Also, when I join the pieces of the strip together, how sensitive is the music box movement to thickness changes due to overlaps in the clear packaging tape I intend to use (on ordinary printer paper - clear package tape on both sides of the paper - I have some nice sturdy packaging tape made by the "Duck Tape" company.
Also, where as note is repeated (denoted in red on the strip), should I punch only the first note? If there's more than two repeated notes, should I do every-other one?
Hi Mark_42 and thanks for your message. The real scale of the music box is most likely F, but the scale that is written on the paper strips provided with it is most likely C. Without going too much into boring details, the melody by Eugene_Kazantsev, that you've linked to, should work just fine on your music box. Here is an amazing video tutorial for punch card music boxes and in particular joining multiple strips together https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjBhO9iqEc0 The red notes will most likely be skipped when you play the melody on the music box due to technical limitations of the mechanism, but it doesn't really matter whether you punch them or not. In general, it is always a good idea to try punching a few short test pieces before starting to work on the real strip, so I'd recommend you to experiment a little. Good luck with the gift. Pretty sure your wife will appreciate it ;-)
That video is really informative! Thanks.I have no where near that level of music skills.I'll just go with the printed out .PDFs I find online - just one for now.I might do the regular and the scale of F versions so I can compare them... But mainly, I need to get one of them done by Christmas!I have the Duck Tape HD Clear here at work so that I can start splicing the strips I printed out at lunch.https://www.duckbrand.com/products/moving-storage/packaging-tapes/clear-3-in-x-546-yd-6-pkI don't have the 3" wide stuff, but it's great tape, and I'm really skilled at lining it up (from other hobbies).
Mark, The arrangement(s) you have chosen is of this great song is actually in the key of G, the same key that Van sang the song in originally and still uses today.
As MusicBoxManiacs (I wish this person had a real name) said, your music box is actually most likely in the key of F. That means if you use the printed version in the key of F, then the notes played will be the same as Van Morrison sings. (Even though the music box is in the key of F, the arrangement is in the key of G.)
In contrast, if you use the "plain" version (which is in the key of C), on your music box (which is in the key of C) the melody (which is in the key of G) will actually play in the key of C. Meaning that if your wife tries to sing along, she will have to sing in a key that is quite a bit higher (or lower) than Morrison. This may not be a problem.
The other issue is that the arrangement seems to have actually been conceived for the (non-existent) music box in the key of C. That means that a few notes in the F version have been taken out, because they weren't possible. The F version also uses almost exclusively lower notes, which to my ear sound less music-boxy.
So unless you know that your wife really wants to sing along to Van's version (which is fairly high for most people), I would go with the C version.
For the thickness of the paper, the mechanism IS sensitive to thickness. Luckily, you have a metal gear box (not the cheaper plastic ones), which are a bit more sturdy. I would GUESS it is better to put the plastic tape on only ONE side of the paper, both for the thickness, and for traction. But since I don't how thick your tape is, difficult to be sure.
As MusicBoxManiacs (I wish this person had a real name) said, it is probably best to try out a test strip before doing much punching. As the wonderful video points out, mistakes are very easily made, and a little skill and lots of concentration are actually involved.
With your repeated notes, there are a few potential "fixes":1) As you suggest, doing every-other note can work sometimes.2) Notice that some of your repeated notes occur on two notes on the same line simultaneously. You can alternate between the high & low notes (octaves), keeping some of the rhythm and not losing all the notes.3) If you can bear turning very rapidly, you can actually DOUBLE the timing. So instead of the second notes falling on the second line, they fall on the third, and so on, leaving a blank line between each original line. Lots of work, and not so simple as just printing out. But you do then get ALL the notes.
Thanks. I already printed, spliced & laminated (both sides) the Key of C version.
If traction is an issue, I'll put a little tension on the strip as it feeds out.
If nothing else, I can use the printed & punched one as a pattern to mark one of the card strips that came with the movement.
I worked on fitting & mounting it in a cedar box I have. It's a bit tricky because of the geometry (hard to explain... but I have to sort of stand it up in the box & mount it to the front panel.
I'll post a picture sometime.
And thanks for all the help!
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