The fact that musical boxes made by Swiss manufacturers during the 19th and well into the 20th century can be said to have dominated the international market has long prevented art collectors and connoisseurs alike from looking beyond those borders. Remarkably enough, there was a select group of manufacturers, active in Prague and Vienna during the same period, who followed a different path, fashioning instruments which were uniquely Austrian in their construction and design and have come to be treasured for their musical repertoire and its arrangements. Based on a survey of roughly 1400 musical boxes the present work illustrates a number of distinctive features characteristic of Austrian musical boxes. We find a detailed treatment of their typology along with a comprehensive chapter dealing with the development of the Austrian musical boxes themselves, including many photos pointing up the qualities discussed. Structural analyses of several of the music pieces used, accompanied by the related scores and a selection of music examples provided on line shed light on the musical repertoire and its typical arrangement. Historical facts and biographical data pertaining to the Austrian artisans of the period round out the picture of the production in Prague and Vienna. A final, comprehensive catalogue provides detailed information on the specifics of each single instrument.
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