the ordinary
Since these are not used, it is best to deal with
them as soon as they
are spotted. You need to go to the Document
box. If you are in the Street Organ Setup
box you can (when you
have finished setting up) click OK and
then choose the Options
button towards the bottom of the card preview
screen that then appears.
Alternatively, from the Harmony main
screen select File>Print>Score
and then the Options button from the
bottom of the score
screen. In either case, once you are in the Document
click the printer icon to the left of the
percussion staff. The
icon disappears and the staff is deselected for
printing, meaning that
it will not be taken into account in the
preparation of punched cards.
Likewise, you can adjust your score before the
program tells you that
such and such notes are going to be suppressed. If
you already have
experience with the notation for organs with 27
keys, you will know
that the highest
note is D in Octave 5. Thus you must transpose all
the notes of all the
staves sufficiently to ensure that the highest
note is D 5. If you do
know the staves or octaves very well, select the
tool representing a lasso
a note. If you position it over a note, the name
and octave of the note
will be displayed in the help line. It is evident
that all staves
be transposed by the same number of semitones. A
staff may, however, be
transposed by a full octave (12 semitones) with
respect to the others.
This may be done if it is desired to fill out the
card better. Do not
that 2 identical notes will be superimposed when
printing and so will
played only once by your organ.
Improving the result for your
Let us return to our NENES example. The
sounds fine on your
computer but is a bit "thin" on your mechanical
instrument. We are
to enrich it, or fill it out. To do this, go to
the Staff menu
staff.... You create an empty staff. Click
on the clef of the
treble staff. It will turn green. Go to Edit>Copy.
the empty staff. Return to Edit and choose
have 2 identical staves. Transpose one of them up
or down an octave
remaining within the range of your organ.
Similarly duplicate and
the bass staff. You will now find that you have
twice as many notes as
before, and a much fuller punched card. Do not
forget to apply the street
organ filter, because all the notes will not
on your instrument.
You must first set up your printer. Choose File>Printer
and specify paper type and size, orientation,
print quality, etc.
Then choose File>Print>Street organ
You are back again in Street Organ Setup. It is
now time to re-enter
print parameters. The notes are correct because
they have already been
confined to those available on your organ. Go to
length of a card (Card
Size:L). Enter 285 mm for A4 paper or 267 mm
for US letter. The
(Card Size:H) should be set to that of your
(e.g. 154 mm).
The Card speed is always 60 mm per second.
It is pointless
to modify this unless you really want to feed your
card faster or
The position of the centre line of the first
and the distance between the perforations (Between
the figures for the keys on your organ measured
from centre line to
line, from the reference edge (the supported edge
of the card). The
of the perforations will depend on the size of
your punch. Put the
at 100%. A lesser figure will make your
perforations too small. The
distance between two perforations along the length
of the card (Minimal
space between two punches) should not be
less than 2 mm or the card
will tear. It only remains to check Draw card
and Horizontal mirror. If you are printing
rolls for pneumatic
or piano, also check Circular punches.
Once all the options are
correctly set up, click OK.
You will see a preview of the card as it will
be printed. If you are not happy with it, click Close
be returned to the organ setup.
If the preview is satisfactory, click Print
The printed sheets are trimmed and glued end to
end. Then you need
only attach the sheets to your blank card or roll
and punch all the
Those with printers that use listing paper
- choose portrait orientation and, if necessary,
- uncheck Horizontal Mirror in the organ
- check Vertical Mirror in the organ
- set the length of the card (Card Size:L)
- in the printing Options, set all
zero and turn off headers and footers, since if
whatsoever is set outside the area of the card
there is a risk that the
printer will skip a page or print a blank.
Before turning off your computer, be sure to
your organ's parameters
with Save Organ. This will add your
settings to the list of
already contained in Harmony.
In the same vein, consider saving any music files
that you have
under a different name: it might be useful to you
one day to be able to
summon them up to print a card or two.
You are advised to keep a backup copy of the files
you create on a
floppy, just in case...
You can send all queries to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org
the program's authors will personally reply to
A.MEYER , WITTISHEIM 67,
(Version of 15 March 1999,