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Appalachian Mountain Music Box

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Project by 987Ron posted 04-30-2021 08:06 PM 764 views 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A friend who is into bluegrass and Appalachian music ask if I could make the music box. . We did some research on these rather crude instruments and made this one for her. There is no common size. They were made from whatever was on hand. The box sides were often old window frames, the frets fence staples, the tin in the strumming area and the peg end was often from snuff tins. the pegs for tuning were old screen door eye screws.
This one is made of Poplar, fence staples, the tin is roof flashing, etc. The brown peg is to hold the string against the fret for the melody. The strumming is done with a Turkey feather. 3 of the 4 strings are strummed and one is for the melody. I do not play any instrument and made this from research and guess. Size is 29” x 10” x 4”.
It was fun to hear her play it. Better than I thought it would be. A very basic music box.

-- Ron





18 comments so far

View Peteybadboy's profile

Peteybadboy

3649 posts in 3107 days


#1 posted 04-30-2021 08:45 PM

Ron,

Pretty cool project. I like you stayed with the authentic materials.

Nice Job!

-- Petey

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

8202 posts in 1731 days


#2 posted 04-30-2021 09:19 PM

Nice build Ron. Looks shiny and new. Most of them I have seen were a bit rougher, tarnished, and worn.

The Museum of Appalachia in Clinton Tn. It’s not 2 miles off 75, has a display area in the big barn with a lot of musical pieces from Country, Bluegrass, and similar musicians. In that huge assortment of stringed instruments they have a few of these, and IIRC they called them flat tops. Some had a neck, some didn’t.

Like I said, many of them looked to be on their last leg, some still looked playable, but had been for years.

If you haven’t been, it’s a nice place to spend a day.

https://www.museumofappalachia.org

-- Think safe, be safe

View 987Ron's profile

987Ron

1651 posts in 474 days


#3 posted 04-30-2021 09:42 PM

Thanks for the comments.


Ron,

Pretty cool project. I like you stayed with the authentic materials.

Nice Job!

- Peteybadboy

Partly with authentic, no snuff cans. thanks again for the comments

-- Ron

View PaulDoug's profile

PaulDoug

2579 posts in 2861 days


#4 posted 04-30-2021 10:01 PM

Looks great. Any chance of a video of it being played?

I love making musical instruments,,, although I do not have an ounce of musical ability in me… I have built several tongue drums, a strum stick (which someone stole) many cigar box guitars and ukuleles and a hand crank street organ… I could play the street organ…!

Hey found a great video that explains them and how they play…. Awesome!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeSq_LGXen0

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View 987Ron's profile

987Ron

1651 posts in 474 days


#5 posted 04-30-2021 10:11 PM



Looks great. Any chance of a video of it being played?

I love making musical instruments,,, although I do not have an ounce of musical ability in me… I have built several tongue drums, a strum stick (which someone stole) many cigar box guitars and ukuleles and a hand crank street organ… I could play the street organ…!

- PaulDoug

I too am not a musician of any sense. Video? Doubtful. There are several of others playing them on the net if you go looking. Here is on on YouTube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNGAI4CrMZM

Thanks for the comments.

-- Ron

View Eric's profile

Eric

1673 posts in 1030 days


#6 posted 05-01-2021 01:11 AM

Nice project. Videos are good too, ended up going through a few others too.

A delcemer has been in a bucket list build.

Thanks for sharing

-- Eric, building the dream

View 987Ron's profile

987Ron

1651 posts in 474 days


#7 posted 05-01-2021 01:28 AM

Eric, thanks for the comments. Was an interesting project. The research was fun also.

-- Ron

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

1943 posts in 884 days


#8 posted 05-01-2021 01:29 AM

Nice job, like the noter as well.

When you take it to him, drag it behind the truck so that it will look like an antique when you get there. ;)

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

21645 posts in 4833 days


#9 posted 05-01-2021 02:05 AM

Nice job, sort of like having to reinvent the wheel, eh? :-) I must take a talented ear to tune it.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View corelz125's profile

corelz125

3274 posts in 2133 days


#10 posted 05-01-2021 03:17 AM

Nice build Ron

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1348 posts in 2449 days


#11 posted 05-01-2021 07:50 AM

You did a great job on the box. I watched the video Steven posted and it really made me appreciate your work even more. What a great and nostalgic project.

-- James E McIntyre

View 987Ron's profile

987Ron

1651 posts in 474 days


#12 posted 05-01-2021 12:44 PM

Thanks to all. Fun to do.

-- Ron

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

5320 posts in 3146 days


#13 posted 05-01-2021 05:50 PM

Very interesting and I watched the video. It has a nice pleasing sound.

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

7419 posts in 2372 days


#14 posted 05-01-2021 05:56 PM

+1 my talented friend

-- Desert_Woodworker

View 987Ron's profile

987Ron

1651 posts in 474 days


#15 posted 05-01-2021 06:03 PM

redoat49 and DW thanks for the comments and looking. Fun project. Used materials, roof flashing, I never thought as a woodworking material.

-- Ron

showing 1 through 15 of 18 comments

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