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The must-read user guide for paper strip music boxes

We want to thank Hanneke Debie who wrote this extensive music box guide to include the most commonly asked questions about the paper strip music boxes, which are also known as “hand cranked music boxes” and “paper roll music box”.

In this guide, Hanneke tells us where you can find the paper strip music boxes, the types of them, how you can compose music for them and punch holes correctly, where to find melodies, how to repair the mechanical parts of the music box movement, and other tips and tricks learned from our MBM community. We would like to thank Hanneke Debie and other MBM members who have provided helpful resources to guide the newcomers of our community.

Aug. 10, 2021, 4:12 a.m.

Muro Box has launched an Indiegogo campaign

We are very excited to announce that our closest partner Muro Box has launched an Indiegogo campaign! In case if you missed it, Muro Box is the world’s first app-controlled mechanical music box, that can play unlimited melodies and has a variety of really cool features.

After their first successful crowdfunding campaign in Taiwan they spent almost 2 years in the pilot run production, and now when the final batch of the music boxes has been successfully produced and shipped to their first backers, they are launching a global campaign.

If you would like to learn more about the team behind this truly unique project and their journey, we strongly recommend checking out their story. It was quite a fascinating journey.

May 5, 2020, 11:46 a.m.

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It seems churlish to criticise what is an excellent FREE tool so this comment is made by way of observation. I am experienced in music theory/notation etc and have used commercial editing programmes but am lacking in memory retention. Is it possible to 'insert' a missing note which could then move the remainder of the notes along.? I have tried the arrows button but they seem to operate only from starting position and of course when you try to position your cursor somewhere else you get a note. Sorry if it's a dumb question.
2 comment posted by davidadams on Jan. 7, 2022, 4:59 a.m.

Two breakthroughs in making tapes

Tonight I successfully made a tape using just a laser printer and 110lb paper. This is the thickest paper that works in my HP laser printer using the auxillary paper feed tray. It is like card stock. This paper is lighter than music box paper. I printed directly from MusicBoxManiacs using 100% scale. I cut the paper using a new blade in a utility knife (an Exacto knife would work just as well), a metal ruler, and my wife's sewing cutting board. The cutting board is large and has long lines marked on it which make good guides for lining up each strip of paper. For my test I taped 4 strips of paper together (before punching) using 3M Scotch Box Lock shipping tape. I put one piece of shipping tape on each side of the paper at the seams. Because of the way this web site prints the strips, they have to butt up against each other square - no diagonal seam. But they work pretty well. I don't expect this improvised music tape to last as long as real music tape, but after playing the tune 7 or 8 times it's great for prototyping. Since it's thinner, the music box doesn't grab it as tightly as the official tape.

My second breakthrough is in marking some real music tape. I have a lightbox I use for photography. I printed a page music from this site and put it on the light box. Next, I put the music tape on top of it, lining the two up perfectly. The light box is bright enough to shine through both pieces of paper. I can see the little blue Xs from the printed page through the music tape. I then mark the music tape where I want to punch. Next, I punch. It helps if you mask off the part of the light box you aren't using to avoid glare in your eyes. I used aluminum foil to do this, and taped the foil down. It is easier to do the marking in a dim room. While the width of the printed music and width of the official music tape are the same, there is a slight spacing difference in the time direction. This means you need to slowly slide the official music tape a little bit over the printed music as you make marks. I sent a request to musicmaniacs to see if this geometry difference could be fixed. I used the long spool of music paper tape, not the individual strips. I assume they are the same type of paper, but in case they are not, I thought I'd mention it.

I accidently punched a few wrong holes because of the stupid extra hole in the hole punch. I accidently lined up the paper with the extra hole instead of the correct hole. The holes are about the same size and easy to confuse. I put a piece of electrical tape over the bogus hole and never made that mistake again.

After punching hundreds of holes, my tendons are getting sore. I might sand down the two sides of the metal punch near the hinge so it takes less force to punch holes. If I do this I will report the results.

I did my experiments with the Phillip Glass Openings piece and Tokyo Ghoul from this web site. These both sound awesome.
0 comment posted by AndyGbox on Jan. 4, 2022, 1:26 a.m.

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Kikkerland Music Box Kit melodies More

Turn the crank and hear an old tune. The charm of a music box still lingers to this day, and now the mechanism that creates the music is available for you to compose any song you wish. Our Music Box hole punch is a music makers delight. Create your own melody by punching holes in the music paper strips provided. The Happy Birthday melody is included for you to get started. For musicians, crafters and lovers of music this is a must have item. The kit also includes a instruction booklet to help you get started. Order your own DIY Music Box Kit now!